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Cobbles

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  1. Hi-I second the suggestion to look into the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (Elain Gottschall's book: _Breaking the Vicious Cycle_). I was very ill for several years with UC, and took Asacol and then Colazol, along with a variety of mesalamine and steroid suppositories. These meds only helped a little, and sometimes the side effects were worse than the positives. The UC got completely out of hand and in desperation I tried the SCD diet. It helped a lot, and from there, I tried Elaine Gottschall's suggestion of Sulfasalazine as a medication for inducing and continuing remission of UC. Read the advice she gives about Sulfa drugs-- I think it's on her website. I continue to do a modified, more livable version (not as strict) of the SCD diet, and take probiotic drinks like Yakult (or the Korean knock-offs you can usually find in your local korean grocery) and Kombucha, plus sulfasalazine. (I do not follow a completely gluten-free diet, but am looking into it.) Gottschall notes that a lot of people have a hard time taking the drug, but that side effects can be mitigated if you taper onto the drug (and taper off if you go off) to get your body to build a tolerance to it gradually. Also, guard against taking too high a dose. My doctor tapered me onto a dose that turned out to be way too high, and it caused some very frightening temporary side effects (mental fogginess and paranoia), but when I figured out the dose my body could handle, it turned out to be the best drug I ever tried for UC and brought about remission within a few weeks. It's kept me there for about a year, on a very low dose (2 to 4 500mg pills per day). Be sure to take the sulfa with food. BTW, I asked for sulfasalazine because I was trying to prevent stepping up to remicade or infliximab. My dr. was skeptical because sulfa drugs are quite old-school (from the 1960s) and they don't like to use them anymore. He also thought that if Asacol didn't work for me, and caused bad side effects, then sulfa would be worse. But I insisted upon trying it, and it turned out great. Later, the same doc told me that the mechanism by which sulfa works is still poorly understood-- apparently there's an antibacterial property as well as the anti-inflammatory property, and this "extra" part of the drug often gives positive results but the doctors don't really know exactly how it works.
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