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Readers Respond: Everyone Has Their Own Flare-Up Triggers

Responses: 25


Updated April 07, 2009

From the article: What Causes Your Flares?
My ulcerative colitis flare-ups tended be be predictable, coming every fall and spring. Medication would help get the symptoms under control, and I would be almost symptom-free for a time. But over time the flare-ups got longer and my symptoms never abated.

What Causes My Ulcerative Colitis Flares

Respiratory infections, quitting smoking, or it can be seasonal.
—Guest mbdetail


I was taking naproxen for hand pain, and I had a severe flare up. My doc said it's a common problem, and since I take an herbal anti-inflamatory which works almost as well, and doesn't cause problems.
—Guest blobbyrl

Flare Ups Are Unpredictable

I get flares whenever the weather changes. Definitely from the heat, and increased activity or stress. Fried food is the worst, I love Chinese food but I pay for it. I don't understand, however, why sometimes I can get away with eating anything and other times there's nothing I can do. Stress will definitely get to me, either immediately or as a delayed reaction.
—Guest auramac


In the past 10 years I have always flared up in times of high stress.
—Guest Realivemovement

Foods That Cause My Fare Ups

Foods that cause my flares: gluten, dairy, sugars.
—Guest L Carter

No Pattern

I can't seem to get a handle on what causes it! I will feel great for a few months and then BAM! Maybe seasons? Maybe some foods? But it is very inconsistent and difficult to pin down. The only truly common factor is stress. Meds and yoga usually help but it can take weeks or months to get back on track.
—Guest Anon

Dietary Supplements?

I have been on Humira, an anti inflammatory for just about 3 years now and I responded so well to it. My last scope even showed that i was in complete remission. Unfortunately my first flare up in 3 years announced itself last week. This sux!!! I dont know if this is coincidence but I started taking these Phyto Plant supplements that help your hair and nails grow long and healthier. I started them about two and a half weeks ago. They have different types of oils in them and other ingredients. My doc is speculating this could be one cause by I don't know. Stress could be another factor but I have been 10x more stressed out in the past 3 years than I am now.
—Guest Brittany

I Don't Really Know!

I had a flare from 9/06 to 9/04, have been in remission other than mini flares I call "blow out days." It doesn't matter what I eat, but high fiber will give me diarrhea. Without it I am a bit constipated. I just pray I don't see a flare for years. Only on Asacol for maintenance.


I have no idea what causes my time in hell. Have not been able to pinpoint it yet. I think stress has a lot to do with it though. What I do know is that its terribly painful and causes me to miss work sometimes. Very difficult to explain to a person who never experienced this. I get a lot of "c'mon... can't be THAT bad." Well, it is THAT BAD.
—Guest jay g

Certain Smells

Like so many others, specific foods (popcorn, onion, milk products, etc) and stress are triggers but of all things certain smells can trigger a flare up for me. Cigarette smoke, some perfumes, and flowers in the lily family are the worst.

Seasonal and Stress Flares Seem Related

I have cyclical flares. In college, exams brought on my flares. While my children were in school, flares were at the beginning of school and again about April. Stress is a factor but not the answer. We can't live in a bubble and not experience anything real. Other people bite their nails, we pass blood in our stool!
—Guest blue1wood

Stress and Specific Foods

Stress in a distinctive pattern -- mid-year and end of year until exams. Specific foods I stay away from: Full cream milk, soft drinks, meat.
—Guest Monique

Causes of Flares

Stress, sudden excitement, within an hour of eating, seasonal allergies.
—Guest sunshinehappy1927@hotmail.com.

Stress and Diet

Stress seems to cause some or most of my flares. People have told me to aviod stress! Easier said than done. Also there are certain foods -- nuts, seeds, corn, eggs, citrus, peels, hulls, ect. I have also found if I overwork myself, such as doing a lot of yard work or moving furniture, this can cause a flare. Also as guest Lisa stated, I can get a flare from getting overheated. The heat never bothered me as a child.
—Guest atrost7

IBD Flare-ups

I get flare-ups when I eat popcorn. A few bites is fine but if I eat it more than twice in one week, bam, I will have a flare-up.
—Guest Troy

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