So since the last entry, I managed to avoid another flare until around halfway through January, when I had the sinking feeling UCers are all too aware of after experiencing initial symptoms of a new flare-up. It was disappointing because I'd hoped to remain symptom free until at least Spring.
Looking back at my diary (you can see an edited version of this flare-up on the diary of a flare up page), I have a suspicion that the combination of feeling rundown - perhaps by a low level virus, and eating cabbage over a few days may have been the catalyst for the flare this time around. With reference to autoimmunity, you would consider the virus to be the main suspect.
There is of course another reason that I'm all too aware of, but tend to push to the back of my mind - that of diminishing returns from my meds. As I pointed out in previous blogs, I try to taper off my 'maintenance' meds when in remission. Some consider this foolish, others take the same view as me and prefer to move over to natural 'meds' when there is a lull in symptoms.
I'd managed to get my oral mesalazine (meslamine, 5-ASA etc.) down to 2 x 400mg per day from November. I decided to stay at that level because most of my flares start in Autumn or Winter and I'd hoped it would see me through. This level seemed to work well for a couple of months but was not enough to prevent the flare in January. I'm now left wondering if the flare would have started even earlier had I tapered to 1 x 400mg in December e.g. it was the tapering of meds that led to the flare. My constant experimenting and my diary will hopefully (eventually) reveal the answer to this.
The good news is the latest flare has passed and I'm still positive that there are many routes to try outside of my prescribed meds. For instance, I'm shortly planning to introduce (and hopefully cross over to) Boswellia as an alternative to the mesalazine.