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What Does Ulcerative Colitis Remission Really Mean…To YOU?

Ulcerative Colitis Remission is the ultimate dream when you’re seeing blood in the toilet every day – and hating life.
Finally reversing your symptoms and feeling back in control of your gut health seems far away for way too many people around the world.
In the US it’s estimated that there are around one million dealing with colitis, while here in the UK it’s nearly 300,000 people.
But what exactly does the term remission really mean…and what does it mean exactly to YOU?
The reason I ask this question is because, while there are three formal medical definitions, this is actually a subjective topic.
People with colitis have many different views on what colitis really means, based on their own experiences and how it affects their life.
I’ve done a fair bit of digging on this topic to properly understand various views around colitis remission, how they line up with my own – and how they align with what I’m trying to achieve with this colitis community platform.

So, in this article you are going to learn:
#1 My personal definition of remission from ulcerative colitis. #2 Various different views from other people with colitis on what remission means to them #3 The three medical labels given to different stages of remission. #4 The mission of the health platform to help people this condition actually heal and take back control of their gut health. #5 The importance of mindset in order to get well again.

The Comedian Who Gave Me More Than A Few Laughs

Last year a comedian from New York sent me an email about how he’d been dealing with Crohn’s disease for over 30 years, but was now in remission for over three years and medication free.
The guy’s name is Matt Nagin, he’s around the same age as me in his early 40s, and just like me, he’d also managed to reverse his inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) symptoms naturally.
Matt wanted to come on my podcast to share his story and we made it happen a couple of months later. He’s easily the funniest guy I’ve ever interviewed.
But one thing really stood out to me from Matt’s emails: he kept using the word remission.
He’d been in remission for over three years.
He changed his diet and made x,y,z lifestyle changes which ensured he stayed in remission.
He was delighted that he finally found ways to stay in remission even without medication.

For me, it's no pain, no blood, 1-2 normal bowel movements a day...

I loved Matt’s story, but this heavy use of the word remission was quite new to me because I simply always used the world healing instead when referring to my gut health journey.
Is there any difference between remission and healing?
And what exactly does remission mean in the lives of other people who have also been diagnosed with this super shitty condition?
I found out online in communities like Reddit and The Mighty. I’ll share some of their comments below.

Here’s What Others With Colitis Say…

THE MIGHTY

“I can actually go out and live, try new things”Remission means feeling somewhat like I have a life, a life I can actually go out and live, experience, feel joy, trying/seeing new things, achieving goals, etc.
Flare-ups for me, thus far, has taken all that away from me. – LunaNova, woman from the US.
“Leave home for longer periods of time without fearing a colitis accident”Remission, the first in several years, has enabled me to leave home for longer periods of time without fearing a colitis accident.
Though I’m well aware it’s not vanquished forever, this is the first break from constant symptoms I’ve had in a very long time. – SandraGK, woman from the US.
“Little to no symptoms”Little to no UC symptoms. – Chelsea, woman from the US

REDDIT

“The urgency is gone and blood isn’t present” For me, the urgency is gone and blood isn’t present.
I still see mucus from time to time but for the most part I have one BM around the same time everyday (when my work schedule stays the same, that is. Vacations throw me off). – DutchInfidel
“No pain, no blood, normal bowel movements” For me it’s no pain, no blood, 1-2 normal bowel movements a day, leading an entirely normal life and eating/drinking anything (in moderation of course.)
My only reminder of UC is taking my pills in the morning. – Krissi, woman in Canada.
“I forgot I had a disease in the first place” I feel like it has changed as my disease has progressed.
Like, when I first was diagnosed and then went into remission for 6 years, remission for me was being so normal and healthy that I basically forgot I had a disease in the first place, because I had no symptoms or problems. – AMV2926
“No symptoms and feeling normal” Since my diagnosis six years ago, I’ve had three months where I have felt in remission in that I had no symptoms at all and felt “normal”.
When I am flaring, I describe it as active bleeding and mucus, a particular smell of bowel movement and multiple, six plus bowel movements a day, sharp, stabbing tummy pains and sharp, stabbing rectal pains and aching.
Mouth ulcers, chronic fatigue, and weight loss, itchy skin, some bowel incontinence, high anxiety. – Yasi86

Ulcerative Colitis Remission: My Take On It…

For me, remission and healing mean the same thing.
The end goal is the same: to get rid of symptoms, restore gut function, and live life as normally as possible.
Simple as that.
I’m not saying that my perspective on remission means “magically cured” – or that you’ll never experience another flare-up in your life.
But I strongly believe that you can reverse all your symptoms…
Take back full control of your gut health…
Massively reduce your chances of any flare-ups occurring…and absolutely keep colitis in remission for the long term.
Best of all – and this might go against everything you’ve been told up until now – it’s entirely possible for this to be achieved naturally.
Best of all – and this might go against everything you’ve been told up until now – it’s entirely possible for this to be achieved naturally.

Absolutely possible.

Of course, this involves much more than changing your diet, taking supplements, and a positive mindset.
It really requires taking a big-picture approach and addressing all areas of your health.
It requires implementing powerful biohacking tools to answer your inflamed body’s screams for help.
And it actually means going on a real journey of self-development and discovering what no longer serves you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
I go into this stuff in far more detail in my book ‘Gut Rescue’, which you can download for free on the home page of this website.
But back to remission…
I’ve been in remission for over five years now. For me, that means symptom free and medication free.
Matt Nagin has done the same thing.
Niraj Naik has done it.
Ania Gackowska has done it.
These are just a few examples of people I’ve had on my podcast who have managed to reverse ulcerative colitis (Crohn’s in Matt’s case) naturally and have been in remission for many years now.

Three Stages Of Remission…

Medical experts explain that there are three different types: clinical, endoscopic, and histologic remission.
Here’s a quick run-through of each…

Clinical Remission

When symptoms are gone, or mostly all gone.

Endoscopic Remission

When a patient with no symptoms has a normal appearing colonoscopy, with no issues with inflammation showing up.

Histologic Remission

This type of remission is also known as ‘deep remission’. It’s a label given when a patient who has no evidence of inflammation, even when parts of their colon tissue are biopsied and examined under a microscope.

The Importance Of Mindset For Achieving Remission

For anyone reading this right now who is currently struggling with ulcerative colitis…the bleeding, the stabbing pains in your stomach, the energy crashes, the fear of food.
I’m sure you know the symptoms, and plenty more of them, all too well.
There is always hope to turn things around. You can achieve remission – and keep it that way.
I just want to stress that switching your mindset around this crappy condition is always the first step towards achieving remission.
In fact, I believe that putting too much focus on our symptoms and the over-identification with ulcerative colitis is what keeps most of us stuck.
It took me too long to realise that, in order to achieve healing, I first needed to move away from the idea of being “a sick person”.
Now I’m not saying you should start strolling around thinking positive thoughts, pretending that all your symptoms have disappeared, and that life is suddenly rosy.
We don’t do bullshit around here.
But it’s important to stop reinforcing the sickness by constantly dwelling on your symptoms, how bad things are, and most importantly, by changing the language you use.
“I suffer from ulcerative colitis…”   or “I’m an ulcerative colitis patient, I’ve had it for four years…”  
Can you see how saying these types of things and consistently repeating this type of terminology keeps us stuck in the same place?
These are labels we attach to ourselves – without realising how powerful words can be.
It’s time to rip off the labels…and instead focus on all the positive steps you can take to improve your gut health today.
A great place to start is by downloading my free e-book Gut Rescue, which you can find on the home page.
Marc McLean

Marc McLean

Marc McLean is a 41-year-old health coach, journalist, and author based in Dumbarton, Scotland. He is the founder of Mission: Colitis Remission, is host of the podcast by the same name, and has been in clinical remission of ulcerative colitis since 2018.

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