Category Archives: Symptoms

stories and experiences and answers about ulcerative colitis symptoms

Mucus in the Stool

There are many different symptoms that are associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and some of them are more publicly talked about than others.  Fortunately, I frankly don’t care one bit anymore about how crude the topic of stool mucus might or might not be.  One thing is for certain, I definitely remember many periods of time where there was an increased amount of mucus either attached or floating in the toilet bowl during bowel movements and it really freaked me out.  Those were the days before diagnosis, and now, I realize that it is often part of IBS and IBD.

Why is there Mucus in the Stool?

The reason for stools to be often covered or surrounded by mucus is because the intestines and mostly the colon is inflamed.  The inflammation causes tears within the inner lining of the colon and with all these reactions taking place, it can turn into a high amount of mucus forming.  Mucus is always inside of the colon and the rest of the intestines to some degree, but when the immune system is in a very active state, it can lead to an even higher production of this.  Lots of mucus within the stools should not be considered normal, and is often signs of pain and disruption within the gastro-intestinal tract.

If you are currently suffering and feeling abdominal pains, and especially if you are noticing lots of mucus in your stools.  You should probably head to a gastroenterologist doctor and find out if something more is happening to your body.

Bacteria within the colon consumes mucus on a regular basis, but by seeing mucus mixed in with stools and in the toilet floating means that something else is going on.  Don’t be afraid, seek medical attention quickly to resolve your problem.

Harder Stools But Mucus For Sure

I wanted to write a post about how things are changing for me right now in terms of bowel movements and toilet use.  It is not the most beautiful of ulcerative colitis topics, but important none the less.  What is happening feels to be part of the healing process.

As I’ve reported earlier, I am coming out of a flare up, and currently in the final stages of tapering off prednisone steroids.  I’m now down to 2.5 mg per day of prednisone which is going to be my final dose before stopping completely.  I started at a peak of 15 mg per day back the first week of January and every week or two dropped the daily dose by 2.5mg.

Lately, my poops have been very hard when using the bathroom which is great, but I’ve noticed more mucus around the stools sometimes compared to prior weeks when the stools were less formed/hard.  Why this happens is still a mystery to me, but I’ve read that the colon produces mucus to act as  a protective layer for the inner colon walls.  In a few places I’ve read that this production of mucus might actually increase when the colon is fighting off things.

So my overall question is, how many other people see increases in the amount of mucus around their formed/hard stools when you are coming out of an ulcerative colitis flare?  And, do other people find it a bit strange to be seeing mucus when the bleeding is almost completely gone or gone and you are starting to gain weight and feel normal after a flare up?

In Summary, I am not concerned with the mucus, I can remember seeing it a while ago when I was coming out of another flare, but up until now I’ve never really tried to investigate how it is with others, and if this is “normal”.  Thx

Little Acne Pimples On My Scalp From Prednisone

I wanted to share a story about what is happening to me right now with regards to tapering off the prednisone steroids, and the strange acne side effects that are coming along with it.  I have ulcerative colitis, and several weeks ago a pretty nasty flare up developed which caused my UC symptoms to get pretty bad.  So, I was prescribed prednisone and shortly afterwards, I began taking 15 mg of prednisone per day.  That is a pretty minimal amount compared to the high doses I’ve taken several times before.

Not initially, but after beginning the tapering of the steroids, I started to notice the acne and the strange pimples on my scalp.  This was actually very similar to the first few times I began tapering off these anti-inflammatory drugs.  Just where my hairline begins on my head, there are in many places small hard pimples.  It is so weird.  And then just last week, I noticed the same acne like pimple on the outside of my right foot.  The ones on my feet look to be filled with a white puss.  They don’t hurt at all, but they are identical to the bumps that started a year or so ago before I developed some bad psoriasis on both my hands and feet.  I am worried that the psoriasis is going to begin any day now as well.

Here are two pictures of what the foot pimples look like right now.  The red area around them is where I popped a few, and the white puss came oozing out.

foot pimples
the pimples or maybe psoriasis on my right foot
prednisone pimples
close up of foot pimples and white puss underneath

If anyone else who has started tapering off of prednisone and also has developed some puss filled acne like pimples on your feet or scalp, please make a comment below.  This stuff is very weird, and although it doesn’t hurt and I’ve been through it before, it is still odd and I can’t wait for it to go away on its own.  What is bothering me the most is the itchy feeling that comes from the pimples that are on my head under my hairline.  They are a real drag to deal with.  So, if you have dealt or are dealing with this right now, I totally understand what you’re going through.

Side Effects of Ulcerative Colitis

Common Side Effects from UC (Ulcerative Colitis)

There is a large group of very common side effects that a large percentage of UC patients experience.  These main side effects are found whether you are just mild with your UC or severe with colitis symptoms.

  • Anemia due to excessive blood loss
  • Tired or sleepy much of the day
  • Irritable sometimes as a side effect from prednisone steroids
  • Dehydrated which is often from numerous bowel movements
  • Diarrhea
  • High white blood cells counts from blood tests
  • Taking time off work due to your medical condition (many ulcerative colitis patients are not able to work regular hours or would be very in-efficient due to the need to find bathrooms so often)

Some of the less common side effects from ulcerative colitis symptoms are:

  • Headaches from certain medications
  • Joint pains form an overly active immune system that makes things seem like arthritis everywhere
  • Weight loss due to bad absorption within the colon walls
  • Insomnia or not being able to sleep because of prednisone steroids.  These medications can often hurt your ability to sleep through the night without waking up.
  • Depression is sometimes associated with ulcerative colitis symptoms and prolonged active disease.  When people are not able to
  • Moon face from prednisone that helps to treat inflammation.  The body can swell up to much bigger than it usually is, and this can often happen in the face.  Moon face is very embarrassing and affects about 10-25% of the people who take prednisone steroids.  The good news is that it also goes away once you stop taking the medications.
  • Running to bathrooms comes along with the disease, and is something that you become more and more used to as time goes on.

The side effects from ulcerative colitis can be severe and most definitely can change your physical and social life and way of living, but often they are just temporary and go away once the disease goes back into remission.  The doctors and physicians who treat many patients with UC usually are very aware of the medical side effects and can help out quite a bit with recovery.  What is different for each person are the mental side effects that ulcerative colitis brings along.  Everyone deals with depression differently and it is one of those side effects that you should talk to a medical professional about if you suffer from UC related depression.  Depression is serious and it can and will get better if you seek help for it.  Also, your ulcerative colitis symptoms should ease up when the depression goes away.  For the most part, side effects from ulcerative colitis go away once you reach remission.  You can go to another website to learn more about ulcerative colitis symptoms to find out what might be possible.

Should I See My GI Doctor for Every Ulcerative Colitis Flare?

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

For ulcerative colitis patients, there is no magical sign as to when you should call your doctor or schedule an office visit to talk about your ulcerative colitis symptoms.   The general rule of thumb is to setup a doctor visit when you are not feeling great, and the best thing would be to meet your doctor before you are in a full UC flare up.

The main trouble that many people with ulcerative colitis have is they wait too long before they make the doctors appointment.  In order not to be part of this group who waits for full blown colitis symptoms to be happening before doing anything proactive, we need to understand how the brain functions when symptoms come back.

For most patients, going to the doctor is not the most fun part of the day.  There are the usual drawbacks of missing work for a doctor’s appointment, or simply the high costs of health care.  Sometimes people can’t make it to the doctor because they are worried that their health insurance is not going to cover those costs, especially when someone’s insurance changes unexpectedly.  Another major reason why people avoid meeting with your GI doctor is because you are scared that you might be talking about colon surgery if things do not improve.

Whatever the case may be, it is in everyone’s best interest to visit the doctor when you are noticing signs of active colitis returning to your daily life.  When symptoms go too long without getting better, they can easily lead to someone ending up in the hospital with major weight loss and dehydration and other major medical problems too.

Coming to terms with the reality of ulcerative colitis and the fact that symptoms often return for people after being in remission for so many years is just part of the disease.  There is absolutely no shame at all in going to the doctor’s office when you are feeling different and you think it might be UC related.  There is nothing wrong with calling up your nurse and asking questions about symptoms and bleeding that is occurring on a regular basis.  Talking to your doctor about your ulcerative colitis symptoms is something that you have the right to do whenever you want to.  If you for any reason do not like your doctor, you should consider changing to another gastro doctor that you like better.  There are many of them all over the world, and most definitely one of them will want to work with you.