Joint Pain and Ulcerative Colitis

Arthritis, Joint Pain, Getting Old, Pain in your limbs, etc…

Joint pain is many times a side effect or manifestation of ulcerative colitis. Whether the real cause of joint pains and arthritis like symptoms are from the ulcerative colitis or side effects from colitis medications is another story. For now, I just want to talk about how joint pain seems to be somewhat common with other colitis sufferers.

As if just dealing with ulcerative colitis isn’t tough in and by itself, dealing with stiff and painful joints and other body parts is sometimes what happens to UC patients. I know from first hand experieince all too well. Even before I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis I can remember what I recall as lower back pain. The pains at times would be so strong that it would keep me awake at night. I looked to some forms of self medication to allow me to sleep through the night. There was a time period when I even went to a chiropractic type of doctor to try and fix the back pains but they just wouldn’t go away. I was always trying to figure out if I recently lifted something heavy, and always just couldn’t figure it out. The joint pains were there, but I couldn’t tell why.

And after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, there were times when I began to have really really bad joint pains. And, then there were times when the joint pains would get much better. All along I was changing my colitis medications, going up and down on steroids, taking colazal, asacol, sulfasalazine remicade, Humira, pretty much everything.

It was all at its worst when I was on a low dose of steroids and a high dose of Humira. That’s when the joint pain became unbearable. I was pretty much diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis along with my Ulcerative Colitis. Doesn’t that sound like fun. And of course, the recommendation was for me to jump up the prednisone intake to 60mg per day until it slowed down. Which eventually it did, but it has never really gone away.

Arthritis is looked at in many ways as another autoimmune disease or disorder. I can’t quite tell what is happening with the joints, and I am very thankful that the joint pain has become much better over the past few months. But I am starting to wonder if my pain subsided at one point in the past when my colitis was nasty because of the medication I was taking at the time. Back then when the joint pain became better was during my phase of sulfasalazine. And it seems to be that many people also take sulfasalazine to help relieve joint pain… So maybe there is a connection there. I have met one other person who said the sulfasalazine has helped her with joint pain also while she had active colitis.

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