Telling People About Your Colitis – Learn More

One thing is for sure, they don’t teach you how to talk about your ulcerative colitis symptoms and how to explain it to others when

Adam
fishing during a recent camping trip

you are in a doctor appointment. So, I thought I’d share some ideas on how I have approached the situation on explaining my disease (UC) to other people either when they have asked me what is wrong with me, or have wondered how my health is.

First of all, back in the days when my colitis was very severe and I was very symptomatic, I was explaining my disease much more often than I am now. Since I’m in remission due to my diet changes, the need to explain myself does not come up nearly as often anymore.

Here is how I would go about explaining colitis to friends and family and even just acquaintances:

“I have a disease called ulcerative colitis. Have you heard of it? It is similar to a disease that you might have heard of called Crohn’s Disease. They are very similar in terms of the symptoms. Anyways, what is happening is that inside of my colon, there are all kinds of reactions taking place and my immune system is actually attacking itself even which is causing it to cut open the colon’s walls and creating bleeding and cramping and all sorts of bad things. In my own opinion, I am having these symptoms because there is an im-balance in my gut bacteria. Too much “bad bacteria” exists which is causing the immune system to respond all the time. Everybody on this planet has gut bacteria, and most people don’t have any issues like I do because their system is in balance. But that’s not the case with people who have ulcerative colitis.”
That would be my typical response to people who asked about my disease. Then of course they would go on to ask, how do you treat your disease Adam… And I would give them the rundown on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet that I follow which has been working well to treat my colitis.

I hope this story helps you out if you are also asked this same question, and I hope you can adapt the story to fit your situation if you like. Hang in there if you are struggling with your colitis symptoms, it sure can get better, and remission is not impossible.

Colonoscopy Prep – Learn More

It shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise, really it shouldn’t.  Colonoscopies are most definitely a big part of getting diagnosed, and living with colonoscopies.  Maybe you can think of it as the ultimate test of how your ulcerative colitis is doing.  Maybe not the most fun test you’ve ever taken before, but a test none the less.

I’ve had one colonoscopy so far, and today is going to be my second one, and funny enough, I’m looking forward to it.  Quite a different story compared to 4 years ago when I was just about to get diagnosed, that’s for sure.

There’s a couple of steps that I decided to take for this colonoscopy which I’m hoping will help the doctor get some really good looks at my inner colon.  First, I’ve eaten pretty lightly for the day leading up to the actual scope.  Yesterday, I didn’t stop and eat at the Mexican restaurant, and I didn’t make up a big fat steak or burger for dinner.  Instead, I had some chicken soup last night, that my wife thankfully prepared for me.  Nothing special, but there will be plenty of time for some good food later on after this little procedure is taken care of.

The whole process is nothing to be scared of.  I can say that now since I’ve already been diagnosed with UC, and I know that life after a UC diagnosis is not the end of the world.  You want to know what’s really going on inside, even if you’ve been in denial with strange symptoms for years and years, or only a few days, I’m sure you’ll feel better after a doctor takes the camera up inside of you and checks out what’s really going on.

Simply follow the colonscopy preparation procedures (This time I’m taking one called MoviPrep from a company called Salix) and try to enjoy the forced bathroom bowel movements when they start happening.

Best of luck,

 

Adam

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.

Interesting Prednisone – Prednisolone Survey Report

A few days ago I announced via Facebook that I’d be running a “Prednisone Survey” which was actually just some questions about people’s use of prednisone/prednisolone steroids while fighting ulcerative colitis symptoms.  What I had no idea about was how many people would actually be interested in participating in this sort of survey.  But it makes total sense, so many of us who are diagnosed with ulcerative colitis end up dealing with prednisone as a medication at some point in our life.  As it turns out, there are people from the prednisone survey who have been dealing with Colitis for over 10 years and using prednisone for about half that time! That’s unbelievable to me, I don’t know how they can continue on that medication for so long especially considering the side effects that it has.

Some of the questions from the steroid survey were based on side effects that people noticed and that list is quite impressive.  Many people had very similar if not identical side effects, which was not surprising.  Also, many people noted that the side effects did not always go away as was the case for the overwhelming majority of prednisone users. A select few seem to be still dealing with either the medication or the side effects.  Some women report increased facial hair, others reported rapid weight gain, and many others.

I would encourage anyone to read the full results at IHAVEUC which you can find here:  PREDNISONE SIDE EFFECTS SURVEY.

Successful Ulcerative Colitis Surgery

There is absolutely nothing better than hearing about a previous person who was struck with a horrendous case of ulcerative colitis out of nowhere who is on the road to recovery once and for all.

That is the case for a young man who until just a few months ago, had no idea what ulcerative colitis was, and what the symptoms were.  It all began at the beginning of 2011 when the bloody symptoms of colitis started to creep into his life, all while he was preparing to graduate from college and move on with a career.  In-fact, the symptoms were so bad, that within just a few weeks of being diagnosed, he was back in the hospital taking Remicade infusions to hopefully provide some relief.  The remicade did not help either, and nor did massive amounts of prednisone steroids, so the options were looking very few and far between.  It was either going to take an absolute miracle, or surgery was going to be happening soon.

After losing so much blood and weight, the decision was finally made to have J Pouch Surgery and to remove the diseased colon once and for all.

Within just a few days after the initial surgery, things were already starting to feel much better.  Not everyone has a great successful colon removal surgery, but it is very possible, and you will definitely be happy with your decision to have your colon taken out once your symptoms are gone.  As the J Pouch procedure is somewhat complex, all patients must go through a few different surgeries before everything is complete, but it is quite possible to be living a perfectly normal life in not too much time at all.  A very successful ulcerative colitis surgery is happening as we speak and you can read more about it here: http://www.longtermsolar.com/solartac-bringing-new-solar-technologies-to-colorado/