Caught it Early, Here’s What I’m Doing About It

Intro:

My name is Frank, I’m turning 39 in March, married with a two year old son. I live in Milwaukee, WI. I was diagnosed in late July, 2013 after having a colonoscopy. I would say my first symptoms occurred around April, 2013. So I’ve had this condition for almost a year. I hope I can learn from other patients and get and provide support.

Some more about me:

I have a rewarding career in sales for a family owned company in Milwaukee, WI. I’m a sports junkie, a soccer player and avid golfer. I would think my friends and family would describe me as loyal, trustworthy, optimistic, with a sense of humor and sarcasm.

Symptoms:

Current and recent symptoms are mainly times when I have frequent bowel movements with little to very little output. Loose, watery stools can be the norm and can occur for me as much as 3-4 times a day.

Caught it Early:

I was diagnosed with UC in July, 2013, but it was not conclusive as to whether the colitis was chronic or self-limited. Had blood-work done the following month with IBD results coming back negative. I was on Lialda prescription that was 2 a day for two months, tapered to one a day for a month, to being totally off it for a month with a follow up appointment. I’ve been off Lialda for over 6 weeks now. Found the Lialda to be VERY effective for my condition. Since the Holidays, the troubling bowel movements have returned. My GI thinks that either it’s acute again, or at the beginning stages of a chronic UC, so I’m a patient whose course is still to be determined.

In the follow up appointment, my GI suggested that if my symptoms persist, that I will have to be on the Lialda for the long term. My wife and I have discussed this and we’re hoping that I can carry on without the Lialda.

We’ve looked carefully at foods that can trigger my symptoms, and try to remove them from my diet altogether. The standard trigger foods like raw veggies (especially broccoli), heavy dairy- full fat products, fried foods, and any multi-grain high fiber foods are some that I avoid. Also, I’ve limited my coffee intake to one a day, and removed any carbonated beverages from my diet. Alcohol? It’s fine as long as I don’t overindulge, though somehow lighter beers are a problem but amber ales aren’t as bad. Whiskey is fine. As long as I limit alcoholic beverages to 1-2 drinks I’m okay.

UC has changed my life as it has raised awareness in how I treat my body. I’ve been more conscious about what I eat, and cravings for foods that would normally trigger my symptoms have gone away. My biggest concerns are getting to a point where I’m hospitalized for ulcers, or that my condition physically prohibits me from doing the things I enjoy. I might be lucky, as I believe I caught my symptoms early. To put it in my wife’s words, “we need to get good foods for your butt.”

Medications:

I found Lialda to be VERY effective. I was on a tapered prescription for it and did not have one single issue once the medication took effect (usually takes about 2 weeks).

Recently, I have been taking an organically bound multivitamin (Mega Food) in combination with a probiotic supplement (Florajen). It’s only been a few days, so time will tell if this combination is really helpful. So far, so good.

written by Frank

submitted in the colitis venting area









10 Responses to Caught it Early, Here’s What I’m Doing About It

  1. bev January 29, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    Hi Frank,

    I hate to say ‘welcome to the club’, because this is not the most fun club to belong to.

    I have had UC for somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 years, and was on asacol (Lialda) for almost 15 years. At the very beginning, it helped me too, but over the years, I think I actually became adverse to it. As the dosage increased with each UC flare, I became sicker and sicker.

    Anyway, long story short, I now realize that medications only work in the short term, if at all. I am med free these days (for two years now) and take a good probiotic first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. fermented L-glutamine (for colon healing) and a natural anti inflammatory called astaxanthin, along with vitamin D which also aids in helping inflammation.

    You will find that many different things work for many different people on here, and sometimes for long periods of time, and sometimes, not for long. UC seems to have a way of working its’ way around whatever treatment you try. I have also learned that our respective UCs are different. One person may respond to anti inflammatories, while another may respond better to good bacteria (probiotics, while still another may respond best to diet.

    You have to try things and discover what works for you. Best thing is….we are all here for each other…so, yeah, WELCOME TO THE CLUB!!

    :)

    • GAIL January 29, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      Hi Bev,
      Can you tell me the name of the probiotic you take ? thanks alot ….feeling all done with medications !!

      • bev January 30, 2014 at 7:03 am #

        Hi Gail,

        It’s ULTIMATE FLORA CRITICAL CARE by RENEWLIFE.

        Make sure you take it on a completely empty stomach (like when you wake up in the morning) and then no food or drink other than water for at least half an hour after. You can always take it in the middle of the night and go back to bed, if you just have to eat first thing in the morning.

        Cheers:)

  2. Donna G
    Donna G January 29, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Hi Frank,

    In your list of foods to avoid you should add sugar, I believe it to be the very worst. As you say you caught it early, I think that is huge. It can be a progressive disease and being proactive now with diet, probiotics, pre and probiotic foods is so smart. I’ve also had UC for 17 years. We have so much more information available to us now, thanks to people like Adam.

    Donna

  3. Frank C January 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    Thanks for some of the comments and input! Nice to get some guidance in this. I’m intrigued by the fermented L-glutamine supplement. I assume this is something I can find at a GNC or Vitamin Shoppe?

    • bev January 30, 2014 at 7:04 am #

      You bet Frank! Any supplement store will have it. It’s great for colon repair…

  4. Frank Crivello February 4, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    I bought the L-Glutamine supplement on Saturday, the manufacturer is Jarrow Brothers. It is sold at Whole Foods for around $18. Too early to tell if it’s helping yet but will let everyone know soon.

  5. Tim B
    Tim B. February 7, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    Your triggers seem to mirror mine. I also limited coffee at first, but never was able to get over the hump until eliminating all caffeine from my diet. It sucked at first, but very much worth it. You might check out the BLAND diet as that is what I currently follow. The reality is that once you have UC you have to make lifestyle changes. Its not something that you can do for a month and then go back to your old ways. I can honestly say though I don’t even miss things like pizza anymore because I know what they can do to me. Good luck.

  6. Frank March 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Just an update on my progress:

    I’ve been taken an L-Glutamine supplement and Florajen probiotic first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The combination seems to be working as I seem to have my symptoms under control for the most part. I will have the occasional “rush” to the bathroom. Spoke with a friend who is a doctor with a GI background and suggested I can stick with this protocol for as long as I’m comfortable with it.

    Admittedly, I do have to do a better job with my diet. I’ll tend to eat foods that I know are not good for me from time to time (but not habitually). I’ll keep working at it. Thanks for some of the tips!!!

  7. bev March 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Great news Frank!

    I swear by a good probiotic on an empty stomach and then no food or drink other than water for at least half an hour.

    Works for me too!

    :)

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No matter what, colitis flares don't last forever, don't forget it:)