Coming to Terms with Colitis

Introduction:

My name is Jo, I am about to turn twenty three and have just been diagnosed. I finished studying Neuropsychology at university last summer and I am very lucky to be in a job I love already. Still live with my parents in England, I try to eat healthy and exercise regularly. I love going to gigs, painting, reading and walking.

Symptoms:

Frequently visiting the toilet, never feeling like I have finished, blood, bloating, wind (smelly), discomfort, mucus

Coming to Terms with Colitis:

In April last year I passed a significant amount of blood on the toilet and made an emergency appointment with my doctor. He made a hospital appointment for me, when I attended.  I was suprised that they examined me there and then. Prior to my appoinment the frequency of going to the toilet increased as did my discomfort. The doctor said she could see I was inflamed and so perscribed me with a mesalazine foam enema and made an appointment for me to have a sigmoidoscopy. I found the enema helped while I was using it but the symptoms soon returned.
Stupidly so I was able to drive home I decided to have the sigmoidoscopy on gas and air and not under anaesthetic, the gas and air not helping at all and just making me feel dizzy and sick (how on earth this helps in child birth is beyond me). They saw that my bowel was inflamed and took a biopsy.

When I went to meet with the consultant she said it looks like colitis but the biopsy was clear so she was confused, I explained that I was still having trouble and still had blood when going to the toilet. She referred me to someone else and perscribed me the enema again. I did not use the enema. A year or two prior to this I was having trouble with acid reflux during a very stressful time in my life, refluxing nearly all day everyday at it’s worst. This had took some sorting, trying different medications, having blood tests and an endoscopy, so I was sick of trying treatment that did not work. (could the acid reflux be related to colitis because it does return from time to time?)

Whilst waiting to see the second consultant I had my worst experience of colitis to date. It was the first day of my current job and after driving over an hour to where I would have my induction I was desperate to go to the toilet. I could not move from my car and had no choice but to go, thank god I at least had some tissues in my hand bag. I was in a rush not to be late so found some public toilets to wash my hands and bought a body spray from a shop. I felt disgusting for the whole day and still had to dispose of a car mat when I got home.

After 3 months on February 2nd 2012 I eventually saw the second consultant who confirmed I had colitis, it would seem the biopsies taken were actually poor so probably weren’t representative of my bowel.

I am glad to be able to put a name

to what is causing my problems.

I have now started using a mesalazine enema again as well as taking it in tablet form to try and maintain the results. Fingers crossed this will work, after reading some of your stories already I know that I am lucky my colitis is milder than it is for some. I am also waiting for the results of food alergy/intolorence tests.

The diagnosis has scared me because my wonderful grandad died quite suddenly from bowel cancer around 3 years ago due to it being diagnosed too late. I understand that colitis can increase the risk of bowel cancer but I am aware I will be monitored.

Also I was wondering if eczema has a link with colitis? Last christmas I developed eczema for the first time on my face which took some getting under control with creams and antibiotics. I now drink goats milk instead of cows which seems to help keep it under control.

Colitis Medications:

Mesalazine foam enema 1g/day, 1.2g mesalazine tablet form twice a day.

written by Jo

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

mesalazine

3 Responses to Coming to Terms with Colitis

  1. Adam February 12, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Hey Jo,

    CONGRATS to you for completing Neuropsychology! That’s awesome! Maybe you can help some of us out with our brains too! most of us could use some help there….

    You asked a question about the eczema and its relation to UC… well, I was told I had psoriasis a few years ago which got really bad after I started taking several different medications to treat my UC. It’s pretty hard to say if it was more from the medications or from the inflammation/UC related stuff, but either way, I for sure had some skin issues too. AND, there have been quite a few other people on the site over the years who have mentioend the same types of things with regards to skin falling off, flaking off, psoriasis/eczema type of stuff. As so many skin issues are “auto-immune” in nature, it could very well be related in some ways.

    take care, Adam

  2. OrdinaryWorldWhereRU February 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    It sounds like you are a pretty strong person! Regarding the eczema, I get the psoriasis/eczema symptoms whenever I consume soy so I have to avoid it. I have had that issue for probably 15 or more years. It took me a while to make the connection and they slip soy into so many products that I would inadvertently consume too much and it would show back up. As I would consume more and more, the more the skin problems would spread. It was actually a co-worker who asked me if I had changed my diet when I mentioned the return of the problem. Thanks to them, I quickly put it together, removed soy and it went away.

  3. Jo March 17, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    Thank you for the soy advice what eczema I had left has calmed down alot since cutting out.

    Sadly over a month in to my medication and there are no signs of improvement what so ever, so my next appointment with the consultant may be brought forward. In fact I have had more pain than before.
    Beginning to consider dietry changes (the thought of steroids scares me), although I already eat healthy and have stopped having bread so it would be hard.
    I asked my doctor about diet and she said she doesn’t think changing it would help but any dietry advice is most welcome.
    Thanks, Jo

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