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Flaring and Pregnant

Intro:

33 years old, married with 1 daughter and baby number two on the way. I’m a pharmacy technician love to eat, love to sleep, and hate ulcerative colitis lol.

Some more about Merlina:

I love to to cook and bake. Eating is my hobby! Yet I’m still relatively thin lol. I love playing the game uno and I love cheating in monopoly, but I always get caught! Haha.

Symptoms:

Sense of urgency only to find when I get to the bathroom its just a bunch of mucous coming out. Blood. Constipation one day, next day in and out of the bathroom. Major gas, sometimes leaks and Hemorrhoids.

Pregnant and flaring…again!

I’m 33 years old with 1 daughter and baby number 2 on the way.

I was diagnosed with UC about 4 years ago.

I was given lialda and canasa at night.

Worked great!

For a good while I was symptom free.

Slowly it started creeping up on me again and started flaring really bad.

I was told NOT to get pregnant while I was in a flare and 5 years of trying I finally got pregnant but of course while I was flaring.

It was the worst flare I had ever experienced from beginning to end and beyond my pregnancy. We switched meds dozens of times I was on steroids during the last of my trimester, all sorts of rectal enema crap, increasing and decreasing meds nothing ever helped. We decided just to do balsalzide and rowasa enema and I’m still on that same drug plan. I have the worst hemmorhiods of my life that never go away sometimes they’re painful sometimes they’re not but ALWAYS there.

Anyway , 1 year later and I’ve never gotten better since pregnant and here I am pregn ant again dealing with a flare that has never gone away. I did a flex Sig while preggo and that was not fun. Here’s my deal , I LOVE TO EAT. And maybe its my own fault because I’m eating pretty much anything. But I’m sorry I love my pizza, salads, pasta and sandwiches, desserts, and cream in my coffee! I don’t want to give my favorite foods up. So yes say what you will that I’m digging my own hole , but, I was told diet does not affect uc unless you have celiac disease. I took a blood test for celiac and it was negative. Also I don’t have time to be cooking a bunch of different meals.

My question is, has anyone been pregnant while in a colitis flare?

If so how was it treated?

Also, has anyone changed their diet but nothing too extreme and have seen positive results?

I’m sure the answer will be yes. But I feel as if EVERYONE has suddenly discovered they have celiac disease or something and have completely gone gluten free. I know 20 years ago everyone was fine with gluten and uc has come to surface more and more. What are your thoughts/ suggestions about my questions & comments? Thanks my fellow uc friends!

Medications:

Blasalazaide 4 tabs twice daily
Rowasa every night at bedtime

Past:
Lialda
Canasa
Procort
Prednisone
Uceris

written by Merlina

submitted in the colitis venting area




pregnancy

11 Responses to Flaring and Pregnant

  1. Adam
    Adam November 29, 2015 at 6:34 am #

    Merlina,

    Thank you for sharing your story, and I wish you the very best in the coming months with all this. I don’t know if you have had a chance to explore the site yet, but one particular page that might be beneficial for you to check into is the “UC Pregnancy Survey” that I conducted here about two years ago. It has responses from over 100 women UC’ers, and you most certainly will find all sorts of ideas from first hand experiences from others who have gone through a pregnancy while also living with UC.

    Here is the link for that:

    http://www.ihaveuc.com/pregnancy-and-ulcerative-colitis-107-person-survey-results/

    Best of luck to you and your family, and happy holiday season,

    -Adam

  2. Polly
    Polly November 29, 2015 at 7:03 am #

    Hi Merlina,

    I think you answered your own question… You are digging your own hole.

    And then you probably don’t want to hear:
    Diet is EVERYTHING to those with chronic conditions, not just those with Celiac disease. You need to live an anti-inflammatory life, and the main way through that is an anti-inflammatory diet. It is drastic and it is a lifestyle change. You need to look at your body as a whole, and not just focus on the one part of your colon.
    All processed foods are garbage and super inflammatory. Most cheap vegetable oils are garbage and inflammatory. Gluten, corn, canola, soda, and soy are inflammatory. So my advice is to do some research on the inflammatory diet… Paleo diet and SCD and GAPS diet are all anti-inflammatory. I know Whole 30 has become very popular… I don’t know much about it, but that’s no processed foods, so that’s probably OK too. But it is forever; it is a lifestyle change.
    In addition to the no-processed foods, you can look at getting to a healthy Vitamin D level and also a quality turmeric supplement, as both of those are anti-inflammatory and safe during pregnancy. Probiotics are also safe during pregnancy and a high quality probiotic daily is a must for us IBD folks.
    Best of luck to you.

  3. Chris November 29, 2015 at 7:47 am #

    Hi and sorry your not feeling well. I’ve had uv for33 yrs and I do believe foods affect flare ups. Try staying away from raw fruits and vegetables. Animal fat also bothers me a lot! I trim all fat off of meat before cooking.
    I never eat lettuce!

    I also had a small flare while pregnant with twins. I was on azulidine and prednisone, I made it through my pregnancy feeling pretty good.
    Good luck and hope you feel better!

  4. Shannon M
    Shannon November 29, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    I am so sorry for all of your grief, but you really need to think about food choices. My Dr. said the same thing about food not being an issue with UC, but I made the decision to get myself into remission even at the cost of foods I liked. Feeling good and not having a flare took a priority. The hardest thing I did was stop caffeine. Like you, I loved my coffee in the morning. I then went GF and was encouraged to try Paleo eating as another way to stay flare-free. I can’t tell you how much better I feel and I really don’t miss the food I thought I loved, at all. No cravings either and I have lost 18 lbs w/o even trying. Reading Adam’s information about food and what he does for flares (video) really made a difference in how I feel.
    I hope you start feeling better soon!

  5. Caitlyn November 29, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    I flare up really bad when I’m pregnant. The only thing my dr lets me take is prednisone during that time. I was put on a low fibre diet and stay in the hospital for almost all of the third trimester. After delivery I have been on remicade and that has been the only thing that has helped me get out of a flare. It was either that or removing my colon. I can eat almost anything I want without problems now, although I don’t really want to promote that, haha. My GI dr says that diet doesn’t matter with my UC, but I really think it does play a part.

  6. Sher November 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    Merlina,

    Congrats on the pregnancy! I’ve always been told it’s hard to even get pregnant during a flare. Anyways, I also was extremely resistant to diet change and also had Drs that said it doesn’t make a difference while handing me an Prescription for like the 20th med to “try” to see if works! But with a little common sense and research it makes sense that everything we put in our bodies has an effect, I mean think about when you drink alcohol or eat too much sugar (even not UC er’s) it effects the body. And yes previous generations ate whatever they wanted and survived, However we now live in the high tech fast, now, over processed, over salted sugared you name it, it’s “hidden” in our food.

    Now, the key is to start slow or you will fail! If I tried to give up everything I loved day one I’d quit by day 2! You don’t prepare for a marathon by running 26 miles day 1. I started by giving up flour and lowering sugar, and slowly but surely it had a positive effect on overall well being. But I’d be lying if I said never eat this or that again… There are days when a small amount of something isn’t going to kill you. Everyone is different, and we deal with the “crappiest” disease, we deserve a treat now and then!

    Good luck – and remember start slow! Keep your positive attitude and enjoy life!

  7. Andrea M
    Andrea November 29, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

    Merlina,

    I’m sorry that you are having such a rough time and hope something someone provides in response to your request is helpful.

    I myself am replying to give balance to the answers here. I have tried SCD and paleo diets and have not had a noticeable change my condition. And, yes, I followed each one strictly for many months.There are certain foods that do seem to bother me more than others while in a flare, but none that, when removed completely from my diet, get rid of the UC.

    I don’t want you to feel that you are digging your own grave. It is hard enough to deal with a flare without that kind of worry. We are all just working to do the best we can in managing symptoms and I don’t like judgments from others about those choices.

    I think one of the hardest things about UC is that different treatments, whether holistic or western traditonal medicine, work for different people. But, if you haven’t tried the dietary changes yet, maybe it’s worth a shot? I know it’s hard for food lovers and understand that it would be a big sacrifice, and, maybe what a good “quality of life” equates to for you includes all the options out there.

    Either way, whatever choices you make, I hope they work for you.

    Andrea

  8. Rhonda Dearlove November 29, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

    Hi Merlina,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I was first diagnosed while pregnant. I was five months and after being very ill and loosing weight for 3 of those five months I finally walked out of my doctors surgery as she wouldn’t acknowledge there was anything wrong with me! I registered with another one who promptly sent me to the hospital, I was admitted straight away and spent the next 3 weeks in there. I was on massive steroid dose orally and enema, salazapyrin, folic acid and numerous other drugs, I had three pints of blood transfusion and was put on, what they called space mans predigested food, like shakes. I was weak and very scared. When I finally gave birth, he was born 3 weeks early and 5lb 3oz, which for me was small, my previous 2 had been over 8lb. I weighed nearly 2 stone less when I gave birth than when I first became pregnant. But despite all I went through my son was ok. The only really problem he had was his teeth, when they appeared, the enamel was very soft and he had too have 8 out when he was around 4 years old. I was told that this was probably down to my pregnancy as taught very good mouth hygiene and he had a very good diet. Incidentally his adult teeth are pretty good which was a god send. This all happened 26 years ago and, like you, I ate pretty much anything I wanted and have suffered from numerous flares and steroid courses, changes in maintenance drugs and generally feeling sorry for my self. Just under a year ago I thought I don’t want this and got to work with trying different diets and supplements. This group has helped me immensely. After very little trial and error I am a veggie, I consume very little dairy products, no milk at all. There are some very good substitutes for all of these things. I eat loads of fruit, nuts and seeds and just generally eat a fairly healthy and varied diet. I also take Alo Vera, a very good probiotic, turmeric, L-glutamine and coconut oil capsuals every day, I have reduced my pentasa dosage by half and have never been better. I would say without a doubt that diet does make a huge difference along with your own wellbeing. Stress and anxiety play a huge part for me, the last 3 months of my life have been the most stressful I have been through, we have a very sick grand daughter who is fighting very galiently for her life. Before all these changes I have made that situation would have brought on a massive flare, but I have managed to keep it at bay. I am totally convinced it’s all down to these supplements and my diet. I know it’s not easy to give up those things you love but in my opinion diet is something you need to look at very hard. Obviously everybody is different and what works for some may not work for others, but it is so worth a try as you will feel better and so will your family. Give it ago… Xxx

  9. Katrina November 30, 2015 at 5:42 am #

    Diet is everything and what works for me is this book that I came across that is called “Against all Grain” by Danielle Walker she literally has created all of these foods that you can eat and it’s similar to the foods that you love like pizza and pasta and ice cream and coffee. You should definitely check her out she has helped me a lot. Best of luck :)

  10. Luana C
    Luana December 1, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Hi Merlina, Pregancy is hard as it is without UC, I can’t imagine doing it with a flare. But I know exactly how you feel. My mom yells at me everyday saying I need to take better care of what goes into my body… and she is right. What goes in definitely affects what comes out. I try to eat healthy, but it is a struggle sometimes as I too love pizza, pasta, wings, fries, etc. Right now, I am actually ttc and am currently in a flare up. I have hopes my flare will stop once pregnant because my last pregnancy was beautiful and completely symptom free. I wish you a good rest of the pregnancy and a easy and wonderful delivery :)

  11. Erin February 12, 2017 at 11:46 am #

    Hi Merlina. I am so sorry that you with uc and pregnancy…what a tough combo! Just wondering how your story ended? I hope you have a healthy, happy toddler by now!
    I am 32, was diagnosed with mild colitis in August. My first flare cleared up easily with only meslamine and colifoam and I was blissfully in remission for a few months. At the same time, my husband and I have been struggling with infertility for nearly 4 years, 2 in treatment. Low and behold, after many, many failures, I finally got pregnant on this last cycle. I started a horrific flare (30+ bloody diarrhea/day) almost right from the positive pregnancy test. I was admitted to hospital for 10 days but even 60mg iv prednisone doesn’t seem to help. I am almost 7 weeks pregnant now, and we just found out that we are expecting twins! Great news but double trouble for hcg levels and this flare. After 2 weeks on prednisone I am down to about 15 urgent bloody diarrhea per day, but I have lost 7kg and and totally exhausted. I am so afraid that this will continue throughout my pregnancy (even the first trimester!). I have so far to go, and we fought so hard for these little beans…but now I just fear I can’t cope. What do I do? Any ideas for relief? Did anyone try antispasmodics? I was thinking they might help with urgency and at least let me rest for more than an hour at a time.
    ps- I am a Canadian but we live in Finland (my husband is Finnish) which has made this whole thing even more difficult to navigate….with my family so far away, everything in a foreign language etc.

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