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Girl Gets UC A Month After Starting College

super recent picture of Morgan!

super recent picture of Morgan!

Intro:

Hey, everyone! I’m Morgan. I’m currently a freshman in college and I was diagnosed with UC in October of 2013, so about 3 or 4 months ago. I have a mild case, I believe, but am still figuring out all the ‘quirks’ of the condition.

Some more about me:

I am currently majoring in business with a minor in psychology. I’ve got a passion for travel -the thought of it often consumes me. I’m also a huge book worm. I’ve got a little brother who’s a brat but is secretly my best friend and I’m a pretty outgoing person!

Symptoms:

Currently, the only problem I’m having is going to the bathroom. I haven’t been having too much pain, but my tummy does feel a little weird every now and then.

Girl Gets UC A Month After Starting College

Basically, I just need some advice. Like I said, I’m a college kid who just got diagnosed with US a month or two after arriving on campus. My symptoms before my diagnosis were much more severe, including crazy bad abdominal pains and bloody stool. One night they flared up so bad, I was forced to rush to the ER, which eventually led me to a gastroenterologist appointment, and then the wonderful colonoscopy.

Once I was diagnosed, I was immediately put on a type of steroid to patch things up, I believe, that’s called Uceris. I originally thought I would only be taking it for about a month, but I’m still taking a pill daily. Also, I’m taking Lialda, as well, at what seems to be a pretty high dosage of 4 pills a day.

The couple of times I’ve had flare ups over the past few months is whenever I consumer alcohol, and it usually ends up with a couple hours of dry heaving the next morning. Should I be avoiding alcohol completely?

Also, going to the bathroom has not been the same since I was put on my medication. I wake up each morning and have to immediately go what is usually diarrhea. I’ll go back to my room and about 10 minutes later, it’ll hit me again and I’ll have to dart for the bathroom. I haven’t had a normal poop in months, dangit!

Last, I am aware that anemia is often grouped with UC and although I get monthly blood work done, I’m a little nervous, seeing as my mom is anemic. Will that increase my risk?

I’m just looking for suggestions from the pros about probiotics or vitamins I should look into taking and also foods or activities I should be avoiding. Just some tips and tricks would be nice, as well.

written by Morgan

submitted in the colitis venting area





9 Responses to “Girl Gets UC A Month After Starting College”

  1. Rosanne
    RosanneFebruary 15, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Hi Morgan…unfortunately…welcome to the club. 1st question answered…alcohol: should you avoid? what my doc told me when I was diagnosed 32 years ago…if something bothers you do not consume it!. Also…Well…if you just started college I am thinking you are 18ish. Yes you should avoid….you are underage. :)

    Every person with UC is different. We can all compare notes and some will be the same. As time goes on you will know what works for you. Keep an open dialogue with your GI. The Lialda…that isn’t a high dosage. Look it up online. That seems to be the standard with it and Apriso.

    I wish you luck. With your psychology major maybe you will focus on the UC patient and be able to help all of us cope one day.

    Good Luck!

  2. GrantFebruary 15, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    SCD DIET!! Try this as your first step on the road to recovery. It helped my symptoms immensely and I wished I’d started it sooner. No urgency, no blood, pain gone. It’s very strict and you can’t deviate from it at all or do it without doing the intro diet but it is more than worth it. The guys at scdlifestyle.com have a full 12 week plan. Also order the book ‘Breaking the vicious cycle’ by Elaine Gottschall. This goes hand in hand with the diet. It is hard but as I see it, I’d rather spend more time in the kitchen than more time in the bathroom! There’s a lot to learn but you’re starting uni now, so why not treat the Scd just like a new course you’re studying or something?
    Other things that have helped me personally are:- Broken cell wall Chlorella, Omega 3 oil, Vitamin B and Vitamin D supplements and exercise. As for alcohol, well, vodka and gin are legal on the SCD Diet as is very dry wine. Beer is out I’m afraid. As far as I’ve found, the more refined (expensive!) the alcohol is, the less it aggravates my symptoms. Also, about wine, when buying, ask what the level of grams of sugar per litre are and go with a very low level (preferably lower than 2) This again doesn’t aggravate the colon as much. There are some great websites out there for people with UC but my advice would be to stay away from the random message boards, with all the scaremongery and doomsday scenarios. Yes, UC can be a horrible disease to have but its still possible to live a really good life. Good luck with your studies! All the best, Grant.

  3. GrantFebruary 15, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    The Paleo diet is another diet you may want to have a look at. It has shown some promising results with UC and Crohn’s patients.

  4. Tim B
    TimFebruary 15, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Based on what you have said you are still in an active flare. You will need to make some diet changes to get out of it. SCD is a good option, but didn’t do great for me. I follow the bland diet and it has done wonders. Of course, that means no alcohol, no caffeine, and definitely nothing fried or greasy. There are some more UC friendly drinks such as dry red wine or hard apple cider (if naturally sweetened without additives). However, I would not risk it until you get out of your flare. As far as supplements while you are bleeding you need to take an iron supplement or risk serious anemia which will suck all energy out of you. I would also look into getting a good multi from a health store, vitamin D, fish oil, and a probiotic.

    Good luck!

    Tim

  5. RamonaFebruary 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    I am a big fan of probiotics. Diet changes/ restrictions are individualized. Those two things said, two solutions I have are expensive and I don’t know if you have the financial means. If so there is a blood test a nutrictionist can do to find flood that you might not tolerate well. A probiotic I have used Vsl #3 is good but costly. If drinking makes you ill, stop. If something isn’t helping you feel your best, don’t put it in your body. One last note is at times things get crazy as to what to eat, just tell yourself I don’t eat that instead of I can’t, keeping a positive attitude that you control uc and it doesn’t control or define you will help. I was diagnosed when I was in junior high school and I am now a grandma nearing the mid 50 point in my life and I have a full life, you will too.

  6. MeghanFebruary 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Hi, Morgan! I am a sophomore in college and was diagnosed about 6 years ago. College is definitely a big transition, and a lot harder when it comes with a medical condition to control. I take Pentasa (mesalamine based like Lialda), and I also take a multi-vitamin, calcium, and iron pills. I also need to balance my diet, exercise, and stress because I’m big into endurance sports. My mother is also anemic and my numbers are usually borderline anemic, so my doctor has me on iron just in case. If you are unsure if you should be worried about anemia or not, definitely talk to your doctor. Like the other commenters mentioned, diet is very influential to ulcerative colitis. You probably eat the majority of your meals in a dining hall like I do. The food’s not really great, but it’s not terrible either. However, I react to the dining hall food differently than all my friends. You have to try out everything and see what works for you. There are definitely a lot of things that I avoid in our dining halls for this reason. As for alcohol, it might be something you have to avoid, or only participate in sometimes if you’re willing to deal with the consequences, but you shouldn’t drink if it makes you sick. If you’re still having diarrhea daily, you should tell your doctor because you are still flaring. With all your classes, it’s also very important to manage stress. At least for me, the stress that piles on with all my assignments and exams is a trigger for my UC. To see which foods bother you, I would recommend keeping a journal of everything you eat everyday and compare it to how it aligns with your flare, and then stay away from the worst foods. It comes with time, but you will learn what pushes you too far and how to manage your UC. Good luck with school!

  7. bevFebruary 15, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

    YES, to avoiding alcohol completely. Alcohol causes intestinal bleeding in EVERYONE, even in people without UC, but in them, goes unnoticed. In us, however, well, you know already!

    Unfortunately, meds like Lialda can cause looseness and immediacy. They can actually make UC worse in some people as you may have a reaction to it that is counter productive. It sounds like you do. It is a mesalamine, and in some people, they just make the UC symptoms like those ones, worse. Same thing happened to me.

    Yes, anemia can be a ‘side effect’ of UC due to blood loss. I always had that problem until I started taking IRONSMART daily…it’s the only iron I can tolerate without making me sick, and it’s the best absorbed on the market. It’s expensive, but I am not anemic any more. I was anemic for years before I started taking it.

    Probiotics are a MUST when you have UC. Part of this whole rotten condition is that we do not have enough good bacteria. Get a good probiotic and take it RELIGIOUSLY, on a completely empty stomach, and then no eating or drinking anything other than water for at least half an hour after. Make sure that it is enteric coated so that it does not dissolve until it reaches the colon. The probiotic that I swear by is ULTIMATE FLORA CRITICAL CARE by RENEWLIFE. It has allowed me to become medication free. I could not stand the side effects from any of the meds.

  8. Jake S
    Jake S.February 22, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    I’m not going to tell you what to do, but alcohol is a major trigger for anything and everything GI-related. It is best if you can avoid it, but trust me (you can read my story on here), I understand being in college and wanting to drink.

    The dry-heaving is probably due to drinking too much; UC normally presents as diarrhea not nausea (although that can be a part of it too).

    In terms of pills, 4 isn’t many in the mesalamine family. I was taking up to 12-16 at one point. If your condition is mild then Lialda may be a great option for you.

    A good friend of mine has extremely mild colitis and he has taken the mesalamine for years and it has kept him in remission.

    Just try to take it easy on the hard liquor :) and don’t sweat taking that many pills; it is a mild drug in terms of IBD medications.

    This is a great resource for answers and you will find SO MANY people going through exactly what you have been through and currently battle with everyday.

    I too was diagnosed in college, and didn’t quit drinking for a good long while but it is something to consider heavily. They call it “rock gut” for a reason.

    Good luck, and keep posting; there are a lot of smart folks out on this site.

  9. Marq Rich
    Marq RichardsonMarch 17, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    let me get straight to the point… surgery is the only cure… im so glad i got the j-pouch.. its been 2 years since i had the pouch and i only had 1 case of pouchitis. i think we all had or have the same symptoms but if you want them to stop and you dnt want to take no more meds i suggest the surgery.. i got back to a normal life, not worrying about wheres the nearest rest room… i go 3 times a day now.. morn, noon, and night… i dnt even wake in the middle of the night that often….i disagree with all these home remedies and probiotics crap…the bottom line is flares trigger when they want, whether your on meds or not.. ppl need to understand that these remedies are not the results of their remission… i believe remission happens on its own… every med or remicade that i took , i still had flares while on these medications… it came and went as it pleased… with this disease you can loose your job ect… cant plan events… you know what i mean.. bottom line is im perfectly back normal… med free…symptom free….. no worries….im going to make this a general message for now on and post on other ppl pages as well…any questions or comments reply to this post or if you want to talk on a personal level you can give me a call any time on mon-tue………… wed,thur,fri,sat,sun b4 330pm 347-351-7694

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