Ulcerative Colitis Tips


One of the 15,000 ulcerative colitis folks using the site adds:
"Like many UCers I have spent many hours trawling the internet googling the condition and came across your website a few years ago. I read your ebook and really liked your honesty and humour. As everyone says your positivity is so encouraging and now this is my go to website when I'm thinking about UC. Thankfully my symptoms are pretty much under control at the moment but just wanted to say thanks." Kate

I Have UC, But it Doesn’t Have Me

Introduction:

My name is Susan, and I have UC. I was diagnosed on November 18th, 2011. I knew something wasn’t right prior to having the colonoscopy, but I didn’t expect to have UC. I didn’t even know what that was. I thought it would just be Irritable Bowel Syndrome . The prep from for the colonoscopy threw me into what I now know to be a flare. It lasted until February of 2012, and I take Asacol when things get bad. I guess my case is a mild one, but there are days when I don’t feel good, and “Uncle Charley”(my pet name for UC) upsets “Uncle Arthur” (my pet name for arthritis.)

Some more about me:

I have a lot of interests. I am an avid gardener, a degreed interior designer, I volunteer within my neighborhood, I love reading (books, no Kindle) , and I am the staff person to two black cats. In fact one of my cats suffers from colitis as well. A lot of what I know and have researched about this has come from my research to help my cat.

Current Colitis Symptoms:

I am currently dealing with the end of a flare. I get some cramping, but am not currently on medication.
I believe diet and stress play a big role in controlling flares. I also believe that we are the best advisors on what works and what does not in controlling our UC symptoms.

I have UC, but it doen’t have me. I fight it and I subdue it.

I was diagnosed with UC on November 18, 2011. I came out of the sedation from the colonoscopy, and the doc said “you have UC”. He gave me a brief description of the disease and described its symptoms, none of which seemed to apply to me until the days following the procedure, when my colon , having been cleansed went into shock, and sent me running to the pot 6-8 times a day. I have never seen blood or mucus in my stools, and while I did suffer from bout of constipation and the runs, thought this was “normal” for me. I ended up on Asacol after going to see the GI doc again, but he didn’t seem to offer me mush support or give me any place to do research. I decided that while I may have this disease, it wasn’t going to have me. I started looking on the internet, (which is how I found this site) and started keeping a food journal to track everything I ate to establish if there was a connection between the food I was eating and the rumbles in the colon. There were days when I had cramps, the runs and just felt tired. At other times I would get blocked and then get bloated. On top of this, I am only working part time and have to pay for my own medical insurance, which has a limit on Dr visits and doesn’t offer much in the way of discounts for the Asacol which costs me $363.00 when I need it.

My family has been supportive and I don’t let this get to me emotionally. I practice Yoga, I meditate, and I count my blessings each day , no matter.

The food journal did show me connections between foods that should be combined to quiet the colon, and foods that I should avoid. I am lactose intolerant, so I avoid most dairy, take a probiotic, (Culturelle is lactose free) try to stay hydrated, and continue to research this under researched disease.

My cat also suffers from colitis, and my vet suggested a switch to a grain free diet (she had been on a low residue RX diet-she ate it but hated it) and her symptoms went away. Her energy returned, and I suspect that many of us are allergic to grains such as wheat and corn, but again the medical community doesn’t seem to want to research this disease- no money to be made like cancer. I think those of us who suffer from this will lead the way in research, and I am grateful that there is a community to support the UC’ers.

Medications

I take a daily multivitamin, I take a lactose free probiotic, and vitamin D . I think many of us suffer from inflammation in the rest of our bodies, so I try to eat strawberries and blueberries , which help relieve the inflammation in my joints. If one cannot tolerate the seed, try a shot glass of tart cherry juice.

written by Susan aka “Analog Girl”

submitted in the colitis venting area




2 Responses to I Have UC, But it Doesn’t Have Me

  1. Nikki in Chico
    nikki February 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Hi Susan,
    That’s interesting about your cat. Seems like vets often know more about humans than doctors. Glad to read that you are at the end of your flare. Diet has been helping me TREMENDOUSLY. I think I may try the olive oil thing too, if my condition stops improving. Welcome to the site; I’m new here too. :)

  2. bev February 15, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    You sure said a mouthful Susan! You are trult wise beyond your ‘uc years’! I’ve had it for 15 years,, and have finally learned how to manage it myself, med free. The only food that I seem to NEED to avoid is too much straight wheat. I can eat a whole wheat bagel…but I can’t do a bowl of pure wheat cereal!

    Love what you’ve already learned about doctors regarding this condition (I still hate and refuse to call it a disease), another thing that took me many years to figure out. They all go by the book, discounting natural things that just may work, although lately things do seem to be changing, thank goodness. Some doctors are now listening to the probiotic and diet stories that are really working for people with UC. It sure took a long time.

    Anyway, I am currently in remission, without meds, thanks to a good probiotic and L-glutamine (along with a couple of natural anti inflammatories like vitamin D and astaxanthin). Unlike you, asacol made me ill for the almost 14 years that I was on it, and never really worked for me…but the doctor said I HAD to stay on it for maintenance…I swear they don’t feel useful unless you are on a prescription that they gave you…what did I know? I listened…stupidly.

    You have this all figured out, believe it! I wish we could all get it so fast! We must manage this condition ourselves, because none of the meds seem to work for any length of time. We just go from one drug to another to another when each one eventually fails. Sad, really, that this is the way UC is treated…

    Way cool about you cat too! Who would have thunk it? You AND your cat?? I don’t think the odds are that great of that happening…and I don’t really mean way cool either…poor cat! You know what that cat goes through I guess.

    Cheers, and thanks for your wonderfully inspiring story. Fab!!

    Bev
    :)

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