Ulcerative Colitis Tips


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I Hope SCD Will Work For Me

Napa George

a recent picture

Introduction:

My name is George and I live in Napa, Ca. I am 66 years old and was diagnosed with UC (proctitis) in  June of 2010, one month after my 65th birthday. Colon problems run in my family. I have one brother who has Crohn’s and another with IBS and yet another brother who’s gut frequently feels like garbage. My mother had colon problems and I think my dad did too (he always tried to keep his health issues to himself….. like they were some sort of secret!). Also my 17 year old grandson seems to have some sort of intestinal problems that started about a year ago.

My Colitis Experience:

I started the SCD diet 11 weeks ago when I was having a bad flare . At that same time I also started taking prednisone to put the fire out. I stopped taking the prednisone when I went into remission (after 6 weeks) but two weeks later, the beginning stages of another flare started. I am still on SCD but so far I
haven’t seen much evidence of it helping my nagging proctitis. When I started SCD I weighed 162 lbs., which is ideal for my height and frame. Since I’ve been on SCD I have lost 10 pounds and I think that I need to gain it back, and I’m having a hard time doing so. I am not sure if I should continue with the SCD diet and I welcome any input on this.

big pumpkins

a recent pumpkin weigh-in

I have also been taking mesalamine (both oral and suppositories) for about 10 months and they don’t seem to help much at all. My GI doc suggested that I start taking 6MP. I told him I would let him know after I did some research on it. My google search led me here to this website. (Hey Adam, I really like your site!).

One of my hobbies is competitive giant pumpkin growing…… yeah, I’m one of those guys that you see dragging one oft hose huge-ass pumpkins to Half Moon Bay. I missed going to Half Moon Bay and several other giant pumpkin weigh-offs in 2010 and 2011 because of bad flare-ups at weigh-off time. Hopefully I will be able to grow one that weighs over 3/4 ton next year and be in remission in October when its time to weigh it . Woo-hoo! (>:

One of my other hobbies is videography. Proctitis flares have forced me to keep my camera in its bag on more than a few occasions the past year-and-a-half.

I usually make it to the gym 3 to 4 days a week. I feel that my workouts help with my UC.
I also take VSL #3 but I’m not sure how much it helps. (I know…. its not on the USD approved

skinny but long gourd

George with a long skinny gourd

list).
I started juicing 8 months ago. I do juicing just about every day; mostly red cabbage and carrots with a little bit of fresh ginger.
I also take fish oil and turmeric pills and a good multivitamin/mineral pill every day. I no longer drink coffee but sometimes have a cup of green or mint tea, and occasionally an approved herbal tea. I quit drinking beer and wine and will sometimes have a vodka with apple cider…… why drink vodka with apple cider you ask…….. well, one day I was looking for something to mix with my vodka and all I had in the fridge was a bottle of Trader Joe’s apple cider……. and I developed a taste for it!

I had to give up golf because of UC. As you can imagine, it takes a long time to play a round of golf. After several holes, many of the bushes start to look like outhouses to someone with UC…… lets just say its ‘nearly impossible’ not to use one or two of them….. and leave it at that. Oh well, I was a crappy golfer anyway…. no pun intended. (I think the groundskeeper who caught me needs to develop a
better sense of humor) (>:

I am an occasional cigar smoker and after reading about smoking here on this site, I am wondering if I should start enjoying some of my Romeo y Julieta’s more often!

George in Napa

Submitted via the Colitis Venting Area




8 Responses to I Hope SCD Will Work For Me

  1. blue grass December 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Hey, George. I’m sorry to hear you can’t enjoy your hobbies. At least, you have a sense of humor about your predicament. I have UC, too, but bushes still look like bushes to me at the moment, and I hope they won’t become outhouses in the future.

    I don’t have much knowledge to offer about the SCD but I think I read somewhere that if the symptoms don’t improve after a month, then maybe the SCD isn’t for you? Anyways, as for me, I would like to start the diet soon, like you, I would love to hear more from people about the diet. I’ve bought a yogurt maker recently and now I’m just trying to convince myself to just do the diet. For someone who doesn’t really cook, this diet seems like it will be a struggle. Anyways, to the SCD people out there: it would be sweet to hear from all of you. The stories give me hope (thanks, Adam, for the site!).

    Actually, I’ll throw out this question here (I hope you don’t mind, George): I was diagnosed with UC back in April of this year, and I am taking Lialda and Azathioprine… but I can’t tell if these meds help or not. Anyways, I seem to have a problem with constipation more so than diarrhea. Is this unusual for someone with UC?

    • George in Napa December 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

      Blue grass – I hope that the bushes will ALWAYS look like bushes (and not outhouses) to you!
      You mentioned that you seem to lean more towards a constipation problem than a diarrhea problem. My UC and your UC are alike as far as the threat of constipation is concerned. It seems that an awful lot of folks with UC have a diarrhea problem as a major threat. I don’t hear too many people talking about the constipation issues that you and I share. Given a choice between the two lousy choices, I guess I would rather deal with constipation rather than diarrhea…….. we all gotta play the hand that we were dealt.
      You mentioned that you are taking Lialda…. when I did a google on it, it looked a lot like the mesalamine that I have been taking. My doc put me on 3,000 mg per day of melamine. I was on it for 10 months. Do the math….. thats over nine hundred thousand milligrams of this stuff. I don’t think it helped me much at all…. I kept on taking it because I thought perhaps maybe it was helping me from getting WORSE. Hell, I don’t know if helps or not. I hope to find out some answers if I keep on searching.
      Challenging, isn’t it,

      George in Napa

  2. Matrix December 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Napa George, :)

    Its is way to early to quit. Eleven weeks is not enough time to assess SCD. Give it a year. Also are you following the diet by excluding all grains, rice, sugar products. If you eat out of a can or box you are not following SCD. Actually you seem to be doing so many things right from my point of view.

    What you are missingis how to corectly gauge your SCD progress. The metrics I use is I take enough drugs (prednisone) to allow me to stay away from the bathroom for 1.5 to 2 hours. For me that works out to ¼ of one 5 mg. pill. It’s is very important to note through the whole time I’m on SCD I’m bleeding, have nausea, likely cramping but that is normal. It also important to note that some weeks my colitis is rampaging and causing me all kinds of problems. This is normal and really has nothing to do with SCD. The next week you may find that symptoms have quieted.

    Over time you may notice your bathroom trips may become 3 hours apart for a period of time. At this point you may taper down your drugs as per your doctors instructions. That is how you measure your SCD success. In summary, the philosophy I use is to stabilize my condition at a fixed drug dosage. That is my benchmark. Then I try to slowly taper down the dosage when bathroom visits say its time. I view each dosage reduction as a success. The goal is to be drug free. I should also mention I don’t let the weight loss worry me. As long as I keep up my nutrition I feel my body will have the energy to deal with my colitis. Hey I think of my body as a drug factory that manufactures its own medicine. So you need to keep it strong.

    • George in Napa December 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

      Hi Matrix – Yes, I’m following the SCD diet guidelines according to the book…. I exclude grains, rice and sugar products from my diet. I do not eat out of a can or box. Actually, last night was the first time since I started SCD (eleven weeks ago) that I veered away from it. My wife and I went to a Christmas Party at the home of close friends last night. I didn’t drink alcohol but I ate anything and everything that looked good. Yes, it was a binge….. I enjoyed every bite of it at the time….. BUT I paid the price this morning with one of the worst UC discomfort mornings that I have felt since starting the SCD diet.
      Was it worth it? …… not sure, guess I won’t know the answer to that until I see how I feel in a day or two.
      Like you, I try to use as little prednisone as possible….. just enough to give a little control when a flare won’t calm down. I hate prednisone and the constant insomnia that it gives me, even at very low doses. I agree with you…. the goal is to be drug free. Lets hope that we can all get there.

      George in Napa

  3. Karen December 11, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    I am 64 and have been diagnosed with UC about a year in Oct I started SCD. It is a lot of work and planning and food preparation but seems to be worth it. My gut seems calmer when I follow the diet. I must say it is not easy but am hoping over time it will get easier. As you progress and are able to add things made with nut flours you will begin to put weight back on. Also oils nuts and smoothies made with fruit and honey help.

    It is a lifestyle change and every day can be an adventure for sure. But hang in there

    • George in Napa December 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

      You’re so right Karen, it takes a LOT of work and planning. Prior to the SCD diet I used to spend about 15 minutes a day doing meal prep. Since I started SCD, I now spend at least 1 to 2 hours a day (6 days a week) in the kitchen playing around with different types of food, and I am actually enjoying it. I usually bake muffins made with almond flour 3 or 4 times a week. I usually stuff them with blueberries and sometimes add applesauce to the mix. I will be checking out oils and nuts as you suggested. I’m starting to learn to make smoothies and I love honey and probably eat way too much of it.

      George in Napa

  4. Garnetrose December 12, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Hi George,

    You are not alone. I am the same age as you are. My UC didn’t occur until I was 66! I am on Lialda and it seems to be working. Also on Hydrocortisone enemas. I watch what I eat and find the smoothies are a good way for me to start the mornings since I work part time. I follow the SCD diet as well. I also use gluten free products. My primary doctor told me that UC often happens later in life. I wish you all the best.

    • George in Napa December 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      Hi Garnetrose,
      Thank you for your input and encouragement. I have not yet found what works for me. Mesalamine pills and suppositories have not helped me very much during the past year. Neither have the mesalamine enemas. After 11 strict weeks (except for my Christmas Party binge on Saturday night) the SCD diet hasn’t helped me much so far. I am going to continue with the diet for a while longer as some of the folks here on this site have suggested. Sooner or later I hope to find some combination or concoction that will give me long remission (without the meds, of course).

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