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I May Have Caused My Own Ulcerative Colitis

recent picture of the author “JamesD”

James D – who’s this Guy/Father/Husband..:

49 Y/O male athlete, business owner, Father, Husband, Son, Brother, friend. Age never mattered to me, it is a human created concept, until I was diagnosed with UC, now I feel old and truth is I’m scared.
What’s Interesting about James(in his own words):
Interesting? I am a 3 sport athlete, I skied, played golf, and raced motorcycles competitively. I am originally from New York (Long Island) but now live in Charleston SC. I am a motivational and keynote speaker and sales coach/consultant.

Colitis Symptoms:

 mild stomach pain, frequent bathroom trips, especially in the morning, I will usually need to go 3 or 4 times within the first hour that I wake up. The very first time is usually urgent. MY BM’s are thin, like pencil thin, occasionally with quite a bit of blood and mucus (sorry, but it’s the reality).

I have been hospitalized twice since I was diagnosed, the 1st time when I was diagnosed (2013) and the second time last April for 5 days (2016).

James D’s Story – I Might Have Caused My Own UC

I think I may have given myself UC. While competing for a National championship in Motorcycle racing in 2011 I had a bad crash, broke 8 vertebrae, 10 ribs, spent 21 days in the hospital. Upon my release I became dependent on opioid pain killers, almost 1000 in an 8 month period. They are terribly binding and I believe this at least contributed to my subsequent UC.

James riding his motorcycle(maybe racing to the closest bathroom..:)

A recent move to a new State had me searching for and finding a new Doctor, he recently suggested I go on Humira and reading reviews I am scared to even try it, I have always been in great health and the thought of giving myself new health problems (TB, Hepititis, MS) trying to manage my UC frightens me.

Truth is, having UC makes me feel old, like my body is betraying me.

I struggle with my diet, but I am currently limiting dairy, and bread/grain. I love nuts but also try and limit them.

I take Lialda 1.2gms 2x day, a probiotic (sorry I don’t recall the brand but it was recommended on this site) and L-Glutamine. I am currently also on Uceris as I am in the middle of (or maybe hopefully near the end of) a flare that has lasted about 2 months. At the worst point I had sat over 60 times in a 3 day period, it was awful!

I have had maybe a dozen colonoscopies, frankly they don’t bother me at all, maybe the prep is the worst part, and the gas in the recovery room.

My wife cares, but she doesn’t really appreciate the food difficulties and makes eating rather difficult. Although I can’t blame her, she’s healthy and I hate that my issues affect how she eats sometimes. I also worry that my kids will suffer from it one day.

In reality I think all the processed food plays a huge roll in UC also.

Treatment tried:

I tried medical marijuana but did not like how it made me feel (dopey LOL) so I stopped.
written by JamesD
submitted in the colitis venting area





opiod, pain killers

5 Responses to I May Have Caused My Own Ulcerative Colitis

  1. Adam
    Adam February 7, 2017 at 10:57 am #

    James,

    It bums me out hearing yet another story of someone who was living the dream life, in great health, and all of a sudden, a chain of events finds them writing their story on this site.

    At the same time, I want you to know that your story is very original. There are some other motorcycle stories on here, I remember a guy from So Cal who had a nice shot of him and his girlfirend cruising it, but man oh man, I just dont recall a story about the opiate use leading in to the UC or playing a part. Very very interesting thinking. One thing I would recommend, is maybe you can contact the world class (maybe world leading) poison control center that is the most specialized resource for opiate use/painkillers IN THE WORLD. It is located in Denver Colorado, and called the “Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center”.

    http://www.rmpdc.org/

    (that’s there site)

    Believe it or not, they are the world experts with pain pills. You can contact them, and maybe they have some documentation on previous folks like you who went from pain pills to a UC diagnosis. (Just a guess, but that is where I would start if you wanted to see if there is a common theme..)

    Or, you can say screw it, and move on, like you clearly are already doing.

    And going through a doc change, aww, also a tuffie thing to go through. I hope you are happy with your current GI. If not, don’t settle, find one you like. We have a growing list of peer reviewed Gastro doctors here for you to peep out if you haven’t already. Maybe there is one in your town/city/local area…They are from many countries worldwide:

    http://www.ihaveuc.com/find-a-doctor-near-you/

    I wish you the best no matter what decisions you take. I can feel for sure your pain/thoughts with regards to your wife, and kids. No matter what, you can always try to be the best person you can be, and with so much of each and EVERYONE of our lives being OUT of our control, doing your best is just fine.

    Peace my man, and thanks for sharing,

    Adam

  2. Mitch February 7, 2017 at 11:24 am #

    I can see a connection where UC would be exacerbated by the opioid use but the fact remains, UC is an autoimmune disease and while the binding could have irritated an already developing situation, your immune system was already ready to be on the fritz.

    What an amazing life story you have. Hopefully you will find the right treatment for you and it won’t slow you down too badly.

    • JamesD
      James February 8, 2017 at 3:08 am #

      Thank you for the feedback.

  3. ben February 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    I use to be addicted to opiates myself and found myself stricken with UC after. I haven’t found any info on opiates being the cause of UC, but my personal belief is that it might trigger a flare because of the constipation that occurs during opioid dependency. Before I was diagnosed with UC, I was in the process of quitting my drug dependencies. I was addicted for about a year, then went through several months of quitting and relapsing and during the week following a 5-day-long detox, I found myself having constant diarrhea with blood and I spent a month in the hospital. The most Ironic thing was that I became addicted to pain pills during that month in the hospital because of the initial pain of that particular flair. I was able to quit once again tho… On a side note, I could attribute part of my sobriety now to UC since It restricted me from being able to live my normal life so much.

  4. maddy February 8, 2017 at 7:24 am #

    Don’t blame yourself. We think we traced mine back: As a child, treated several times with antibiotics for strep throat, tonsillitis ear infections, etc. That “planted the gun,” so to speak. Had c.diff decades later from the antibiotic Augmentin. That “loaded the gun.” Then several more years—and taking statins for a short period of time “pulled the trigger” and gave me UC. Processed foods, emulsifiers in cream sauces—all kinds of things can affect us. We pay dearly for what we eat. I still am working at figuring out what I can and cannot eat. When I get a bit of a rough time, I rely on chicken broth or beef broth or bone broth, elemental drinks (Thorne’s “Mediclear” and Listen to Your Gut’s “Absorb Plus”) to give my gut a complete break for an individual meal or, when needed, a few weeks at a time. With all that having been said, don’t blame yourself. We all do the best we can at any given time, not always knowing what “best” is. Best wishes for some easing of the condition. We are all in this together. Chin up! (I tell myself that daily.)

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