Diagnosed with severe pancolitis in January 2013 – currently in remission (of varying degrees). I’m a 38 year old married female that loves staying active and caring for all of our rescue animals. I live in a zoo, I tell ya. (My previous stories you can also read here: http://www.ihaveuc.com/author/caroline/ )
Some more about me:
I love the beach and visiting new places with my hubby. I adore good food (which is totally possible with UC!). I’m really active and am currently training for my first half marathon – very excited. Especially because when I was in my flare I couldn’t fathom walking to the mailbox, much less running anywhere (besides the bathroom).
I’m in remission but have seen a lot of room for improvement, so I’ve been tweaking things. Overall I feel great but I have felt a gradual, slight downhill trend lately- I’ve been really bloated and just not feeling quite right. I also started having blood pretty regularly – definitely want to get this under control!
My Devastating Breakup with Coffee
I am thankful that at this point, life is pretty normal to me. I still check around to make sure I know where the bathroom is, but I can live my life and do the things I want. All good things. :)
However, the past couple of months I’ve gotten a little concerned – my last colonoscopy was great, just showed mild rectal inflammation. Definitely a far cry from where I was when I was diagnosed with pancolitis! But lately I’ve noticed a lot of bloating and discomfort – some days I look pregnant, which, if you aren’t actually expecting is not super fun. I’ve been noticing blood creeping back in, which is never a good sign. I talked to my doctor about it in June and he didn’t seem too alarmed – it seems to come with constipation so he said that might be the culprit. Canasa seems to help a little bit, but I prefer treating things more naturally and would like to REMOVE medications, not add them!
So, I have been on a mission to tweak my diet, supplements, stress, etc to see if I can avert this flare. I eat a real food, grain free diet and do a good job at sticking to that. I don’t eat much dairy or nuts. I added in digestive enzymes with no effect. Collagen powder? Nothing. Astaxanthin? Didn’t seem to help, though it has in the past. I’ve eaten more fat, less fat. More carbs, less carbs. I was starting to get frustrated – and then I had a lightbulb go off a few days ago.
About a year ago, I added back in my beloved morning coffee. I love it – I only have one, every morning. It’s usually really big and on ice. This is part of my routine and even though I know it can be problematic to UCers, I was in a good place and adding it back in didn’t seem to cause a problem. But now, here I am a year later having issues again and just wondering…
I switched to green tea just to see if there was a difference. Of course, there is good news and bad news here. Good news is I think I found my problem! Bad news – yeah, I’m going to have to let my coffee go. I feel so much better and within 24 hours of stopping, my blood was gone. I also do not look pregnant.
It’s easy to get comfortable in remission, and it’s easy to rationalize consuming things that you love that may not be the best for you. I hope this healing continues and that I’ve solved my problem – coffee definitely irritates my sensitive gut. I wish I figured this out before bathing suit season. :)
Medications/Supplements…How I’m treating UC:
Right now: Apriso (will be weaning off next month!), VSL#3, Canasa at night, fish oil, Vitamin D, Glutamine. Strict paleo diet is my #1 weapon.
**Although I prefer to treat this as naturally as I can, that desire held me back from seeing a doctor initially while I tried to diagnose and treat myself. My UC progressed during this time and it took an aggressive round of prednisone to jump start my healing. There is no shame in going to the doctor – just make sure you have one you trust.
written by Caroline
submitted in the colitis venting area