I Might Have Colitis, But Not Sure
Hey Everyone — I’m a 28 year old male, 6’0″, 180lbs. I live an active and healthy lifestyle; I love sports and I play hockey, baseball, golf. No known allergies and never been a smoker (of cigarettes…).
I’ve spent a significant amount of time on this website educating myself about UC. All of the positive stories and words of encouragement posted here certainly make me realize there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
My problems began back in April of this year. I got up from what was my ‘morning ritual’ (my bowel movement regularity would have put a German train schedule to shame) and noticed that there was blood on the toilet paper and the outer diameter of my stool. Needless to say, this freaked me out completely — so I got right on the internet to try and diagnose this problem myself. After only a few minutes of searching, it occurred to me that it must be a hemorrhoid. That made sense to me (although I had never had one before), since I sit all day at a desk job and am also a regular at the gym and workout very intensely. I put this in the back of my mind for the time being.
My real concerns began a week or so after that when the blood wasn’t gone, but was noticeably worse. The toilet bowl looked like a crime scene after I got up. I decided to get this checked out. I went to my family doctor for a full physical and to explain my problem. He immediately concluded ‘colitis’ since there were several pretty big stressors in my life (I had just bought a new house in January, and am getting married this coming February). He sent me to the lab for blood work which all came back normal. I was never in any physical pain — my symptoms were (are) just the growing irregularity and frequency of my bowel movements combined with an increasing amount of blood loss.
My condition only deteriorated further from there until I finally had enough and went to the hospital. They were of no immediate help, but luckily I was shoved in line to have a colonoscopy about a week later. The colonoscopy revealed what my current GI calls ‘proctitis’ — which in my case is inflammation of the last 12-15″ of my colon. I was prescribed a Salofalk (5-ASA) enema. I took this for 2 weeks straight and saw great improvement. After the 2 weeks, I was virtually symptom-free for about 5 weeks; “back to normal” I thought. My symptoms then gradually reappeared so I went back to my family doctor thinking that all I need is more Salofalk and I’ll be fine (I would have gone to see my GI instead, but I need schedule about a month in advance). My doctor gave me another prescription for the Salofalk enema, but this time it just didn’t work.
I went back to my GI and he then prescribed Prednisone (20mg/ day for 1 week, 15mg for a second week) and Mezavant (5-ASA) oral tablets daily for 6 months. A week and a half in to this, I was near ‘normal’ again. However, something happened then (I went out and had several beers, spicy chicken wings, and also got the first signs of catching a cold) that threw me back to square one. The GI then upped my dosage of Prednisone (40mg / day, tapering down to 30mg, 20mg etc.) and this started to work for me again, but not for long. Symptoms returned roughly on the second day of my 20mg/day dosage.
This is where I am today. As I said, I’m not in any pain whatsoever. My heart goes out to those who suffer from similar conditions and have to put up with the pain. I’m only concerned with the irregularity of my bowel movements and seemingly endless supply of blood I flush down the toilet several times a day. I have not missed work (although maybe I should be docked a sick-day or two considering the amount of time I’ve spent in the washroom) and I still go to the gym 4-5 times a week and have not lost any weight.
I am seriously considering starting the SCD, but my family doctor (who I’ve known my entire life and can’t say enough positive things about) feels strongly that my diet will not impact me like other people with UC since my inflammation is right at the ass-end (pun intended) of the digestive tract. Can anyone else share their opinion on this? I love my carbs, I love dairy, I love beer and I love to consume as much of all of these things that my heart desires. Starting the SCD could throw a serious wrench into my holiday plans. I am willing to try the diet, but I only want to do so if other people feel confident that it can be beneficial for me. Right now my doctor has the only vote, and he says that in my case, diet doesn’t matter.
Written by “Toronto”
Submitted in the Colitis Venting Area