I was always the poster child of perfect health, and it wasn’t until living in Morocco at 19 that I had any symptoms.
Ironically living in Chile earlier and traveling South America, I was completely unscathed. And even then I only had some abdominal pain and some blood. Upon returning to the US my doctor immediately assumed parasites since I had been abroad, and though there tests found nothing that could explain my symptoms, he put me on a round of heavy-duty antibiotics/antiparasitics for a month (such was my introduction to the world of proscribed meds). The bleeding increased and the pain became intolerable. Still, I was engaged to a man in Morocco, and the visa process was just too long, so I decided to go back and visit for a few months even in my condition. My doctors gave me flagel and had me start it before arriving. I had to come home early, after a month of not being able to eat and the worst cramping and bleeding yet. I was immediately hospitalized for a week, and finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, as well as an awful case of C. difficile caused from the flagel. Since then it has been a struggle to stay healthy, or even out of death zone. At first I tried to heal myself naturally, but after my hemoglobin dropped to 5.8, I decided to try the doctors recommendations again. I have been on and off of prednisone, the only medicine that so far has worked without giving me major allergic reactions.
In June of 2010 I met with an Acupuncturist/Herbalist, and his regime seemed to be working until I found out I was five months pregnant. I had failed to notice the signs, since they aligned so well with my uc – bloating, nausea, fatigue, and I hadn’t had a period in a year due to my severe anemia. Of course, I had to get off of the herbs, and I continued to loose blood, though I was the healthiest I had been in a long time off of prednisone. Then I made the mistake of doing a sigmoidoscopy, something my GI doc had been pushing for a long time. In a week my hemoglobin went from 10.9, the highest it had been in years, to 7.8… the pain was nearly unbearable, I could no longer eat, and had to rush to the bathroom every few minutes. More prednisone ensued, as well as iron infusions every other day for two weeks. Did I mention my only phobia is of needles? Still, I began to get better until the birth of my son on Dec. 2. It was like after the sigm oid all over again… finally I had to get back on prednisone. I couldn’t even walk from one room to another without nearly passing out and could barely hold my 6lbs 6oz baby. I am off it again, but am still in critical condition. My resting pulse is anywhere from 110 to 135, though my hemoglobin is up to 9.5. I barely leave the couch. I have been reading about the SCD, but chose GAPS due to the fact I have never tolerated dairy well. I started yesterday, but today was only able to get in one bowl of the chicken soup made exactly to the GAPS guide. Something about soup makes me very full quickly, and leaves me unable to eat, and all I seem to really want is fresh salads. I don’t know what to do at this point. I do not want to go back on steroids! I want hope that there is a way to get better that my body will allow me to do…
-submitted by Maria
I have tried several forms of mesalamine, but it never made a difference. Sulfasalazine worked great for my uc, but I had a severe allergic reaction to it which caused an itchy rash all over my body.