My name is Heather and I’m 28 years old. I live near Detroit, Michigan and I was diagnosed with UC in 2008. The most important thing in my life (next to family) is my running. I recently became a sponsored athlete but unlike most runners, I have a huge challenge with keeping my UC at bay so I can stay healthy enough to train. I would greatly appreciate any and all advice from my fellow UCers on how you manage to stay active and exercise with this disease. Thank you in advance for your support!
I was diagnosed at 24 after spending 7 days in the hospital after my initial flare. I was told I’d need surgery if my body didn’t start responding to medicine. Luckily, it did. Since then I have followed a very strict diet. I cut out all bad (or what I feel to be bad) foods. I don’t eat flour of any kind, sugars (other than fruit), dairy, soy, processed food, candy, sweets, soda, bread of any kind, cheese or milk, oatmeal, potatoes, rice, pasta, heavy foods and anything generally unhealthy. I have managed to stay pretty healthy this way. My only vice is that I love red wine. I have a glass every night with dinner and it helps to relax me and ease the pain of eating.
Running is my passion and I recently became a sponsored athlete. My UC is a huge challenge and I feel like I have no one to talk to about this because most elite runners have never even heard of this. It’s hard to admit but the extreme training I endure only eventually makes me sick and I just can’t believe that the thing I want most (to run an Olympic marathon qualifying time) may never happen because of my illness.
Does anyone else with UC have a problem with exercise- specifically running? My doctor told me I would never run another marathon again and sometimes I think he’s right. I usually flare from all the stress of marathon training and I end up having to skip out on the event, which doesn’t look good for a sponsored athlete. I have recently had several embarrassing accidents while running and I think the jarring impact of the running motion itself is to blame. I just want to be able to train like a normal athlete but I have a challenge no other runner has and who better to ask help from than other people with UC?
Where I’d like to be in 1 Year:
I would like to be off medication, out of my flare and training like an elite runner again. I would also like to think that a pregnancy will be easy- I’m concerned about that.
Currently, I flare about once a year. Asacol usually works pretty well for me but I find that I have a hard time getting off it. I’m pretty stubborn and hate taking it, so that’s my main challenge. I usually don’t need Prednisone when I flare and I have never tried anything but Asacol, but it has gotten me out of my flares every year. I also follow a diet very similar to Adam’s diet and I take a multi daily along with probiotics and fish oil.
written by Heather
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area