A Newbie to Ulcerative Colitis at 71

Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at 71

jack diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 71

I’m a male 71 yeas old and was diagnosed with UC about 6 weeks ago! Previously I had occasional bleeding hemorrhoids for several years. About 1 year ago I had more frequent episodes with blood in my stool and mistakenly thought it to be the hemorrhoids, probably some denial there! Also I developed a strange back ache about 2 years ago which now seems to be directly related to the UC! About 2 months ago I experienced bloody diarrhea with cramping which would keep me on the toilet for hours at a time! I was prescribed Mesalamine 375mg 8 per day 4 in the morning and 4 in the evening. This has a quick effect in eliminating the symptoms within several days. However, I believe I’m having side effects, stomach cramps, headache in the temple area, and increased back ache and confused thinking. I’m going to start tomorrow on 1/2 doses per the doctor, hoping this will lessen the side effects. I would really appreciate other peoples stories with t his medication?

More about Jack:

I’m a retired Mechanical Engineer, now into photography, birds being my big passion as well as landscapes. I operated an on-line music business for about 10 years that was semi successful, but no longer in existence. I served 2 years in the Army during Viet Nam, and worked 30 years in engineering!

Colitis Symptoms:

My colon seems back to normal. BM’s are close to normal, no diarrhea, just what I think are side effects of the Mesalamine, stomach cramps, head aches, fuzzy thinking and back ache. These come and go and seems to come a couple hours after meals?

I’m of the opinion I’ve cause this condition by excessive anxiety which has greatly increased after the latest election and political atmosphere in this country! I’m working on meditation techniques aimed at sending healing vibes to the colon, reducing the amount of news and negativity coming from TV and internet. I’ve also started a new exercise program, bike riding which I feel I can maintain on a regular basis.

written by Jack Sutton

submitted in the colitis venting area




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20 Responses to A Newbie to Ulcerative Colitis at 71

  1. Bev June 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm #

    Lol…I don’t mean to joke about UC, but can we now add ’45’ (donald trump) to the list of causes of UC?

    • Lisa August 11, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

      Rump hurts my rump! 45 is definitely causing flare-ups.

  2. Lorri June 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    JACK YOU HAVE THIS HALF LICKED BY YOUR EXCELLENT INSIGHT AND DOING VARIOUS NATURAL THINGS TO HEAL. I BET AFTER CUTTING THE MED DOWN YOUR SIDE EFFECTS WILL LESSEN GREATLY. I AM 63 AND FEEL BETTER SAME MED AS YOU WHEN I TOOMK 1 AT BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER. IT TOOK ME SO MUCH LONGER TO REALIZE THE STRESS WAS MAKING ME 100XWORSE THAN I NEEDED TO BE. GIVE IT 3 MORE MONTHS AND YOU WILL BE FEELING GREAT, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND CANT WAIT TO HEAR THAT THINGS ARE IMPROVING.

  3. Jack Sutton
    Jack Sutton June 11, 2017 at 6:08 pm #

    Thanks so much for your input Lorri, that’s very encouraging! I’m now on the reduced dosage and feel the side effects may have lessened! I’m still confused about flare ups as opposed to chronic conditions. I suspect I’ve had UC for over 1 year but did not recognize it as such until recently when I lost weight and needed to be by a bathroom pretty much constantly! Have you been off the medication at all or take the meds on a regular basis? It’s scary to realize if the meds don’t work, or stop working, the consequences are very troubling! Stress can’t be good for anything and surly not good for the body or mind. I think my stress reduction plan is working, but diligence is necessary as outside stresses can blindside you! Thanks again for your input, and keep me updated on your situation?

    • Barbara August 4, 2017 at 8:11 am #

      Hi jack. Really impressed with you and your positive look on the future with uc. That’s what I’m lacking at the moment. Being positive about the future. Like you I was diagnosed this year mine in middle July and on mesalazine. Doing OK but do feel nausea some days but only been on 2 weeks so we will see. I use to ride my bike before all this popped up. Can’t seem to get motivated but reading your post might give me the push it need… keep me posted please x

      • Jack Sutton
        Jack Sutton August 6, 2017 at 11:59 am #

        Hi Barbara,

        Sometimes side effects lessen once your body adjusts! I had daily gas pains about 2 times a day for about 30 minutes when I was on the higher dose (3gm) of mesalamine but that went away when the dosage was reduced to 1.5mg! That was the worse side effect, I still have other lesser ones, fuzzy thinking, fatigue and some allergy type things!

        Motivation is a big issue and I have issues with it all the time! Right now I should be on the bike but instead I’m just procrastinating! I think exercise should be a key activity in dealing with UC but it’s not easy, exercise is harder to get motivated when it’s felt more like a chore! Long ago I used to commute to work on my bike, and that was good because the bike ride was not a chore but a means of transportation, it had to be done regardless if you drove or biked!
        Anyway, keep in touch and I wish you the best in your dealings with UC!

        Jack

        • Barbara August 15, 2017 at 10:05 am #

          Hi jack. So glad your feeling better after reducing your meds. My nausea is not as bad now and been out on my bike, didt want to but so glad I did. What’s your diet like? Not been to see consultant or dietitian yet. anyway take care and keep in touch

  4. Lorri June 12, 2017 at 2:58 am #

    I STAY ON THE MED ALWAYS. FOR THE PAST YEAR JUST 1 AT NIGHT AND DOING GREAT. YES IT IS CONSIDERED CHRONIC UC BUT FOR PAST YEAR IT ONLY FLARES UP WHEN I EAT CRAZY OR ALLOW STRESS TO CONTROL ME. YOU DEFINATELY CAN CONTROL UC AND WORK WITH ALL THE TOOLS YOU ALREADY HAVE IN PLACE! KEEP GOING !

    • Jack Sutton
      jack sutton August 15, 2017 at 10:17 am #

      Hi Barbara, glad you’re on the bike, exercise is good! I’m totally confused about diet, I have not researched the diet talked about on this site, I plan to do that! So my diet is the same as when this UC stuck, I think bread may be an issue for me, but honestly I don’t know! What meds and dosage are you on? I’m thinking I may be having a flare now, very depressing!

      • Barbara August 16, 2017 at 1:54 am #

        Hi jack. Sorry to hear your feeling rubbish. One day you think you’ve got it covered then Wam bam it rears it’s ugly head, I feel nausea some days and when I do I chew on gum, (don’t think it’s good for you but it eases the nausea )
        I’m still on 6, 400mg of mesalazine a day + 1 mesalazine foam enema at night. Still waiting on hospital apt…diet is hit and miss no help as yet so Google a lot. I eat mainly fish, chicken. Rice, mash, pasta, eggs. Gonna try some porridge and I always toast my bread..really loved my food and a social drink think that’s the hardest part…but onwards and upwards and it’s good to share things so show IT who’s the boss. Keep in touch x

        • Jack Sutton
          jack sutton August 23, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

          Hi Barbara,

          I’ve seem to have recovered somewhat, fingers crossed! The social drink is hard for me to give up, so I haven’t so far! Your diet sounds like what my diet should be, I’m going to aim in that direction! I just had a very long drive to Oregon to see the eclipse, I did pretty well as far as bathroom breaks, my home drive was 14 hours, probably stopped about 6 times, combining food, gas and bathrooms, not too bad!

  5. Paul S
    Paul S June 12, 2017 at 7:43 am #

    Jack,

    I am 61 and have had UC for almost 20 years. I can’t give you any advice on the Mesalamine, as I am allergic to sulfa based drugs, but I can tell you that if for some reason the mesalamine doesn’t work (and it seems to be working very well for you) there are other alternatives. I was on Imuran for several years until about 2 years ago when it stopped working for me. I have now been on Humira for almost a year and it works pretty well for me. I can also tell you that I took up bike riding about 10 years ago and it has worked wonders for me, not just with UC, but it’s really helped keep me in good shape which my gastro agrees is a great help when I do get a bad flare. I used to be a runner, but as I’ve gotten older, the constant pounding was taking it’s toll.

    In addition to meditation you might try yoga as well. A bit of the same principle, and you’re right, stress can be a factor for many of us. I’m trying to turn off the news and go for a walk in the woods with my dog instead.

    Good luck.

  6. Wendy June 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi Jack.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Have you had your blood checked for iron deficiency? Before I was diagnosed i was feeling ‘fuzzy’ because of low iron caused by bleeding? I am on pentasa – but now I have a flare… sigh.

  7. Jack Sutton
    Jack Sutton June 13, 2017 at 9:32 am #

    Thanks Paul, that’s very encouraging, I’ll look into yoga as well, spiritual work is very important for sure! While plunking my guitar one day, I noticed I could feel the bass string vibration in my gut and thought why not throw sound therapy into the mix, certainly cant hurt? I found these binaural beats videos on YouTube and play them on my laptop while it’s resting on my stomach, I can feel the vibes inside me! So who knows, but I’ve decided to have a multi approach, exercise, meditation, medication, diet and whatever sounds possible!

    • Pat June 22, 2017 at 9:19 am #

      Hi Jack,
      Another newbie here at age 70. Just received my dx yesterday with sx of light rectal bleeding starting some 3 weeks ago and then changing to bloody diarrhea of late. Dr. putting me on Mesalamine 4 caps a day which I started with 2 today to see if I could tolerate. So far so good….but this is scary stuff as this came out of blue (I think) and my health has been very good to date. Just wanted to say I’m in there with you and am researching all I can about this. Would like to hear more about your efforts to control this nasty stuff. [btw, I pretty much have turned off all news sources since Nov 1–denial helps with stress!) Patricia

  8. Pat June 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

    Hi Jack,
    Another newbie here at age 70. Just received my dx yesterday with sx of light rectal bleeding starting some 3 weeks ago and then changing to bloody diarrhea of late. Dr. putting me on Mesalamine 4 caps a day which I started with 2 today to see if I could tolerate. So far so good….but this is scary stuff as this came out of blue (I think) and my health has been very good to date. Just wanted to say I’m in there with you and am researching all I can about this. Would like to hear more about your efforts to control this nasty stuff. [btw, I pretty much have turned off all news sources since Nov 1–denial helps with stress!) Patricia

    • Jack Sutton
      Jack Sutton July 9, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi Karen,

      Sorry for the late reply, I just saw this post now! I don’t know what caused this condition, but stress certainly is something to be avoided if possible? I’m trying to reduce my stress by not get involved in the current political situation, easier said then done! I started on 3 gms of Mesalamine which eliminated all the symptoms, diarrhea and bleeding. I’ve now reduced my meds to 1.5 grams for the last 5 weeks. I’m still symptom free, so I’m encouraged. With the larger dosage 3 grams, I had some side effects, cramping, lack of concentration, tiredness and fuzzy thinking (that could be old age) Anyway with the reduced dosage, the cramping has subsided, which is a relief, it actually disturbed my sleep! The other side effects are still present, not of great concern, just annoying!

      I keep thinking, what can I do to help myself, and so here is my plan! Exercise, I’m doing about 20 minutes every other day on the bike, it gets my heart rate up, and I can’t see any disadvantages to exercise, if you are physically able to do it? Divorce my self from the horrible political situation by not watching TV, and avoiding conflict on the internet by not visiting political sites! Meditation, like exercise I can only see positive value in this! It quiets the mind of reduces stress. Next, don’t know if this is beneficial at all but I’ve been listening to binaural beats and this sound seems to travel into my body to my organs if I place the laptop on my stomach while listening. I have a mantra that goes like, my colon is relaxed and healthy repeating this while I do it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFcWe638drM
      This could be complete folly but what can it hurt?

      Anyway, I’d be interested in your progress, lets keep in touch, let me know how you are doing?

      Jack Sutton

  9. Karen July 9, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    Hey Jack, it’s very good you’re on to the “I have UC”
    site, and Adam… he’s got it down to a science. Since everyone is a little different, there’s always
    something for everybody.. and so many folks are
    sharing their experience. Please look into the SCD
    diet. Not a weight loss diet,…. a way of healthy eating diet, that keeps the intestines from responding
    with an autoimmune disease that is UC. It also helps
    Crohns… as many of the UC meds do also. Best
    of luck, and be well…,,

    • Jack Sutton
      Jack Sutton July 9, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

      Thank you Karen, I will check out the SCD diet and give you some input once I’ve done that!

      Jack Sutton

  10. Jack Sutton
    Jack Sutton July 12, 2017 at 9:23 am #

    Sorry one of my post was directed to Pat’s comments and not Karen’s!

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