Busy, Stressed College Student

Introduction:

22 year old University student majoring in Information Technology and working 2 part time jobs. Stress has been a major irritant for me so I’ve been trying to relax as much as I can.

Some more about Steve:

I love(d) having fun, drinking, and partying with friends but since my diagnosis it’s been hard to even leave the house. I spend a lot of time at the computer so restroom urgency isn’t as big a deal as the frequency with which I use it but stomach cramps sometimes get so painful I become bedridden.

Symptoms:

loose stool, copious blood in stool, waking up in the middle of the night for the bathroom, loss of appetite and weight.

Busy, Stressed College Student

It’s only been a month and a half since I’ve been ‘diagnosed’ and even that isn’t set in stone yet as you will see:

It all started with light bleeding and minor amounts of loose stool I attributed to poor diet (buffalo chicken nachos are the best) but after another 2 weeks with increasing volume of blood I realized that I needed a colonoscopy. This was ironically the best part of my ordeal thus far, the prep was easy and I felt fine the days following.

Now the downhill shitstorm (no pun intended) begins. They see that the inflammation is throughout my intestine but I still have to wait ~1.5 weeks for my pathology results to be analyzed. Fast forward to me thinking there will be progress made now that the pathology results are in… Wrong again. They half-heartedly refer me to a GI nearby (Concord with Dartmouth) and I don’t hear anything for 2 more weeks. Turns out the GI office snail-mailed a letter telling me to set up an appointment to MY HOME ADDRESS out of state >

As of now I’m stuck in a phone-call war with the two offices and neither of them can acknowledge to the other that I need urgent medical attention :(

I’ve read that this feeling of loneliness is common but it feels so much more solitary away at college – even with friends to help me emotionally. I’m also worried that this was all caused from excessive amounts of stress (33 hours of classes + 25 hours of work = 58 hours of busy time NOT INCLUDING homework).

As far as diet goes I’m sticking to a low-fiber diet with no processed foods but i’m not seeing any monumental changes, I wish there was more of a baseline food plan for UCs.

Thanks for letting me vent… This actually felt pretty good.

Medications:

Prednisone 20mg – haven’t tried anything else because getting a GI appointment is proving to be difficult. Heard it’s supposed to increase the chance of depression but my current depressive state could be related to my loss of physical ability and bowel regularity.

written by Steve

submitted in the colitis venting area




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6 Responses to Busy, Stressed College Student

  1. Adam
    Adam May 8, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Hey Steve,

    I’m sorry to hear things are going tuff for you right now. You’ve got to keep your head up, and realize there’s a whole gang of UC’ers who have been where you’re at, and it does infact get better.

    Some food suggestions that you might want to consider (I”ve been treating my colitis with the help some major diet changes for nearly 4 years now with some pretty impressive results):

    – Cut out all soft drinks (coke, pepsi, POP, soda…whatever you want to call it. Too much sugar in that stuff, and tuff to digest properly)

    – Cut out breads and grains for a while and see how that feels. It’s tuff to do, especially if you’re used to eating bread all day long or at least every day. This means cereals, beer (lots of grainy stuff in beer), and bagels, toast as well.

    – Cut out pretty much all the deserts. That stuff too is full of sugars, often which are hard to digest

    – Meats, eat lots of that. I have found that when I’ve been in a nasty flare by going back to basics as I like to think of it and chowing on lots of meats like burger meat, chicken, and fish, well, that has helped me get past the symptoms and back on track.

    —At the end of the day, this type of diet thinking is what the SCD diet is all about. SCD Stands for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and is talked about lots on this website. The goal is to allow the gut bacteria a fighting chance to get on with their life in a non-inflammation sort of way.

    (you’ve also got to realize that the overwhelming majority of GI doctors feel that diet has absolutely nothing to do with IBD and Colitis. And that is not likely to change until these docs start reading some of the latest published reports at places like PUBMED and in some of the other journals that exist. But, at the same time, there is a growing number of folks (myself included) who have had better luck treating their UC with diet modifications (and stress reduction) compared to medications prescribed by gastroenterologists. That’s it plain and simple.)

    Best of luck to you, try your hardest to get rid of sugars for sometime and see how it helps you out. If you’d like to read/watch a video I made a few years back which details exactly what I ate to get out of a flare —- FEEL FREE. It’s at this link here on the site:

    https://www.ihaveuc.com/the-colitis-flare-beat-down-party-getting-out-of-my-flare/

  2. Deborah May 8, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Steve,

    I have been living with UC for 24 years now. Was diagnosed at 19. I have been on every medication you can think of.. prednisone, Asacol, Immuran, Colozal, Lialda, ect… I am currently taking Humira which has actually put my UC into remission, but am now suffering form Lupus syndrome from the Humira, so have to go off of it. UC has made my life a challenging one. For a very long time I never wanted to leave the house because I was afraid I would not make it to a bathroom in time. Everyday is a new day, you never know how you are going to feel. Being on the prednisone should help ypou feel better soon, but you need to be cautious of the side effects of the prednisone. Sometimes they make you feel worse. My only suggestion to you is make sure you have a good GI doctor, one that you like and trust because you will have that relationship for the rest of your life. I have a wonderful GI doctor. I trust him, and always consult with him on everything. You will also have to alter your life a bit in regards to what you eat, how you take care of yourself, limiting stress as much as possible. Its going to be difficult, but promise you it is possible and you will get there with the right determination on your part it just depends on how much you want it. Foods I avoid which have helped me: Carbonated drinks, Fatty foods, fried foods, Citrus foods, Foods that have acid ( pasta sauces, gravies) Seeds, Nuts, Foods that produce a lot of gas. I know it sounds like a lot, but there are also ways to work around it.. for example.. I can’t eat the skin of an apple, so I just peel it first. Stuff like that. I also don’t eat a lot of red meat. I eat a lot of chicken, fish.. My doctor has me on a high protein, low fat diet. It seems to be working for me. I only drink water. SInce I gave up soda, Ice tea, ectt about 6 years ago, I have noticed a trmendous difference in how I feel. Its going to take a lot of work on your part to figure out what you can and can’t eat, but once you do you’ll be on your way to feeling better. Also a key part to living with UC is the support and understanding of your family and friends, so always be sure to talk to them about it. Good Luck with everything.

  3. prince choudhary May 10, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Thats gud ideas.but i heared smoking is another option to get rid from this nasty disease.is it right adam

    • Kokos May 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      Its true!

      I am thinking about this option…

  4. Wendy
    Wendy May 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Steve,

    I agree with Deborah and Adam about the diet. I can’t eat meat without issues with my colon though, but I think that’s just me. I’ve never had an issue before I had UC but now it can send me into a bit of a flare if I eat a burger or a piece of chicken.

    Supplements like astaxanthine, chlorella, spirunila, and multivitains from melaleuca worked really well for me, but currently I am in a flare (from not following diet and taking my vitamins and supplements) and I added 50 billion count probiotic and l-glutamine a person on here Bev suggested and I have seen dramatic improvement in three days with a huge slow down of blood and Diarrhea. I am still ill in my flare, but it has improved greatly.

    I can’t stand prednisone but I’ll take it if I must. I refuse to take any other drugs. No way. I tried them and they have been bad news to me. The doctors actually think I’m crazy for not listening to them (which I think is crazy… who made them God?) and I make my own decisions for my body.

    IT has been very rough trying to figure out what is good for me. What Adam said is totally true for me about sugar. It is very bad for my body and really upsets my system. I’ve been weening off breads and that is helping a lot. I am at a loss for what to do for protein, but that’s just me again and my meat issue. Beans are not good for me either. NO vegetables or fruit for sure. Those really bother me. So not much left to eat. I would start by following that diet Adam suggested. I sort of follow it and it helps me. I think vitamins are critical as I think UC people lose so much nutrients. Also supplements are important… in my opinion anyway.

    Best of luck with the UC.

    Wendy

  5. Steve October 21, 2013 at 10:21 am #

    Hey guys, just remembered I posted this a while back and it felt really good to hear from some people who have ‘experience’ dealing with UC. Since the post I’ve been taking Canasa in the morning, Lialda with meals, and Cortifoam at night and it seems to help a bit – until I try to ween myself off and then the symptoms come back.

    My GE suggested that I go on Remicade if the current mix isn’t working, which worried me at first but now I’m warming up to the idea of taking less pills every day.

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