Diagnosed with Colitis at 19 – Maria Maria


19 year old College student from New York

(while I was posting Maria’s story, I thought Carlos would be happy to play for her, feel free to listen while you read. -adam)

Current UC Symptoms:

Joint pain in knees, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, acne, hair growth, swollen face, weight gain, bloating.


After the Holidays everything seemed to go down hill for me. I started to have constant diarrhea, and was unable to control my bowl movements. I went to my family doctor and was told that i had a virus and it would pass. Still a week went by and i was still having to constantly using the bathroom they put me on antibiotics, and I still didn’t get better, so i was put on a second round.It was really torture going back to school for the Spring Semester and not being able to control my bowel movements.I was kept being told that it was just a virus, but then I started to notice that my diarrhea now was starting to look abnormal I would go to the bathroom and it would look like beige pieces of popcorn, i thought nothing of it. However it began to progress and i started noticing blood. I went back to my family doctor and they started that i see a gastroenterologist right away because blood in your stool is never a good sign.

After meeting with a gastroenterologist he recommended i have a colonoscopy. I was terrified being only 19 and having to get a colonoscopy, but i knew i had to go threw with it. I had my colonoscopy February 9th 2012. They found that i had an ulcer in my colon and told me it could be treated with a hydrocortisone enema for 2 weeks. After doing the enema for a week i realized that there was no improvement at all and that my symptoms were getting worse. My doctor suggested that i double up on medications, so i started doing the enema at night and a canasa suppository in the morning. However the canasa suppository in the morning did not work out so well since i was going to the bathroom about every 30 mintutes. I still was having no improvement at all. I called my Doctor again and he decided to add 4 Lialda pills. When i took the 4 lialda pills i instantly threw it up. I guess taking four horse pills at one time was to much on my stomach. I called my doctor right away and he wrote me a prescription for prednisone steroids. I was taking the prednisone along with everything else for one week and noticed no improvement at all. Matter of fact everything was getting worse, i was going to the bathroom 15, 20 times a day and every time i went the toilet was full of blood. Something just wasn’t right, on February 28 2012 i went to the hospital because i was not responding to at home treatment.

At the hospital my Doctor told me that i was going to need a second colonoscopy so he could see what was going on. I had my second colonoscopy February 29th 2012. My Doctor was amazed by what he found, the inflammation has spread a large amount which was why i was bleeding so much. He was shocked because he usually sees progression like that in 5 years not a matter of a few weeks. I was immediately put on iv steroids for a week. I was so happy that the iv steroids were working and all my symptoms were getting better.

When i came home i was put on the prednisone steroids by pills for 2 months, and every week i would take a lower dosage. As im getting lower and lower on my steroids i am now taking a canasa suppository, 2 lialdas ( working on it little by little to get up to 4) and 6mp.

I can honestly say that right now I’m in a much better place and am trying to get into remission. Even though i had to end up taking a medical leave for school this semester i know that my health comes first and everything else could wait.

Some questions i have..

  • What foods have you found to make you flare up?


  • What were your side affects to prednisone, and how long did it take to go away?


Where I’d Like to Be in a Year:

Remission,having my colitis under control & back in school

My Medications:
hydrocortisone enema(no longer using)
I think my case was too far along which is why i didn’t work for me.
Canasa suppository(currently using)
I use it every night, and so far so good i really think it helps
Lialda( currently taking 2, need to get up to 4)
6mp(currently using)
Prednisone(currently using, getting off little by little)
The side affects have really got a toll on me physically and emotionally.
Physically i gained weight because i am constantly hungry and do not get full, it also made my face so swollen that i don’t look like my self at all which makes me not want to leave the house!, I also got alot of extra facial hair growing, hard time sleeping, and acne. All these side effects are emotionally getting to me because i just don’t look like my normal self, but the good news is that is temporary and that as you start wheeling off it goes away.

written by Maria

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

3 thoughts on “Diagnosed with Colitis at 19 – Maria Maria”

  1. I was diagnosed at 19 too! I had a colonoscopy 7 months ago after noticing blood in my stools and constant diarrhea. It’s scary shit. One day you’re a regular college student and the next you’re really sick and have all of these doctors, procedures, and meds. Thankfully after my most recent flare I’m almost in remission with canasa suppositories and apriso (mesalamine). Although I’ve never been on prednisone, my doc told me that’s the next drug we can try if this flare doesn’t go away.

    One thing that’s really helped is going on the SCD diet. I know it seems extreme, but it has made me feel so so much better. I’m hoping that in a year or two I can start to introduce some foods back into my diet. Even though I’m in a pretty bad flare after 3 months on the diet, physically I feel much stronger than I ever did on my previous flares where I was losing more blood and going to the bathroom more times per day.

    If you don’t want to go full SCD you can try taking out certain foods more slowly. I’ve always had problems with dairy so I started cutting back on that until I had completely omitted it. Then I did the same with gluten. Once I had gotten used to not eating these two groups, I started on the Intro SCD diet.

    Being home on medical leave makes it easier to start adjusting your diet because you can make everything there. However, once you go back to school it might be a lot harder if you don’t have a kitchen. I have a kitchen so I can make all of my food but I did meet with the dining services manager at my school to identify what I could eat on the menu and that really helps for days when I’m in a rush.

    Good Luck! If you have any other questions or want another college student to rant to here is my email: adewey[at]scu[dot]edu


  2. sorry to hear you’ve had such a suckish time with your colitis! I’m glad to hear things are getting back on track :)

    and to answer your questions, everyone’s food triggers are different (mine are coca cola, beef, beans, corn, anything high in fiber or anything very high in sugar.) so it takes some experimenting.

    my side effects from prednisone were Moon face, acne, hot flushes, rapid weight gain (I gained 3 stone in 3 weeks the first time on prednisone, i’m on my 3rd course right now.) hair loss, insomnia, excessive energy, water retention and quite a few more less severe side effects. they didn’t take long to go away, by the time I was on 20mg the moon face started to settle down, the hot flushes were gone, I wasn’t eating like crazy and the water retention stopped, but it’s been 6 months and my acne still isn’t gone! (I never really suffered with acne before the steroids, so it’s really frustrating!!)

    also, heads up with 6MP that in people around our age (you’re about a year older than me :P) that you need to constantly do skin checks, every day if possible! because it’s possible to develop skin cancer or lymphoma as a result of immunosupression. it’s rare, but it’s something to watch out for! just look for moles or anything irregular, and feel under your armpits and around your neck for bumps, report them if they start to grow!

    don’t wanna scare you, just making sure you know about these things! :)

    if you ever need someone to talk to, I’m always up for talking to colitis people :D
    my skype is JamieIsLame2011 and my email is jamiedoran[at]gmail[dot]com :)

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