Extreme Tiredness, Diarrhea, Loss of Appetite, Anaemia, Joint Pain


Hi my name is Astrid and I am from South Africa. For two years now I have been suffering with abdominal pain, diarrhea, mucus in loose stools, severe tiredness, weight loss, hardly any appetite and just recently extreme joint pain that actually grabbed me while I was sleeping. The joint pain attacked me for three consecutive nights while I was asleep and then stopped well that extreme attack of pain stopped. My problem is I cannot afford medical attention so I took a chance and started taking corticosteroids and Pentasa and low and behold it worked. For a while at least I do still get moderate joint pain still have a non existent appetite and do get tired very easily. I know self diagnosis is not the solution and I am saving for a gastroentorologist and a colonoscopy. Do you know of anyone who is from SA who is in a similar situation? I KNOW I have UC because of my symptoms and self medicating (with a pharmacists help) I had no choice but to try the medication and it worked. Do you perhaps know where I can get help in SA? I live in Johannesburg.

Some more about me:

I am from South Africa. I loved hiking but no longer have the energy to do it anymore. I love to read, watch great movies, dance and socialize which has unfortunately taken a knock to. I have informed my loved ones and friends and they are loving and supportive. I know you may all think I am crazy but I know I have it I have had all the symptoms for two years and reading about my bizarre attack of joint pain while I am asleep was the cherry on the cake.


Currently – Extreme tiredness, mucus in stools, diarrhea, loss of appetite, anaemia, joint pain, abdominal pain. I have not had rectal bleeding that I can notice but the color in the stool ranges from maroon to dark green with mucus

My Story:

I have suffered with the symptoms of UC for two years and was diagnosed by a State doctor without a colonoscopy. I can’t afford one yet. I decided when the symptoms were really bad to try prednisone and Pentasa and it worked the flare up stopped. I am saving up for a colonoscopy and a gastroenterologist I know it was risky but with the help of a pharmacist the “Flare Up” subsided for a while. Please if there is help in SA for people like me who cannot afford the medical costs that you know of, please let me know. The State hospitals do not assist like the USA’s do. I am just scared I loose my job because I am constantly off ill and it is affecting my life badly. You guys who have been confirmed UC sufferers tell me how it started for you, what can I do in the meantime to cope? Do I carry on with the corticosteroids and Pentasa? What else can I do until I can afford to see the gastroentorologist and pay for a colonoscopy ? I just am scared because who knows maybe I have Crohn’s, the one good thing is I only run to the loo about 8 -9 times a day so am I in the early stages? It has only been two years since the symptoms started but I now know I am in trouble and feel really scared I will die if I don’t get help. I am frustrated because the State Hospitals in SA offer very little help and I don’t know where to go for medical experts that help us less financially fortunate people. Please dont ignore my plea for help and support, guys and girls I know I have either UC or Crohn’s. Please help. thanks


Prednisone and Pentasa, Vitamin B12 injections and lots of vitamins and Probiotics.

written by Astrid

submitted in the colitis venting area

2 thoughts on “Extreme Tiredness, Diarrhea, Loss of Appetite, Anaemia, Joint Pain”

  1. Astrid,

    I’m terribly sorry that times are so tuff for you right now. If I was in your shoes, I’d definitely consider looking into treating the symptoms with diet. That is a big part of what I do, and it has helped me in a MAJOR way for more than four years now.

    I’m going to email you the two ebooks I’ve written. Read them through. One talks about my experience with UC medications, doctors, and many other topics. The second ebook is all about food and what meals my family makes to keep me feeling good. I think they will help you.

    As for help specifically in South Africa, I just sent a post out to the facebook.com/ihaveuc group with a plea for anybody in J-Bird. That may help you as well.

    I wish you the best in the coming days and months and years. Please keep us posted,


  2. Hi Astrid
    I stay in Pretoria and have had UC for 6 years now but have been in remission for 2 because I am now on the Revellex infusions every 6 weeks. I can’t stress enough how important itis to go and see a GI. I see Dr Bond at UNITAS and he is very good but I am sure there are others in JHB. If there is anyway you can get on to a medical aid do it even if you just have a hospital plan to start off with. UC is a PMB condition so the medical aids have to pay for most of the treatments. You will only need an expensive one if like me you need to go on the Revellex treatment. You will need to be officially diagnosed first. Do your homework on everything and good luck! I know it really doesn’t feel like it now but you can get through this! :)

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