Flaring Like the 4th of July…

Amy teacher with colitisBio:

I am a 25 year old teacher from Minnesota. I was an athlete my whole life, played basketball for over 15 years. I’ve always had stomach/digestive problems but they started with extreme constipation. At one point when I was 17, I was constipated for roughly 2 1/2 months. Needless to say I ended up in the hospital. After my hospital stint my stomach didn’t give me too many problems for a few years. I graduated graduate school and started teaching in the Fall of 2009! I experienced my first symptoms the final month of school (June 2009). I had no idea what was going on with my body but I knew it wasn’t good. I was admitted to the hospital, for 10, LONG, days as they tried ruling out pretty much everything. I went through ultrasounds, colonoscopies, CAT scans, and even had exploratory surgery. I was finally released from the hospital. I missed the last 10 days of schools, my (first) last day of school with my students,and a family wedding. After that I felt very little symptoms with the occasional week long diarrhea’s but manageable pain.

My Symptoms:

I started at a new school this past fall, and the level of stress quadrupled overnight. I was back in the hospital the first Friday of school with unmanageable pain, and trips to the bathroom that left my throwing up and in even more pain- my fiancé brought me in. The doctors ran the usual tests and came to the conclusion that my colon was not happy. I started on Asacol in the fall after my stint in the ER, but it made me so incredibly nauseous that my doctor weaned me off of it. I ended back in the ER in December- same symptoms, same results. It is now the end of May and I just left the ER for the 3rd time. I am miserable. I’m having daily flares (amplified when I have my period) and nothing I eat seems to settle well. I’m down 5lbs in less then a week. I go see a new GI specialists in a few weeks, who specializes in UC. Constant stomach pain/cramping, urges all day, not able to eat anything without getting a stomach ache and feeling like I’m going to throwing up.

My UC Story:

I was a go with the flow, beer loving, cooking fanatic, with a MAJOR sweet tooth. I am now stuck in a food hating rut, that is causing me to get frustrated!! I am concerned that I can’t seem to find food that my UC will accept! I love to cook but I am struggling to find UC and Diabetic friendly recipes (my fiancé is a type 1 diabetic).

I have a HUGE sweet tooth and recently gave up soda, so that’s helped but what sweet treat ideas so people have!?

I love restaurant patios and being a Minnesotan, we are just coming into our summer months!

What cocktails/beers drinks

will I be able to enjoy this summer??

Beer is my absolute favorite drink, and I definitely slowed down but I enjoy a beer on a Saturday with friends, or with dinner on occasion. Any brands people are having better luck with?

I am also getting married in about a year and I’m worried about what I will be able to eat? What can we put on our menu that my body will energize and accept??

I am over being shy/embarrassed by doctors and what they have to do. I just wish they could figure out a plan to keep my comfortable and flare free.

My family doesn’t know a whole lot about UC and don’t ask many questions just if I’m ok, so my fiancé and I are figuring this out on our own. My mom had to bring me to the ER and spent half of my visit telling my doctor about how I internalize stress and I just need to have faith….I was ready to scream, more than I already was. My fiancé has been my rock and without him I’d be a puddle!

My fiancé and I are getting married next May and plan to have a family right away…I’m concerned that my UC is going cause complications because of my fluctuating diet and stress from UC. Anyone have advice??

Where I’d Like to be in 1 Year:

FLARE FREE, comfortable and with a good care plan in place. I want my wedding day to be everything we dreamed of without UC causing our day to get complicated quick. Happy, healthy and comfortable is all I ask!

Colitis Medications:

I was on Asacol but it caused extreme nausea, I go back to the GI to hopefully start a new plan in a few weeks!

written by Amy

submitted in the colitis venting area


11 thoughts on “Flaring Like the 4th of July…”

  1. Congrats on the impending wedding!

    When I’m planning on attending an all day event and am unsure if my guts will behave, I usually eat extremely light or not at all. If your wedding is a year off, you have some time to get together a plan with your GI and experiment with what foods work best for you.

    I haven’t been able to tolerate beer at all since I started having symptoms of UC in 2003. I’ve been on Asacol and mesalamine enemas since 2006-ish. Even when I’m in remission, beer sends me straight into a flare; so does tequila. Wine, vodka and rum don’t cause me problems though.

    Try to keep your plans flexible and when you get tired, rest. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do.

  2. Hey Amy, good topic! sounds like you have been through alot!!!!
    I thought the exact same thing when I was diagnosed! That was literally the first thing that came to mind! Will I ever drink again!? It took me a few weeks to realize how crazy I was to freak out over drinking alcohol. I actually have not had a sip since I was diagnosed back in Jan 2011. Never though I would be sober at age 21. The last time actually drank was a about a month after my 20th birthday. I recall having three drinks at a party. I ran to the bathroom 8 times that night,it honestly was one of the most embarrassing/worst nights of my life. It was a horrible night,I sill remember running to the bathroom literally shitting pure blood, the bad thing was their was no toilet paper left and I ended up leaving at like 2am and had to drive home in a snow blizzard and had the urge to go while I was drinving home. I held it in somehow till I got to my house, I got out of my car and slipped on the ice and fell in the snow haha and ran stright to my bathroom, needless to say I had a long night, and didn’t want to experience that ever again.So I guess thats the main reason I dont give in to the urge to drink haha. Like you I used to be pretty big partier I would say haha. I liked to go out and booze it up, sometimes till the sunrised and top it off with a good meal from the McDonalds.(definitly some good memories). But unfortunately life through a curve ball at me. Right now I decided that beer isnt for me, I haven’t tried it since I was diagnosed, and dont plan on it anytime soon.I really feel it contributed to my flare up that got me diagnosed. Obviously you like to have a few cold ones on the weekend, and who doesnt? Everyone is affected different, once your in remission,a few beers might not bother you at all, but if you somewhat in a flare and you drink one, you could have a bad night. Its all about listening to your body, and your the only one that know when something isnt quite right. I follow the SCD diet, and it says that vodka, bourbon and gin are allowed on occasion.I would consider the weekend occasions. Have you ever tried switching to drinking something like OJ and vodka, but I know you like beer so have you considered a gluten free beer(not sure if that would help much). I heard of a few gluten free beers, I recall hearing about some brewery in Colorado that specialized in gluten free beer. But vodka and OJ don’t seem half bad, plus your a female that’s about as a girly of drink you can get. Honestly I think the hops and barely and wheat in beers and the worse for UC from what I heard. Have you even considered brewing you own beer. My buddy used to do that in high school. I guess you just gotta keep trying till you find out what you body can and cant handle.
    Overall I hope I helped somewhat,but when it comes down to it, UC isn’t the end of the world and theirs way more to life than drinking, I learned that the hard way and really don’t miss hangovers and the messes alcohol caused.
    Best of LUCK to you and have a good summer vaca!

    1. If you are taking any of the Asacol or other drugs you better talk to the doc first about the drinking. It can be really hard on the liver and topping it off with alcohol could be dangerous. But, just ask the doctor if you can according to what you are taking. Better to be safe!!!

  3. Hi Amy,

    I wanted to shoot you back a few ideas to some of your questions:

    – about your wedding coming up and what to have on the menu… well, if I was invited, and since I also have UC and my restricted diet is a huge part of how I treat myself, as long as there was some chicken and vegetables on the plate without any crazy sauces mixed in, I’d be super happy
    – regarding alcohol to drink/beer, I’m sorry to say that I have not had any beer in over 2 years now due to the carbohydrates that are inside it which negatively affects my UC, and I rarely drink. BUT, if I did have a drink which still happens on a rare occassion, a whiskey on the rocks or some vodka on the rocks works well for me and many other people do the same with success too. This is all part of the SCD diet program for eating.

  4. to answer your question about alcohol, i would say there is no specific alcohol that works better with uc. I was diagnosed when i was 18 and now im 21 and i havnt drinken for about a year. Ive tried all kinds of different beers, malt liquors, hard alcohols, and wines and they all make your symptoms much worse and can damage your flarring uc and make your intestines and uc even worse in the future. At first i hated the idea of not being able to drink cus i was used to going out and partying about 4 days a week. But if you want to be able to manage your uc i would try and avoid alcohol. Beer seems to be the worst because of the alcohol but mostly the carbination. Hope you get better, best of luck.

  5. Hey Amy! I am also from Minnesota! Small world. I completely understand your complications with UC. I have the same exact symptoms, so you’re not alone. You said that you are just taking asacol right now? Well there are a few other options for you, medicine wise. Right now I am on asacol, Imuran, prednisone and remicade. And paired together, I seem to be having ok luck. So when you see your doctor next hopefully they put you on some medicine that can better control your symptoms! My mom also tried to tell an ER doc that I was flaring due to internalizing stress… Mom, can’t live with them, can’t live without them!! Best of luck Amy. Feel free to email me. Rmhowry@aol.com

  6. BETTER NEWS!!!!

    I have been a fine connoisseur of alcoholic beverages for too many decades to think about. UC sucks bad if you like to drink and party….BUT I find vodka, water and slice or 2 of lime is pretty, tasty, keeps you hydrated, doesn’t bother my flare, even in the midst of one. Anything else, well get the hell out of the bathroom, cause I’m coming in.

    P.S. a word of advice, limit the vodka too less than 13 ozs at a sitting. results may vary after that :)

  7. BETTER NEWS!!!!

    I have been a fine connoisseur of alcoholic beverages for too many decades to think about. UC sucks bad if you like to drink and party….BUT I find vodka, water and slice or 2 of lime is pretty, tasty, keeps you hydrated, doesn’t bother my flare, even in the midst of one. Anything else, well get the hell out of the bathroom, cause I’m coming in.

    P.S. a word of advice, limit the vodka to less than 13 ozs at a sitting. results may vary after that :)

  8. hi–try starting the day with bananas and homemade yogurt (I do the SCD diet also). Dry red wine works for me, but I never loved beer. Butternut squash as a soup base with chicken and broth helps when I am flaring–it’s about the only thing can eat besides bananas. Good luck!

  9. I spent two weeks in the hospital and found out that I have UC. I am on Asacol and Prednisone. I used to love my beer on a daily basis. It’s been a couple of months now and I am still afraid to try a beer, plus the doctors say no way to alcohol. I heard that German beer is ok because it doesn’t have sulfites????? Anyone else heard of that. As far as the medication goes, man that is rough. Swelling of the ankles and knees, acne, weight gain, sleeplessness. This sucks!!!!

  10. Hi,

    I have had UC for 4 years now and have been on mesalamine (lialda). Here is what I suggest

    Eat (if ur body can digest)
    Plain Organic probiotic yogurt
    Bee pollen or propolis (500mg 2 times a day)
    Green leafy veggies cooked (NOT RAW)
    Lentils (indian or mediterranean recipe)
    fish / fish oil
    sun butter ( try for a few weeks. causes bleeding to some ppl)
    potatoes sometimes

    Dont Eat
    No milk or lactose products
    No wheat
    No insoluble fibre
    Carbonated drinks (NO BEER)
    NO Sugar or sweetener (honey is OK unless ur allergic to honey)
    no chocolate

    hope it helps

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