My name is Garret I am 23 years old and just diagnosed but have had symptoms for a long time without realizing it. From California but i currently live in South Korea.
Living in South Korea with Ulcerative Colitis
Hey guys as the bio says I am recently diagnosed but now that I look back on it I have always had issues. I have always had dairy digestive problems and in college had some very minor flare-ups but they where always dismissed as enteritis or a result of my diet ( at the time I was a vegetarian, so I doubt that) but figured it was probably alcohol and just running the body ragged with work, school, and social life. I have had two separate occasions in the past year and a half where i would have severe discomfort and blood in my stools. The first time it went away just changing the diet and taking it easy a couple days but this last time it kept persisting. I dealt with it for about a week and was under stress from that and my job but it never got any better only worse and I was having a lot of blood. So I finally phoned in my work one day and after much explaining told them I was going to the hospital.
The doctor at first also said that a little blood in the stools was cuz I was young and probably a cause of drinking as many men young and old fall victim to sever enteritis in Korea due to the country’s heavy drinking culture. I gave a stool sample and came back a week later still uncomfortable and he requested a colonoscopy and the initial diagnosis was UC. I needed to wait another week before the biopsy results during which they put me on a low grade anti-inflammatory, which was totally ineffective. During that time i started introducing the SCD diet into my life and have to say its basically like being a vegetarian again but with a little cheating on the side.
The biopsy and a talk with my Dr. out here confirmed it all and he has decided to start me out on very lite doses of Methylprednisolone (8mg a day) and Asacol (1200mg) since I had no effect to the other lighter drug. He said that this is the standard international treatment for mild colitis and has given me all the necessary information to pass onto my doctor in California and of course I will get as many opinions as a can. However it has been somewhat stressful for me being in a foreign country and the different bedside manner of the doctors in Korea.
They are often very fast
and you really have to press them
to have any questions answered.
I did not want to be on prednisolone or anything but he was very quick and uninformative about any possible side effects, he prefers patients that are not involved in decision making. In his defense though, in a quick amount of time my symptoms are quickly going away and I truly believe if i stay on this medication and continue the diet I will be in remission and hopefully off of meds.
I really want to give my thanks to this site and all you fellow UCers. Being in a foreign country only about one friend and my girlfriend are there to understand what colitis even means let alone being able to pronounce it. Trying to talk to my Korean co-workers about it is always a bit frustrating and having to explain to them I don’t have cancer and I don’t need to eat more kimchi is always a good laugh for myself, but this site is a great asset!
Luckily I’m surprising my family in a bout a week by going home which turned out to be amazing timing. During that time i will see all the necessary folks to get as much input on this as i can.
My question/concern is that I love to travel
that is why I am out here in the first place.
My next trip is suppose to be to Cambodia in a month so I want to know if anyone has any advice about traveling with UC? What do you eat? Traveling with meds and paper work cuz i have never done it before? And what do you do if you start having symptoms and you are traveling far or on a plane or a bus or what? Any input anyone has would be great and I thank all the people that are so positive it is having a great effect on me.
written by Garret
submitted in the Colitis Venting Area
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