Son Returning To College


Hi! I’m a mom of a nineteen year old college student, who loves college life! Going to games, working out in the gym and hanging out with his friends eating pizza and subs. He starting having to go to the bathroom alot and having blood in the toilet.

My Son Has Colitis:

Son Colitis CollegeHe went to our family doctor and had test run on his stools, which all came back normal. The doctor sent him to a gastroenterology group.  He was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis two weeks ago , and had to drop out the last two weeks of the quarter. I have watched a teen go from going out with his friends and having fun to laying on the couch and running to the bathroom once a hour.

It is so hard to watch, I wish I could have it instead of him.

He is taking lialda four a day, it seemed to help for a week, he starting solid stools again. Then it went back to the same mucus stool. The doctor put him on prednisone for a month starting at 40mg a day. It has seemed to help, he is going the bathroom alot less and he is starting hang out with some of his friends. He will be starting college back at OSU in Jan. We got him his own dorm room and bath, so he would feel more comfortable in case of flare ups. My question is as a mom, how can I help him make the right choices with food to eat while he is there? Being a freshmen he has to have a meal plan there which isn’t cheap. I know that food there is not as healthy as it should be.

What could I bring to his dorm room for him to eat?

He has his on frig and micro combo in his room. As a mom I’m constantly worried about him. Questions I never thought I would ask my 19 year old son. How is your stool? Any blood? Are you having any cramps? Are you doing your enmas? How many times have you went to the bathroom today? What have you eaten today? I know I’m driving him crazy with all the questions! But I’m mother who loves her son and wants the best for him! Thanks for any help you can give me!

written by “Sheith”

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area



11 thoughts on “Son Returning To College”

  1. Dear Sheith,

    You are a super mom! It’s got to be hard as hell to see your 19 year old son going through such hard times, especially when he is just beginning college, and the college lifestyle.

    It reminds me of a family friend who is going through a very similar thing right now too, and who also had to drop out of first semester at school.

    It’s been an awfully long time since I went to college, but I do remember the dorm food. Oh yeah, good old Sewall Hall cafeteria up at CU Boulder.

    I am guessing that if I was in college and 19 years old, I wouldn’t want to hear about a hardcore diet(whcih is what I follow) so, i’ll try to give you some ideas of foods that I would DEFINITELY stay away from:

    – BBQ sauce
    – pancakes and syrup in the mornings
    – bagels and toast in the mornings (I can’t process breads at all, or grains for that matter)
    – ice cream, cookies, sweets (i avoid all refined sugars)
    – SODA, stay away from that stuff (sorry coke and pepsi, but I don’t mess with you guys at all, you jack up my colon)

    These are just a few ideas of things that I myself would stay away from completely.

    As for food ideas that you could help him with.
    If he has a good working regrigerator and maybe even small freezer, he might be interested in doing what I do for breakfast in the mornings.

    I make up a smoothie most mornings. It’s pretty awesome if you asked me:

    orange juice (the not from concentrate kind)
    frozen strawberries and blueberries
    peanut butter (the kind that has only peanuts and salt, no sugar added)
    1 ripe banana
    some honey (I LOVE HONEY)

    and then blend it up. You can make a large one, and if you do that, there’s definitely enough calories in there to get you through until lunchtime.

    Also, for breakfast, a few fried eggs or a scramble with eggs, and veggies is somethign I eat quite a bit. And a little bit of bacon every once in a while…

    I hope these ideas are of use to you.
    I have listed out a whole bunch more foods that I eat here:

    take care,
    and tell him good luck from me,

    1. Thanks for the great advice Adam; we will definitely try the smoothies next quarter. I’ll check out your other foods on the site.

      Hope you continue to feel well.


  2. Everything is trial & error. Hopefully you’ll be able to get some good ideas about what your son can/can’t tolerate before the semester starts. Then you can go from there.

    I’ve noticed that I no longer handle dairy well. So I’ve switched to soy cheese & lactose-free milk. That really helps a lot! .

    I try to eat a lot of fruits & veggies, as I feel better when I eat them often. Also, salads are my food of choice when there’s nothing else that I can eat. Your son will find his rely-on food soon enough.

    Also not sure if your son drinks at all, but I find I don’t tolerate alcohol well. I can handle 2 drinks at the most & then I spend the next day in the bathroom trying to remove it from my system. It’s NOT fun!

    He could always stock up on supplies to make sandwiches. I know it’s not a thrilling option, but I find it’s one of the easiest foods that I can control.

    I really hope this helps! You’re an awesome Mom! :) Hopefully your son feels better soon!

  3. Also, have your son sign up with the Office of Disabilities. That’s what I did. It makes things so much easier should problems arise with UC symptoms. He shouldn’t be penalized by his professors because of it.

    1. Thanks for your advice; you have been a big help with my questions.

      I signed my son up with the Office of Disbilities this week; what types of information / help could we expect?

      I hope you are feeling well and continue to get better; thanks again for your help.

  4. All I can tell you is how my university worked. The form gives you the option of putting down as little or as much information as you want. I put down that there’s always a chance of being hospitalized & that I may have to run out of class & spend crazy amounts of time in the bathroom. Your son can also talk to the Office & come up with some sort of signal that he can give his professors to let them know he has to leave without being penalized. The Office usually gives them the information. This is extremely important, as I’ve had some professors who freak out if you try to leave while class is in session. Your son can always talk to his professors personally & give them a heads up if he wants to.

    Here’s an example that happened to me: I was taking a quiz in my Health Care Economics class & had to run to the bathroom. I was able to complete it once I got back after everyone had turned it in.

  5. hey sheith,

    i’m a 20 year old college student and i was diagnosed with uc in 2009 after i got a horrible case of ecoli. For me alcohol is definitely out of the question. As a college student it’s hard to refrain from drinking but your son is gonna have to tough it out and learn to live without drinking(if he does). For breakfast i eat ham and eggs with avocado, onions and tomatoes that i dice up. For lunch and dinner i eat a lot of fish, roticery chicken from the supermarket, steak, and steamed vegetables. For snacks i eat about 2 bananas a day and apples with sugar free peanut butter. I also eat alot of ceaser salads and i make alot of protein shakes because im also into working out at the gym everyday. If hes able to go to the gym he really should because it always makes me feel better. I would highly suggest your son starts taking 2-3 probiotics a day; i take align and VSL#3. He should also be taking a daily vitamin like mens 1 a day and omega 3 with every meal. This all sounds like alot but all these little things make a big difference. One of the best pieces of advice i can give to your son is to not be ashamed or embarresed of his illness and to not try to hide it from his friends peers. The more open he is about it the easier things will be. All my friends know and it really makes my flare ups much less akward when im around them. Best of luck to you and your son.

    1. I agree with the probiotics, I LOVE VSL#3 it’s great! I’m a 21 year old college student and was diagnosed with UC my senior year of high school. My university’s Office of Disabilities has been very helpful and excuses absences as needed, also providing a letter to my professors describing the accommodations they have in place for me if I need them. I hope your son feels better soon! :)


    2. Thank you Trent!
      I will pass on the information to my son. He also likes to work out. But hasn’t since the flare up. I hope he will start back when he moves back on campus. Shakes, eggs, ham, salad, fruit, vegetables, and chicken should help with his flares. I will stock him up! What do you drink besides shakes and water? Hope you are feeling good!
      Thank you again

      1. i would recommend no sugar added grape juice and gatorade. He should try to stick to drinks with low amounts of sugar and no caffeine It all depends on his case he has to try things and see what doesnt bug his intestines. It’s all trial and error, after a year or so he should have a basic list of foods or a diet that suits and benefits him.

  6. Thank you Kelly
    I will get him probotics, I hope it will help! He had milk last night and he has been in the bathroom all morning long. I guess he has to learn what he can and can’t eat on his own.. But I warned him!He has a meeting with Disabilities next week I hope it helps. I hate that y’all have to live with uc. I pray they find a cure soon! I hope you are good health!
    Thank you Happy New Year!

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