Hi all! Just discovered this site… cool site! Sorry for long post, but I’ve got a few questions I’ve been wondering if anyone else has dealt with, so figured I’d just roll em all together if that’s not too confusing:
I’m a 40-something female, diagnosed with UC almost 15 years ago. After that first flare when I was diagnosed, I went into remission for 5 years, then another flare. Might have had one more flare the following summer (all my flares since that first have been summertime events.) During those years, I never used anything but Asacol, and Canasa & Levbid during flares.
Fast forward six years – i.e. to two years ago. Had the next flare, which was my worst ever – was totally debilitating and had to go on prednisone. The prednisone worked and I gradually went into remission for two years. Ever since that flare, my colon has been a bit more spasmy than it used to be. Doc thinks that’s just from IBS. However….
I started flaring again last week, a week after some surgery on my sphincter. Spect the surgery triggered it, especially since my horrible flare two years ago was a few weeks after a routine colonoscopy that the doctor said looked absolutely wonderful. So I think procedures in that part of my body trigger it, at least for me. But, whatever the cause, I’m flaring. Doc says he wants to do sigmoidoscope to evaluate me for the harder drugs. Given my history with problems after procedures, and that fact that I don’t want the harder stuff, I’m holding off for now, in favor of DIY…
Given that my bowel symptoms always get aggravated by monthly stuff, I decided to go on birth control pills that my Gyn had offered me for some of my female problems. I’m hoping that fewer hormonal swings might help. I’m also trying the nicotine patch. Many years ago, I accidentally discovered that becoming a closet smoker for a brief period of time helped my GI symptoms. Now I learn that this has been established. No way I’m going to smoke now – so I’m trying the patch. I’m guessing I should quit one of them though, as it’s probably dangerous to use the pill and the patch together. So far I’m only able to use the patch in small time increments though, as it’s difficult to tolerate, being a non-smoker.
I was using Canasa at the beginning of the flare, but it always gives me the runs and seemed like it might be making things worse – my problem is, I can never tell if it’s really making the flares worse or just giving me an annoying case of the runs. I asked the doc, and he said, try going without. Trouble is, the flare is so inconsistent, I can’t tell if it helps or hurts.
A big problem I’m having now is very noisy spasms. I have to start teaching classes in a week, and am worried about not only having to run to the bathroom, but also having my classes disrupted by my noisy colon! Levbid usually helps – but not always… .
So my questions:
1) Does anyone else have these noisy spasms? If so, what do you do to control it?
2) What have others’ experiences been with Canasa? Is diarrhea normal? Or does that mean my colon doesn’t like it?
3) Any success or failure stories with nicotine patches – or birth control pills?
Thanks for any words of wisdom!
I take Asacol for maintenance. I take Levbid to keep spasms & bathroom visits down when I get in trouble. Levbid works great! Most of the time…
Submitted by Hopskotch in the Colitis Venting Area