Still Figuring this UC Thing Out

Introduction:

I’m a 49 year old male in Northeastern Ohio. I travel quite a bit for my work in commercial insurance throughout the State and was diagnosed with UC 4 years ago. I found this site doing google searches last month and love it.

 

My Colitis Experience:

I have a double whammy I guess, because I’ve also suffered from Hemorrhoids for about 10 years as well. In the course of treating the Hemorrhoids, my doctor suggested taking a fiber supplement which I did for many years. I think that, and the “high powered” coffee I got addicted to (4-5 times a week) for a couple years prior to my diagnosis lead to the Ulcerative Colitis.

I find that If I have problems with the hemorrhoids, it’s a warning sign that a UC flare is approaching. I’m on Lialda 2x daily and Canasa as needed for flares. I started taking my diet seriously about a year ago, and eliminated anything with high fructose corn syrup, alcohol (although non-alcoholic beer is fine – St. Pauli Girl is a great choice!), steak, donuts, milk (I now drink rice milk) switched to decaf coffee w/ honey for sweetening, no sugar -thanks Adam! Since I travel so much I gave up almost all the fast food when I’m on the road, I’ll go out of my way to find a subway if possible. I still get a craving for fries and a burger but avoid as much as I can. My body doesn’t process beef and steak as it used to.

I dropped about 12 lbs but I’ve stabilized and when I have a flare I’ve got recovery down from 7-10 days to maybe 4 or 5.

My questions are 1) Does anybody know if their is any research on whether the fiber supplements could have helped cause the UC to appear? I know the high octane coffee I was drinking had to. 2) Is anybody else suffering from hemorrhoids and UC as well? What has been your experience? 3) The SCD sounds very interesting, what’s been others’ experience with it? I’ll have to buy some books on it. That’s all for now.

Colitis Medications:

Started with Asacol when first diagnosed 4 years ago

Switched to Lialda 2x/daily 3 years ago, Canasa as needed for flares.

written by Joe in Ohio

submitted in the Colitis Venting Area

 





13 Responses to Still Figuring this UC Thing Out

  1. Melissa Lawler February 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    I don’t think fiber supplements can make UC appear. I think they can aggravate it but cannot cause it. From what I understand about UC there is usually a genetic predisposition for it. I am from Eastern European Jewish ancestry. That’s a biggie!

    • Joe in Ohio February 16, 2012 at 5:59 am #

      Thanks Melissa. My ancestry is Italian and Polish. Nobody in my immediate family has it or had it that I am aware of, but good to know for my kids.

  2. moxie February 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    I’ve had hemorrhoids in the past and had a particularly bad one prior to coming down with ulcerative protitis for the first time. It was extremely painful (I coudn’t walk or sit). I spent a large amount of time in the bath (which was my only relief). I remember reading once that a trauma to that “area” can contribute to UC. Not sure if that is true or not. I had one other hemorroid incident that was also quite bad, but haven’t had anything further in a long time.

    I am currently on SCD (about 18 months now) and it has worked for me.

    • Joe in Ohio February 16, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Thanks Moxie. I have one parent with very bad hemorrhoids. I’ve gone thru banding twice and that lasted about 5 years or so before problems developed again. The hemorrhoids developed long before the UC did. Talking to my doctor about the SCD diet this week to get his thoughts.

  3. Princess Poopy Pants February 9, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Hey Joe…. where you going with that gun in your hand?

    All Jimi jokes aside, caffeine is a stimulant that makes you want to “go” and in terms of cause of UC I’ve read of many… even though there’s no specific cause. Like taking anti biotics or too many anti inflamatory drugs like Advil. Then there is the predisposition, like if a member of your family had it then you’ll most likely get it. Personally I believe I got it because my gall bladder was removed and blah blah blah because before then, I was fine! Anyway I’ve buried more underpants then I care to admit. I should buy stock in Hanes. My GI doc advised me to take fiber supplement daily but I felt it was aggravating. Also the more I shit the more I aggravated my… ahem… rectum. So of course I got the roids. I saw a homeopath who gave me a potion called “inflamm ease” – i mixed with rice milk and that helped immensely. I’ve also tried acupuncture but found that it was a very expensive nap. I’m on Remicade and Imuran and not in total remission but consider myself “high functioning” though I still have to wear “protection” if I’m going to be away from home for more than an hour. No major side effects other than joint pain from the biologics. I also eat whatever I want. Doc wants to up my Imuran but not before I up my iron levels since UC peeps also suffer from anemia. I was on Lialda and Canasa but they didn’t help much. I was diagnosed with pancolitis about 6 months after my initial proctitis diagnosis and I’ve been hospitalized twice from flares. I’ve had the “surgery” talk with my GI doc but felt that I should try the biologics first. I’m happy to report I am doing much better. My last GI visit he said he wouldn’t recommend surgery now. So we all do what we can when we can. I’ve tried SCD but was hospitalized soon after. I might try again in the future. I have been whole food juicing using a VitaMix blender. Pineapple and cabbage. Sounds gross but mostly tastes like pineapple. Both natural anti inflammatory foods. Good luck!

    • George in Napa February 12, 2012 at 5:07 am #

      Princess P…… I juice red cabbage, carrots and a little ginger …… my grandkids think it tastes like soda pop!

    • Joe in Ohio February 16, 2012 at 6:06 am #

      Hello Princess –

      Thanks for the feedback. What happened under the SCD diet that caused your hospitalization?

  4. Maggie February 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Caffeine or fiber will not cause UC but will irritate it. I drink green tea and use fiber daily when not in a flare. Fortunately, I’ve only had hemoroids a few times, and yes, they are painful!

    • Joe in Ohio February 16, 2012 at 6:11 am #

      Thanks Maggie.

      I’ve tried metamucil and it really aggravated the UC, I won’t be doing any fiber supplements if I can avoid it. I’m finding if a have a nice big salad for lunch or dinner at least every 2 days it’s been helping. If I go a more than 2 or 3 days without I start having issues.

  5. Bev February 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi Joe in Ohio,

    May I just first ask you a question about your meds? Is Lialda the same medicine as Asacol? I take 12 asacol per day, 4 pills, 3 times daily, and I would like to know what the difference, if any, there is between the two brand names. Is Lialda just a more concentrated form of asacol, do you know? So that, you don’t have to take as many pills?

    You say you have your flares controlled withing 4 or 5 days? Is that just with the meds you mentioned, or something else? That’s great if you can get out of a flare in that short a time!

    I have hemorrhoids as well as ulcerative colitis (actually pancolitis, as my whole colon is now affected), and I never know if the blood is from one or the other. It’s all so complicated, really, don’t you think?

    • Joe in Ohio February 16, 2012 at 6:14 am #

      Hello Bev.

      Lialda is a milder form of the same medication from what I understand. Once I got my initial flare under control my doctor switched me to Lialda (1 pill / twice daily for maintenance). He also wants me to use the Canasa on a regular basis but I only use it for flares or when I feel the onset of a flare because I ate something I should not have.

  6. George in Napa February 12, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    I had hemorrhoids years ago. They went away when I started drinking lots of water and taking metamucil.
    I find that if take metamucil at half strength (use 1/2 teaspoon instead of one) and drink LOTS of water it actually helps my UC symptoms.

    • Joe in Ohio February 16, 2012 at 6:18 am #

      Thanks George.

      My work days consist of 2 – 3 cups of decaf coffee sweetened with honey, then water the rest of the day. I occasionally have lemonade at lunch and maybe a non-alcoholic beer with dinner. Metamucil aggravated the UC big time the one time I tried it, haven’t gone back to it yet. Trying to control the fiber with more salads either every day or every couple days.

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