Swollen Stomach and Constant Blood Loss

Introduction to Annette:
My name is Annette, I’m 45 and a mother of 3 girls. I started a degree prior to my UC diagnosis and am about to start my 3rd and final year. I
live in Sheffield, UK
My Colitis Symptoms:
Enlarged stomach, Constant Blood loss. Stomach cramps and gassy diarrhea. Fatigue. Feeling isolated. Diagnosed in April 2011 and still not had a day without UC symptoms.

My UC Story:

I am a 45 year old woman with 3 young daughters. I’m a full time student and started uni prior to being diagnosed but am determined to complete the course, even if it’s from the toilet! Since being diagnosed 14 months ago, I have never met anyone else with the disease and feel very isolated. I have an enlarged stomach which makes me look pregnant (which my Dr puts down to IBS) and constant blood loss. I have bouts of painful cramps and fear of leaving the house in-case of accidents. I also have swollen knees which restricts exercise. Despite the frequency of bm’s, I struggle with my weight and even avoiding wheat/dairy etc doesn’t help me lose any weight. I have tried several UC diets and use anything recommended I.e slippery elm, but have never had a day without UC symptoms. I feel fat, disgusting and very unattractive. My family don’t appear to understand the devastation this disease causes and I know it upsets my young daughters when they see me upset and in pain.

family upset about colitis comic

My doctor advises me to have a less stressful life but dismisses any link between diet and UC and I feel I have 5 minutes of his very precious time but always leave his surgery feeling no further forward. Fortunately, I have now met the bowel nurse who seems a bit more helpful.

I would really love to hear

if anyone else has a swollen stomach

or can’t lose weight.

Are we all just struggling with a disease which will ultimately result in surgery or can we control it and live a relatively healthy life. I would really love to hear from others, especially if they have any advice on my enlarged stomach or inability to lose weight. Just hearing from others would be a relief and any advice on how to take back some control over my life would be great.

Where I’d like to be in 1 year:
I would like to control my UC instead of it controlling me.
I’d also like to have completed my degree – hopefully giving me a slightly less stressful life.

Colitis Medications:
8 x Pentasa daily. Doesn’t appeato be doing it’s job.
Enemas and suppositries
I’m afraid of using steroids incase I put on even more weight

written by Annette

submitted in the colitis venting area

5 thoughts on “Swollen Stomach and Constant Blood Loss”

  1. Annette,

    I was just diagnosed with UC today and I have also been experiencing very similar systems this past year, namely gassy diarrhea and an enlarged stomach. My stomach at times will become extremely distended, to the point that I look at least six months pregnant. The rest of my body is thin, so having this swollen stomach looks very abnormal.

    Is your stomach distended all the time? I noticed that my stomach would be most distended after consuming dairy products. I started to avoid dairy and it helped reduce it to some extent. But even so, there are times when even though I’m avoiding dairy my stomach will swell like a balloon.

    I will often have bouts of diarrhea and for months deal with a distended stomach and then another few weeks of diarrhea–going back and forth between these two symptoms, and at times, experiencing them simultaneously. It’s really frustrating because I don’t really quite know what triggers the swelling–it feels arbitrary sometimes (I’ve been keeping a food diary). It’s uncomfortable and I definitely don’t feel too attractive with this swollen stomach.

    I don’t know the solution to this problem, but just know that you are not alone!

    1. Hey guys I wanted to chime in on the swollen guts too. I told/showed my doctor but he just blew it off. I’m really thin so its very awkward looking and it actually moves like it has its own heartbeat! I thought it was diet too but even when I fasted for blood work the next morning it was still swollen. Do you guys have pain too? Mines sensitive too the touch. And the car seatbelt is excruciating!

  2. Hello Annette,
    I’m 23 and have had ulcerative colitus for 4 years now, i know its a pain in the ass but there are some things that can help. I’ve been seeing a dietician for 2 months now and i’ve realized that caffinated tea and coffee really bloats me out. Try decaf! It really does wonders for me. Sorry to say, that goes for fizzy drinks and alcohol too. But if you want to lose the weight, this may help. Also, try and cut out skins on food out full stop. They don’t handle well on the digestive system apparently. So thats no skin like on:
    A jacket potato
    I know its difficult but give it a go.
    Also keep track of what you eat, i’ve had to keep a record of my meals and my symptoms with them everyday.
    I have to tell you, ever since i’ve started doing this, my body hasn’t been as bad.
    Also try and cut out greasy foods. Including the little things, like cutting off the bacon fat before cooking it and grissle in sausages. I have richmond sausages i hardly find any grissle in them :)
    Give it a go, because you never know.
    P.s Keep going with your studies if you can, i had to drop out of university because of my stomach. Stay strong :)
    From Sammy

  3. OrdinaryWorldWhereRU

    I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Only those who have the disease truly know what you are going through but having a loving and supportive family is a blessing even if they can’t truly relate. Your stress will abate with time and you have a whole community here who can relate to you and be supportive. Like you, I see blood most every day. It is very minimal though. I am on some medications to help it.

    I don’t know what you are eating or drinking. I don’t consume caffeine, alcohol, or carbonation. I also avoid fiber. I check the fiber content of anything I eat and keep it to 1 to 2 grams per serving. I don’t consume seasonings that are rough or too coarse. I minimize my dairy intake. My doc did say I was one of his more severe patients so I would guess others don’t have to be so restrictive.

  4. Hi Annette,
    Sorry to hear about your issues. I have been suffering with symptoms for 20 years and have only just been diagnosed with UC. Pentasa was precribed for me too and it was totally useless, if anything my symptoms were worse while I was taking it. I have had the same outcome from my GP (I live near Hull, I wonder if it’s a Yorkshire thing…) who has passed me from pillar to post over the years.

    Basically, I just wanted to say, keep your chin up. You are not alone! My heart goes out to you as your life seems to imitate mine, even down to the degree.

    Good luck and best wishes.

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