Hi, my name is Isak, I am 27 years old, and I was diagnosed with UC during my final year at university about 4 years ago. I currently live in South Korea, and have been trying to follow the SCD for a few weeks.
My Current Ulcerative Colitis Deal and Questions:
I was diagnosed during my final year at college, and I was put on Asacol. My symptoms included bloody diarrhea, and mouth sores. My symptoms persisted for several months before I was diagnosed, and my mouth ulcers were so bad I couldn’t swallow without pain.
After I was put on Asacol I almost immediately went back to normal. My symptoms vanished in a week. I carried on, and stopped taking the meds with no complications.
About 8 months later I moved to South Korea were I have been ever since. I had no symptoms and no complications until this time last year. After a weekend eating a wide variety of food (pizza, gyros, Thai food, Indian food, tacos) my symptoms returned. I was put on a few different meds, prednisone and a few others and halfheartedly took them while still engaging in bad dieting and drinking behaviors. My symptoms started to escalate last march. I assumed I just had a bad cold, but I definitely didn’t. I barely ate anything, and was unable to work up the energy to do much beyond sleeping. My doctor ran a blood test and told me I needed to see a GI immediately. I was hospitalized for a month, and was put on a fast for two weeks. I went from around 80 kilos (175 lbs.) to around 50 (110 lbs.). I’m about 6″2′.
I was diagnosed with toxic mega-colon, and was put on several meds. I ended up having two rounds of remicade, 4 transfusions, about 20 different IV ports were installed, and I had a rather frightening moment where I dropped what must’ve been a pint of blood into the toilet. After my 30 days in the hospital I was discharged, and went home. I gained the weight back within a few months, and have been attempting to try the SCD diet for a week.
My question is this: Does anybody have any experience living abroad with UC? I know exactly where to get the things people talk about back in the US, but in another country I find it is difficult or cost prohibitive. Any advice for substitutes? Any advice for fitting in with crowds while on the SCD? Any advice for dealing with stress while in another country and on the SCD? Does anyone have any advice on ways to not strictly follow the diet?
Rice is everywhere here, and it’s not always an option for me to go without. Bread is easily knocked off, and only drinking water is easy, but baked dishes are next to impossible for me to do as ovens are rare here. Spicy food is everywhere here and I love it, but it breaks the rules right? Living abroad is stressful and comfort foods really help, but now it seems that they are going to break the diet for me.
I’ve noticed the symptoms have started returning after a few weekends of drinking, so I want to start focusing on this diet pretty heavily, the last few nights have seen some improvement with a diet of meat, eggs and some random over cooked vegetables, but I can’t just eat that forever.
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any help you can give.
PS. I’ve also noticed a few things about my condition. Both times my symptoms flared up were related to changes in my diet. The first symptoms appeared after I gave up fast food completely, and the second time due to a very diverse and large amount of food being packed in in a short amount of time. I also used to have random bowel movements with a small amount of blood during university usually related to times when I was moving back into the dorms. Changing my diet has always seemed like it has had more of an impact than what the diet actually was. Is anybody else the same?
My Ulcerative Colitis Medications before and right now:
This Story Was Submitted in the: Colitis Venting Area. Feel free to share your story too!
For more information on the SCD DIET, visit: ihaveuc.com/the-diet