Winners Never Quit, and Quitters Never Win!

Meet Ken:

I’m 46 and I experienced all the typical symptoms back in 2005, had a colonoscopy and was told possible Crohn’s. I was given Asacol, and the symptoms went away immediately. I stopped taking the Asacol when the bottle was empty, and didn’t have another issue until last year. I was officially diagnosed with UC in March 2012. I was again given Asacol, and expected the symptoms to disappear…not this time.

Some more about Me:

I am an avid triathlete, and love to run. That’s how I first realized that the symptoms were returning, as I would leave for my morning run, and one day I had to return home immediately to use the toilet. Within 2 days I quit trying to run, and made an appointment with the doctor. I also have a wife and three year old son. I have nine acres that I play around with also. I live in the great state of Texas.

Current Colitis Symptoms:

2-3 BM per day. No blood, no D, no cramping.

Winners Never Quit

In February 2012, I had all the typical symptoms just show up over a 2 day period, after 8 years of no symptoms. I spent all my mornings in the bathroom, sometimes I would think it was over, only to rush right back in. Lots of blood, mucus, D, and a nauseous feeling constantly. I would have 10 or more BM every day, and hoped I was near a toilet when the time came or I was in trouble. I was tired all the time. I was given Asacol, and as before I expected all my symptoms to vanish quickly, and they did improve quickly at first, then grew worse over time. After a few months, I went back to the doctor, and he told me basically to get used to it. I was irritated by this and told him I wanted to try other drugs, and this wasn’t going to cut it. He changed my meds to Apriso, which is another delivery system for Mesalamine. I showed improvement for a couple weeks, then back to where I started.

I started running again, just to feel normal, but I was far from it. I had been running 45 miles a week when I got sick, and now I could barely do 10. Since my symptoms had never left, I was also having to stop a couple times during the runs to keep from crapping myself. Luckily I live in a rural area, and had plenty of trees and bushes to hide behind! Every now and then I would have some good days, and would think its getting better, but it was never to be. I worked my way back to 40 miles running a week, and decided to live with the pit stops, as I wasn’t going to let Ulcerative Colitis run my life. I set a goal, and signed up for a local half marathon.

Work was another story, as most mornings were spent on the toilet, feeling like I was dying. I manage a large area in my job, and always worried about getting from point A to point B without an incident. Unfortunately, there were some issues, but luckily never in public.

In December I had a month and a half until the race, and no relief of the symptoms, so I decided to go back to the doctor to try Prednisone. Then I found this site…and decided to try natural methods. I felt that most drugs only work for people for only so long, and wanted to keep that option open for when I really needed them.

I read Graham’s post about EVOO and read Bev talking about probiotics and glutamine. I went out and bought all of this on December 1 2012. I will always remember the date.

Colitis Medications:

I take Extra Virgin Olive Oil, L glutamine, and flax oil (omega 3) twice a day. I take a 40 billion probiotic, co Q-10 and a multivitamin every morning. I started them all at the same time, as I was desperate to feel better, and I started to improve in about 2 weeks. There were a couple bad days in there, but I kept up the regimen. After a month, I felt 90% normal. Now after 2 months I feel 97%. I went from blood, D, and 10+ BM per day to 2-3 now, with no “emergencies”. I still take Apriso, though I have never thought that it did much, but not willing to mess with the good results right now. In no way do I think this regimen will work for everyone. I consider myself lucky for the last 2 months it has given me relief.

Best of all, I can run again. I did the unthinkable (for me) and ran the 13.1 miles without stopping for the bathroom, and was in the top 10% of my age group. Today I did a 10 k race and won my age group (small race). I’m not trying to brag, but to let others know it is possible to perform well despite this disease. During the dark times, I scoured forums looking for success stories, just to keep me going. I hope this can encourage someone else to push through the bad times. I know my remission (not sure I really know what that is) has been for only a short period of time, but I hope to have more good times than bad in the future.

Lastly, I want to thank those that have posted on this board, as I learned so much more here about living with this disease than from my doctor…

written by Ken

submitted in the colitis venting area

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25 thoughts on “Winners Never Quit, and Quitters Never Win!”

  1. Wow! Thanks, Ken, for sharing all this. I needed to hear some encouraging words today. So glad you’re doing better. I know nothing about L-Glutamine but will for sure be studying up now! :)


  2. Hi Ken. Just like you, I started a new regime in December thanks to the great people at this site. I’m doing much better too, and hope to continue. Bev, especially, thank you! I’d been taking probiotics but had let it slide and I really needed help with some clear anecdotal evidence and new ideas. And I didn’t know about L-Glutamine beforehand, so thank you. Those of you who regularly respond at this site have helped me enormously without even knowing me. So I just wanted to piggyback on Ken’s post here and add a thanks. Ken, I think endurance sports have been shown to lead to inflammation so perhaps that’s why when you started training harder your symptoms returned. But I think the great mental/emotional effects of running are worth it and am glad you’ve been able to continue on your way doing what you love–as that’s what really keeps up well. Best.

    1. That makes me so happy Colleen…I just keep shouting what I am doing from the rooftops and hope that it will help somebody else too…

      I wish it would help everyone with UC…in a perfect world it would!!


  3. Hi Ken,

    Thanks for posting!

    Sounds like you’re writing a success story of your own, but should you ever need another one for motivation, watch this TED talk from Ari Meisel. Ari was diagnosed with Crohn’s, but started tracking everything about himself and eventually found a way to beat the disease. A triathlete like you, he went ahead and finished an Iron Man.

    Keep winning!

  4. KEN!!!

    How fantastic is all of this??? I think that we all eventually realize that the drugs stop working. Not only that, but how good for us can they be?

    I am thrilled for you. I wish I would have stumbled upon this website 15 years ago when I was first diagnosed. Instead, I spent the last decade and a half feeling horrible, on asacol. It was literally killing me slowly…hair loss, constant nausea, severe acne and boils, severe bloody diahhrea, severe pain, exhaustion…all of which the good old doc attributed to the UC itself. When I think back, it doesn’t even seem real…I don’t know how I survived it, other than, like you, I am an avid exerciser. Even when I felt horrible, I did it anyway…

    Anyway, when I started that probiotic and almost immediately started feeling better, I dropped the asacol, and that’s when I realized it was that freakin’ drug that was making me so sick…not the UC!! I feel liberated now, that’s for sure. I know that I don’t HAVE to take meds to manage this thing. That’s a pretty powerful feeling after relying on the medical profession for so very long. One feels like they actually have ‘control’ again!! There’s no better feeling.

    I am so happy for you. Isn’t life wonderful??


  5. Lynne,

    Glad I could pass on some encouragement! I spent many hours with my iPad on the toilet reading other stories on this site looking for encouragement myself. I hope you can experience the relief from this condition that I have over the last few months. Glutamine is an amino acid that helps rebuild cells in the body, such as the lining of our colon. It also has the benefit of helping to rebuild muscle after a run or workout. At least that is how I understand it.


    I read a feature on Ari in “triathlete” magazine about a year ago, shortly after I was diagnosed. His story was a huge deal to me, and I must have read the page and a half story a thousand times, again, as I sat on the toilet. I just googled his TED talk, but it was unavailable. Thanks for the heads up, as I will try to pull it up on my computer later. I love this stuff! I would like to do an Ironman someday, but shorter distances for me now as I just can’t get the swimming up to par. Maybe a half Ironman in the fall if training goes well and my colon keeps cooperating. Do you do Ironman triathlons?


    You are a celebrity on here, so I am honored to have you post to my story! Thank you for never stopping to promote the value of probiotics in your posts, and Glutamine for that matter. Your tenacity helped get me off the fence to try alternate methods. I think the key for using these (and the EVOO) is consistency over time. One has to stay the course. While there were and are some down days, they become fewer and less symptomatic, at least in my case. I am coming up on 3 months on the regimen, and still can say I feel better every week. New breakthrough this week, only 2 BMs for the last several days.

    I have my second half marathon of the year tomorrow, and am feeling great. It’s entirely on the beach, so while I won’t be setting any personal records, I am hoping for a top 5 finish in my age group.

    1. Wow…I am so freakin’ happy about that, Ken.

      Keep going…it gets even better. I still see improvement over a year later. Yes, you’re so right…consistency IS key. Also, taking probiotics on an empty stomach with water to move them along, and then not eating for at least half an hour (I go over an hour as I exercise in the morning before I eat) is also VERY important. Let’s them really do their ‘job’.

      Celebrity…lol…I’m not so sure about that…I just REALLY want to help…share what has worked for me…let others know that you can take control of your own health…that there is hope to heal that colon.

      You’re quite a wonderful guy Ken! Please keep sharing your progress…we’ll get more people to try the natural route if we keep telling our stories. I think before too long, the medical community is going to start treating UC differently…more natural…especially when the newly diagnosed begin demanding it!! The only way they will know to do that is to read posts on websites like this when they are researching UC and looking for advice and support


  6. Ken,

    You are a UC rock star!!

    Way way happy for you, and way happy you are back on the run again! Keep it up and best of luck to you and your family moving forward!!


  7. Very inspiring story and awesome of you to share :) keep us all updated on your progress. I enjoy reading success stories gives me hope and gets me out of my gloominess…haven’t been myself for quite a few months. Starting to be optimistic and try new things as far as diet.

  8. I have been using Braggs Liquid Aminos in my cooking for some time now. It’s billed as a soy sauce alternative, but it’s so much more. It can be used as a meat tenderizer, adds delicious to any soup or salad dressing. I wonder if the aminos in it are strong enough to help combat my UC. Anyone else have any knowledge about this? I have started following SCD and have finally found relief from being ever present in a bathroom. Love this page, it has changed my life. I too am a runner, just able to get back out there with enough energy. Training for a quickie 5k at the end of April. Life is good. Did I mention that I love this page? Life is good. Amazingly good.

    1. Amy,

      Glad to see another runner around here! I wish I knew more about amino acids, but I am actually pretty ignorant in that respect. I tried L Glutamine (amino acid) based on recommendations by others on this site. I can only say it works. I would only recommend that however you get the amino acids, make it a daily ritual.

      Diet never made any difference for my symptoms. At least from the perspective that I didn’t digest any type of food easier or less painfully than any other. So then I looked at it from a colon health perspective. I take supplements aimed at improving the lining of the colon, and it worked! The longer I consistently took them, the less symptoms I experienced and the more foods I could eat. I dropped the Apriso a month ago, as I didn’t feel it ever did anything to make me feel better. Drug free and so far so good.

      I just want to add that besides the L Glutamine, I recommend a strong probiotic, EVOO, and a multivitamin!

      It’s been 4 months now, and I am feeling normal. I eat anything with no repercussions. I have raced 3 half marathons and a 10k during that time with NO pitstops! I’m riding the Houston MS 150 from Houston to Austin in 2 weeks. I think exercise is important also.

      Good luck at your 5K, and post how it goes!


  9. Hi Ken, I too will never forget the date I started the EVOO-LGlutamine program…February 14th 2013. This website has saved my life…thanks to Adam, Graham, Bev, and all the rest of you for your wonderful comments…Ken, I am also pretty active doing pilates, walking, biking, and skiing..,I tried running in September but couldn’t do it…too tired…Now that I have read your post and am on the “program” maybe I will try running again…wish me luck…Thanks for your encoouraging story.

  10. It was great reading your post. I am in the middle of a flare right now because I felt so good I thought I relaxed too much on not taking regular supplements and vitamins. That was a huge mistake. I’m also going to try EVOO and L-Glutamine after reading this thread of comments and other comments. Bev told me to try a probiotic before, but I get confused reading about all the names people have suggested for probiotics and end up not doing anything. I should though. I’m going to the store today.

    1. You gotta get on a GOOD probiotic Wendy!! Repopulation of good bacteria is KEY!!

      I promise you…you will see a difference. Just be absolutely sure to take it on an EMPTY STOMACH with water, and then try not to eat for a least a half an hour afterward. It matters how and when you take probiotics. I think that’s why some people don’t see as good results as they could and should.

      Trust me. Get one that is recommended for people who REALLY need probiotics…like you and me…and all of us weak colon-ed folk!


        1. :)

          That’s makes me happy. Keep at it, too. I still continue to feel better and better (if that’s possible) over a year later!

          Consistency is key…as well as repopulation…lol

    2. Wendy,

      I understand what you mean. I’ll occasionally forget to take my supplements once in a while too. Sometimes I’m just lazy! But I try to maintain consistency. My take is that we UCers who do feel better on supplements are always just barely ahead of the disease. It’s always fighting to get a foot hold. The supplements keep us one step ahead of it.

      Hope you feel better soon.


  11. Ken,

    Love your story and I’m sorry I didn’t post here earlier, I have a young family and a business to run so I do miss lots of important information here. Thank you for your previous endorsement by the way, we have to share what works with others right?

    Anyway, I’m so pleased you are living your life and best of luck as you search for oil!

    1. Graham,

      Thanks for the kind words! It’s a privilege to hear from you and thanks you for the advice you give out. I credit you and Bev with my successful remission without having to resort to Prednisone (or worse).

      Hope you continue to feel well.

      I’ll keep choking down the EVOO!


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