Ulcerative Colitis Tips


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Cher’s Story

Meet Cher:

In July, I’ll turn 58. I have had a good life filled with a great deal of change and adventures. The best adventure of all was the birth of my son who will be graduating from high school this week. I’ve been healthy most of my life.

Some more:

I love reading, music, dancing, walking, hiking, spending time with my very interesting son.

Symptoms I’m dealing with:

My remaining symptoms include the opposite of diarrhea: Constipation. Does anyone out there have this problem to? It’s such a drag even though I eat a lot of fruit (even prunes!) and vegetables and good protein, like meat, chicken, turkey, fish.

What else can do?

Cher’s Story:

My first flare probably occurred when I was 46, but I never reached the point of getting a diagnosis. It all started in the spring or summer sometime in the late ’80s, when I was in my mid-30s,

I had a bad bout of never-ending diarrhea,

but I was in such great health physically (I was doing short-course triathlons back then!) and mentally (I used to teach ESL at the college level) and emotionally (it was the heyday of my youth) that symptoms disappeared even before I got through the doctor’s protocol through which he was testing me for possible causes, like parasites, etc. But then in the spring of ’01, during an upheaval (the split up of the marital home), I went through a period of experiencing a lot of pain and diarrhea and urgency and weight loss and you name it!.

At that time, I was a member of an HMO and the doctor missed the symptoms until finally my gynecologist referred me to a GI. Even the sigmoidoscopy showed ominous signs. So I was scheduled for my first colonoscopy. Prepping for it was so painful. I was on the floor doubled over in so much pain. But I got it all out.

After the colonoscopy, I was immediately admitted into the hospital for almost a week and loaded with tons of solu medrol. Then when I got to go home I was put on a high dose of prednisone, 80mg to start. After weeks and weeks of being sick, I finally felt well enough to go back to work and I went into remission for over 6 years. I refused to take the auto-immune suppressant drug, Imuran.

Then in early ’07, I had a second severe flare up, but I ran from the obvious symptoms. I was afraid of taking large doses of prednisone and missing work and losing my job and I just wasn’t aware that a person can take lose doses of prednisone and be able to keep her/his life and function like a person–not a prednisone zombie.

But, I blew it:

I was in such denial that I had to go to the ER.

By that time, I was experiencing hot flashes and sweats along with a high temperature and then cold flashes when my teeth would chatter and my body would just shake and shiver. It was my brother-in-law who is a neurologist who told me that I must go to the ER immediately after I told him about these symptoms. I felt so weak, I could hardly walk. Even after all that, I managed to stay in remission once again–drug-free–until March 2011, when I had a minor flare. Remission lasted until this last March, when I had a terrible flare up starting with a massive bout of diarrhea and vomiting. To this day, I believe I got food poisoning that triggered a flare. It took a long time to trust food again, especially food prepared in restaurants, so I lost a lot of weight–even though I’m thin to begin with. Although I seem to be in remission, I haven’t been the same “me” since.

Medications:

Prednisone works. I tried asacol but had a bad reaction to it in ’01. Thank Goodness! I refuse to take immune-suppressant drugs.

written by Cher




2 Responses to Cher’s Story

  1. bev June 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    Yes! Food poisoning can trigger a flare, or even UC itself!

    I know that I got UC from antibiotic use over the years (I took a lot of very strong ones as a young child for bad tonsils), Accutane four times, a bad Norwalk Virus one time…it’s no wonder I have UC!

    You keep on refusing those immune suppressors. You are the boss! Remember that. I will take NO meds any more for UC. I somehow managed to get into remission on a GOOD probiotic (50 billion strong) and fermented L-glutamine powder. I actually HEALED my colon from the ulcers, and stopped band-aiding it with those awful UC meds. They ALL eventually fail. Our bodies either build up antibodies to them, or simply reject them. Story after story is the same.

    Cheers to you, Cher, for sticking to your guns! You go girl! My GI is so miffed that I am the one who got myself better…and miffed that I am no longer supporting the pharmaceutical companies…or the medical profession…oh well! I will not take those meds that may damage my health even further. I just won’t. I feel like a normal human being again!! I want and wish for all of us to feel that way!!

    Bev
    :)

    • Cher June 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Bev,
      I’m very happy that you’ve been able to get into remission without drugs!

      I’m curious about your use of acutane 4 times. Was it for acne? I took it two times for adult-onset acne in my 30s. I’m not sure that I can tied the use of acutane with colitis.

      Do you believe that colitis is an autoimmune disease? Why or why not?

      Thank you for you support,

      Cher

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