Am I flaring or is my digestive tract just upset?

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MNBeachgal
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 6/23/2013 3:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been doing pretty well with my Prednisone taper - going down by 1mg (or sometimes slower) ever few weeks, dropped to 6mg a week ago.  I had still been having formed stools and I haven't seen blood in a year I think (I don't always get blood with flare though). 
 
Yesterday I had horrible stomach cramps - they really were in my stomach/upper abdomen and not in my colon. I had two BMs early in the day - both were alot but were formed and seemed pretty normal actually.  But the stomach cramps wouldn't go away so I took a hycosamine pill for the cramping. It didn't work so I took another about 3 hours later. I took a GasX and some TUMS too.  I have some friends here from out of town for the weekend and just wanted to be able to get out and show them around.
The cramps eventually went away and I was able to even eat Italian food last night for dinner.
 
Now today I still haven't had another BM and I am SO bloated! I took a Rowasa enema last night and one this morning (I am doing two a day to help taper off the Prednisone).  I feel nauseas and just dizzy - that could be the heat today though. I do feel worn down though. I don't seem to have too much gas. But I can't have a BM and I usually have one in the morning. All I have had was tiny, chalky something coming out which I am guessing is just enema leftovers as I've seen that before. 
 
So, am I flaring? Or is my whole digestive tract just trying to get back to normal after yesterday? Dropping below 7mg of Prednisone was hell for me but I did an every other 7mg/6mg for two weeks and things seemed to be back to normal. I was hoping it was smooth sailing from here on out.
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 6mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 2 mesalamine enemas./day, VSL #3 DS 1 packet/day, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancreas

kazbern
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6869
   Posted 6/23/2013 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
I think it takes more than a day or two of irregularity to figure out if there's a flare. Sometimes crap happens, you know? Be patient with yourself and try to focus on your fiber, water intake, exercise for the next day or so.
*******************
50 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day)generic Colazal (96 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), psyllium (1/2T daily), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11. Colonoscopy found no evidence of inflammation on 8/16/1

garylouisville
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Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 5924
   Posted 6/23/2013 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Unfortunately it's quite common for symptoms to return when you taper down low or off the pred. That is the evilness of the drug. It's like being addicted to a drug. If you try to get off your body won't let you. I hope I'm wrong in your case. Over the next few days you will have your answer.
Asacol 800mgs 1 pillsX3; VSL#3 112.5mgs 1 pillX2; Prescrip Assist Probiotic 1 pill X 2;Vitamin D3 5000 ius 1 pillX2;Bentyl;DAO;Folic acid

Discontinued: Robinul; Natural - peppermint oil, Inflaguard (Boswellia), Pepto Bismol, Omega 3 fish oil, Imodium, Beano, Lactaid;Zymactive, Renew Life Probiotic 80 billion, Florastor, DGL, Monolaurin, slippery elm;black cherry concentrate

MNBeachgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 6/23/2013 11:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I finally was able to have a BM tonight, and it was normal!  As usual, this was after eating a meal for dinner that was totally bad for me - a chocolate mint milkshake and a cheeseburger. I don't know why, but whenever I eat food that most other people wouldn't eat, I feel better.  Unless I'm in the midst of a really bad flare-up that is, then I can barely eat anything.
 
So hopefully that was just a little blip from reducing the steroid and I'm evening back out now. It is usually a week after I reduce that my BMs get a little messed up. I've already started losing weight so I'm hoping now that I'm below 7mg of Prednisone my body is starting to get back to normal, and perhaps the steroid isn't really doing much in my body at this point anyway.  Let's hope in a few months I've off of it for good!
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 6mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 2 mesalamine enemas./day, VSL #3 DS 1 packet/day, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancreas

journey2health
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 2639
   Posted 6/24/2013 12:31 AM (GMT -6)   
i really admire how careful and deliberate you are being about lowering your dose. And that you're doubling up on enemas. All that should lead you to a successful taper. Be patient.
Pancolitis since 8/09. In maintenance remission since 6/10 - Asacol 2400 mg. daily; Rowasa enemas, minimum 5 nights/wk; calcium supplements. No gluten, alcohol or processed foods. Limit corn, soy, peanuts, eggs, dairy and sugar. Green Smoothies, love coffee. Bipolar/anxiety/depression/OCD: lamictal 100 mg Lexapro 10 mg

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25561
   Posted 6/24/2013 1:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow, this has been a long haul for you. I think the tapering of pred is the best...it seems for some that even minor changes can have them feeling totally crappy.

Are you due for your period (I see you're on the Yasmin. or did you maybe forget a pill?

I have some days that I'm feeling absolutely awesome, others I'm totally zonked. But maybe you picked up a virus or are fighting something anyway?

Hope you bounce back to enjoy your visitors and are able to continue your taper without any other problems.

I have a friend who took a year to taper from 5 to 1 mg pred....but she was on it for a long period of time before that. The time between the tapers were quite off...then OK...then off...etc. Totally wonky, but she's finally off it completely.

Keep us posted how you're doing....

q
*Heather* I give suggestions, do with them what you will.
Status: ...Asacol 3 @ 2x daily; Salofalk enema @ 3rd night (nightly/ flares, tapered/maintenance)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol 20mg as needed; Zantac 150mg; Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma);Effexor XR 37.5 (depression)
~vitamins/minerals/supplements; Probiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care+Primadophilus Reuteri capsules @ bedtime)
~Metamucil capsules 6 twice daily with meals; Vitamin D 4500 IU
~URSO for PBC(or PSC?) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!

MNBeachgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 6/24/2013 8:26 AM (GMT -6)   
No period for another 7 weeks, so I'm good there luckily. And I never forget to take a pill - I think the one time I forgot was back in college and I still remembered later that day (wow THAT was a long time ago!).  I do have spotting but that always happens about a week after I reduce the dose.  I went to an alternative/functional doctor last week and when she saw previous DHEA results I had she was shocked the doctor didn't give me a supplement! So she tested my DHEA level again and I'm waiting for the results. I know my level before was so low it couldn't even be measure by the test.  Maybe that is causing some weird hormonal issues as well.
 
Thanks for all the encouragement with my Pred taper!  It is very, very annoying tapering this slow and I keep wishing I could just taper right off of it. But I think the fact I am losing the weight and getting back in better shape while still on it makes me in less of a hurry to rush it.  I really am  hoping that 7mg was my 'magic' number and now that I'm below that it will be easier to taper. I didn't have much joint pain with this last taper so that is a good sign a least!
 
I did have alot of stress this weekend as I had some storm damage with the big storms we had Friday night. So I had to pay somebody to come deal with that along with finding time to entertain my friends. Perhaps the extra stress got my gut all worked up.
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 6mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 2 mesalamine enemas./day, VSL #3 DS 1 packet/day, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancreas

quincy
Elite Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 25561
   Posted 6/24/2013 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi..was it the doctor who checked your DHEA level? What supplement would she give you?

Would the Yasmin have any impact on the levels? I'd suspect that the pred might...

If you're having spotting, something's obviously hormone related. That, to me, would have impact on the prostaglandin production in the bowel as well, possibly relating to the flaring.

Maybe put out a question to Pathogen Killer and see if she can give you any insight on that.

Stress such as what you're going through can certainly impact cortisol levels and reactions in the whole body. I'd be a mess for sure...my coping skills for that type of "commitment" plus storms and related damage would compound it tenfold.

Seems you're doing what you can to improve things...but the fact that you're tapering the pred slowly seems a good choice. Remember, you can always do alternating if things go wonky, or do a smaller chunk of taper.

Hang tough...thanks for the updates. Let us know about the DHEA....
q
*Heather* I give suggestions, do with them what you will.
Status: ...Asacol 3 @ 2x daily; Salofalk enema @ 3rd night (nightly/ flares, tapered/maintenance)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol 20mg as needed; Zantac 150mg; Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma);Effexor XR 37.5 (depression)
~vitamins/minerals/supplements; Probiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care+Primadophilus Reuteri capsules @ bedtime)
~Metamucil capsules 6 twice daily with meals; Vitamin D 4500 IU
~URSO for PBC(or PSC?) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!

MNBeachgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 6/24/2013 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the suppor quincy.  It was a doctor that checked my DHEA level. The first time I had it checked it was by my dermatologist (as I was losing alot of hair). I went to an endocrinologist to have him review the results and he was no help at all.  Just blamed everything on birth control pills, even though I've been taking them for 20 years and never had this issue.  So I went to a doctor that specializes in alternative medicine - somebody on here suggested I do that. And she said it was not normal to have DHEA levels that low and that I should be on a supplement.  So she checked the levels again and recommended I go on a supplement, low dose. So we'll see if that also helps me get off the Prednisone.  I looked it up and Prednisone can cause low DHEA levels.
 
She also told me to take a tumeric supplement to help reduce inflamation (capsule not powder as I have no time to cook meals with the powder). So I'll try that as well as long as it doesn't cause stomach upset.
 
journey2health - thanks for the encouragement as well! I suppose since I have had a 10 year remission, I'm able to see being on Prednisone for a few more months as not a very long time if it can get me back into remission for that long. So it makes the very slow taper a bit easier.
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 6mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 2 mesalamine enemas./day, VSL #3 DS 1 packet/day, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancreas

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 9947
   Posted 6/24/2013 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I used to have spotting a lot when I was on birth control pills with estrogen. Since I switched to a minipill, I don't get my period and I don't spot. It's very strange. I actually had a condition called friable cervix before changing pills. It's usually the other way around, more estrogen less spotting but in my case, this has stopped the spotting and I don't have a period ever because you take this pill every day. I prefer it this way.

I don't think you should go crazy worrying about these symptoms. Whatever the case, you're not going to see any benefit from making yourself stressed. Take it one day at a time. I've had some pretty alarming symptoms and gotten back on track without a flare up occurring. If you really feel things are headed in a bad direction, you could see about getting cortifoam to balance things out. how long have you been on pred?
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: 6mp (25mg) + Lialda (2400mg) + Canasa (1g PM)

MNBeachgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 6/24/2013 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been on Prednisone over a year now.  Was almost off of it in November but had some very big stress in my life and flared right back up the day before I was going to be done with it.  I was doing really well before that too with the taper. 
 
I have never really had much spotting and have taken the same birth control pills (Yasmin) for I think 10 years now. I'm guessing its the Prednisone causing the spotting - the drop in hormones each time I taper just messes up the hormone levels in my body.
 
I'm feeling crappy again tonight - not too normal of BMs and I just feel sore down there.  I am starting to wonder if it has to do with being dehydrated.  I have barely been peeing lately, especially when I sweat a ton at the gym. I'm drinking alot but not enough I think. I'll have to drink more water tonight and I hope that helps. It's just been so humid here lately that its hard to drink enough!
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 6mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 2 mesalamine enemas./day, VSL #3 DS 1 packet/day, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancreas

MNBeachgal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 6/24/2013 8:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Forgot to mention I have a colonoscopy in about 3 weeks so at least that will help me figure out what is going on.  It's my normal every other year cololonscopy. Hoping it doesn't screw things up more. Although usually cleaning my colon out completely like that makes me feel better for a few days.
--------------------------------
UC - diagnosed 1994, in remission for 10 years, currently trying to get over a flare
Meds: Prednisone 6mg; Colazal 3 pills/3x day, 2 mesalamine enemas./day, VSL #3 DS 1 packet/day, Ultimate Flora 30 billion, iron, calcium, folic acid, L-lysine, Zyrtec, Yasmin, multi-vitamin, evening primrose oil, zinc
Tried Imuran but it affected my pancreas

Tornado6
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 1149
   Posted 6/24/2013 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm tapering budesonide and experiencing spotting right now. I do not have this with the mini pill and I know for sure it is the steroid taper.
Ulcerative colitis / 35 / female

budesonide - tapering
hydrocortisone enema
Imuran – 175 mg
Remicade - 7.5 mg / kg

Vit B Complex, Vit C, Vit D, Zinc, Citrucel, Colostrum, Digestive enzymes, Fish Oil, Iberogast, Kelp, N-acetylcysteine, Natural Factors Acidophilus & Bifidus, Tumeric, Limited FODMAPs
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