input from youn gals appreciated-daughter leaving for school tomorrow

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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 1/1/2008 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
it's only been 2 weeks since she has been home but we went to the new dr that 1st day and she put her on the colazol and rectal meds-well we've come along way in those short weeks from hearing her getting up all night long to go, to the last few days days of going only 2-3 x daily with no blood, and a couple of solid ones.
she will call the dr tomorrow to discuss the sugar problem , weight gain and all the things i've asked you all about -thank you-
my question is this - it has been a very restful couple of weeks home with no school work and no late nights, moderately bland diet, and a trip to the florida sunshine that was just relaxing.
I know that there are many young people in this forum -i'm wondering if you can give me your input as to how much stress, late nights studying/or out, alcohol (moderate) and just living a normal 19 -to 20 something year old life affects your uc? do you notice differences if you are more social or stressed? i just want to see if the meds alone have helped her get to this point, or if the rest has been a part of it.
obviously if they start switching up her meds and her lifestyle swithces up at the same time i'm going to be wondering what the cause could be if the symptoms begin to worsen.
am i making sense?
Mom to 19 year old daughter diagnosed 11/07.
asacol 2 3x daily
colazal 3 3x daily
proctofoam 3x daily
mesalamine enema 1x daily
canasa suppostiories 3x daily (usually doesn't get to do 3)
culturelle probiotic 1 daily
chewable vitamin
hydrocortisone enema at bed tme

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 354
   Posted 1/1/2008 7:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 26 so a bit older than her but I have spent the last few years at the university. I was recently told I have UC but I think I have had it for a while. I think not drinking at all helps me alot. If she isn't working that will help as she can rest more. I also think living off campus helps but that isn't reasonable for most her age and if she gets along with her roommates its not that big of a deal. I would just tell her to not postpone studying as alot of us do - keep up as best as you can so you don't get any extra stress. And remember you can always say no to hanging out with people. Sometimes its best to just take a nap.
Jessica 26/F
Asacol 2pills/ three times a day
Entocort EC 9ml/day
Culturelle once daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 1/1/2008 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I would say when I went away to a college program at 19 and worked full time, that I was doing pretty well as far as not flaring at that time or very little. For me, I think the move helped. I didn't drink alcohol, though, but now do sometimes and it really bugs my guts. I guess it just depends on how active the disease is at the time. I felt so great, I got pregnant! Sorry to scare you, but it's true... I am glad now I had my boys young cause I wouldn't be having them now with my health like this. Don't worry, she will be okay and if you keep your communication open you will know how she is feeling and if she is ok there. Sometimes we just want to live like everyone else, especailly at that age. I didn't feel the late nights or hard work made me flare, it was usually diet then for me. Oh, those were the days!
Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15
Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocortisone Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcourt, Colazol, Proctocort, Anamantle, etc...
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis with almost rectovaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade,ulcer shrunk in 3 months, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Remicade 700mgs every 6 wks ( had reaction, will start Humira in 6 weeks) Lomotil, Darvocet, Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Tapering Prednisone again :( for joint pain

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 318
   Posted 1/2/2008 12:40 AM (GMT -6)   
i was diagnosed last year at 22 and just graduated from college this past November so my experience with school and UC might not be the best since I'm still trying to control my symptoms. BUT I would definitely say that stress is a major factor (especially for me) in feeling crappy. I've always hated school so stress and school go hand in hand for me and I'm so glad I'm finally done. I didn't work a regular job this year, just on call stuff at a very small and caring company and that really did help. I'd say if she starts a job and gets too much stress that she should just not work. Focus on school, and get it done, work later. As far as being social, going out with friends always made me feel better. Its a good distraction from the disease most of the time. Late nights out with friends always happen when i don't have to wake up early so they never really aggravated the UC. But regular sleep is helpful.

Something your daughter could do to help out with teachers being understanding of her needing to miss school sometimes because she's having a bad day or leave class to go to the bathroom is registering with the school's office of disabilities. This way, all the teachers will be aware that she has a condition and they need to be understanding of it. She can request extra time for exams should she need to use the restroom and run out of time, or be given extra sick says if the teachers require attendance. this would probably help with stress since she won't have to worry about missing class and getting points taken off and the like. This was the big one for me. I missed a month of school and received no credit for one of my classes because the teacher didn't care that I was sick and in the hospital. It was a requirement of the class that i be there and since i couldn't get out of bed, he failed me. If I had been registered there's a good chance he would have been forced to allow me to make up the work. Hopefully she won't have any butthead teacher's like that guy. Usually all the office requires is a note from the doctor explaining the condition, but you can check with them on what they need.

The only other big thing I would worry about is diet. If she is living away from home, especially in a dorm with no kitchen to make proper meals, its hard to stay healthy in food choices. Convenience (ramen, mac and cheese as well as fast food) foods are bad in general but they will exacerbate UC to no end.

she could try keeping a journal of her symptoms and her routine with school and such and see if you find a correlation. This might also help if she switches meds to help track any side effects. My side effects were always really obvious though. I'm allergic to all the 5 ASAs, 6-MP and similar immunosupressents and can't take any of the enemas. It was always the drugs that made me sicker. But for most people side effects aren't so obvious and it can be confusing as to whether its a side effect or the UC. Especially when half the side effects for things are diarrhea and stomach pains.

one last thing that might help if she finds she is getting stressed and it makes her feel ill is talk to a therapist. My school offered free once a week therapy for whatever you wanted. It might be a good way to vent if she has a hard time talking to friends about her UC since poo is not exactly the most fun thing to discuss with your buddies =)
diagnosed Dec 2006 at 22 years old and flaring since
20mg prednisone in a 4 week taper
1000mg of Curcumin twice a day
fish oil-3
coral calcium
allergic or intolerant to all 5ASAs and 6-mp

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 1/2/2008 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm 21 (a senior in college) and I've had UC since I was 16. The only really bad flare that I've had, while in college, was during my freshman year and it put me in the hospital for 9 days. I think this flare was definately because I wasn't taking my meds religiously (or that at least played a huge role). I'm a pretty calm and laid back person; I don't stress very easily. I have a very chaotic/sporadic schedule. Some nights I'm up late studying or out with little sleep etc. I haven't noticed my social life, late nights, or stress levels really influencing my UC (other then adherence to meds), but I do realize that it is different for everyone. I drink alcohol almost every week and I don't think that drinking has ever really sent me into a flare. I do notice that the side effects of drinking are sometimes more prominent in me then in my friends and I wonder if it's from the meds or UC? For example, sometimes when I get a hangover it seems to be way worse then my friends. But a lot of the time there are no different effects on me from drinking then anyone else and I can drink just like everyone else. I always keep pepto handy when I'm helps.

The main problem that I have had while at school is taking my medication as prescribed. I was on Asacol until August when I switched to Lialda(which I only take once a day as opposed to 3 times a day). There were times when I was having to take medicine 4-5 times a day, which I found almost impossible between classes and everything else going on in life. For over a year I had blood in my stool almost every time I went to the bathroom, occasionally I'd go a week or 2 blood free, but for the most part there was always blood. Once again, I think a lot of this had to do w/ not taking my meds as prescribed. I could rarely get the full amount of Asacol as prescribed each day. And as terrible as this may sound I always thought that if blood was my only symptom and I was functioning regularly then I was good to go. So I was okay w/ not taking my Asacol as prescribed. When I switched to Lialda the blood went away b/c I was getting my full dose each day.

As far as eating goes, I eat the same thing any other college student eats. I know that these aren't always wise food choices but I don't think that my eating habits have really had an effect on my UC either. I just know which foods bother me & I stay away from them. I live in a sorority house so we get 3 decent meals a day (which helps), but I still make the occasional late night fast food run.

Since I live with so many other girls I do have to be careful b/c my immune system is surpressed from Imuran. I'm a lot more cautious about washing my hands, staying away from sick people, and using Lysol etc. any chance I get.

So all in all I don't think that college itself has had an effect on my UC and I am able to lead a normal life at school. You always have to remember that you could be doing everything by the book & still have problems, sometimes people go into flares for no apparent reason! The main problem, for me, was remembering to take my medication, but anyone can have that problem whether they are in school or not. Taking meds seems like such a simple task and some people don't understand why people can't just stay on their med schedule. But, I think that when you're young you don't always look at the consequences, especially long term, of your actions. So even though not taking my meds may not effect me right away I wasn't wise enough to realize that in the long run not taking my meds can seriously harm me. I get busy with school and caught up with things and taking meds is the last thing that I want to think about, but I now know that not taking them is going to cause a lot more problems then if I would just make a conscious effort to pop a few pills a couple times a day. No matter how many times my mom told me to take my meds etc. I had to ultimately learn from my own mistakes.

Good luck for the next semester!

Jennifer, 21
Diagnosed 2002-age 16
Imuran 100 mg
Lialda 2.4 gm
Prilosec 20 mg

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 1/2/2008 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   

I completely agree with OkieStateGirl about taking your medication regularly. For me I think that is one of the main reason why I flare when I do. That coupled with stress. Fortuntately I was first diagnosed in my last semester in college, so I didn't have to deal with it while I was in school for very long. But when I first started having problems and didn't know what was going on, it made it very hard to make it to class and to get things done. I think I missed 2 weeks in the beginning of the sememster which really freaked me out. But when I take my medication regularly (and I mean ALL OF IT), it really makes a big difference. I've had a lot of problems taking my enemas regularly for a variety of reasons: staying at my boyfriend's house and not wanting to take them there (we just recently moved in together so this is not a problem anymore), going on vacations and not taking them, or feeling like I'm well enough to not take them as often. But resulting flares have taught me that I have to take them consistently, even when I do feel good. Seeing that most people on this site take them while in remission as well only reinforces it to me.

Stress also play a big factor into a flare for me. I've been dealing with a pretty major flare within the past 5-6 months and I think it was triggered from a very stressful period in my life. I had started a new job and quickly figured out it was not working out. I ended up leaving there without anything else lined up and was jobless for about 3 months. Thankfully now I'm working again and everything seems to be clearing up.

So my advice for your daughter would be to take her medication REGULARLY, even if she has to find some alternative ways to work it into her daily routine. She'll be much happier for doing it. And I know it's much easier to say than to do, but managing her stress will help her out as well. Exercising on a regular basis always seems to help me with that, as well as getting enough rest and eating right. She should also try and see her friends as much as possible. I know sometimes I can get down about having to deal with this condition and that inturn makes me a hermit. But as soon as I'm with my friends, it all seems okay. The support you get from others can really go a long way.

Diagnosed in February 2005
Currently taking:
Cloazal (9 pills/daily)
Rowasa (nightly, semi-nightly)
Probiotic--VSL 3 (once daily, sometimes more)
Multi-Vitamin (daily)
Folic Acid (daily)
FiberCon (2 pills daily)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/2/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -6)   
well, i'm not as young as your daughter, but for me the major thing was taking my pills, I would think i was fine and gradually take less and less and still be fine then be off them for a while then get a flare. So my advice is take for her to take her meds as prescribed. It's going to be hard i'm sure to do that being young and not having had to do this before, plus people will notice from time to time and ask why she's taking pills (if she does so at lunch or in front of other people). She should think up a canned response that she feels comfortable saying when/if people ask. I dunno, I always get stuck on the little things in life.........the big things I do pretty well at, i'm kind of backwards with things anyway.

btw, you may not be happy to know this but drinking doesn't have an affect on my uc = )

Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

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