Pj's welcome to HealingWell. If we have to have this DD, at least we can find support here. It sounds like you're getting a double whammy of auto-immune diseases. Often if you have one of them, another will show up at some point.
I began having blood in August of 2001, and had my first colonoscopy in November. I had pain, bleeding, mucus and frequency from August 2001 until April 2006. That's an unusually long time, most people don't flare for that long, but it does happen to some of us.
Arthritis-type joint pain is indeed one of the well known little "extras" that may accompany UC. In my case, the joint pain came about
10 years before the UC appeared.
Your intestines aren't falling apart, just the mucus membrane that lines them is staying irritated and keeps bleeding and making mucus because of the irritation. When you get into remission, your colon will be able to begin healing itself and the bleeding and mucus will stop. Fistulas aren't usually seen in UC, they're more a feature of Crohn's. In UC only the top layer of the intestinal lining is involved, the rest of the intestinal wall stays intact. It really isn't okay that you're still bleeding, but the medications take a bit of time to become effective and really show results. Even when the inflammation starts to go away, the colon still has to heal before the blood and mucus will stop.
It sounds like the Lialda is helping, give it a little more time to work. If it doesn't get you all the way to remission, your doctor may want to talk about
adding additional medications like Imuran or 6-MP. Prednisone is not for long-term use, as it has some pretty horrific side effects over time.
Feel free to vent and ask your questions here. You'll find we all do that from time to time.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Asacol, Rowasa, Pentasa, Prednisone, Entocort, Azathioprine
Colazal, Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri.
In remission since April, 2006. Remicade has been my wonder drug.
Co-Moderator UC Forum