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UC Dude
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Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 8/30/2008 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Just finished reading this book by Daniel Goleman.

Really makes me think about the mind body connection in regards to our ailment. I wonder if the medical community treated our disease state more holistically what the outcomes would be? It seems like many have stress/anxiety issues (acknowledged or not) that existed before the emergence of our issues.

My GI has always said stress doesn't have cause uc. Maybe not directly, but the impact of stress over time could allow for the emergence and impact of the disease? There has never been any discussion on the mental side of treatment.

Thoughts?
 


kachooboy
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/30/2008 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   

Just recently signed on and read your post. Definitely agree with you there. The GI system is so unpredictable and people have many different symptoms and causes of flare ups. I was diagnosed with UC in May 2007. It seems as though that the biggest trigger for me is stress and paranoia. Also I recently took an allergy test and cut out foods that I am allergic to and there has been a considerable difference. Also stay clear of an artificial sweetner called Aspartame, its in a lot of drinks.

This worked so well for me that I am now on 1x3(400mg) Asacol a day and that is the only medication that I am taking.


LondonRed
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Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 1194
   Posted 8/30/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I have bad anxiety and it's worse than my IBD. I think there is a massive link.

Diagnosis Oct 07 and then Aug 08: 2 Patches of Mild Chrohn's Colitis (unconfirmed)
Medication: 4000mg Pentasa a day, 5mg Clipper Steroid (Beclometasone dipropionate)


Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 8/30/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
I was thinking about this the other day after watching a show on Iowa Public Television in which a doctor said stress and emotions definitely play a role on the body's immune system.

I have always been a very stressed-out person since long before UC...very emotional, lots of anxiety, depression, etc. I was going through a particularly stressful few months leading up to my diagnosis...I often wondered if that played a role in my getting UC.

This book looks good. Did you like it?
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa weekly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 8/30/2008 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Funny you should mention this. My friend has another autoimmune disease that affects her, and just the other day I was telling her I was going to see our acupuncturist for my sinuses, and she said she is needs to to go for her anxiety; seems the anxiety makes her autoimmune really bad. Guess we might have the same issues?
Carol

Remicade - will have my 24th infusion on October 2
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


jujub
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 8/30/2008 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   
When I was first diagnosed with autoimmune disease (arthritis), my doctor said he had never seen an AI disease that appeared when the person was not under a lot of stress. Stress doesn't seem to bother me as much as it does some others, but I think perhaps that has to do with my stress management capabilities. If there's one thing this disease has taught me, it's to not stress over things I can't control.
Judy - Southern US 
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


potato
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 281
   Posted 8/30/2008 12:02 PM (GMT -6)   

This is definitely one of the most intriguing aspects of this disease to me, since I studied psychology in undergrad and grad school and have been a counselor in various settings over the years.  At least while I'm miserable with UC, I have "ah ha" moments with mind/body/spirit connection that others who don't have these sorts of problems will ever have!  This is probably true for lots of people here.

I think about what qualities in myself that this disease tends to bring out.  For example, I can tend to over analyze things.  It's so easy to do fall into that with UC!  I look for "the answer".  So far my disease defies answers!  I worry despite that fact that worry is a complete waste of energy.  Is my gut telling me that exact thing? 

I'd love to be able to research so much more.

And just to throw this out there, when I think of how many sayings there are that relate to our digestive systems  smilewinkgrin  :

"I can't stomach that";  "She's got a lot of guts";  "Have some intestinal fortitude";  "It just goes right through her" (ok, maybe that one's not necessarily digestively related, lol)

I bet everyone with this DD can think of one.       


Potato...  Female, 58, dx mild left sided ulcerative colitis 11/07
asacol 3 3x a day 
cortenema (generic) am & pm Rowasa every other day 
culturelle, benefiber wafers  generic acidophilus, metamucil wafers
children's vitamin, Vitamin E 400 mg
omeprazole 2x a day
oxazepam when needed, lomotil or ImodiumAD (but not in the same day)
 
 
 
 
 
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/30/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
My colon and rectom surgeon told me to keep my life as stress free as possible, so there is of course a connection, it may or may not be a trigger for IBD but it definitely can exacerbate symptoms for IBD or my colon and rectom surgeon wouldn't have made the comment.

Afterall with there being a mind-gut connection, it only makes sense that stress plays some role in IBD.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


LyndaC
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 8/30/2008 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I was fuel injected with stress over a period of 5 years. I believe that stress and anxiety triggered my IBD. I have no doubt. It can't just be coincidence that at the most stressful time of my life IBD appears. Stress is responsible for so much - anything that puts the body under unhealthy pressure is bound to have a negative effect. My doctor has told me to figure out how to create a more peaceful life and eliminate stress as much as possible.

I read somewhere recently that the number of IBD sufferers is on the increase. When I was diagnosed I was asked if there was a family history of IBD, I said I didn't think so. I was right, there isn't as far back as we can remember. It makes sense that the world we live in is a much more stressed world than say the world my grandmother lived in. Life was much more simple. Here in Ireland it was almost against the law to work weekends. And you'd seldom see a shop open on a Sunday LOL! People walked everywhere, ate better, took time. It was slower paced. Times have changed and I would imagine that in recent years the lifestyles we've created for ourselves with busy timetables and schedules, stress is now something most everyone suffers with to some degree or other. So perhaps with that increase in sufferers someone will decide to do a study and link stress to the onset of IBD.
 
40 year old female. Ireland.
 
Diagnosed Left sided UC in June 08.
Asacolon 2400mg per day
Protiem 
Prednisone
Also taking Calcium, Acidophilis, Zinc, Vit C, Vit B complex, Omega 3 and Evening Primrose
 
I'm on my own little planet..but that's okay they know me there.
 
 
 


NMcP
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 8/30/2008 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Count me in on the stress impacts my UC in a MAJOR WAY train.
Age: 48
location: Seattle, Wa
currently in small flare, tail end of colon
Diagnosed with UC in June 2006
Medications: Asacol 3 pills 3 x/day, Cortifoam at bedtime, Canansa in the morning
No. of colonoscopies: 1
Originally diagnosed with moderate UC, pancolitis


kops2da
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2865
   Posted 8/30/2008 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   

As a senior here (68) I KNOW stress has a part in UC.  For years I had IBS and inherited anxiety/panic attacks from a Mother who worried about everything.  When I first had symptoms - about 18 months ago of nausea/sweating/insomnia/diarrhea, etc. by primary care doc and OB/GYN thought it was anxiety related and I agreed so I tried about four medications before I found the 1/2 Xanax every 6 hours helped.  All other drugs just made me worse.  Then the IBS turned into very bloody "D" so a colonoscopy was recommended.  (I had two sigmoids over the years with no problems). 

Of course, colonoscopy/endoscopy showed proctosignoiditis and GERD. A surgeon did the tests a year ago and recommended Rowasa only.  I did not get the prescription or see a gastro doctor because that was when my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer - talk about stress!

I lived over a year with taking Imodium, pepto bismal, gasX, etc. and living with it until my husband got done treatments and is stable.  So, I finally went to gastro doctor and had another colonoscopy and have been trying to heal my colon since May.  Apparently 5-asa drugs help but after a few weeks the side effects are worse than the UC.  I stopped all untnil next week and see what is next! 

Back to STRESS, etc. - yes, it certainly has to cause a lot of flares, etc.  If we can keep stress under control - the UC would be so much easier to deal with.

ElaineNY


68 yr. old granny
New diagnosed with proctosigmoiditis
Colazal 1X3
Probiotic Align
Prilosec for GERD
Inderol for hypertension
Xanax,Lipitor, multivitamin, calcium w/D, Tylenol
Starting Rowasa nightly
 
 
 
 
 
 


damo123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 714
   Posted 8/30/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -6)   
The incidence of UC has increased exponentially over the last 50 years per head of population. The incidence of chronic illness has increased exponetially over the last 50 years per head of population.

Over the last 50 years modern diet has worsened significantly. Social stress has also increased exponentially.

Not hard to "do the math"!

Just because you don't feel stressed out or anxious that doesn't mean that your body is not "under stress". When we disucss stress we tend to talk about stress triggers. But that's not "stress". Stress is the internal reaction taking place in every cell of your body due to physcial and chemical changes and imbalances.

No one sees the constant, gradual erosion at the micoscpic level of a bridge until it gives way and collapses.

When the medical community say "stress doesn't cause UC" they refer to the fact that stress doesn't give you the medical predisposition to have the condition triggered. They absolutely do not make any claim that stress cannot excaberate and worsen each individual's symptoms.

The human brain and the human colon are very alike at the genetic level - they are both cast from the same genetic material. The gut can "think" just like the brain - not in conscious controlled way but rather through neuro-transmission. Hence expressions like "gut - feeling", "butterflies in tummny" etc. Any strucutre with a large amount of neuro - transmission is susceptible to the effects of stress.
Probiotics and maintenance 5ASA's in rectal form
 
"Whatever you do in life don't berate yourself too much nor contragulate yourself too much. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody elses'"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


mmccaus
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/30/2008 4:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I think stress definitely affects our condition, but personally I don't think it's the cause or even really part of the cause. When I had my UC relapse a year ago, I was under an immense amount of stress, however, I had been under similar and at times more stress in the preceding 15 years of remission. So why didn't it come back at those times but did this time. I'd say that's the definition of coincidence right there. Just because something happens at the same time, doesn't mean one caused the other, or even that they're related really. Sometimes, I feel the same about some of the things that we identify as having brought on "cure" or remission, that they are probably just coincidental. I always attributed the fact that my UC went away to running out of medication and staying off it. I didn't have symptoms then for 15 years. Cause, coincidence, who knows? But it sure did come back finally...
M, 44, SF, CA
ulcerative proctitis diagnosed in 1989, active 3 years, but controlled with Sulfasalazine and cortisone enemas
15 year remission off all meds 1992-2007
ulcerative colitis returned May 2007, no remission since
concurrent infections at diagnosis: c-diff, cmv colitis, both treated and negative
meds: asacol, 4-3x/day
started remicade 4/22/08


IBD/IBS Author
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/30/2008 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Studies have shown for years that stress makes illness worse. Plus, add the fact that even for non-IBD people stress, nervousness, anxiety, even excitement tends to be rooted in the gut - think of when you get butterflies in your stomach, it proves that the gut is the physical root of our emotions.

I don't think stress caused my IBD, but I know for a fact that stress, nerves, anticipation, all make my IBD and my IBS worse. Just as certain foods make it worse, too. But, I also know from experience that I can think I'm doing everything right and still wham-o, for no reason that I'm consciously aware I have a flare. There's a lot going on with our body and our mind that on our own, without help, we'll rarely come to understand.

I've studied this mind/body/gut connection quite exhaustively since my Dx in '98 and because I feel so strongly about it I've decided to apply to grad. school to study contemplative psychology. It's a type of psychology rooted in the Buddhist belief that in order to truly be health in mind and body we first have to understand our individual mind, then and only then can we use it to make and keep ourselves heathly/healthier.

If I get into the program it takes 3 years, then a year of clinical. Hopefully by the time I'm done I'll have the answer for all of us! Woo-hoo

Cheers,
Elizabeth
Dx'd with UC, 1998 & IBS, 1999
Asacol, probiotics, vits. and whole foods diet


BeijingBelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/30/2008 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I am almost certain that stress AT LEAST exacerbates my IBD, and may have caused it to begin with! First flare was less than 2 months after moving from Tokyo to Beijing. I loved Tokyo and would go back in a second, Beijing is somewhat challenging at times.

Also, if I have plans to go somewhere new and I am unsure about the bathrooms (some here are just appalling, I won't get graphic), I can be feeling fine before I go and then as I am going down in the elevator - I have to come back up...So a few days ago I told my husband I should try to find a Western psychologist and work out my anxiety and/or control issues that are upsetting my tummy. So glad a few others agree!

Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 8/30/2008 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I actually do better when stressed and when stress is reduced (like taking time off work), then I get worse. I think my body's fight knows it can finally relax. The only pattern to my worst flares is the changing of the seasons.
49 year old female, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently tapering off presnisone from lingering flare;
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet which resolved flare. Also Replete probiotic, DGL (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 8/30/2008 10:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Myabe it's not the "stressed" that makes you "better" but infact being busy at work...taking your mind off your disease somewhat because you're concentrating on work and when you're at home (off work) you're mind isn't busy thinking about work...the mind is a very powerful thing...

I know with me, when I'm busy with "stuff" going on, things that need to get done then alot of that time I seem to "go" less, compared to days when I have nothing planned at all and it's a very leisurely day, then it sometimes seems that I "go" more.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


UC Dude
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 8/31/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Sara14 said...
This book looks good. Did you like it?


I did. I had to read it a couple of pages at a time so I could digest it.

Daniel Goleman wrote this to follow up his work on "emotional intelligence". If anyone knows about EI, in recent years it has been disucssed that it is way more important than traditional IQ.
 


Sara14
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4538
   Posted 8/31/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
The same thing often happens to me, pb4.

That grad program sounds really interesting, Elizabeth. I hope you get accepted into it!

UC Dude - I looked up his book on Emotional Intelligence yesterday. I think I'm going to check both of them out.
Diagnosed with UC March 2007; Asacol 4 tablets 3x/day; Rowasa nightly; Canasa weekly; Viactiv; Metamucil wafers; multivitamin


doors12
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 723
   Posted 9/3/2008 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
These discussions always get confounded.

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

Not even worth pondering at this point, yes, there's something of interest here, but I'm too busy trying to hold down a job to find the answer. Google 'enteric nervous system'

We are inhabited by millions or more bacteria. It's not impossible that bacteria influence anxiety, i've recently read a study relating them to depression.

In my opinion, at least some forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are themselves an autoimmune disease, probably the result of something attacking the brain.

Anyone can talk about stress, but who can define it?
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 6/2006 at age 26 after sudden E.R. visit
~Pancolitis (Mild to Moderate)
 ~I had Mono in 2000
On Colazal 3x3/day; Folic Acid 1mg; Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo
In remission about 2-3 months after E.R. but not back to normal!
 
~Interested in finding a cure/making sense out of U.C. and philosophical and psychological aspects of UC and "Stress" and Personal Development issues with Chronic Illnesses. 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/3/2008 11:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Stress; strain, preasure, tension, worry, anxiety, physically and mentally...of course pretty much everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives, some live with it on a daily basis and some don't.

Obsessive compulsive disorders are a mental (psycological) thing that causes a reaction to doing physical things repeatedly, like always putting on lip balm even when it's not necessary, it's a mental (psycological) condition causing one to do something physical.

We're basically made of bacteria/cells, we could not survive without having any bacteria good or bad.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


doors12
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 723
   Posted 9/3/2008 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Nice effort.

You're stumbling through trying to explain existence from the viewpoint of a flawed medical model.

Where is the mind? Is it the brain? Is it a piece of meat? Then it's physical, right? (That really doesn't seem quite right does it?)

The whole field of modern psychology is a hoax and so much psycho-babble.

The misunderstanding goes all the way back to Descartes. But go ahead and diagnose OCD as a psychological illness. And let's go ahead and stigmatize psychological illnesses while we're at it. I don't want any quotes from the DSM - a manual for health insurance purposes.

You either get it or you don't. No offense, but the lay public understanding of psychology makes such a discussion like trying to explain Calculus to someone who has a 4th grade math education.

But I promise you if you pry back the cover of the Family Circle variety of psychology you will find some real questions worth considering. You might also look into the history of "psychosomatic illness."

One thing I would hope we could agree on is that there isn't much room for "smugness" when dealing with the topic of UC. There are many questions that are unanswered at this point in time. It just bothers me to think that the weak kind of explanations doctors and such like to give regarding "stress" and UC are believed. Couldn't the reality of the situation be a little bit less linear? The fact that their model can just barely keep the illness under control (for some) should point to the inadequacy of the medical model.
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis 6/2006 at age 26 after sudden E.R. visit
~Pancolitis (Mild to Moderate)
 ~I had Mono in 2000
On Colazal 3x3/day; Folic Acid 1mg; Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc combo
In remission about 2-3 months after E.R. but not back to normal!
 
~Interested in finding a cure/making sense out of U.C. and philosophical and psychological aspects of UC and "Stress" and Personal Development issues with Chronic Illnesses. 

Post Edited (doors12) : 9/3/2008 10:49:31 PM (GMT-6)


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/4/2008 12:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Well then, I guess at that rate they'll never figure out IBD or any other chronic illnesses for that fact.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)


Peety
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 9/4/2008 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I notice my GI works to treat the inflamation, while the naturopath is eager to address what might be causing it (too much yeast in colon for too many years, he thinks, started with that darn Accutane) and is treating me that way. The naturopath way is working better.
49 year old female, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA maintenance for 20+ years, usually 3 pills 2x day. 
Currently tapering off presnisone from lingering flare;
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Tested gluten intolerant and started gluten-free, soy-free, etc. diet which resolved flare. Also Replete probiotic, DGL (licorice root, slippery elm), Permeability Factors. Slow-release iron and B-12 shots for severe anemia.
 


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 9/4/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -6)   

This doesn't surprise me...one thing to put a bandaid on a cut, it's another trying to put one on a disease...when it comes to disease you really have to try and get to the route of it in order to properly treat it.

:)

Peety said...
I notice my GI works to treat the inflamation, while the naturopath is eager to address what might be causing it (too much yeast in colon for too many years, he thinks, started with that darn Accutane) and is treating me that way. The naturopath way is working better.


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

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