Hi, all. I'm new here, so please bear with me.
I'm 31 years old. I'm Caucasian, roughly 5'10", I weigh approx. 190 lbs., and I live in Pennsylvania. I don't smoke, and I drink very rarely. I'm active, I run, bike, work out, play softball... I'm healthy, though I've been suffering with colitis for 10 years. I've always been able to link flare-ups with times of extreme stress in the past. My student teaching experience led to a major flare-up. Stress at work has caused flare-ups. My father passing led to another flare-up (that was just last winter). I get a colonoscopy every year, and whenever I get a flare-up, I'm put on steroids for a few weeks, and my asacol prescription is hiked up. I'm currently taking three pills three times a day.
I've had a great, stress-free summer, my school year has been wonderful so far, and I'm not really stressing over anything at all. And yet, now I'm flaring up, waking up at night having to go badly, barely making it to the toilet. It's always liquid, and it looks like cherry Kool-aid every time. This has been going on for the last two weeks, and it's the first time in 10 years that I can't look back and say, "This must be why, because I was stressing over this or that." Even while taking 9 asacol pills each day, I'm flaring up again. It's very frustrating. I've always thought that my flare-ups were tied to stress, but this time has to be different.
My doctor has never really had any answers. No doctor has ever told me anything about what I shouldn't be eating aside from "No aspirin," so I never take Aspirin. It's always more pills when I get a flare-up. The last time I saw my doctor was last March, when my last flare-up went away after a cleansing solution treatment, a colonoscopy, steroids, and more asacol. I haven't contacted him since the bleeding has returned, simply because I don't want to go on steroids again. In fact, he's even said that he's not really sure if I have Crohn's disease or colitis (which I known is a common confusion). He's the second doctor that I've dealt with, and the first one really didn't have any answers either.
Could it be my diet? I drink Diet Coke exclusively. I eat cereal often, mostly Apple Jacks lately. I've been eating a lot of tuna lately. I also eat grilled cheese (Swiss) with Campbell's tomato soup. I stop at Arby's about every other week, and I order their turkey and bacon sandwich, curly fries, and a Diet Pepsi, but I don't frequent any other fast-food places. I also have a die-hard addiction to Starbucks hazelnut lattes. I don't eat sweats; I don't eat cookies, cake, or candy except on very rare occasions. I eat pasta every so often.
Really, I'm tired of these flare-ups. I'm also afraid that I will eventually contract colon cancer and either suffer a bag or death because of this. I look at older people, and I wonder if I'll live that long if I continue to bleed out pints of blood everyday. The idea that the contents of my colon could be seeping into my bloodstream is something that terrifies me. Does anyone have any advice? Could it be my diet? Should I find another doctor (despite getting the same treatment from two different doctors already)? Should I clean out the colon with a cleansing solution and not eat for a day? Should I give in and go through the colonoscopy/steroids again? Am I just doomed to suffer flare-ups for the rest of my life with no warning and no reliable way to combat them?
Maybe I just need to communicate. Any advice is dearly appreciated.
Post Edited (Crust) : 10/8/2008 7:38:03 PM (GMT-6)