I just saw my GI after not having seen him for three and a half years. Here are the results:
He didn't see any scar tissue the last time he did a colonoscopy. There was a tiny bit of inflammation left; however, only enough to be seen under a microscope. The tiny bit of inflammation was not surprising, because I was getting over a severe flare at the time.
He didn't test for C-diff, but he definitely could tell that I didn't have C-diff during my second flare when he looked inside my colon.
He thinks it was luck that I gradually got better when I was on probiotics.
He wants me to get a colonoscopy every year once I reach the 10-year mark, because I will be at a greater risk of getting colon cancer. It doesn't matter whether or not I'm flaring the whole 10 years. I will still need colonoscopies every year. Moreover, I could be flaring and not even know it, although it would such a small amount that it would only be able to be seen under a microscope. I wanted to get a colonoscopy to check to see whether or not there is any microscopic colitis, but he doesn't see the need to get a colonoscopy since I'm not showing any symptoms of a flare.
He wants me to see him as soon as I flare, because it is easier to treat a flare when it is caught early. The reason I didn't see him last time was that I started taking asacol as soon as I started flaring. The asacol was ineffective. Three days later, I was in a full-fledged flare, which I knew he would have prescribed prednisone for.
So now I'm a bit confused and have questions:
1. Can he really tell that I didn't have C-diff without testing for it?
2. Why did fecal transplantation and probiotics work so well for me if I didn't have C-diff?
3. Shouldn't I have gotten colitis from antibiotics even if I have UC? I was on them so many times for so many years.
4. Have there been any studies done on the extent of colitis during those 10 years and getting colon cancer after the 10-year mark? If there is a correlation, it could reduce the need for getting yearly colonoscopies for some people.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting; Dx Colitis Dec 06 (also had IBS); Currently in remission
Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.
What works for me: Fecal transplantation, Probiotics, Anti-inflammatory foods, No HFCS, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, Vitamins, Lexapro (for stress).