A little about
me: I was diagnosed with left-side ulcerative colitis in 2009 after a year and a half of symptoms. I've been taking Rowasa and Asacol or Lialda since, and have been mostly asymptomatic since then. I forget that I'm sick most of the time. I've been strictly gluten-free for almost four years now and that seems to help my overall health. Tests were negative for celiac.
I spent seven weeks in Ghana over the summer, and got I Can't Believe It's Not Malaria™ around week four or five: three days of fever, chills, exhaustion, no appetite, and constipation, followed by a morning with no fever but a ton of diarrhea. (Gastroenteritis?) I was constipated for a few days after that, and took milk of magnesia as a last resort... which got things moving but brought back the blood and a bit of mucus in the stool, something I hadn't seen since 2009 or 2010. I returned to the States in August, but continued to occasional bouts of exhaustion and regular blood/mucus in the stool. No pain. Parasite tests turned up negative, and my beloved GI specialist at Kaiser said to wait it out a bit longer to see if it would stick.
After a month of doing the no FODMAPs diet, things returned to normal: blood abated and energy levels came back. I moved to the Caribbean for work, and I've been avoiding the rice, beans, and anything else that might have MSG–that gives me headaches, migraines, and exhaustion. The local diet is mostly plantains, yams, rice, beans, and meat, with the occasional iceberg lettuce salad. Not great if you're trying low FODMAPs or paleo or at least trying to keep carbs down. The local grocery store has chard, and if I'm willing to drive further I can get kale.
Last week, I started being constipated again, despite regular Rowasa enemas at night. I tried a liquid diet for a few days, starting each morning with the salt water flush (1-2 tsp of sea salt and a quart of warm water). This worked one day: vigorous bowel movements in the morning, but nothing for the other three days. I was expecting to have to be camped by a toilet, but I mostly had a headache and fantasized about
steak. After that first bowel movement, nothing else happened.
I'm back to eating solid food, but I've had only one or two bowel movements that could be called as such since Monday. Salt water flushes with over a tablespoon of salt yield a few pellets. Maybe. I'm getting about
30 g of fiber a day from vegetables and fruit, as well as nuts and psyllium/flaxseed. I'm drinking lots of water and green tea. Today I took magnesium citrate; nothing's happening yet. The occasional little pellet comes out, but not more than that. Drinking apple cider vinegar diluted in water. Aloe vera juice. Yogurt. Probiotics. Nothing of significance is moving.
Weirdest thing? I'm not in pain. I don't feel particularly bloated, but going from huge bowel movements every morning (around a pound of fecal matter) to these tiny dry pellets is disconcerting.
The local grocery stores have senna tea but that sounds like not the best idea for someone with UC. Prune juice? More salt water flushes? Couldn't find Miralax at Walgreens. Any other ideas? I've yet to find a GI doctor on the island (I don't speak Spanish all that well), but I can email my GI specialist at Kaiser and he'll get back to me.
Post Edited (Asteroid) : 12/23/2012 7:07:54 AM (GMT-7)