Posted 3/15/2013 1:35 PM (GMT -7)
I've been helped immensely by reading the posts on this board for a while (thank you!!!) but have just joined today. I guess it's sinking in that I can't beat this diagnosis!
I wanted to ask for opinions about hormone testing - specifically adrenal testing. It's been suggested to me by health professionals that adrenal fatigue might be contributing to my symptoms. I guess it would be helpful to state a bit about my history:
In early 2001, I got a divorce from my husband of 2 years and moved back in with my parents temporarily. Three months later, my mother had a heart attack and was hospitalized. The evening of her heart attack was the first time I ever had blood in my stool. Fast forward three months, I had 20+ bloody bowel movements a day and was finally hospitalized with severe pancolitis. After about 6 months of treatment with prednisone and sulfasalizine, I was in remission. I was able to taper off both drugs and remained in remission for 10 years.
In 2010, my father was in a terrible accident and lingered in a very painful state (fought hard for his life!) for about 6 months, until he finally deteriorated to the point where machines were keeping him alive. In late January 2011, the doctors told us there was absolutely no way to save his life and that all they could do was minimize his pain by keeping him under with morphine. We decided the most compassionate thing was to end his suffering and signed the papers to remove the life support and let him die as peacefully as possible. (By this time, I was remarried with two girls, ages 1 and 4.) about a month after my father died, I started having blood in my stool, again.
I made an appointment with a G.I., who put me on Asacol. After months with no change, neither good nor bad, she scheduled a colonoscopy. The night of the colonoscopy, I started hemorrhaging. Then I started having 30+ bloody bowel movements each day. She put me on mesalamine enemas and 40mg prednisone - neither of which helped. I ended up with a massive internal abscess, which culminated in an RV fistula and was put on Flagy, Cipro and Remicade.
Nearly a year later, I had surgery to repair the fistula. Biopsies were taken during the surgery and showed no evidence of Crohn's. Bloodwork showed no evidence of Crohn's. Subsequent colonoscopies showed no evidence of Crohn's (but did show evidence of UC). So, under the care of a new G.I., my diagnosis is again ulcerative colitis, the Remicade was discontinued and I am taking 4.8 g of Lialda each day. My last colonoscopy (01/13) showed active inflammation only in the last inch of my rectum - which we can't get under control, even with rectal meds.
This, combined with the fact that the two flares I've had in my life have been both substantial and directly after stressful events, is why my doctors are suggesting adrenal fatigue might be a contributing factor to my situation.
Has anyone here had testing for adrenal fatigue? If so, what were the costs involved? Also, what is done to treat this condition?
Thank you, all, for reading this long post. I truly look forward to learning from you!