Living with ulcerative colitis is not for the faint-hearted and it is not fun. I knew where every bathroom was in every store that I visited. I knew where all the gas stations on the way to the stores were so if I needed to make an emergency stop I didn’t have to panic.
The meds I took, sulfazine, 400 mg 4 times a day when I was having a flare-up and 200 mg 4 times a day when I wasn’t, gave me headaches so I took Tylenol all the time. Niacin was also taken because sulfazine blocks the absorption of niacin. It seemed like I was popping pills all the time. Read more about other medications used for treating ulcerative colitis.
Living with Ulcerative Colitis
My biological clock started ticking; I wanted kids. I quit drinking alcohol, stopped eating junk food and ate more healthy grains. Becoming pregnant was awesome! My symptoms went away during a couple of my pregnancies, and I stopped taking sulfazine. I wanted to take as few drugs as possible while I was pregnant; I was thankful I only had two flare-ups with my first pregnancy. Took the meds until the flare-up (mucus) went away and then stopped again.
Nursing and sulfazine are not compatible. Luckily, I was able to nurse, but as soon as Travis weaned I had a huge flare! I was so tired; 7-month-old baby who wasn’t sleeping through the night and colitis fatigue. Living with ulcerative colitis is hard.
My second pregnancy was the hardest; I bled throughout the pregnancy. The meds weren’t doing much, but the doctors didn’t want to change them while I was pregnant. Blessings abounded though. 48 hours before I went into labor my bleeding stopped. I quit taking the drugs and I was able to nurse. Again, as soon as my second child, Russell, had weaned – a huge flare-up occurred.
Doctor’s Don’t Know What Causes Ulcerative Colitis
Visiting a certified nutritionist wasn’t much help. She basically told me, “eat more fiber when you don’t have a flare and no fiber when you do”. I was doing everything the doctors and nutritionist told me to, but I continued to have flare-ups with bleeding, mucus and gas for the next 15 years. My gastroenterologist told me, “We don’t know what causes ulcerative colitis so all we can do is treat the symptoms.”
Sulfazin stopped my bleeding when I had a flare-up, but I was tired of taking pills every day. I quit taking the low dose all the time and only took the meds when a flare-up started because I seemed to have flare-ups whether I was taking the low doses or not.
I didn’t realize alcohol was a trigger until I stopped drinking alcohol while I was pregnant and nursing and then reintroduced it to my diet when the kids were weaned. If I drank two glass of wine or a couple of beers for two days in a row, a flare-up on day three was guaranteed. Needless to say, drinking alcohol soon became a rare occurrence.
Living with ulcerative colitis means missing important moments in your children’s lives. Where was I when Travis hit his first home run in baseball? Surprise, surprise, I was in the bathroom. Chaperone for a school outing, sorry can’t go on this one (I was in the middle of a flare-up).
What happens when you have Ulcerative Colitis
By the time I was forty I was exhausted. Working full time, raising three kids who were active in sports and school and I was living with someone who was extremely negative all the time took its toll. While no sodas were allowed in the house, I justified drinking two cokes a day at work, telling myself they were to stay awake. I was not sleeping well at night and taking Motrin almost every day due to the headaches………. I was exhausted! Learn about more here.
To top all that off my teeth were a disaster. I currently have 14 crowns. I was complaining to my dentist about my terrible teeth and he indicated he wasn’t surprised that I’d have bad teeth. There’s more acid in your mouth when you have a flare-up. Read more here; here.
Well, I’d had flare-ups for over 25 years and the doctors never gave me a heads up on this. It sure would have been nice to know that all the years of turmoil and pain could have been eliminated by following these 3 simple steps;
1) Do an internal whole food body cleanses
2) begin eating healthy organic foods
3) stop eating all processed food
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