Happy Colon

Gut Feelings

Sept 26 Update: Detective-work

Unfortunately, I’ve started to have symptoms again…

I can track the earliest sign to last Thursday, when I saw more blood than I had been lately. Friday was fine, but then Saturday and since then I’ve had increasing symptoms. Also, a couple days ago I started to have signs of a cold – sneezing and a sore throat.

I made a timeline of all of the recent changes:

Sept 3: Started 6MP
Sept 5: Started antibiotics and doubled the amount of probiotics I’m taking.
Sept 6: Started classes but was still living at home.
Sept 8: Symptoms cut in half by this point. Stopped 6MP.
Sept 10: Blood transfusion
Sept 13: Symptoms nearly gone by now. Decreased prednisone 8.5mg to 8mg. Moved back to my apartment in Boston, close to school.
Sept 14/15: Eczema popped up. (I might be allergic to something in my apartment since this happened during the summer semester too and cleared up when I went home)
Sept 20: Saw more blood than lately (The day after I was fine, but then I got more and more symptomatic starting the 22nd)
Sept 23: Started to have a sore throat

So, what is going on? How could I get so much better so quickly, and then start backsliding a couple weeks later? I am determined to figure it out! With each flare, and with each improvement, I can learn more about my disease and what helps and hurts it. I refuse to believe that it’s all just a wonder, and we’ll “just never know.” There are reasons behind changes in my health, and I’ve got an all-star team to help me figure out what they are.

My own thoughts are this:

Possible reasons I improved so quickly: 

Started 6MP: 6MP is supposed to take a long time to work – at least a month. My gastroenterologist told me this, and I read many testimonials of it on the internet. However, when I started 6MP in 2009, it worked for me right away – within a week. My GI doc had said that must have been due to something else, but I know that there were no other changes! When I improved a couple weeks ago, I didn’t attribute it to 6MP even though it worked quickly for me before, and so I stopped the 6MP after 5 days of being on it.

Started Antibiotics: As I discussed in another post, antibiotics have seemed to help me a lot during several flare-ups within this flare. So I attributed my improvement this time to them.

 

Possible reasons I got worse again:

Stopped 6MP: If 6MP did indeed help me within a few days, then stopping it would have made me worse. However, I continued to improve or at least stay improved for over a week after I stopped it.

Decreased Prednisone by a half-milligram: When I was feeling really well, I thought I would take advantage and taper a bit on prednisone. I’ve been on prednisone for a year and a half now, so maybe that tiny difference made a big difference for me.

Have stayed on antibiotics for too long: Even if the antibiotics were what initially helped me, it’s possible that they started to affect me adversely. I’ve actually been on them for 3 weeks; I honestly lost track of time! Although I doubled my probiotic intake when I started them, maybe that wasn’t enough to prevent the antibiotics from washing out too much of my good bacteria.

Stress: I ruled out stress contributing, as I’m comfortable with my workload this semester, I love my classes, and my professors know about my UC and are very accommodating. I’m excited to be back at school – not stressed by it!

So…

I emailed my thoughts to my herbalist and gastroenterologist to see what they think. I think it’s the antibiotics scenario, and my herbalist thought that that was a more likely explanation too. (I’m waiting to hear back from my GI doc.) I’m starting to taper off the antibiotics, and I’m upping my probiotics.

What do you think?

And I just came across this article at WebMD about a recent study linking antibiotic increasing the risk of getting IBD.

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2012 by in Health/Life Update.

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