So I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is. When googling Ulcerative Colitis, Mayo Clinic’s definition is the first thing to appear and it reads Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum (2018).
Here is my best way of describing it. You know when you eat an orange, pineapple, vinegar or other acidy foods and a day or so later you’re left with a canker sore in your mouth? Well, instead of having canker sores in my mouth (which I do get all the time by the way) I have canker sores throughout my large intestine.
Speaking from experience, UC can be very painful. One can have symptoms of pain in the lower abdomen, cramps, diarrhea with puss and blood, bleeding from the rectum, urgency to defecate and weight loss. Back in May I experienced all these symptoms. I had lost 15lbs which resulted in me weighing only 105lbs; I was not able to eat anything without it feeling like I was digesting 100 knives. Luckily, I am back on my feet now and probably weigh a little more than my original weight (thanks to the freshman 15). These aren’t the only symptoms though as one can also experience the inability to defecate despite urgency, fatigue, fever and failure to grow.
So how did they diagnose me with Ulcerative Colitis? I realized that something was wrong after I went to the bathroom one morning and I had a large amount of blood in my stool. Usually, I wouldn’t worry about this because I am, in fact, a female and periods aren’t an uncommon thing for me (duuuuuuuuh) but thanks to birth control I knew it wasn’t “my time of the month”.
I immediately went to see my Doctor and told her the symptoms I had been experiencing and voila— Ulcerative Colitis. There were several tests set up that following week for me but the pain grew too strong and I had to go to the hospital a few days later. I would eventually have a colonoscopy that would confirm my diagnosis.
It’s been 8 months since my initial diagnosis. Obviously Ulcerative Colitis isn’t immediately life threatening but it’s a chronic condition that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. A healthy life can be achievable through a proper diet, medication (I currently take 6 Asacol pills a day) and an active lifestyle.
This wasn’t exactly what I pictured for my life, but I’m pushing through it. Thankfully I’ve got a wonderful support group of friends and family who support me every step of the way no matter what. If anyone has any questions and/or comments feel free to contact me on my contact page or on my Instagram account. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post today!