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Crohn's Disease Forum » Ulcerative Colitis Forum » Colitis without diarrhea?


03-14-2014, 09:44 AM   #1
ccerulean
 
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Colitis without diarrhea?

Hello, I'm new here. I had some abdominal pain on Dec 31 and Feb 7 that were thought to be appendicitis. After undergoing a colo to rule out Crohn's before appendix surgery, the doc found ulcers in my terminal ileum. The pathology came back as colitis. (whole backstory here: http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=61125)

My question is this-- has anyone else been diagnosed with colitis without a history of diarrhea or stomach troubles? Prior to the first bout of pain, I had always had regular bowel movements and considered myself to have a strong stomach. Specific foods generally do not cause me distress. I can only remember 1-2 instances of seeing some bright red blood on the tissue over the last couple years (which I attributed to hemorrhoids), and 1 instance of mucus on formed stool. My main symptom of illness has been an indeterminate "ache" in my right side that increases and decreases in intensity.

I've been on budesonide and pentasa for 2 weeks now, and feel measurably better (in regards to the ache and energy level). I've been on a low residue diet since Feb. 7 on doctor's orders, which probably helps too, although I'm anxious to find out if I can return to eating in my normal manner.

I'm just trying to make sense of the whole situation. It's tough not knowing what the future holds. I'm glad to have found this community, I've gotten a lot of good info already!
03-14-2014, 11:26 PM   #2
vonfunk
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There are a couple things I can recall before I had my first flare, but nothing that set off any alarms when I was a kid there was blood in my stool once (nothing was found), and I had a history of getting cramps as kid.

Beyond that, the spring of the year I was diagnosed, maybe 6-8 months before I started my flare there was a few instances when I had blood appear on the toilet paper. I took immodium, it went away, I assumed food poisoning and I had no other issues until the fall.
I was a heavy smoker, I quit smoking and that is what set off the full blown flare. Had I kept smoking I probably could have gone for another couple of years with the colitis slowly brewing, and only having random one off symptoms.
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03-19-2014, 10:33 PM   #3
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I've never had any diarrhea, only stomach pain, bleeding (sometimes heavy), and really painful bowel movements. Actually, prior to being diagnosed, the issue I was having was going 2-3 days without going, and then having really large and painful bowel movements!

Vonfunk, it's funny you mention the smoking thing. This all came about for me during pregnancy. When I got pregnant I quit smoking (had been a smoker for 9 years), and looking back I had a few symptoms that could have been the start of my colitis. After giving birth it went into full swing. I never thought the 2 would have been related, but I have seen people mention smoking as actually helping them so maybe I had been prolonging the inevitable!
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03-20-2014, 10:54 AM   #4
vonfunk
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UC is a disease of non-smokers and ex-smokers. You'll almost never find UC in a person who has continuously smoked tobacco without ever quitting. You can't unring a bell,once it has been trigger starting smoking again my help, but won't make it go away. While in the hospital,they kept asking about if I had quit smoking, they danced around question, until I asked point blank how they were related. My heavy smoking had been keeping the disease at bay.

There are a few theories as to why smoking helps, but no one will study it as smoking is bad for you.
03-22-2014, 09:59 AM   #5
FrancisK7
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My UC was probably brought on by my Accutane treatments. I had two, one in my teenage years and one in my early adulthood. When symptoms started I had just quit daily use of cannabis as a sleep aid. I had concentration problems and feared it was the culprit, so quit cold turkey. Symptoms started about 2 months after I stopped.

I started having more BM each day, eventually it became regular diarrhea, and then blood came. That is what pushed me to consult. I put it off for a long time because the health care system here is a nightmare to get through. The waiting list to see a GI was 3 years. I pulled strings from my time in medschool and was able to get scoped after a month.

Since then I've met maybe Crohn's or UC patients and each has a different story. Depending on where your colitis is active you may never get diarrhea but all sorts of other symptoms.
03-22-2014, 02:00 PM   #6
Hope345
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My daughter has never had diarrhea with her Crohns or U.C.
Her symptoms fit yours to a tee:

The Remicade has not worked at all for her and we are currently trying a new approach to back off all the Remicade/Imuran and build up her immunue system. She continues her oral mesalamine and starting enema mesalamine. It has been a slow recovery but she is getting there. We are also highly considering the fecal transplants because they are very effective for U.C. and colitis.
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Daughter (age 17) diagnosed with Crohns Colitis/UC 1/2012 Mod/severe changed to U.C.: 11/7/2014 anemia:blood transfusion current: Flare, weaning from Prednisone, still bloating: Meds ,Pentesa: 2000mg twice daily, Vegan diet, mesalamine enemas .Previous: mercaptopurine, Remicade (13 treatments), Imuran, prednisone ), Flagyl, iron infusions, cortifoam,
Continue to be hopeful
Daughter: age 21, undiagnosed: GI issues
03-25-2014, 08:32 AM   #7
ccerulean
 
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Well, just to confuse myself more, I saw the Dr today and he said I have Crohn's. He couldn't explain clearly to me why the pathology said colitis. I'm more confused than ever.
03-25-2014, 11:07 AM   #8
vonfunk
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Sometimes it isn't clear. It took a few months for them to determine if I had UC or CD. Even then when I had my colon removed,despite the fact I had been diagnosed with UC there was still some confusion as if I had that or CD based upon the patterns of inflammation, they ended up sending the post-surgery pathology report back to have the clarify it. At this point the my diagnosis is ulcerative with an asterix.
03-25-2014, 09:49 PM   #9
Hope345
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did you get a copy of your colonoscopy? do you know where the inflammation is? colon or small intestines or both?

what are your current symptoms?
03-25-2014, 09:55 PM   #10
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Usually when Crohn's is diagnosed based on biopsy results it means they found structures called granulomas. These are clumps of immune cells cordoning off areas they consider "infected" but unable to truly burn out the infection. But you should get a copy of your colonoscopy and biopsy results and learn why yourself.
03-29-2014, 03:23 PM   #11
wildbill_52280
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Either you have mild disease, or something about your current diet or something you take is supressing your symptoms.
Tell me more about your diet during these past months.

Last edited by wildbill_52280; 03-29-2014 at 06:36 PM.
07-18-2014, 07:56 AM   #12
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UC is a disease of non-smokers and ex-smokers. You'll almost never find UC in a person who has continuously smoked tobacco without ever quitting. You can't unring a bell,once it has been trigger starting smoking again my help, but won't make it go away. While in the hospital,they kept asking about if I had quit smoking, they danced around question, until I asked point blank how they were related. My heavy smoking had been keeping the disease at bay.

There are a few theories as to why smoking helps, but no one will study it as smoking is bad for you.
omg... !!! I quit smoking a year and a half ago. After 45 years of smoking. It was my GI doc who convinced me it was absolutely necessary after finding a huge, deep crater/ulcer in my stomach and questionable Barret's Esophagus. I've never had any s/s GERD or ulcers, none.....but I had both.
It was that very day I put down the smokes. Once and for all.

While I've had IBS for the same 45 years (and most likely the IBD for much of that time..at least maybe the past 8-10 years.)

Very interesting to read about the smoking connection. Doc says my troubles are DUE to the many years of smoking, and now to read this. Wow. So which is it ?
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Last edited by jnette; 07-18-2014 at 08:23 AM.
07-18-2014, 08:50 AM   #13
vonfunk
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Unfortunately no one will properly study the direct link between smoking and ulcerative colitis, due to the fact that smoking kills. There are studies done after the fact but none that actively study in a lab setting.

Usually UC will start popping up in the first 1.5 -3 months after quitting smoking.

If it's Crohn's, smoking makes it worse. If UC smoking helps. There are few theories regarding it but none of had any intensive study. Smoking can contribute ulcers in the stomach & upper GI tract and makes the symptoms of Crohn's worse. So you're GI is probably correct on that part. You're signature states that you have Crohn's, if that's the case then quitting would help it. The connection of smoking being beneficial is only applicable to UC.
08-04-2014, 08:53 PM   #14
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Have heard of the smoking link before and I too was a smoker (although only when drinking) and it was after quitting that I got U.C. and ended up having entire colon removed and after various complications am now left with enterocutaneous fistula.
In hindsight I wish that I had continued to smoke, anyone else ever feel the same?
08-08-2014, 06:40 AM   #15
2thFairy
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I had that debate with myself right before having my colon removed. 'I could just start smoking again and keep my colon.' I decided I'd rather have a stoma than not breathe.
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04-08-2016, 09:35 PM   #16
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Interesting read, my UC story began with quitting smoking also, age 30, ended up at the docs with suspected hemorrhoids, referred to GI had top and tail, outcome minor inflammation at the opening of the small intestine from the stomach and colitis of the rectum - proctitis diagnosis, used pentasa suppositories on an doff aprox 2 years until condition worsened, had another colonoscopy, GI shocked at the state of my colon, had to abort procedure at the rick of perforation inflammation was so bad. prednisone along with oral pentasa. prednisone side effects were horrible, my head ballooned, my own mother would have walked straight past me on the street. only option offered was azathioprine, immune suppressant drug (scary stuff). I filled the script but couldn't bring myself to start taking it. LUCKY! Because, three moths later found out I was pregnant...

I decided to change GI, I was tired of every time I would go for a review she was baffled by why I had no abdominal pain, and no diarrhea. New GI had nothing new to offer, condition manageable during pregnancy. Had colonoscopy 3 months after giving birth, condition of colon was pretty good, minor inflammation throughout, GI prescribed pentasa suppositories and then review after 2 months.

I'm fed up with using medications and I'm ready to try some alternative therapies, someone mentioned their daughter was on full vegan diet? I'm interested in hearing more about this...

I also find it strange and I know my GI was baffled by this, I've never had dyhorrea or abdominal pain. There was also mention of confusion as to whether I had CD or UC. Frustrating when you don't have a cause, a definite diagnosis, decent treatment or cure!!

Currently 35yo, sporadically using pentasa suppositories
only symptoms currently mucus and blood in stools, abdominal gurgling.
06-28-2016, 07:30 PM   #17
Lady Organic
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Hi Leeloo and welcome. It is very important to put disease in complete remission in order to avoid possible worst future complications (they are real). 5 years of under-treatment with continuous mucus and blood is not good for your colo-rectum unfortunately.
I would invite you to look at IBD-Diet in my signature for alternative diet that could help you, monitor your disease with GI (at least ask for a short colonoscopy) and appropriate tests and if disease is still active, I would recommend to take stronger meds. meds are the same for both UC or crohn's anyways! I am in the same boat, indeterminate colitis, it is not important to know exactly which one it is at this point. good luck.
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