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Crohn's Disease Forum » Ulcerative Colitis Forum » Colitis and Constipation?


11-25-2011, 12:02 AM   #1
jmadzula1
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Colitis and Constipation?

Hi,

I have just been diagnosed with Colitis... First, is there a difference between UC and just Colitis?

2nd, I am on Cipro... I am constipated... I feel like I have to go, but all that comes out is just little tiny "dime" shaped stools... Is this normal? Should I be concerned? My PCP is closed tomorrow, and I just don't know what to do...

I also have really bad abdominal pain (which I have had since this all started 2 weeks ago)

Thanks!
11-25-2011, 12:21 AM   #2
lookame
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Ulcerative colitis is a term used to describe a colon that has both ulcers and inflammation. It is an incurable form of inflammatory bowel disease though it is thought that removing the colon cures the disease(this is controversal, some beleive it is cured others don't)

Colitis is a term used to describe non spacific inflammation it can be limited to the colon only or it can be eleswhere. Nonspacific colitis can be caused by numerous things and it can be curable without removale of the colon or diseased areas or it can be cronic and non curable.

Cipro is a heavy antibiotic which is used to treat nonspacific colitis. It is usually not used to treat UC or crohns unless there is an underlying issue such as a virus or the disease has not yet been determined to be nonviral (I only know this since I was handed it and told it wouldn't help me since I knew I had UC and it doesn't help UC).

As for the constipation(I couldn't keep cipro down long enough to figure out if it caused constipation) anyway you can try a non stimulating laxtive. One that works slowly overnight as to not cause you cramps and bloating, or you can run out and get a fleets enema(which works within 5 minutes). After you use ONE of the two(don't use both...I had to use both for a prep and it was not fun) and you find your still passing only small or pencil thin stools then you may have more inflammation or scar tissue in your intestine than thought, that is a reason to be concerned since complications can arise. Since your doctor is closed for a long weekend I suggest going the route of a laxitive to get things moving and hopefully it'll work itsself out.

How were you diagnosed with colitis? Was it via a CT scan? Are you schedualed for a colonoscopy to investigate further? I hope so because inflammation of your colon is not good and it should be investigated further. Good luck
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Diagnosis: Confused officially diagnosed in 2010

Bloodwork is indeterminate IBD, biopsies are crohns positive, symptoms and visually it's UC

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awaiting surgical consult

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eosinophilic esophagitis 5/2015
11-25-2011, 12:28 AM   #3
rygon
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Ive used Senakot tablets with good effect. Make sure you are getting plenty of water as well, and if possible a bit of exercise (half hour walk or something) to get the bowels moving
11-25-2011, 12:32 AM   #4
jmadzula1
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Hi lookame, thank you for your response...

I was just coming back to post, that I was able to go a little bit, and they are pencil thin, and about 2 inches long each... I also have a lot of yellow mucus

I was diagnosed last Friday at the ER via a CT scan. She said colitis and I said what is that, and she said my colon is inflammed...

I go to see a GI on Wednesday and then they will make me a colonoscopy appointment.

I am wondering how long ive had Colitis for... Literally, everytime I go out to each at a restaurant, I have to go diahriah within 5 mins of finishing... I've had this since I was like 12...

Thanks for your and rygon's suggestions!
11-25-2011, 12:45 AM   #5
lookame
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Ahh colitis. It is the bane of my existance. Since it's already been found on a CT scan you should get information right away after your colonoscopy. Mucous sounds suspicoius to me since we IBD patients are very familiar with it so it's very likely you have UC. It sounds like you have a fair amount of inflammation which has probably done a good amount of damage. Hopefully you'll get answers asap. Let us know how your colonoscopy goes(don't be nervous about the scope you'll be loopy and asleep, the prep is something like a gallon of salt water and you'll be locked to a bathroom the entire night so take the day before and the day of off work)
11-25-2011, 12:49 AM   #6
jmadzula1
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Gotcha -- If it is UC, what is surgery about? Is there surgery for UC? What are the chances that I need it?

I know that my GI will answer this, but literally since ive been diagnosed, I havent slept a wink, have been researching and scaring the crap outta myself, but Id like to know some information, rather then be kept in the dark..

Thank you so much!
11-25-2011, 01:21 AM   #7
lookame
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Surgery is the last resort for UC. It isn;t goodd to live life without a colon, complaication such as dehydration and trouble absobing other nutrients comes into play then, it also can be bad if you begin to show signs of having crohns disease after your colon is removed.

The surgery you would have is a 2 part surgery. The first is to remove the entire colon this can be done lapriscopically where the surgeon makes a couple of small inscions then cuts up the colon and each peice is removed through the inciscions. You would then be fitted for stoma and a bag. For a couple of months (at least) you will go in the bag while your intestine and abdomine heal. Afterward they will make something called a j pouch and connect your small intestine to your rectum and you will begin pooping normally again.

The chances of needing surgery are slim if the disease can be controlled via medication and how bad your disease is. Most doctors go by a "step up" drug regimine which they give you a round of steriods and a basic maintance medicine like lialda. If after your weaned off the steriod and the maintance meds don;t hold you and your symptoms return then you'll be put on an immuneosuppressant like 6mp. If after 6 or so months the 6mp seems to not be working then you'll move onto the bigger immunsuppresants like remicaid then if nothing else has helped then surgery will be considered.

In my case I have been on 4 pills of lialda and 50 mgs of 6mp for the greater part of a year. My bloodwork has shown a steady downfall and that I've slowly become more and more anemic(I also have blood stools everyday) My doctor then decided to do a sigmoidoscopy to see how things looked. When the scope was done he noticed the disease had lessened in degree(I went from severe to moderate) but being that I had not improved much we are now looking into remicaid. Now if this drug doesn;t work he told me the next step is to remove my colon(receive a total coletomy).

I hope I helped put your mind at ease
11-25-2011, 04:51 AM   #8
Ian
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Colitis is a term used to describe non spacific inflammation it can be limited to the colon only or it can be eleswhere. Nonspacific colitis can be caused by numerous things and it can be curable without removal of the colon or diseased areas or it can be cronic and non curable.
They may also refer to your disease as 'colitis' if they know it's definitely inflammatory bowel disease (i.e. crohns disease or ulcerative colitis) but aren't sure which. This is the case with me - I have 'indeterminate colitis' or 'IBD unclassified' - definitely inflammatory bowel disease (autoimmune, no medicinal cure), but we don't know if a colectomy would be curative when/if I need one (only one way to find out unfortunately). And even when you have a definitive UC diagnosis, it's never 100%. Quite a game isn't it!

I don't think 'colitis' can occur elsewhere though, only in the colon (the 'col' meaning colon, 'itis' meaning inflammation, like tonsil-itis, appendic-itis etc). If there's inflammation elsewhere in the GI tract it pretty much guarantees crohns disease, but when inflammation is limited to the colon (colitis) it can be either ulcerative colitis or crohns colitis. If they're not sure which, they just call it colitis. This might be what's happened in your case jmadzula1.
As for the constipation, I don't think it's common with UC (normally copious D!) although I'm sure it can happen! Stranger things certainly have with these diseases. Can antibiotics cause it?

lookame, good luck with the Remicade, hope it works brilliantly for you! Do you know when you're due to start it?
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Dx Ulcerative Colitis Oct 2005 (age 19)
Dx Crohn's Colitis Feb 2010 (age 23)
Dx Indeterminate Colitis (IBD unclassified) Oct 2011 (age 25)
Dx likely Ulcerative Colitis July 2013 (age 27)

Currently taking:
6MP (75mg daily)
Asacol (3 x 800mg, twice daily)

Have taken: Humira, Infliximab (Remicade), Prednisolone, Predfoam
11-25-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
lookame
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lookame, good luck with the Remicade, hope it works brilliantly for you! Do you know when you're due to start it?
I'm not 100 percent sure when I'm supposed to start. I see my GI again Dec
27th and we'll go over what vaccines I've had and which ones I still need. I'm trying to get as many done before than so I can start asap. I'm excited and nervous though I have a good feeling it will be the drug that finally puts me into remission. Thanks
11-25-2011, 07:04 PM   #10
Richard414
 
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[QUOTE=jmadzula1;375581]Gotcha -- If it is UC, what is surgery about? Is there surgery for UC? What are the chances that I need it?

Don't worry about surgery yet. A colonoscopy and a good Gastroenterologist will answer a lot of questions. I had the surgery 3 years ago but lived with UC for over 30 years controlled with sulfasalazine and some diet changes. (for me soy was a big problem)
BTW, Metamucil fiber helps to keep me regular.
11-25-2011, 10:23 PM   #11
jmadzula1
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I am a little confused about when you guys talk about (and I read about) what you all call "flare ups"

What is this exactly?
11-26-2011, 12:46 AM   #12
Richard414
 
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A flare-up is a stage when the rectum and/or colon become inflamed. During a flare-up, people experience periods of increased symptoms of ulcerative colitis, such as bloody diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain or cramping, and an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Flare-ups can vary in duration and intensity.

Google "Ulcerative Colitis Flare" for a lot more info
05-11-2013, 07:46 AM   #13
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I too, was diagnosed with Indeterminate Colitis July 2012. It was horrible. For the entire summer I was sick. It was a complicated case because I found out I was pregnant at the same time. After many trips to the infusion center due to dehydration, my OBGYN called my GI and said do a colonoscopy ASAP. Finally the GI doctor agreed and by that time, my entire colon was inflamed. I was put on Asacol 3x a day and prednisone for 3 months. (I lost the baby) I think because my body just could not handle being so sick. It took until November until I felt well again.
I now am suffering a flare, I think, because I am starting to feel the same pain before the big D started last summer. The only difference this time is that I am completely constipated. Ö.. I suffer from constipation (every since my first baby in 1996), but the big D comes on when I eat the wrong food. I took all my records to my new GI doctor (due to a new insurance plan) who is completely confused and is sending the pathology report to University of Chicago for a second look. The new GI doctor put me on Amitiza and this is helping but I now either have pencil thing stool or complete D. From the notes the previous GI took, she interpreted the diagnosis to be lymphocytic colitis and is completely confused as to why they treated me with Asacol and Prednisone. I told the new doc that he was very specific after the biopsies came back that the diagnosis was indeterminate colitis as he spent a half hour explaining what is was, etc
I am very frustrated as to what I have and I am completely sick of being sick. I either have abdominal pain and bloating or just the abdominal pain. Currently I am taking Amitiza, Bentyl, Protonix and synthroid (I am also hypo-thyroid). I stopped taking the Asacol because the new GI said I only had lymphocytic colitis and didnít need it. I go to the GI doctor again on Wed. and need to be more proactive. I have learned through this ordeal that I need to stand up for myself and my symptoms and push for testing instead of trying meds to see if they work.
07-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #14
crohnsbegone
 
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flare ups are no bueno...
07-23-2013, 09:57 PM   #15
fillbilly
 
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just be sure to do your research. Ive had many doctors at ER visits that just want to stuff you full of drugs and send you on your way. You MUST be your own patient advocate. If you don't do your own research and speak up for yourself you will get shoved into treatments you aren't ready for.
08-08-2013, 03:33 AM   #16
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Colitis and constipation? Lucky you are... I've been ill for 3 years now and I don't remember the day when I had less than 4-5 bowel movements a day ( I miss constipations, seriously!
Are you sure the diagnosis is correct? I agree with Fillbilly, you should be ready to deal with this issue on your own and carry out the researches independently because this problem is misdiagnosed too often. I had been thinking I was having hemorrhoids for a year before they diagnosed me with UC. It's sad to think that I could have used this time to treat the diseases properly and avoid those awful consequences that I'm struggling with now.
As for your constipation, I believe you can use some really mild remedies. Check this article
http://www.askwiki.net/How-to-Relieve-Constipation
The tips seem to be legit in your case.
12-27-2013, 03:27 PM   #17
Mrspaddyt
 
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I was diagnosed last week with UC after 15 months of being ill. I started with chronic D for about 6 weeks and then have been constipated ever since. No matter what I eat or don't eat, it never goes away, I am in 6 senna and laxido daily. I was given prednisilone for a month and as soon as I stopped my symptoms started up, I was also taking Pentasa but started to feel ill and strange bruising was appearing so currently on zip. This started 3 months after giving up smoking and am this close to picking up the smokes again because I was never unwell while I smoked and I know the dangers involved but this illness has totally taken over my life, I've got 3 young kids and I don't have time to be in pain or tired or in the toilet coz of laxatives, I have bleeding and mucus every time I do manage to go to the toilet and when I think I need to go but actually don't!!!!! and I also suffer from joint pain in my lower back and down my left leg which stops me from sleeping. Sorry for the big rant but as you can tell am a wee bit annoyed with the UC,
01-09-2014, 02:03 PM   #18
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Mrspaddyt - your symptoms sound exactly the same as mine. Everyone talks about UC with diarrhea or excessive bowel movements; but like you, mine is constipation (as well as everything else you described).

Mine came on after my first child, and being pregnant again I am extremely concerned. I'm seeing my GI Dr on Monday and am INSISTING on seeing a nutritionist. If I get any useful information out of this I will let you know.

Hang in there!

2
01-11-2014, 05:30 PM   #19
2thFairy
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Can't you just go to a nutritionist without insisting that your GI send you to one?
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01-13-2014, 11:04 PM   #20
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I'm not sure 2thFairy. It seems you need a referral for everything! I did get the referral and am scheduled to see a nutritionist at the end of the month

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01-14-2014, 08:05 AM   #21
Naturelover
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[QUOTE=Ian;375617]
As for the constipation, I don't think it's common with UC (normally copious D!) although I'm sure it can happen! Stranger things certainly have with these diseases. Can antibiotics cause it?QUOTE]

If there is a motility issue, absolutely, you can have colitis along with constipation. Speaking from personal experience here.

I would suspect that if somewhere in the intestine there is a stricture or something you could have what might appear as constipation as well. Not sure. Just hypothesizing on this statement.
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MTHFR - Compound Heterozygeous for C677T & A1298C Dx 3/2015
Gluten Free Diet 3/2015
Multiple vitamin/mineral deficiencies & toxicity dx 3/2015
Osteoporosis dx 2014
Colonic Inflammation - granula mucosa dx 1/2014
6mm Tubular Adenoma removed 12/2013
Delayed Colonic Transit/Inertia 11/2013
Severe Constipation
CRPS/RSD 2010
IBS

RX: Bard Power Port, IV Home Hydration
01-30-2014, 10:26 PM   #22
Nicole86
 
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Whether it's "true ulcerative colitis" or not, (mine is indeterminate on biopsy), I know from experience, and from this forum, that constipation can definitely be a prominent symptom. Similarly to others here, I have found that my flare ups consist almost entirely of constipation and bloating, with frequent trips to the bathroom only to have blood and mucus.

This advice may not apply to all (ESPECIALLY if you have Crohn's and/or strictures), but in my case, I have found that eating high fiber fruits and veges, even once a day, really helps. Brussels sprouts of just a handful of carrots seem to help move things along. It's all about figuring out what works for you. I haven't used many laxatives, but I find I've come to depend on the mild laxative effect of coffee in the morning.

It can be hard during a flare but gentle exercise like yoga can be helpful, and alleviates stress at the same time!
01-31-2014, 01:50 AM   #23
theOcean
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I haven't seen anyone else comment on cipro, so: cipro definitely causes constipation. I was on it for 8 months (as well as flagyl) and it was my major complaint about it, so I've had multiple doctors confirm that unfortunate side-effect.
08-13-2014, 07:41 PM   #24
Ann Morgan
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I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis since 2006 but I have been suffering since 1997. I have had diarrhea for 17 years and then in May 2014 I started to have severe constipation. I have a new Gastroenterologist and I am having a colonoscopy on August 21st. I am hoping that my new doctor will be able to help me. The only time I have been THIS constipated was when I had a medication change years ago. I have also recently been having other health problems that I believe are directly related to the Ulcerative Colitis issues, like my arthritis in my hips and neck are causing me a lot of pain and the joint disease in my left shoulder hurts like hell and I can hardly lift up my arm ( I see a new Orthopedic doctor about the shoulder on August 14). I have no doubt in my mind that all these symptoms are related to each other. I am telling you that I have never had so many symptoms happen at the same time and it is causing me great physical and psychological pain. Really, what would cause me to have such a drastic change in my colon. How could I go from diarrhea to constipation like that. I am seeing so many doctors right now my head is just spinning. I am so tired.
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