Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Diagnosed with "Focal Colitis"

07-15-2015, 06:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2015
Diagnosed with "Focal Colitis"

Hi there

Just after some advice as my doctor here is not great - those of you from America should be aware it is not easy using the NHS service here in England!

Really brief summary below:

I am 24 years old, male, generally always been in good health. This time last year from nowhere I started getting stool changes - especially frequency, often going to the toilet 6-8 times a day instead of my usual one. I am also extremely tired at most times and have other symptoms such as heartburn and gas. After battling through for a year and being told by my NHS doctor that I have IBS, I finally went for a colonoscopy, and at the time the doctor who did it said showed nothing and I was all clear. He took biopsies, however, which revealed I have "FOCAL COLITIS". I am not entirely sure what this means - can anyone help?

My doc is sending me in for an MRI scan to see if I have small bowel crohns, though he said he suspects the whole thing may have been started by a BACTERIAL CAUSE. Is this something anyone knows of? Would this be curable or am I likely to have the disease for life.

I have been started on ASACOL but this has made no difference.

Any advice, information, answers would be appreciated as having to use public-sector health over here basically means you are guaranteed a second-rate service. I feel alone and can't get in touch with my doctor to get the answers I need.

Thank you so much.

Last edited by THEMANWHO; 07-15-2015 at 06:44 AM.
07-15-2015, 07:58 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2012

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What specific problems are you having with the NHS? Everything I've seen on this forum has made me very grateful for the NHS. It won't leave you bankrupt for one thing! And there seem to be plenty of people in the US getting dismissed as having IBS as well - it's something a lot of people here know all too well. If you don't find your doctors helpful you're entitled to ask for someone else, whether you're concerned about your GP or consultant.

I don't know a lot about focal colitis, but my understanding is that it's a symptom rather than an actual condition. It describes a kind of flammation in your colon ("colitis" = colon inflammation) but that kind of inflammation can have different causes, and so you don't yet have a specific diagnosis. Bacteria would be one potential cause and I think it's the most common cause. The infection should resolve and you probably won't need any long-term treatment if that does turn out to be what you have. But since you're having upper digestive symptoms as well, and since it's been going on a while, it may be you have something more complicated. It could be an infection but Crohn's would be another possible cause. It does sound like your doctor is being quite thorough as he's doing the MRI as well and considering different diagnoses.

You can get first rate service, but you may need to see a few doctors before you find one who will provide it. Waiting lists are inevitable though, unless you have urgent need of medical care. There are an awful lot of conditions that can cause digestive symptoms so reaching a diagnosis - and effective treatment - can take a while, but with the focal colitis found by the biopsy you are already making progress.
07-15-2015, 11:20 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2015
Hi and thanks for the reply. I'm not trying to get political or blame the NHS and certainly appreciate not having to pay for each appointment. I'm new to this forum, and indeed to this diagnosis, so didn't realise IBS misdiganosis was so common.

I will certainly look at getting another Doctor, not always easy but someone who explained things a bit more slowly and simply would be a start.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for bacterial cause, but as you say, with it having gone on for over a year now I am not sure how likely it is that will be the case.

Onwards and upwards anyway, and thanks for taking the time to reply.

Crohn's Disease Forum » Your Story » Diagnosed with "Focal Colitis"
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