First time here? Cats out of the bag. I have Colitis.
You may have heard of IBS before, yes? Colitis is not IBS. Colitis is IBD. Go ahead, search around on IBS and then on IBD. You will find a lot of information on both, a lot of theories, a ton of great stuff and even more mumbo jumbo. I am very educated on both.
Bottom line: IBS and IBD are not the same thing. IBD is characterized by disease; IBS by syndrome. In simplest terms, IBS is the term laziness gives or doctors who have done all due diligence on testing give for a disorder that affects the motility (muscle contractions) of the colon. IBS is less serious because it’s a set of complications which are (less) non-specific than direct disease inflammation. BUT….that is not to discount IBS, the pain and the agony people that have it go through.
As a matter of fact, once I launch a gutsy girl health coaching, I will treat both with the same respect and empathy (<– yes, empathy because I know what it’s like to be there).
What is Colitis?
Colitis, specifically ulcerative colitis, is
a chronic (ongoing) disease of the colon, or large intestine. The disease is marked by inflammation and ulceration of the colon mucosa, or innermost lining. Tiny open sores, or ulcers, form on the surface of the lining, where they bleed and produce pus and mucus.
People with colitis can have any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, blood in stool, change in bowels, constipation, fever, weight loss, fatigue and more.
Colitis is classified as many different things, and depending on what classification you fall under, your symptoms likely vary. This is the reason why people think when I say I have colitis it’s the typical colitis….it’s typically not what they think. I have ulcerative proctitis, but there is also: proctosigmoiditis, left-sided colitis, pancolitis and fulminant colitis.
What is Proctitis?
Proctitis is what I have been “diagnosed” with. Why do I use the ” ” around diagnosed? Because it’s been several years since, and I had only had that one opinion, from one GI and via one colonoscopy. A part of me believes it. A part is skeptical.
When ulcerative colitis affects only the lowest part of the colon — the rectum — it is called ulcerative proctitis.
Does this sound gross? Too bad. Deal with it – you’re already here:)
I am skeptical, mostly, because of how The Mayo Clinic defines it. Those were not my symptoms, and I have never felt like I have the mildest form.
Colitis and Proctitis
According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, “Colitis is marked by an abnormal response by the body’s immune system. The immune system is composed of various cells and proteins. Normally, these protect the body from infection. In people with IBD, however, the immune system reacts inappropriately. Mistaking food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances, it launches an attack. In the process, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation. These cells then generate harmful products that ultimately lead to ulcerations and bowel injury. When this happens, the patient experiences the symptoms of IBD.”
There are many theories, thoughts and ideas that lie around colitis and (for me) proctitis in general.
If there is one thing I’ve learned after the past several years of battling it, it’s that having a form of IBS or IBD is not the end of the world. I’ve also learned that there is so much to learn. Your doctor is a critical component in helping you find out if it’s IBS or IBD; furthermore, what you actually have (celiac? colitis? what kind?) and to what severity.
But I have also learned that most doctor’s don’t believe there is anything you are or are not eating that could help or hurt you even more (unless it’s celiac).
It sure is a big set of intestines, a lot movement going on in your body, to believe that what we put in it has no effect….don’t you think?
Love your guts,