Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Immune system....

Well I saw my GP again. My gut has been acting up. My stools have more mucous and bloody again. So I am back on the enemas instead of the suppositories. When I spoke with my GP she said that even though it is Proctitis it is still colitis and can spread. Why thanks doc! She told me that the surgeon had written to her and although I was not scheduled to see him until the New Year, he said if I had any flare ups that I had to go see him right away. Urgh! So I am trying to be diligent with my use of the enemas and increased my yogurt intake and I have been taking Probiotic tablets up to three times a day.

My pain is intermittent, but it likes to remind me that it is there. In doing some more reading and research it would appear I fall into this category.....

Proctosigmoiditis: Colitis affecting the rectum and the sigmoid colon (the lower segment of colon located right above the rectum). Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, cramps, and tenesmus. Moderate pain on the lower left side of the abdomen may occur in active disease.
(I found this information from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America site.)

When I was reading information on this site it talked about Chron's and Colitis being an immune system problem. Where the body attacks itself. I found this section very interesting.....

Both illnesses do have one strong feature in common. They are 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.(taken from Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America site)

This really helped me understand why sometimes I feel like I have arthritic hands. Certain times the joints in my hands really ache. My sister who has Crohn's tells me that when she gets flare ups her hip and sciatica bothers her. She suffers from arthritis and inflammatory disease. She has had Crohn's for over 35 years.

There is so much to learn about this disease. I continue to research what I can in order to help keep me healthy and to slow and maybe one day stop the progression of the disease.