I thought I would write a little post about what happened to me in the hope it will help others.
For a good few years now, my stomach has not been normal. I had on and off diarrhoea, constipation, blood in stools, mucus, cramps, aches and pains- you name it! The past 6 months, the symptoms quickly became worse and after about 7 or 8 trips to the doctor (and failed attempts to 'cure' using anti spasmodic pills, laxatives, stool softeners), I finally got a referral to the hospital.
I got an appointment for a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (just the large bowel) and the nurse found moderate-severe inflammation so done a full colonoscopy there. They took biopsies and said it looks like Ulcerative Colitis and they're surprised at how long I've managed to cope with it. The inflammation levels in my blood was at 130 when it should've been under 5 and I was admitted to hospital straight after my appointment. I was given a drip with steroids to bring the inflammation down. I was also anaemic because of the blood loss I had been experiencing.
This came as a complete shock to me and I felt very upset by it all. I thought it was IBS and was trying to treat my symptoms by cutting dairy/wheat, taking amitriptyline and all these other pills. i hope this encourages people to consult their doctors and push for testing, I wish I had managed to get a referral much sooner. Since my diagnosis, everything has moved so quickly. I'm now back home after a week in hospital with medication. I've heard this is a good thing as it can be treated and people can go into remission for years.
I wish everyone all the best. Please do not be afraid to push your doctor for a referral and don't try and diagnose yourself. I've been very poorly for about 6-8 months now and I keep thinking it could have been avoided if I had been seen quicker.