IBD update

I went to the gastroenterologist yesterday and while that doesn’t seem like something I would enjoy, I fully did (well because I wasn’t having the dreaded colonoscopy). You see, my doctor is seriously one of the best I have been to in my life. No wonder he made Milwaukee magazine for being one of the top gastro docs in the area last year.

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I guess this post is more of a journaling one vs. one that I expect readers to get too interested in, unless you have IBD of course.

Last year, I finally decided to change doctors. I got a recommendation from a co-worker for a great gastroenterologist who tended to explain in detail everything that was going on with the body. That is exactly what I needed and wanted out of my relationship with my doctor. Especially when it comes to something so important as my digestive health.

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If you haven’t found a doctor that you like yet, no matter what your health issues, switch!

My new doctor is consistent with his visits. He wasn’t just pleasant and detailed with his explanations on the first visit. He actually seems to care and shows me that by answering my questions and spending time talking to me vs. rushing me out the door.

For example, I asked him the long term effects of being on omeprazole. It is one med I am constantly reading negative things about. He laid out those negative side effects, including being more susceptible to food borne illnesses and talked about the studies he has read about osteoporosis and those who were on omeprazole. He suggested that I try to go to an acid blocker that is more mild and take notes on how I feel. So, I’ll be picking up some Zantac and Pepcid AC soon.

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I hate to compare, but my old doctor and the hospital they were affiliated with had the doc sitting at a desk typing away about my condition. They rarely discussed much about changing my meds and didn’t really answer my questions the way I had hoped they would.

My new doc explained what he saw during my colonoscopy and EGD last fall compared to what had been seen in the past. This visual learner appreciated seeing where I had issues in the past and where there were absolutely none this time!

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Here is what my doctor recommended for my condition. As he said I probably already do most of these things, which is true:

-get lots of fiber as that will keep me from getting “backed up”
-try to control my stress, as I may have IBS that is prompting cramping and bowel troubles when I get stressed
-drink lots of fluids. 6-8 servings a day, which includes things like coffee, milk, lemonade, etc.
-exercise
-eat a heart healthy diet
-experiment with Miralax. In the past, I was told not to. Now, I have been doing that on my own and realizing I don’t need a full cap full of the dose every day. I can figure out what works best for me.
-lower my dosage of Asacol. I used to be on 6 pills but because my disease wasn’t active last fall, I went down to 4 and now I can go down to 3. Doc says I may not have to be on a med like Asacol for the rest of my life!

Once I got to work, I bought my lunch. I was hoping for the salad bar, but alas it wasn’t available. I had a black bean burger on whole wheat instead with a side of fruit. Gotta get that fiber in!

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I started the book Living with Crohn’s and Colitis on my ride into work and found this passage, which made me think of my doc visit that morning.

So glad I found a doctor that teaches!

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I am loving that book and I recommend it highly!

This morning, I got my fluids in by trying a new coffee. I received a sample of Gevalia coffee and it smelled so yummy! It tasted great too, but would have been better if I had some half and half to add to it.

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Hope this post was helpful for anyone with IBD or anyone who has a loved one with it! If you live in the Milwaukee area and are looking for a good gastroenterologist, e-mail me and I’ll get you my doctor’s information!

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