Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Functional Colonic Disease

So I was trying to wait on some footage from my recent surgery, but I've waited too long as it is and I want to post this information. It's about my gut. And all its many many problems. WARNING now: this is going to be an entry about the digestive system, and all its many wonderful complications. If that kind of stuff grosses you out, don't read it. Move along.

For those unaware, I have been receiving many diagnoses this year. In April, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I had Ulcerative Colitis. Then in August, that diagnosis was retracted and exchanged for Crohn's Disease. I had Crohn's Disease. Last month, that diagnosis was retracted and I was officially labeled with Functional Colonic Disease.

How did all this happen? I had some very conflicting and diverting symptoms that baffled my gastroenterologists. Scopes showed my bowels to be moderately inflammed. I had trouble keeping weight and was constantly puking or running things straight through. But blood and stool tests did not support inflammatory bowel disease. But finally, one last piece of evidence came shining through. During my recent surgery.

Before my surgery, I was required to do a complete bowel cleanse, in case pieces of my digestive system needed to be removed. With all my awful symptoms and absence of inflammatory bowel disease, my doctor was convinced I must of had endometriosis intruding into my colon. Cells that had grown into that organ. But that is not what he found. My digestive system was not invaded by endometriosis, but it certainly was not normal. During the surgery, my doctor (an experienced surgeon) saw my small intestine squirming like a pack of worms. Moving quickly and erratically, though completely empty of contents. He had only ever seen something like it once, though never so intense. He made sure I knew of it and had me report it to my gastroenterologist.

Dr. Bodily (my gastro doc) was not so surprised. He smiled and said that was the final piece of the puzzle, and was happy to finally give me a more sure diagnosis. Functional Colonic Disease. A bowel disorder involving the intestinal neuronal network randomly firing and firing abnormally/inappropriately to various stimuli. Meaning that the cell-communications in my gut are completely wacked. It triggers inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, spontaneous issues because the stomach is full. Or because it is empty. Or because it did not like my snack. Or I ate at the wrong time of the day. Whatever it is, my gut does not like it. Or it does.

Think of it this way. Think of my gut as having it's own mind. A mind with the single task of running my digestive system. It used to run alright--if not without a few hiccups. Well, in comes the guts crazy neighbor, Ms. Uterus, who starts dumping her diseased chemicals all over the neighborhood (i.e., my body). Well, these diseased chemicals then send my gut's mind into a melt down. And suddenly he's crazy, unable to focus like he used to. His functions have been sent out of wack by this crazy woman's haz-dump. He's now insane and a jerk. He makes me throw up after meals, digest my food improperly, but once in a while functions correctly. That is my new gut, thanks endometriosis. It already got my appendix, but my gut was on its list too I suppose.

Functional colonic disease is essentially that. There are no structural or biologically evident reasons for explanation, yet the digestive system does not function properly. It is a painful, inconvenient, and difficult disease to manage. But I'm going to try and manage it.

Right now, I am taking nightly serotonin pills, to try and help recreate a balance in my gut. Trying to bring that gut mind back from crazy and help it function correctly. I want to stop puking randomly once a day. I want to gain healthy weight. And I would like this random, extremely painful abdominal cramping to go away.

The doctor said it will be at least 8 months before we see any improvement from this new medication. That it takes a while. But I have enough faith to at least try. And I hope it does. We'll see. I'll post more on what exactly functional colonic disease is later this week... but for tonight this is what I have to offer. The basic explanation of the horrible things that have been going on in my gut. Take it as it is. Thanks for reading, I hope if anything of this sounds familiar, you look into it for yourself. --AshBash


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About The BedRiddenHead

I want to be happy. And this site is about that chance. How to strive to thrive in the body I've got and maybe turn my experiences into something worthwhile.

This site aims to help educate and reach out to people all over that struggle with pain or illness. To try and make something helpful. I work as a medical research writer, my background is in neuropsychology and biology, and I want to share what I learn in a way that is easy to understand. I am not a doctor. I'm definitely not your doctor. I am just some lady who wants to make someone's (anyone's) life a little bit better. Whether you have endometriosis, a chronic injury, a struggling friend, or just want to learn something new, I hope to make a place that has what you are looking for.

Thank you for stopping by, I wish you strength in your health, struggles, and happiness.