About Me

Recovering from Addiction to Prescription Medications

I never thought of myself as an addict, but I did end up addicted to anti-anxiety medication after developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At some point, the medicine stopped being a way to deal with the nervousness and panic attacks, and became something my body craved. I knew that I needed help fast. Fortunately, a local drug rehab program includes support for people like me. They helped me wean off the medication, use methods like massage therapy to help my nerves heal, and even provided ongoing counseling for our family. I don't know how I would have made it without their help. If you suspect that your medication has crossed the line from being helpful to hurtful, take heart. Let me tell you about my journey out of addiction and back to wholeness.

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Recovering from Addiction to Prescription Medications

Dealing With A Diagnosis Of Ulcerative Colitis

by Valerie Stevens

You've started having stomach cramps after eating, followed by diarrhea. You doctor says you have a type of irritable bowel disease referred to as ulcerative colitis. While not curable, this disease can go away on its own. You may also go long periods without any flare up. Here is what you should know about living well with this disease.

Changes in the Bowel Cause This Disease

Doctors don't know the specific cause of ulcerative colitis, but it does start with changes in the lining of the intestinal wall. The tissue becomes irritated, inflamed and may begin to bleed. You may have a number of symptoms, including:

  • abdominal pain and cramps
  • blood in your stools
  • bleeding from your rectum

A number of activities can trigger a flare up of your colitis, including:

  • smoking and alcohol consumption
  • stressful work or family issues
  • certain fatty or spicy foods

Knowing what things trigger your painful colitis symptoms can help you avoid those uncomfortable times.

Treating Your Ulcerative Colitis

Your doctor will offer a number of treatments to prevent a flare up or the discomfort once the symptoms appear.

Anti-inflammatory medications - These help to reduce the inflammation of the tissues in the intestinal wall. As the swelling goes down, the bleeding, cramps and abdominal pain go away.

Antibiotics - In some cases, these medications will reduce the bacteria in your intestinal tract that can contribute to the inflammation of the tissues there.

Surgical removal of tissue - If you have severe and repeated damage to the intestinal wall, some of the tissue may be removed surgically, should the medications stop giving you relief.

Your doctor will also discuss a number of changes that you can make to reduce the flare up of the disease.

Diet changes - Eating small portions throughout the day instead of at one or two big meals will reduce the risk of a flare up. Removing  fatty, spicy and pungent foods from your diet reduces the intestinal irritation.

Limit alcohol consumption - Alcohol irritates the intestinal lining.

Stop smoking - This also irritates the soft tissues in the intestine.

Monitoring Your Colitis

Your doctor likely did a colonoscopy to view the intestinal wall and take tissue samples to diagnose your colitis. They will also want you to come in for a routine examination, which may also involve a colonoscopy. Besides tracking the progress of your disease, people with ulcerative colitis have a higher risk of developing cancer cells in the intestinal tract. Early detection of polyps and tumors in the intestine means you have a better chance of getting rid of these cancerous cells before they become a problem.

For a colonoscopy, contact an office such as Northwest Gastroenterology Associates.