Monday, October 10, 2011

Cholestyramine Is Saving My Life!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, chronic diarrhea is one of the worst issues of Crohns Disease and is particularly bad when coupled with small bowel resections and gall bladder removal. It is so debilitating that many people qualify for disability due to this chronic problem.

I've struggled for years, and while never letting the chronic diarrhea stop me from doing everything that I love, it's a real problem.

Enter Cholestyramine! I started taking this powder once a day and have had NO diarrhea in three weeks now! None! It seems like a miracle drug, and has vastly improved my life!

What is cholestyramine?

Cholestyramine acts like a microscopic vacuum cleaner sucking up certain body substances and even medicines. The drug binds up bile salts in the GI tract preventing them from being active in the lower bowel. It also absorbs cholesterol, thereby reducing the cholesterol in the blood.

Evidently, by binding up bile salts, it completely blocks chronic diarrhea. It tastes kind of gritty but I've been mixing it with orange juice and it's not too bad. But the cool thing is no matter how bad it might taste, it's a miracle not running to the bathroom twenty times a day!

Ask your doctor about this amazing prescription pharmaceutical if you suffer from the Aztec two-step.

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My Crohn's Experience: Introduction

My Crohn's experience started when I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at the age of 15, during a time when very little was known about this debilitating illness, and drug treatment options were few. In this blog I would like to recount my nearly 40 years of experiences with this illness; the good, the bad, and the ugly, and discuss current medications available to treat Crohn's Disease, such as Humira, Remicade, 6-MP, Prednisone, and others.

Crohn's Disease is classified as an inflammatory illness which is caused by the body's immune system attacking healthy cells in the intestinal tract, which can lead to intestinal blockage, rupture, sepsis and death if left untreated.

I have had three intestinal resections due to Crohn's Disease and the last nearly cost me my life. I say this not to be dramatic, but to raise awareness that ignoring symptoms can lead to serious consequences. In 1999, I had what I knew was a serious flareup, but instead of checking into the hospital for treatment, I tried to ignore my symptoms. I ended up in the ER with a 105 degree fever, semi-conscious from septic shock, with a heartbeat in lethal arrhythmia and requiring CPR. My intestine had broken open and the septic shock had set in. I spent four days in the ICU after having major surgery to repair my intestine, followed by IV medicines to fight infection. The doctors did not expect me to survive the night, but somehow I did, and I share all of this in order to tell you that if you suspect something is wrong, and you have a high fever and severe abdominal pain, RUN, do not walk, to your local ER. Call 911 if necessary, but definitely do not take chances. Get to a hospital pronto!