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    Old 06-23-2004, 11:57 AM   #1
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    Celebrex/bloody stools

    Hello , I am new to the boards but not new to RA .I was diagnosed at the age of 22 with RA .It was a rude awakening to find my body slowly losing leg strength followed by my ankles losing all power during the summer of 1989 .It finally got to the point where I had days in which I could barely get out of bed and naturally I had to inform my emplyer that I needed time off until we figured out what was happening to me. It took longer than I would prefer for my doctor to finally send me to a rheumatolagist to get proper diagnosis .I took a few of my girlfriends ibuprofen pills and it seemed to help alot until it got to the point I was popping 8 pills a day I knew there was a little more to it .My doctor finally sent me to a rheumatolagist ,once diagnosed , I was given the medication called diclofenac (Voltaren) / slow release 75 mg's once a day .Next thing you know , I'm basically back to my old self physically and returned to work . So , I went from being bed ridden to back to normal just by taking this miracle pill once a day .At the age of 22 , you dont bother questioning things , you just go with the flow .

    So here I was , age 22 thru approx age 29 taking diclofenac (voltaren)75 mg's a day slow release living pretty much a normal life .At various stages from 22 to 29 I had different habits . At some stages , I partied alot (therfore drank alot on weekends) but at the same time , worked a physical job (bread delivery)and played sports like ice hockey a few times a week .During this time I would go through a few stretches in which there would be alot of blood in my stools (toilet bowl water blood red)for a few weeks at a time and then it would go away .At that younger age , I simply brushed off the possibility that my medication was causing me side effects ,plus , my symptoms of arthritis were not even there (thanks to the meds of course)so I wanted to continue .After a few more bouts of bloody stools/ constipated I finally made an appoinment to see my doctor .He suggested I was too young to be having stomach probs and suggested I try taking metamucil to get more fibre in my diet . Well , his suggestion worked out .As the commercial for metamucil states , I was sunrise smooth for awhile .

    At around the age of 25 , I started working out at the local gym . After a period of about 6 months , I started feeling really good .My arobic endurance was alot higher than ever and my ability to lift weights in various exercises naturally increased as time progressed . Then , something freaky happened .My arthritis went away . I started to skip a day with my diclofenac , then two days , then a week at a time . It had gotten to the point where I wouldnt even bring my meds with me for a road trip for work (3 -4 days).This went on for approx 2 years , but at the same time , I was starting to lose interest in exercising and started getting back into bad habits of partying /drinking etc....One fine morning while I was on a road trip , Mr.Arthritis paid me a wicked visit .A visit I should never forget as I was cocky enough not to bring my meds with me anymore .It was a brutal attack , could barely get myself out of bed to urinate . The attack occured during the night,around 1 am it started .I was in a small town and phoned the local hospital to see what they could do .They offered to send an ambulance but I said no , that it would be a little too much .So , I waited / suffered through the morning and phoned the local pharmacy .The pharmacist was kind enough to contact my pharmacy in my city to forward a refill for my meds to his pharmacy .So , I gulp down a pill and within an hour , I'm back to my old self again .Weird stuff or what ?

    So , after that episode , I took my meds religiously .Once in awhile I tried to skip a day to see if my remission had kicked in again or not , but sadly it hasnt .

    At age 29 I was still having blood in my stool every so often .I would eat more fibre / do the metamucil thing and it would go away .At this time , I once again expressed concern to my doc .He suggested I try this new drug called celebrex . I was skeptical at first , but tried it and it obviously worked .For the first 2 or threee years 29 -32 I didnt have any blood in my stool whatsoever . Then , from 33 up til now 37, I have had the odd flare up of blood in stool / mild stomach pain .

    Recently however , my wife and I had cause to celebrate (she went back to school for nursing and she recently graduated)With all the excitement , we treated oursleves to a bit of wine and beer .Nothing wild , trust me , 2 drinks tops for about 1 week straight as we had various nights in which we had mild celebrations with various friends and family members .Prior to this , we rarely drank alcohal at all .(I feel I should mention I met my wife when I was 30 and pretty much havent drank much at all since then ).

    For about 2 weeks now , I have had to head to the bathroom 6-7 times a day for a small deposit .The toilet water isnt blood red like back in the diclofenac days , but there is definately blood hanging around the stools .The stools are normal in color , not black , but there is normal red blood and some mucous around the stool outer edges .

    I'm tired of self diagnosing and I'm quite afraid that being on meds for almost 17 years is laying a beating on my stomach .I'd be totally screwed (bed ridden)if I had to stop my meds .

    -a few things
    -I am totally out of shape these days , I went from being active to couch potato 170 pounds up to 225
    -joined a gym in april but I'm having trouble getting motivated to go
    -my arthritis is getting worse and worse , my knees are shot (cant even run anymore )my lower back pain prevents me from working full-time, my wrists and some fingers which were never a problem are getting worse and worse
    -my goal is to try and get back into shape to prevent the disease from taking control over me ,I've bascially let myself go the last 7 years (wife is a good cook)

    I guess its time I get a good check up ? Perhaps a colonoscopy to see what kind of damage is done ?

    I'd like to hope that its just internal hemorroids (no idea if thats the case)or the recent alcohol consumtion that had made me bleed the past few weeks .

    I'd love to hear some advice or other members experiences / or simply direct me to a few threads (there are so many)which contain similar discussion .

    feels good to find a message board with people with the same probs

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    Old 06-24-2004, 05:23 AM   #2
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    Re: Celebrex/bloody stools

    I've had similiar problems but not related to medications, I have IBS and Microcytic Colitis, both of which can cause constipation or the extreme opposite. I am quite surprised your doctor did not send you to a specialist to have a colonoscopy done the first time, bright red blood for any amount of time is a warning sign of a pending problem, even it is just severe hemmoroids. I don't agree that you are "too young" for stomache/colon problems. I started having my problems at age 14 when I was hospitalized for 3 days for severe stomache and intestinal pain. It was determined then that I had an ulcer and colitis, the IBS didn't start until my 20's.

    Honestly I would see out a specialist and see what they have to say, it may be medication related but it could be something else and it's best to have it checked to be sure.
    Good Luck!

    Old 06-25-2004, 03:27 AM   #3
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    Re: Celebrex/bloody stools

    thanks kissa , I'm going to meet with my doc sometime next week and set up some appointments for colonoscopy et all

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