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Ria’s Battle Against Ulcerative Colitis

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Ria is a smart Chess player. She recently won an Asian regional Chess competition and she is practicing to qualify for the World Chess Championship. Ria also happens to have ulcerative colitis, which she manages with a new biologic and a special diet under the guidance of her gastroenterologist.

Ria's health problems started when she was 15. She developed severe diarrhea and frequent digestive problems. At first, doctors assumed her condition was a food-borne illness and started her on antibiotics. But her diarrhea continued for days without change and then she started experiencing stomach cramps as well. At this point, Ria's pediatrician referred her to a gastroenterologist.

Bilogic drug gives relief to ulcerative colitis symptoms

The gastroenterologist spoke with Ria and her family in an attempt to find out what was going on. Then he performed a colonoscopy and endoscopy to look for inflammation or tissue damage in her digestive system. The diagnosis was ulcerative colitis.

About Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract. It affects the innermost lining of the colon (large intestine) and rectum. Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue. There is no cure for ulcerative colitis and people usually have symptoms on and off for the rest of their life. But the right treatment can help alleviate symptoms.
 

Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Ria started on a combination of anti-inflammatory and steroid medications. Her symptoms improved with the treatment and her condition was under reasonable control for a year.

Unfortunately, by the summer of 2017, chronic diarrhea and severe abdominal pain sent her back to the hospital for weeks. Within days, her weight and blood count dropped dramatically. She became pale and lethargic. Her gastroenterologist continued to revise her treatment plan, trying to find the best solution. Treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs stopped the diarrhea and worked fairly well most of the time. She would have a couple of flare-ups every year, but most of the time she felt well.

Turning Point

Ria started her senior year, but she wasn't feeling well. Her second colonoscopy was performed, which indicated disease progression. At this point, her gastroenterologist recommended a new biologic, which is an immunosuppressant administered via infusion. The new biologic was under phase II clinical investigations and had shown good effectiveness during phases I clinical trials. 

Ria's parents were informed about the complicated nature of ulcerative colitis. Then the doctor explained that there is no one drug or combination of drugs that works for everyone. Patients respond differently, so it could take time to discover the most effective treatment. As well, the expected outcomes and possible risks associated with this new biologic were explained in detail.  

Hope Returns

Ria's parents agreed to the gastroenterologist's recommendation. Ria was on a new treatment via infusion plus oral antibiotics and other medicine to prevent her from developing antibodies against the new biologic. After a couple of infusions, the new biologic made a difference. Ria's bathroom trips were normal and she started returning to her previous life again. At the end of new biologic treatment, Ria's ulcerative colitis symptoms significantly reduced and a colonoscopy report displayed positive results.

Bright Future

Since the fall of 2018, Ria hasn't had a flare-up of her ulcerative colitis, but she is still taking low doses of anti-inflammatory drugs and nutrition therapies under the supervision of her gastroenterologist. She visits the gastroenterologist for regular follow-ups. Ria, her parents, and her gastroenterologist are all hopeful that the new medication will provide a long stretch of relief from ulcerative colitis.

Ria has developed her academic and Chess skills, and her hope is to win the next Chess World Championship. She is interested in practicing medicine. She said, "I want to give others hope, just as my doctors did for me."


     

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition.