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Suggest remedies for colitis

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1991
Answered : 2652 Questions
I have been told that these suppositories help colitis. Is this true? Thank you.
Posted Sat, 25 Nov 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Information needed

Detailed Answer:
Hello Rondy,

I have a few questions that will help me answer your question more specifically:

1. What suppositories are you referring to? What is the name of them?

2. Do you have a diagnosis of colitis, and if so, what type (Crohn's, Ulcerative, Infectious, etc).

3. How long have you been having diarrhea?

4. How many times do you pass stool per day? Are the stools watery?

5. Do you have any other symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, light headedness, etc? Please describe these and let me know how long they have been going on and how severe.

6. Do you have any ongoing medical problems and if so, what medications do you take for them?

7. Are you under the care of any doctor for the diarrhea?

Thank you - I'll write back with my thoughts and suggestions after I hear back from you with more information.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suggest remedies for colitis 7 hours later
Hello Dr. Berger-Dumbaugh,
Thank you for your most recent email, and I must apologize for the lack of information. So I will try to make up for it now:

1.Hydrocortisone Acetate 25mg.
2.No I do not have a firm diagnosis as yet. Dr. simply told me I have colitis.
3.Diarrhea about two months.
4.Bowel movement once every 3 days (normal for me) somewhat watery.
5.No other symptoms, other than a very great deal of excessive gas.
6.I have Rheumatoid Arthritis for which I receive an infusion of Remicade every 4 weeks along with very strong pain medication and 5mg of Prednisone tablets each day.
7.Yes. He gave me a prescription of Cholestyramine powder for Oral Suspension, which seems to be working after starting it just a week ago.

Note: I have a regular blood panel every 2 months, CBC, R.A. etc status and ESR WESTERGEN, which I understand gives the level of inflammation in the body. For years my level has been 2 or 3. Since this Colitis started, the reading has been 63!

My greatest thanks to you Dr. for your most valuable attendance to my situation. Incidentally, Colonoscopy two years ago – normal
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 54 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Thought on this

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the additional information.

What I can tell you about hydrocortisone acetate suppositories is that they are used to decrease inflammation in the anus and rectum. This can help hemorrhoidal inflammation and can help decrease bloody diarrhea by decreasing inflammation in the rectum and anus. Since it mostly works locally (rectum and anus rather than further up the intestinal tract), it would be most useful for inflammation that is in this region.

Hydrocortisone is a type of corticosteroid ("steroid") just as the oral Prednisone is.

If the diarrhea persists, it would be good to have stool cultures to make sure that the cause isn't an infection.

You are right that an ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate or "sed rate") does give (non-specific) information about the level of inflammation in the body. I say non-specific because while it tells us if there is more or less inflammation, it doesn't tell us the source of the inflammation. Since the increase happened at the same time as the colitis symptoms, the hydrocortisone suppositories are likely meant to try to decrease that inflammation. If that inflammation is near the rectum, then this treatment might help considerably.

It might be helpful to clarify with your prescribing doctor what he thinks is the nature/type of your colitis and his goal for the hydrocortisone suppositories. This will give you a better idea of what he thinks is going on and the plan.

I hope this information helps.

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