I went to see my rheumatologist today. I filled out a form about my medical history, and soon after, the doctor came to see me. He asked how I was doing, and I said good. I’d written on the form that I’d stopped taking imuran, so I guess he noticed that and said my Crohn’s must be under control, which I confirmed. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I guess he said my bones had improved. What I do remember him saying was “you don’t have osteoporosis any more”. I think I knew he had told me I had osteoporosis previously, but I’m not sure it ever really registered with me. So that’s good to hear I guess, not that I ever really noticed I had osteoporosis in the first place.
I saw my gastroenterologist today. I always remind myself to try to remember everything she says so I can write it down here, but I’m not very good at it.
She said my colonoscopy back in July looked very good. I think she said she took a bunch of biopsies, which surprised me, because I didn’t think they had. In previous colonoscopies, there were times where it hurt, and I figured that was because they were taking a biopsy, but during my last colonoscopy, it didn’t hurt at all. She said something about the left side, I think maybe there was inflammation there. But I think she basically said it looks like there wasn’t any active Crohn’s.
Every couple of years, I go to see a rheumatologist, which is a doctor who basically specializes in bones. I don’t recall the exact circumstances about why I first went to see him, but I believe my family doctor referred me to him because the steroids I was taking to deal with my Crohn’s when I was first diagnosed have negative effects on your bones.
On my appointment card, it reminds me to book a bone density test two months prior to my appointment. My family doctor had already phoned me earlier this year and asked me to do a bone density test since I hadn’t had one in a while, so I had already done a test back in April. At the time, I knew I had an appointment coming up in September, so I asked the woman who administered the test if I needed to get another one before my appointment. She said OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) only covers bone density tests once a year, so I couldn’t have another test. I phoned the rheumatologist’s office to confirm that they received the results of the bone density test, and they said it wasn’t a problem I had done the test earlier than they had requested.
Bone density scan results and recommendations from my doctors
I previously wrote about getting a bone density scan and receiving the results from my gastroenterologist and family doctor. My bone density is low (due to taking steroids like Prednisone and Entocort, and also just as a side effect from inflammation from Crohn’s disease), so my doctors recommended I start taking calcium and vitamin D and some tablets called Alendronate. I started taking the vitamins, but not the tablets (because I can’t swallow pills). My family doctor got me an appointment with a doctor (a rheumatologist) who specializes in osteoporosis and other conditions like that. My family doctor thought I should see a specialist before taking the Alendronate tablets.
I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist in January. I’ve been taking Imuran since June 2012 and Entocort since September 2012. At my last appointment in September, my doctor told me I would only take the Entocort for a few months and then taper off, which I have been doing since then.
Using steroids (like Entocort) that areoften prescribed for Crohn’s disease can lead to osteoporosis if they are used for a long time. I had previously also taken the steroid Prednisone for a few months, so my doctor booked me for a bone density scan. I had the test back in January, and I would get the results in April, the next time I saw my gastroenterologist.