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 started taking Entocort starting on September 30, 2012, and I stopped taking it on February 18, 2013 (almost five months in total). I had already been taking Imuran when I started, but I was still going to the bathroom more often than I wanted to be.
Taking the pills
I took three pills a day. They are red and white capsules. Since I can’t swallow pills, I opened the capsules, emptied the tiny white balls inside the capsules into my mouth, and then washed them down with some juice and something to eat. I couldn’t put the balls in the juice, because the balls would stick to the bottom of the cup. The balls didn’t have much of a taste, but the sensation of swallowing them was kind of weird.
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.
When I was first prescribed Imuran, I immediately searched online for other people’s experiences with the drug. What I found was very alarming: “my sister was prescribed this, and she got cancer!” “My cousin was prescribed this, and she died!”
Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been taking Imuran since June 18 (three months ago), and I have not yet had any noticeable negative side effects, and I hope it stays that way.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had any noticeable good side effects either. To be fair, I wasn’t having that many symptoms before I was prescribed Imuran. The only noticeable symptom that persisted after I finished with Prednisone is the fact that I go to the bathroom a bit more often than I would like. I’ve been keeping track of my bathroom habits since a little while after I started Imuran, and some days, I’ll go five times in a row, and other days not at all. Some days the stool is loose, and some days it’s perfectly formed. Imuran hasn’t seemed to have changed any of that. It might be doing something to help the inflammation on the inside, but I guess you can’t really tell without a colonoscopy, and I don’t think I’m due for another one yet.