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.
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.
Background: I have Crohn’s disease. I was diagnosed in winter 2009. I started taking Prednisone in summer 2011. My first dose was 40 mg for two weeks, then down 5 mg each week, so I guess about nine weeks in all.
It was amazing. The very first day, I felt like doing everything (whereas before, I felt like doing nothing). I was super energetic and super happy (whereas before, I was super tired and super depressed). I also ate a lot, which for some people, might be a concern, but I weighed 90 pounds at the time, so I was quite glad to gain another 30 pounds. There were no mood swings or acne or swelling. It was just amazing.
Last week, I had an appointment with a new gastroenterologist. The reason I have a new gastro doc is because back in January/February, I was doing pretty bad. I wasn’t sure if I was having a flare-up, because I also had the flu around the same time. I don’t know if I’ve ever had the actual flu before this, because this time was really bad. And frustrating, because I was missing classes, which makes me stress out, which makes me even sicker. I tried going to my linguistics class, but I had to sit down in the hallway halfway there, and then I just ended up going back home. My parents came to see me in residence just to make me scrambled eggs so I would eat something. It really, really sucked.