I have written about my having to deal with ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon, inflammatory bowel, etc.), including my years-long ordeal with bad or corrupt and dishonest doctors and their bad advice and bad prescription anti-inflammatories and their side-effects. But here I want to mention some of the things that might have contributed to my having the ulcerative colitis in the first place.
Of course, stress has been a major influence on things. But there are other factors.
For starters, before I get into dietary factors, I can see how some things from earlier years might have had an influence on my colon. For example, when I was in middle school, my mother took me to a dermatologist for acne. The acne actually wasn’t that bad and in later years like college I got into the habit of just washing my face later in the day, and that’s helpful. So right there I’m thinking now what a waste of time and money going to the dermatologist was, just for a minor case of acne.
Anyway, the dermatologist gave me prescription for antibiotics. The first one, if I remember correctly after all these 40+ years now, was tetracycline, and then switched to erythromycin. In all these years later, I have learned that it’s not a good idea to take antibiotics except to save one’s life like as a last resort. Antibiotics are terrible for the colon, because, while they kill harmful bacteria they also kill the “good” bacteria, acidophilus, etc. that are necessary for good colon health. So, I took those from about age 12 or 13 until about age 20-22.
And even before that, I was given some kind of antibiotics when I was a baby, according to my mother, who said that I had some kind of serious illness at that early time and so I was given the antibiotics. That was supposedly the explanation later on for why my teeth appeared a little discolored.
Another thing during those earlier years, during high school and maybe into college was that I occasionally had stress-related headaches and took aspirin. Aspirin supposedly promotes bleeding, and isn’t particularly good for the colon, as I learned later on. So, that could be another factor.
Another factor that may have contributed to the ulcerative colitis might have been drinking coffee, although, if I remember correctly, by the mid-1990s I was taking “No-Doz” and Vivarin rather than drinking actual coffee. Caffeine is a known irritant to the colon. At least, that is what I learned during those years. Now, information on the Internet is referring more specifically to coffee. But the problem with coffee is that it’s acidic, and that’s an irritant to the colon. So, two strikes against coffee for someone with ulcerative colitis or an apparent sensitivity to developing UC: acidity and caffeine. I no longer have anything with caffeine, and I haven’t had coffee since the 1990s.
But I have a feeling that the biggest factor in why I developed ulcerative colitis was my eating habits. (What a shock, I know.) During middle school and high school, while I did eat the nutritious food my mother gave us, I rarely ate a breakfast on school days, and the lunch I took to school was this processed lunch meat on plain white bread. So, in my view I was not very well nourished during those important years of development.
But worse was the junk food I ate. I ate those Sara Lee chocolate cakes and cheesecakes, Yodels, Ring-Dings, Ho-Ho’s, Devil Dogs, chocolate chip cookies, and so on. Every day when coming home from school I would have a big “snack” and I’m surprised that I was actually hungry by dinner time. And then after the dinner hour I would have another big “snack” like in the early evening. (No wonder I rarely slept well and maybe got an average of 5 hours of sleep per night!) So those terrible eating habits went on for years.
And I was never over weight, by the way, I was always skinny. It’s like all the junk food went right through and didn’t cause extra weight. And I’m just guessing here, but I’ll bet that all the additives and preservatives, all the synthetic chemicals in those junk foods had some kind of negative effect on my digestive system in general. So, whatever nutrients in the nutritious food I did eat probably wasn’t getting thoroughly absorbed. My conclusion is that I was malnourished especially during those important adolescent years. And the bad foods probably had a terrible long-term effect on my digestive system.
And with all that aforementioned junk food a large part of that was chocolate, which is also an irritant probably because it contains caffeine. I think that (although I’m not sure) specifically sugar is also an irritant to the colon. Those junk foods are obviously high in sugar.
And it took me as late as that 1999-2000 terrible ordeal with the ulcerative colitis and bleeding BMs to finally understand the effects that food has on the digestive system, and I didn’t fully stop eating the junk until April of 2000. And I haven’t had any of that stuff since then either.