SENIORS: MANAGEABLE BUT INCURABLE HEALTH ISSUES

Aug 18th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Manageable Diagnosis: Lymphacytic Colitis

If you are among senior citizens with a manageable but incurable disease, you might find this column to your interest.  Sometime back, a visit to my primary care physician revealed that it was likely time and wise to schedule a colonoscopy, that most “delightful’ of all procedural events that most of us go through periodically. The gastroenterologist put me under and I have no recall of the invasion.

The outcome was surprising.  I was diagnosed as having lymphacytic colitis.  Having been a victim of various forms and episodes of colitis over the years, I was not too surprised. What did contribute to surprise was that there was only one medication available that might contribute to some relief.  While I have no pain associated with it, I do have frequent occasions when being near a water closet is required. (Don’t you love the British?)

The explanation included this information:  There is no cure for this particular malady.  The reason: there is not enough money in it for the pharmaceutical companies to invest in finding one.  Therefore, management, while possible and often rather difficult, is about the only available option.

Diet and Medication Address Symptoms

Diet is an important component; anyone with lymphacytic colitis needs to learn what food they can eat without creating distress, and what food causes symptoms to flare up.  Medication may be helpful, but when food and medication does not work, I learned that the heavy-hitter known as prednizone is a way to control the symptoms; it just shouldn’t be taken too often.

Now that is a real kick in the pants.  Sorry, fella, you have a problem.  With discipline, grit, determination, maybe a diet, perhaps this sugar pill and a few other OTC options you will be able to care for your situation. But there is no cure.

How many of us are out there struggling with this, and other conditions that, while manageable, are not curable?  More than we might imagine.  Again, as in so many situations plaguing the public it comes down to M O N E Y! And, if the current hassles over Medicare continue it may come down to more of us being denied much help at all.

While my specialist was sympathetic, there was little else she could offer.  There it is.  The cards are on the table.  Hope for an Ace.  Live with it as best you can.  Manage lymphacytic colitis with diet and medication.  I can say, at least,  there is no evidence of a tumor or malignancy.  There is, in this time, something to be said for that.



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