Closer To Diagnosis

The GI doctor’s appointment today turned out to be pretty revealing. In short, he is almost certain of a diagnosis of Chron’s Disease, which is autoimmune in nature. They don’t know why it happens and there is no cure, only treatment to control it.

His conclusion so far comes from several “pieces of a puzzle”, which is often how Chron’s is diagnosed, because there apparently is not yet one sure-fire way to diagnose it. The pieces of the puzzle are:

  • abdominal pain/nausea that is not going away with the common medicinal treatment (Nexium for stomach and Asacol for colon).
  • continued weight loss (35 pounds in almost 9 weeks)
  • blood work results for Inflammatory Bowel Disease of an anti-body called anti-Saccharomyses cervisiae antibody (ASCA) that came back at a level of 62 (normal is 20 or lower)
  • mention to him last appointment of a condition I had when I was 12-17 … every October on the button, my mouth would explode in canker sores (your GI tract includes everything from your mouth all the way on down and through)
  • the Small Bowel series done last week showed nodules in the small bowel (indicates inflammation and probably ulcers that would nail the diagnosis of Chron’s)
Given this, he gave me two options. One is to start medicinal treatment right away with powerful steroids. Another is to confirm the diagnosis with the capsule endoscopy.

I’ve chosen to have the capsule endoscopy done. Downside is that treatment can’t start until after that test is done, because they don’t want symptoms masked by the treatment. We are hoping to get the test scheduled as soon as possible. I’ll keep you posted on that.
The doc says that 20% of patients are able to see it go into “remission” after a couple years of treatment, requiring no further treatment.
The rest of the liver blood work came back with nothing, so he believes the liver enzymes are probably up due to “fatty liver”, which can only be taken care of by weight loss. So, that’s somewhat being taken care of in this process, even though the weight loss has not been the healthiest way. He still believes the liver issue is not connected to the Chron’s.

That’s all I know for now. Thanks for praying and being such a support!
  • kelli
    Posted at 04:33h, 11 March Reply

    Well, although the diagnosis is not pretty, at least you “know”. The not knowing can be harder, I think.

    Know that we continue to pray for you, and the family, and hope that you get on some sort of treatment soon. And that you get some relief very soon.

    Big hugs from north of you.

    • Paul Kuzma
      Posted at 07:08h, 12 March Reply

      Thank you so much Kelli! Your prayers mean a great deal to me, considering YOU are praying for me with ALL that you have endured and are going through. Please know that I am praying for you as well as the transplant process unfolds for you and your family!!

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