Marcela Moreno Wilches
Latin Agency for Medicine News and Public Health
Dr. Ahmed Morales is a gastroenterologist and patient with ulcerative colitis, a condition that can affect young people and can be mistaken in mild stages for any gastrointestinal condition, such as irritable tissue syndrome or viral gastroenteritis, because the symptoms are not yet pronounced, before that, the expert recommends be careful not to get confused.
Ulcerative colitis is a typical condition of frequent diarrhea, bloody stools, depending on the inflammation present, and a constant feeling of urgency to go to the bathroom because they feel they cannot keep it.
Although it is not known what exactly causes it, it is believed that you have a genetic predisposition to the condition, but it does not necessarily lead to disease activation. It is also suspected that bacteria or viruses can activate the genetics of this condition in some people.
Although its cure is not yet known, a patient with current treatments can afford a normal lifestyle.
Dr. Ahmed started his career in gastroenterology because he is also a patient and wants to help others have a fulfilled life despite how severe the disease is while learning to drive.
In his special case, at the age of 24, when he was attending the third year of medical school, the condition began to appear.
In that regard, remember, “I didn’t want to be a gastroenterologist, at first I was interested in nephrology, something diametrically opposed to what I’m doing now, and then when I started having symptoms, I generally had blood in my stool, but blood wasn’t the most prominent symptom, the What bothered me the most and what affected my quality of life was an urgency, which I literally couldn’t stand, I had to run to the bathroom because otherwise I would have an accident ”
From the beginning, he did not feel that his symptoms were the result of stressful situations or student workload, so he decided to go to a gastroenterologist, but his specialist attributed this to a case of “irritable bowel syndrome” caused by his routine at the Medical School.
The specialist recalls that he needed some pressure to make the diagnosis not to allow his symptoms to be attributed to another disease. “I wasn’t convinced and I basically felt I had to twist the gastroenterologist’s arm, so he finally did a colonoscopy and finally got a diagnosis there. “
In the case of Dr. Ameth, he has no history in his family, so it is not always necessary to stop suspecting this condition just because his parents or first-degree relatives do not represent him.
Remember that in the third year of medicine, attending classes was not so necessary, but it was in clinical rotation in hospitals, so it was very difficult to manage severe abdominal cramps and run to the bathroom without being able to stay while it was agreed. with patients, which he describes as a horrible experience.
“You can imagine a typical person at 24, what he wants is to go out with his friends, go out on an exchange, and he can’t do that because he has to be locked in your house, for fear of an accident, it’s something especially devastating for a person’s psychology
In an interview with SME, the gastroenterologist explained that being part of the field of medicine caused him even greater fear, because he deeply knows what is behind his condition, a chronic disease that requires medication for life, which is why it is not easy to accept a diagnosis like this. if he is a medical professional.
For this disease, important progress has now been made in treatment to improve the quality of life of patients, it is clear if they adhere to treatment. With what is achieved is that when a subsequent colonoscopy is performed, the colon looks like a normal person and if the patient reaches this point, the risk of colon cancer is similar to the risk of a person who does not have the condition.
The gastroenterologist mentions that in studies from thirty years ago, while he was in medical school, the first research reports on ulcerative colitis were just coming out and points out that what he read was “If you have ulcerative colitis, it’s the same as sooner or later you will develop colon cancer as the years go by and it hit me hard“
But he emphasizes that today’s treatments offer a different picture, the diagnosis is now more precise and the disease is better understood
Dr. Ameth emphasizes the importance of not confusing him and his colleagues with the age of the patient, thinking that it is something transient, without any condition reporting simple laboratory results, to ensure proper treatment in a timely manner.
“I emphasize that not only do they come to a doctor who is an expert in managing these conditions, but that I also lived in my body, I know what this is, and as I tell patients, it is not the same to read in a book, one who experiences it, who raised humanism in my practice, because I can understand what patients are going through, I know how it feels, I know how uncomfortable it is. “the doctor explained.
His intention is to make patients understand that their illness is not the end of the world and shows them how from his own experience he can eat everything, play sports, go out for some activities and that he wants to be seen as an example in which he managed to take control of his illness. .
“Patients are well prone to depression due to the illness they have“Therefore, treatment must be common, not only by the primary care physician, but also by different disciplines.