Marcela Moreno Wilches
Latin Agency for News Medicine and Public Health
Dr. Ahmed Morales is a gastroenterologist and patient of ulcerative colitis, a condition that can affect young people and that, in mild stages, can be confused with any gastrointestinal condition such as irritable tissue syndrome or viral gastroenteritis because the symptoms are not yet as pronounced, before this, the specialist recommends being attentive so as not to be confused.
Ulcerative colitis is a typical condition of frequent diarrhea, bloody stools, depending on the inflammation that is present and a constant sense of urgency to go to the bathroom because they feel they cannot hold it
Although it is not known exactly what causes it, it is believed that you have a genetic predisposition to have the condition, but this does not necessarily cause the disease to be activated. There is also the suspicion that some bacteria or viruses can activate the genetics of this condition in some people.
Although its cure is not yet known, the patient with current treatments can afford to lead a normal lifestyle.
Dr. Ahmed started his career in gastroenterology because he, too, is a patient and wants to help others have a full life despite how difficult the disease is while learning to drive.
In his particular case, at 24 when he was in his third year of medical school, the condition began to appear.
In this regard, remember, “I did not want to be a gastroenterologist, initially my interest was nephrology, something diametrically opposed to what I am doing now, and then when I started with the symptoms, I generally had blood in the stools, but blood was not the most prominent symptom, the symptom What bothered me the most and that affected my quality of life was the urgency, which I literally could not bear, I had to run to the bathroom because or else I was going to have an accident “
From the beginning of the condition, he did not feel that his symptoms were the product of stressful situations or student loads, so he decided to go to the gastroenterologist, but his specialist attributed it to a case of “irritable bowel” caused by his routines in the Medicine School.
The specialist recalls that to reach his diagnosis he required some pressure on his part to not allow his symptoms to be attributed to another disease, “I did not feel convinced and basically I felt that I had to twist the gastroenterologist’s arm, so that he finally did the colonoscopy and there he finally got the diagnosis “
In the case of Dr. Ameth, he does not have any history in his family, so it is not always necessary to stop suspecting this condition just because the parents or first-degree relatives do not present it.
Remember that in the third year of medicine, attending classes was not so necessary, but rather it was in clinical rotation in hospitals, so it was very difficult to manage strong abdominal cramps and run to the bathroom without being able to hold on while it was in consultation with patients, which he describes as a horrible experience.
“You can imagine a typical person at 24 years old, what he wants is to go out with his friends, go out to share and one cannot do that because he has to be locked in your house, for fear of having an accident, it is something particularly devastating for the psychology of a person
”, He expressed.
The gastroenterologist explained in an interview with MSP that being part of the field of medicine caused him even greater fear, because he knows in depth what is behind his condition, a chronic disease that requires medications for life, which makes it not easy to accept a diagnosis like this, even being a medical professional.
For this disease, important advances have now been made in treatments to improve the quality of life of patients, this clearly if they have adherence to treatment. With what is achieved that when the follow-up colonoscopy is performed, the colon looks like that of a normal person and if a patient reaches this point, the risk of colon cancer is similar to that of a person who does not have the condition .
The gastroenterologist mentions that in the studies of thirty years ago when he was in the School of Medicine, the first investigative reports of ulcerative colitis were barely coming out and points out that what he read was “If you have ulcerative colitis it is the same as sooner or later you will develop colon cancer over the years and this affected me greatly”
But he emphasizes that today’s treatments offer a different panorama, the diagnosis is now more accurate and the disease has been better understood
Dr. Ameth highlights the importance that he and his colleagues are not confused by the age of the patient, thinking that it is something transitory without any condition that reports simple laboratory results, in order to provide the correct treatment in time.
“I emphasize that they are not only coming to a doctor who is an expert in the management of these conditions, but that I also lived in my own flesh, I know what this is, and as I tell patients, it is not the same to read in a book, that one experience it, that raised humanism in my practice, because I can understand what patients are going through, I know what it feels like, I know how unpleasant it is “explained the doctor.
His intention is to make patients understand that their disease is not the end of the world and shows them how from his own experience he can eat everything, can practice sports, go out to activities and that he wants to be seen as an example in which he managed to take controlling your disease.
“Patients are well prone to depression from the illness they have”So the treatment must be jointly, not only by the primary physician but also by various disciplines.