Here is a legitimate question to ask…is it a virus or ulcerative colitis? I ask this as one of Scotland’s top football (soccer) players, who also plays for Manchester United, has been diagnosed with colitis. He is Darren Fletcher and is 27 years old and as fit as a fiddle.
So what happened to the ultra fit, ultra healthy professional footballer? If it can happen to him…
About one year ago he started to feel unwell and thought that he had caught some virus. This was confirmed by his club. He missed part of the season through being laid low by this “virus” but returned towards the end of last season. He undertook a preseason training programme and started to play again this season.
We even was playing for Scotland only four weeks ago. After that he was not picked for Man Utd.
It all fits into a classic colitis scenario. His introduction to the disease may well have been mild, feeling tired, some discomfort in the bowel, some diarrhoea but took some rest and managed to get over it and back on his feet.
Colitis, though, often has other thoughts and can hit hard when it is not respected. Not knowing what he was actually suffering from (it wasn’t a virus) or whether he thought he could try and get over it and back into normal life, the disease has caught up with him now.
He has been officially diagnosed and will be out of the team for sometime. If it is a full blown relapse then it could well be towards the end of the season when he returns. But being a professional footballer with the fitness level required, it may not be until next season.
So what should anyone do when they think they have a “virus” but a few or all of the following symptoms are showing:slight burning sensation in the bowel including some discomfort, tiredness, excessive diarrhoea, passing even a little blood, little appetite, walking or movement brings on uncomfortable feeling in bowel and need to go to the toilet?
Get to your doctor fast, get a blood test and get a diagnosis. It could be inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) but again it could very well be the start of ulcerative colitis.
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