NEW YORK (CNN) – Stomach problems are fairly common for people of all ages but when is an upset stomach cause for concern and a trip to the doctor?
For Jacqueline Hunter, life started unraveling when she was in college, “There was a lot of blood any time I went to the bathroom that’s when I was like hey that’s something not right.
Jacqueline was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a gastro intestinal disease that often begins when people are in their late teens or early 20s
“Inflammation or colitis can be due to infection or it can be due to unknown cases and it’s the unknown causes or idiopathic causes that is termed ulcerative colitis,” said Dr. Douglas Wolf, a Gastroenterologist.
The symptoms are pretty specific.
“Abdominal pain, diarrhea bleeding,” said Dr. Wolf.
And for patients like Jacqueline, these symptoms don’t just occur once in a while.
“To truly have ulcerative colitis one needs to have symptoms on a chronic basis and that would be at least for a few weeks some would say for a few months,” said Dr. Wolf.
It’s a tough disease to live with.
“It hurt so much that you don’t want to go anywhere,” said Jaqueline.
In Jacqueline’s case, the first two medicines she tried didn’t work. However, a clinical trial that she’s participated in for the last three years turned her life around.
“So the clinical trial made it to where I could have a job I could move around, I could do anything that I want to do,” said Jacqueline.
Dr. Wolf thinks the future looks good for Jacqueline and others who have the disease.
“Every year there are new agents that are being approved,” said Dr. Wolf.
Copyright 2015, CNN. All rights reserved.