Alli, an over-the-counter version of Xenical, is a weight loss product that is FDA approved. It works by blocking the amount of fat that is absorbed by the body. I took Alli for a short period of time and learned a few things that I would like to pass on to others that want to take Alli for someone with ulcerative colitis.
I must preface this by saying that my ulcerative colitis has been in remission now for three…almost four years, so my doctor reluctantly approved me taking Alli. The problem that he was concerned with that the frequent, urgent diarrhea that is common with Alli would cause my ulcerative colitis to begin flaring up again. After some discussion, I opted to go for the Alli because it seems the risk is minimal.
Since Alli blocks the absorption of fat, you need to take a multivitamin when you are taking Alli. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble. These vitamins are all necessary for your body to perform properly. Because the Alli can block the absorption of the multivitamins, you should take the multivitamin just before bed so that your body can absorb the vitamins while you sleep. In my case, I took the same prescription vitamins that my doctor prescribed. These are the same ones that I have been on since I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
Wear a Panty Liner
After my bouts with ulcerative colitis and considering some of the possible side effects of Alli, I decided to wear a panty liner just in case I experienced the oily flatulence. I never did experience that side effect, but I am glad that I didn’t go through my day worrying about a nasty, oily stain on my rear end.
My doctor warned me that I needed to stay hydrated because I did experience the diarrhea, I needed to make sure not to get dehydrated as dehydration may cause an ulcerative colitis flare up. During this time while your body adjusts to Alli, be sure to drink at least 64 oz of water daily. I also drank Pedialyte and Gatorade to help keep my electrolyte counts where they should be. I did experience some diarrhea, but nothing like what I experienced when I was having flare ups.
If you suffer from ulcerative colitis, don’t take Alli without first talking to your doctor. It is important for you and your doctor to weigh the benefits of Alli with the risk of Alli causing a flare up. If your ulcerative colitis isn’t under control, don’t take Alli as you will likely suffer from more diarrhea than normal when you are in the midst of a flare up. However, if your ulcerative colitis is under control and you get your doctor’s approval, start taking Alli but stay close to home just like you do when you have a flare up until you see how the Alli will affect you.