When the disease attacks those who heal, Dr. Carlos Mellado opens up about his ischemic colitis

The Secretary of the Department of Health revealed his condition exclusively with the Journal of Medicine and Public Health.

Dr. Carlos Mellado, secretary of the Department of Health and irritable bowel syndrome patient. Photo: Fabiola Plaza.

Carlos Mellado, secretary of the Puerto Rico health departmentin addition to his vocation as a doctor, he suffers from a condition that has forced him to also assume the role of a patient, since, since his adolescence, he suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, which has led him to be hospitalized four times in the last six years, since he had quite profuse bleeding. Therefore, she has even been diagnosed with ischemic colitis.

Recently, he spent two weeks in the hospital, where they did biopsies and, in addition to irritable bowel, he has a condition called solitary ulcer syndrome, rectal, sigmoid, characterized by a deficiency of pelvic muscles what makes the colon sigmoid to move in a way that is not proper and encrustation of the sigmoid occurs. colon within the sigmoid challengewhich causes ischemia and this, in turn, produces ulcers that bleed a lot.

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In addition, during that hospitalization, Mellado suffered from thrombosis in both arms, which showed a prothrombin deficiency and also the presence of a coagulation problem that specialists are now working on.

Many patients could identify with Dr. Mellado, in terms of the irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that he defines as “very painful” and that is quite annoying. Now he is accompanied by a group of excellent doctors and says that: “many times, when they are going to do a colonoscopy, they prepare you, in my case, as I went to the hospital bleeding, they had to do a quick one” .


Dr. Mellado admits that it was not easy to leave his role as a doctor, but he stressed that it is better to let go. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

Regarding the challenge of being a doctor and a patient at the same time, the doctor says that: “As a doctor, you know what you have and how far the treatment is going to go”, his wife worries and wants to go with him to help others For this reason, as a patient, he admits that the best thing “is to let go”, because, in his case, he is not a gastroenterologist and, although as a primary care physician he could identify certain conditions, he admits that he does not have the depth of a specialist in a specific area.

“You have to follow the rules and regulations, and follow the science,” acknowledges Mellado, so “it all boils down to trusting and following the science, letting yourself be carried away by the treatments they recommend, and taking my hat off as a doctor to stay as a patient.” “, it states.

There are complications when patients feel stress, but Dr. Mellado has always lived on the edge of stress, as he himself indicates, since he has always held different positions and has dedicated himself to many tasks, and he also likes to work. It is a stress that he has always lived with, but he knows that it can take its toll, that he should rest, drink more water, eat better and relax.

Sometimes you feel depressed because you wonder what else you can do, especially since you don’t like taking so much pain medication. However, it is a pain threshold that he has had to manage, as he must keep it low to avoid hospitalization.

Currently, he goes to therapy to strengthen his pelvic muscles and try to help him, he has had to change habits that he was used to in order to reduce the episodes, he is on a diet and, little by little, he tries to change that style of life that can cause discomfort.

Mellado today, on World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day, identifies with patients who have the same condition, especially when observing the pattern of constipation, but it is complicated because many people are going to seek us help or some medications that are a little expensive and access is limited to these patients who do not have the resources and this frustrates him in his daily practice because he would like that access or treatment to be available to all patients.


Irritable bowel syndrome changed her life, and that’s why she recommends seeing a doctor for any major changes. Photo: Journal of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Plaza.

As a primary physician, it is essential to be able to identify the condition early because irritable bowel syndrome is one of the leading causes of colon cancer, says Mellado, so you must be vigilant and the gastroenterologist must attend to this patient often to avoid have complications.

Mellado encourages people to see a doctor as soon as possible if they have pain during bowel movements, constipation for a couple of days, diarrhea for a couple of days, or rectal pain for a long time, as they are likely to have irritable bowel syndromeif it is recurrent, and it is relevant to change the lifestyle and have the biopsy done, since there are ways to be calm, without the pain and disabling discomfort.

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