Dr. Carlos Mellado opens up about his ischemic colitis and his role as a patient in 2022

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

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

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

Recently, he spent two weeks in the hospital, where biopsies were performed and, in addition to irritable bowel syndrome, he has a condition called solitary ulcer syndrome, rectal, sigmoid, characterized by a deficiency of pelvic musculature what makes the colon sigmoid moves in an inappropriate way and an embedding of the colon occurs within the rectus sigmoid, which causes ischemia and this, in turn, produces ulcers that bleed heavily.

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, regarding the irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that he defines as “very painful” and that bothers a lot. Now he is accompanied by a group of excellent doctors and he says that: “many times, when you are going to have a colonoscopy, they prepare you, in my case, since 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: Magazine of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Square.

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 will go”, his wife worries and wants to go with him to help others For this reason, as a patient, he admits that it is best “to let yourself go”, because, in his case, he is not a gastroenterologist and, although as a primary care physician he could identify certain conditions, he acknowledges 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 comes down to trusting and following the science, getting carried away by the treatments they recommend, and taking off my hat 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, in addition to the fact that he likes to work. It is a stress with which he has always lived, 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, since he must keep it low to avoid going to hospital.

Currently, he goes to therapy to strengthen his pelvic muscles and try to get that 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 the inconvenience.

Dented today, on World Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Day, it identifies with patients who have the same condition, especially when looking at the pattern of constipation, but it is complicated because many people do not go to seek 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 this access or treatment to be available to all patients.


Irritable bowel syndrome changed his life and that is why he recommends visiting the doctor for any major change. Photo: Magazine of Medicine and Public Health. Fabiola Square.

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

Mellado invites people to visit the doctor as soon as possible if they feel pain during evacuation, constipation for a couple of days, diarrhea for a couple of days or pain in the rectum for a long time, since it is likely that they have irritable bowel syndromeif it is recurring, and it is relevant to change the lifestyle and have the biopsy performed, since there are ways to be calm, without the pain and disabling discomfort.

Watch the full interview:

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