Michael Mauti, a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, had been struggling with ulcerative colitis for years, and it was getting worse.
The thought of eating become one of great fear for him because of the pain it caused is digestive tract.
Mauti started playing football professionally in 2013, and he did not want his disease to affect his ability to play. He tried to control his colitis with a medication regimen and a strict diet, but the changes made maintaining a physique necessary for a linebacker practically impossible.
Ulcerative colitis is a long term condition that results in ulcers and inflammation in the colon. Under normal conditions, the intestine should be able to hear these areas itself, but in the disease this process is inhibited. Sufferers often experience abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Complications may include megacolon and inflammation in other areas. Weight loss is also common as patients become more reluctant to eat or restrict their diets. Symptoms vary from mild to very severe. If you would like to learn more about this disease, click here.
As he struggled with his diet, Mauti’s weight dropped to 190 pounds, over forty pounds under the weight he hoped to maintain. A year ago, had almost completely lost the desire to eat because of the pain associated with digestion. The only solution for Mauti’s case was the removal of his large intestine.
The treatment was a success for Mauti, who was able to regain his weight so that he could continue to play the game he loves. While training with a colostomy bag took some getting used to, he no longer feels any embarrassment about discussing his disease or the complications that he has experienced.
Now he is back to being an active player on the team, contributing to special teams and defense. He first discovered his disease while playing football at Penn State. Mauti attempted to control the disease with medication, but symptoms can become more severe because of stress, something that any player, both at the college and NFL level, has to learn to manage.