Chronic Constipation + Fissure + Dark Stool
Hi all - I'm a 25 year old female with no family history (that I'm aware of) of colon cancer. I have had problems with chronic constipation for over a year now. It has come and gone at times though.
I've tried increasing my fiber and water intake, at times well above the reccomended amounts (but I admit that I am "bad" with my eating habits sometimes). I also have tried to see if any specific food is causing it (such as dairy products), but that does not seem to the be the case.
Anyways, this chronic constipation also causes my stomach to be very bloated on occassion. Also, it has caused an anal fissure (and the pain associated with one). which has come and gone several times now. Every time I get my bowel movements on the right track, it goes away, but then as soon as I have a bad bowel movement it goes away. The fissure has also been diagnosed by a gastroenterologist. It appears to be internal, but definetly on the sphincter muscles.
As I mentioned before, I have tried increasing my fiber and water intake - but even this often does not help. The only thing that has seemed to lately is 2-3 servings per day of metamucil (it seems like the soluble fiber as opposed to insoluble fiber is what helps). However, on rare occassion without the metamucil... and common (much of the time) with the metamucil, I have had dark brown or black stool.
I did get my thyroid checked as supposedly this can cause chronic constipation, but it came back normal.
Lastly, I believe that I have IBS... before the constipation, I used to get the strong (and painful) urge to have a bowel movement whenever I was in a nervous or stressful situation.
However, could it be only the IBS that is causing this chronic constipation? What is up with the metamucil and dark stool at the same time? Could it be very serious - such as cancer? I have looked at some of the cancer symtpoms and I do not have some of them (in particular narrow stool, unexplained weight loss, nausea/vomitting).
So can anyone give any particular advice? I know I need to get my butt (no pun intended) to a doctor ASAP, but what else?