Hello there, thanks for taking the time to read this thread.
I have read quite a few threads here, and particularly the Sticky one regarding people asking what their symptoms could be, but I would like to post this for a little reassurance and also some advice on pain management/medication. I hope that is okay.
I'm a 22 year old woman, generally healthy and I very rarely take any kind of medication.
For the past 10 months or so, my bowel movements have been very loose, and I regularly have diarrhea, sometimes going upto 8 or 10 times per day. Initially that was all that was wrong with me, but then I started to notice bright red blood after using the toilet on occasion. This was roughly 10 months ago. More recently, for the last 6 or so months, I have developed worsening stomach pain, which can range from stabbing & shooting pains to dulll, achy cramps. At first the pain didn't happen often, but now it is there almost constantly. It is mostly in the lower right side of my abdomen, but it can hurt on the left side too.
What is worrying me more now is that in between the bouts of diarrhea I am feeling as though I am constipated, and as though I haven't emtptied my bowel properly after going to the loo. When my movements are solid, they are becoming very thin, and there is often mucus in the toilet too.
I have lost my appetite quite dramatically; I used to be a fairly big eater, and now I am down to 2 small meals per day, and rarely snack anymore. I just don't feel hungry, and am also feeling nauseous quite a lot of the time (although this doesn't seem to relate to eating, I can feel that way no matter if I have eaten or not). I am also feeling overwhelmingly tired, I have never been one for needing a lot of sleep but at the moment I am exhausted when I get up in the morning, and if I'm not at work I will almost always fall asleep on the couch by the afternoon. I can sleep for 2/3 hours and then still feel really tired afterwards, and go on to sleep for 8-10 hours at night time, and more on a weekend. This is doing me no good whatsoever; I feel as though I am wasting a huge amount of time sleeping but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it.
I have seen a doctor who performed an examination, I had gone to him after one night when I had quite a significant amount of blood just running into the toilet, which scared me, and he said there were no hemorrhoids causing the bleeding, and also performed some blood tests and said I wasn't anaemic. He has referred me for a colonoscopy but it is still a few weeks away.
I know these are symptoms of colon cancer, but could they realistically be anything else? My Grandma has had 'nasty' polyps removed during a colonoscopy, as far as I know there is no further family history of bowel complaints.
Also, I would really appreciate it if someone could give me some advice regarding managing the pains in my stomach; I have tried taking paracetamol and ibuprofen and neither seem to work very well.
Does anyone have any tips on how to combat this fatigue either? I would be very grateful if someone could help me!
You certainly need to be checked. Apart from cancer, there are a few other things that can cause these symptoms, such as Crohn's Disease, coeliac disease, diverticulitis, to name a few. All of these are treatable, even cancer is not the death sentence it used to be. Good luck, Sera
You do need to get checked. My husband had a lot of the same symptoms. He had a lot of bleeding all the time. The toilet was full of blood and the pain was awful. I took him to the emergency room and the did a scan. The results showed that he had colitis which I believe is an imflamation of the colon. They also saw a large mass and were refered to a specialist. He had a colonoscopy and it showed that he does have colon cancer. He is getting treated now and is doing well. On the other hand my grandmother as well had the same symptoms but she did not have colon cancer. She had polyps. She was always admitted into the emergency room and the would prep her and then remove them and she be fine. They started bleeding again back in december but passed away because her heart was too weak. But also grandma was 93 years old so her body could not take much anyways. She had this problem for several years and always came out great. It is scary not to know what is going on but stay positive. This had always helped my grandma get through and also my husband. I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you very much for replying to me - I apologise for the delay in getting back to this thread, I posted a reply a couple of days ago only to realise today that it hadn't posted to here!
Sera - I have been reading up on Crohns and have a friend who has it, with similar symptoms to mine, so I have been wondering if this could be it.
Cristi - thank you for sharing your experiences with your husband & Grandma with me. It sounds like I have a lot of the same symptoms, I am of course hoping it may be something like polyps. I believe a lot in positive thinking and could definitely cope with that, and any treatment, as long as I knew what it was, I think.
I am scheduled in for a colonoscopy in a little less than 2 weeks. If they do find something at the appointment, will they tell me there and then or will I have to make an appointment with my GP to discuss anything found? Sorry for all the questions, it is just a time of uncertainty and worry!
Once again, thank you very much for replying. I feel like whatever this is, the not knowing is definitely worse; once I find out then I can start to do something about it! Thanks for the replies and reassurance.
Well for my husband we found out the results right away. We went in for his colonoscopy and thought we would be out and on our way home, so when they called us in to the doctors office right after the procedure my heart just sunk. The doctor should us the pics of his colon and it did show the damage. The tumor was quite big and they refered us to a surgeon that same day. The surgeon talked to us and told us he believes that it has spread to his liver and lymphnodes. But they were going to run a pet scan to see exactly where it had spread to. He had the pet scan within a week and well it had spread. He is at stage 4 colon cancer. He is gettin Chemo and is handling it very well. Doctors say he is very young to have colon cancer. This all started on January 28th. His doctors worked really quick on getting everything done and him started on Chemo. To us the not knowing was the most stressful part but now are working on getting him better and he is doing extremely well.
Im 25 and been having very similar symptoms as well. Little bleeding for a long time (at least a year and some change), fatigue, loss of appetite, iv lost 44lbs since January of this year but most of the weight since after may, dull achy pain off and on, bloating and gassy, constipation intermittent with diahrea, also a one time large amount of blood in one bowel moment that was rather alarming.