Re: Worried About the Big C
No one here can diagnose for sure, but those symptoms sound like my IBS-C (irritable bowel syndrome with tendency toward constipation.) At least, that's what I assume I have, having been told so by several doctors over the years, but they've never done tests or offered a colonoscopy. They all say, "eat high fiber cereal, drink a lot of water, exercise." When I explain it's a chronic problem, they say, "Yeah, chronic constipation is difficult to deal with." I have the same concerns as you, though.
I have had this problem for over a decade now (since age 20.) I'm going to try some elimination diets this year, and if nothing changes, try to push for a colonoscopy.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
-Probiotic yogurt EVERY day helps some people (make sure it says "live active culture." Some like Activia.)
-Others need to eliminate dairy completely
-Others find relief on a gluten-free diet
-Others find a very high-fiber diet helpful (Fiber One cereal has been recommended to me), but some find a lot of fiber makes it WORSE. Be sure to drink a lot of water when you take or eat fiber.
-One possible cause of IBS is overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, and it can be treated with an antibiotic (not sure the name, but it starts with an R.)
-Edit: They also suggest eliminating caffeine for awhile.
By the way, most people with IBS are women. It may have something to do with hormones. I hope this goes away for you. It's awful to live with it every day and people just assume you don't eat enough fiber, or something simple. If you try the elimination diets (dairy or gluten, etc.), they say it can take a few days to a few weeks before things get better.
Since you're concerned, you might want a referral to a GI doctor, though.
If you find an answer, please let us all know.
Last edited by pfe; 01-10-2011 at 06:43 AM.