| | Please Help!
OK...This is going to be a bit long winded, but I really need some advice.
Let me start by saying that I am a 27 year old male with a family history of colon issues (my father had diverticulitis and my late grandmother had colitis) I have always been quite healthy, but near the beginning of July, I began to experience dull abdominal pain just to the right of my navel. I began to panic and immediately rushed to the conclusion that I had appendicitis (thank you *****). In fact, I got so paranoid about it, that I went to Urgent Care a few days later and the doctor that was on call at the time pressed on my abdomen and even checked for a possible hernia and blood in the stool which were both negative at the time. I was diagnosed with a random abdominal pain and sent on my way.
Later that evening, I developed severe anxiety and had a mild panic attack (maybe it was the rectal exam). It was around this time that I recalled having Irritable Bowel Syndrome as a child and being put on stool softeners. I tried Metamucil, but that just seemed to give me severe diarrhea.
A few days later, I made an appointment with a physician. When I described my symptoms and suggested the possibility of IBS, she just agreed and told me to start taking Citrucel. I felt like I self-diagnosed myself.
A month later, I returned to this doctor for a follow-up and I explained that my symptoms which included: continued abdominal pain (which sometimes increases when i bend forward), tightness in the abdomen, diarrhea (which ranged from "normal" D to severe), some mucus in the stool, fatigue, muscle pains, racing pulse, occasional lighteadedness, trembling, some sweating at night, flushed face, had not improved. At this point, she prescribed Levsin to help control the colon spasms and ordered some bloodwork (which all came back normal). She also asked if I would want to try Paxil for the anxiety, to which I reluctantly said yes.
I took the Paxil twice and after some discussions with family and friends, decided that I was too young to be dependent on a mood-altering drug to help me handle stress and ceased taking it. In fact, I became a bit concerned that the doctor was so quick to fork over Paxil rather than suggest alternate methods of dealing with anxiety such as exercise, etc.
That was 2 weeks ago, which pretty much brings my story up to date.
As of now, I have developed some new symptoms...
The abdominal pain, which had just been centered just to the right of my navel now radiates to the left side and occasionally to the lower back. I also experience pain across/under my rib cage from time to time (Could this be a sign of gallstones or a liver problem?) My appetite fluctuates from not really wanting to eat at all to having some really strange food cravings (like a bologna sandwich or hot wings at 9 PM).
I should also mention that I do consume alcohol -- approximately 3 glasses of red wine in the evenings. I also have recently tried to eliminate caffeine from my diet (though I broke down and had a cup of coffee this morning) and have increased my water intake.
Finally, I have started to notice small red flecks on the toilet paper following a bowel movement, though it doesn't resemble blood -- seems to appear after I've eaten (I apologize if I'm getting too graphic here) red potatoes, tomatoes or something with some sort of skin on it. I have been straining a bit as of late so perhaps I'm developing a hemmrhoid. Has anyone else ever experienced this? I only ask because everything I am finding online about blood in the stool suggests red toilet water or blood soaked toilet paper.
I don't experience nausea or vomiting. My urine is normal and aside the abdominal pain and the anxiety symptoms, I don't necessarily feel all that bad. I've continued my normal routine, but with much less energy that I used to.
Finally, I have made an appointment with a gastro specialist, but they cannot see me until Sept. 30.
Well...that just about covers it. I apologize if I've rambled on, but I've been reading posts on this board for a few weeks now and thought this would be a good place to come for answers.