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Old 04-20-2005, 04:15 AM   #1
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question about bowel problem

I am a 52 year old woman. I have had good bowel movements up until 1 week ago. I started having diahrea and it has not stopped. I went to my dr on monday and she tested for blood in the stool and said the test was negative. She told me to go on a liquid diet for 24 hours and then the brat diet for 24 hours. I still have diahrea. She said if no success to come back on friday and she would do stool tests and go from there. I am sure she will suggest a colonscopy. I am very afraid this could be colon cancer. Does anyone have any other ideas what could be causing the diahrea. thank you so much

 
Old 04-20-2005, 08:16 AM   #2
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Re: question about bowel problem

Are you taking any meds to help stop the diahrea? Ask pharmacist about them. I forgot the name of one used by many.

Are you taking any new meds that could have triggered this?

You could have a virus.

 
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Old 04-20-2005, 09:53 AM   #3
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Re: question about bowel problem

It is certainly hard with out any date and having tests done would be more conclusive that speculating here. However, you may want to evaluate your diet, stress levels, new meds, abdominal cramping, etc. Immodium is a good medication for diarrhea. Don't jump into the cancer thing until you have eliminated a whole bunch of other possibilities or you'll drive yourself crazy. cflas

 
Old 04-20-2005, 11:45 AM   #4
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Re: question about bowel problem

One thing that really helped me, when I had a severe reaction to something I had eaten that lasted over 2 weeks, is acidolphilus capsules. The kind you find in the refrigerator at the health food store. I use Primadolphilus. There are lots of good quality probiotics you can choose from, just be sure it's refrigerated and check the expiration date for freshness.

After a liquid diet to give your digestive system a rest, re-introduce foods gently, nothing highly-seasoned or spicy. Usually steamed rice or oatmeal is what I start with.

I forgot to ask if you had eaten anything new or possibly had a reaction to some meat or chicken that wasn't cooked thoroughly? My reaction was to a soy-based meal replacement drink, which I later decided that I was very intolerant to soy products.

BTW, the acidolphilus started getting me back to normal after taking only a few capsules.

 
Old 04-20-2005, 05:34 PM   #5
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Re: question about bowel problem

Hi,

It's a possibility but not a probability that it could be cancer. There are soooo many possiblilties, but one way to know for sure is to have the colonoscopy.

You should also have stool testing done anyway.

Considering your age, you should have a c-scope done as well. (I've had 6 for ulcerative colitis and am checked for cancer each time as well -- they're not so bad -- awesome drugs!! ;-)

I strongly support the suggestion of a probiotic, but do it after you have had the stool testing.

How many times a day are you having diarrhea? I would as well try to avoid certain foods or eat them in small quantities that might exacerbate diarrhea such as fruits, veggies, salada, nuts..etc.

I had the same symptoms a few years before I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. At that time, no bleeding, but definitely diarrhea and cramping.

I would go through the testing anyway....definitive is better than "what if?"

Keep us posted as to how you're doing.
quincy
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Old 04-21-2005, 06:10 AM   #6
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Re: question about bowel problem

Thank you to everyone who has replied. I am very confused as to what is going on. Today is Thursday and monday and tues night were bad nights. Yesterday I followed the brat diet and did not really go through the day or last night. This morning when I woke up I felt the urge to go. Excuse my details on this. I went and it was not diahrea but it was several movments. They were not normal but they were formed and I had to go several times in a row. Each time I went it was basically the same I had a little cramping and then I would go. I have been taking pepto bismol like the dr had said and it turned them a dark color. Does this sound like things are starting to get back to normal and my system just needs time. I made an appt yesterday for today and I was able to get a sample from when I went this morning. Should I take this sample to the dr. Can a virus upset your system so it takes a while for things to get better? Am I so nervous I am making the situation worse? Thank you for your help and sorry this is so long.

 
Old 04-21-2005, 06:26 AM   #7
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Re: question about bowel problem

Hi,

You're definitely improving, albeit from the less food (caused the formation you had today) and from the stool colour (from the PB).

The trick is to see if once you get back to a normal diet will your symptoms appear again, or maybe later they will appear and you will know it wasn't just something you ingested (bacteria, virus, parasite...etc), it would probably be something organic such as a bowel disorder. It could even be IBS, which will as well cause the symptoms you described as well.

I think you should just bring that little ol' sample you took to the doc just in case she wants to use it. If she doesn't, and still wants a stool sample...she'll give you a proper sample container.

I would still push for a colonoscopy given your age. It's still good to get a base-line of where you are now...and in the future when you have another check, then will have a time line of when your first one was.

The doctor will be able to see if there's any inflammation, take biopsies, rule out lots of stuff.

She might suggest a barium enema x-ray...I had one and it didn't show my UC which was 15 inches severely inflammed and bleeding.
It was a waste of my time and must I say "discomfort" because the diarrhea was up to over 15 times a day and feeling more like razors coming out.

The "bottom" line......have the test that will most obviously inform the doctor of what it is you would have. That's the colonoscopy. As well, your colon will be fully tested for cancer/precancer.

Less is best in my opinion.

Been there,
quincy

Let us know how your appointment goes today.
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Old 04-21-2005, 01:06 PM   #8
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Re: question about bowel problem

I called my dr office and told them I had some formed bowel movements. The nurse said to wait one more day and come in tommorrow afternoon. I ate some pasta plain and some liquids today. A little while ago same formed bowel movements than a little while later some diahrea and then a little later some semi formed bowel movements. Does anybody have any idea whats going on? One minute I felt like you do with diahrea and the next I almost felt like I was constipated. I will be going tommorrow but is this ibs? thank you

 
Old 04-21-2005, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: question about bowel problem

Katy-

Yes, it could be IBS. I can only re-iterate what everyone else has come upwith so far.

My IBS started just like yours...years ago. One day I had diarrhea and it just didn't go away. After basic stool testing, I was sent to a special clinic for parasite tests- By the way, have you travelled recently?.

For parasite testing, I believe the stool sample has to be very "fresh" and that's why I went to this special place. They gave me a cathartic to drink and told me to sit in the waiting room along with a million other people who had ALSO just taken this stuff.
There were 3 bathrooms.
We all waited.
And waited.
No one spoke (what are you gonna say- " Tell me now, what is the consistency of your stools????")
And each of us is thinking..."one of those toilets better be available when the cathartic "hits"!!!!"
My turn came and I made it into one of those bathrooms just in time to do it into a cup which I hand-carried to a lab tech in another room.
Charming huh?
And this wasn't in sticks by the way..it was a major clinic in NYC affiliated with NYU Hospital!
Things I HOPE are a little more discreet and easier now (this was 25 years ago.)


Anyway, next a barium test. Nothing. Then a colonoscopy. Clean as a whistle.
They never found anything.


IBS is only diagnosed once everything else is ruled out. It can be diarrhea only or diarrhea alternating with constipation. It can manifest itself with only one "siege" a day" or more than one. Some people have cramps with it, others have completely painless bowel movements. There can be good days and not so good days and definitely certain foods can exacerbate it even if there's no bona fide "allergy". Some meds help a lot. It's definitely a puzzle but totally "manageable".

Just take one step at a time...you're probably fine.

zuzu xx

Last edited by zuzu8; 04-21-2005 at 02:57 PM.

 
Old 04-22-2005, 04:50 AM   #10
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Re: question about bowel problem

I have some questions if anyone can help. I go to my regular dr this afternoon.

I had some movements today. They were loose. If this is ibs can episodes of this go on and on?

I am extremely upset and nervous. Can this affect my colon and throw everything off for me?

What do the stool tests show?

If she suggest colonscopy do you have to see a gastro dr first? Do you usually get taken in right away?

I dont know what to think thank you

 
Old 04-23-2005, 12:40 AM   #11
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Re: question about bowel problem

I went to the dr yesterday. She said she will do a workup. SHe said first off I had a slight temperature. My weight is still the same.

She took complete blood tests. I know she said complete blood count, sediment rate and some others but I forgot what she said.

She wants me to take stool samples all weekend and then bring those in monday and she wants to test them.

The next step will then be a colonoscopy.

Now shortly ago I had to go this time they were semi formed and there was muscus in there.

Any ideas or thoughts what is happening? thank you

 
Old 04-23-2005, 01:45 AM   #12
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Re: question about bowel problem

If you had a slight fever, you may have a bacterial infection.
I'm not sure, but she may be wanting to send your stool samples out for inspection for ova or parasites as well.

Mucous simply indicates the possibility of some kind of inflammation. It's not necessarily a sign of anything serious.

Just take it a step at a time. Everything was normal just over a week ago, so this sounds like some acute rather than chronic intestinal problem.. and as uncomfortable as you are, the chances are that it's not something really serious like cancer and that it will be self-limiting.

zuzu xx

 
Old 04-23-2005, 04:53 PM   #13
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Re: question about bowel problem

The mucous in your stool isn't anything to worry about.

How many times and how often a day are you experiencing diarrhea? There are literally dozens of different causes. Most of the time, you won't find the exact cause of it and most of the time, diarrhea goes away on its own. The following are some causes: Stress, alcohol consumption, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, medications, infections or antibiotics. I am not understanding what the liquid diet for 24h then the brat for 24 would accomplish other than to be done as an attempt to cleanse your colon. Normally, you would want to cleanse the colon if one was constipated.

At any rate, you need to watch for signs of dehydration at this point. Also, are you experiencing any other symptoms with these episodes? The stool study would show whether or not you have an infection so that would be a step in the right direction. If your diarrhea persists, then a colonoscopy would be a smart thing to undergo. I don't think you have a colon cancer.

If your doctor refers you to a surgeon for a colonoscopy, be sure to tell him/her if you have a family history of colon polyps. I don't know what type of insurance you have but many insurance companies will not cover a colonoscopy for acute short-term diarrhea. They no longer cover this procedure if you have a family history of colon cancer. However, family history of colon polyps and certain types of diarrhea are covered. You wouldn't think that there were categories for this condition but there are! Infectious diarrhea, chronic diarrhea, acute, traveler's, diabetic, etc. You might be one of the more fortunate ones whose insurance will cover a colonoscopy procedure.

If and when you are scheduled for this, ask your surgeon's office for the procedure and diagnostic codes that they will be billing you for so that you can call and ask your insurance rep. about this. Surgeon's normally charge anywhere from $800.00 on up to perform the procedure and the hospital has a separate charge ranging from $1,500.00 to $2,000.00 or more. I am not trying to discourage you, but to inform you so that you don't just go along with the recommendations and then are unknowingly hit with a huge fee. If your ins. co. won't cover it, ask if they will cover a Barium Enema. My first choice would be the colonoscopy however since, if a polyp is found, your surgeon can remove it right then whereas they cannot during a BE. The colonoscopy is a piece of cake.

Last edited by smithn; 04-23-2005 at 04:55 PM.

 
Old 04-23-2005, 05:07 PM   #14
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Re: question about bowel problem

Katyoct, I'm sorry I answered this out of order. I'm new to this site and still am learning it. Anyhow, I think you are going to be just fine and that your condition is not due to anything serious. Your slight fever was probably from your anxiety from having to go in for your office visit. That is common as well. I don't understand why your doctor would want you to take stool samples all weekend. One would be sufficient and if an infection was found, you would be placed on antibiotics then at that point, you may be asked to take in another sample. And no, you don't need to see a GI specialist if you are in need of a colonoscopy. A general surgeon is who you would be scheduled with. Again, I think this will pass and you'll be just fine.

 
Old 04-25-2005, 04:16 AM   #15
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Re: question about bowel problem

Another question. Its monday now and the stools are more formed and look regular color. Question is I have to go more a day than usual. What can this mean? Thank you.

 
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