Melanosis Coli

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elcamino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 11/6/2008 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all.  I have a question for all of you bowel experts.  I do not have IBD, but I do have IBS.  I have had 3 colonoscopies, and aside from apthous ulcers on the first one, the only significant and consistent finding is melanosis coli.  I've been told by my doctors that this caused exclusively by routine laxative use, particularly laxatives with senna or senna compounds.  The problem is I have not, nor have I ever (to my knowledge) used laxatives, much less those with senna in them.  I've also been told this is a harmless condition, but I've been reading on the internet that MC can also be associated with pre-cancer, particularly sigmoid cancer.  It's bad enough that I'm being told that I'm engaging in an activity that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I'm NOT involved in, but not knowing what else can cause it is alarming as well.  cancer, of course, would be the worst possible scenario.  Do any of you know anything about this? 
 
Thanks for any information you can share!
 
Elcamino 
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex,Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan, zyrtec, zegerid, aciphex


Ides
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7077
   Posted 11/6/2008 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Elcamino - I wrote a long reply to you and just as I was finishing up, IE "encountered a problem" and shut down. I am not happy...

The highlights of my first reply -
1) Melanosis coli does have a slight increase in frequency of cancer but is that from the senna usage or the melanosis coli? That was not addressed/studied so since you do not use senna products, perhaps you do not have an increased risk of cancer.
2) Do you eat rhubarb? That and several other foods contain some of the same components of senna. I am betting that there is food component leading to your melanosis coli.
3) Why do you get all of the oddities in medicine? [This is tongue-in-cheek, no need to answer it - LOL!]

If some doctor can explain your melanosis coli without blaming laxatives, I'd be curious about the answer. If/when that day comes, please let us know!
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.
 


elcamino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 11/7/2008 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for your reply Ides.  I admit it is a very weird thing, but I've been told by more than one doctor that I have a lot of little weird eccentricities with my body.  My  mom was always told the same thing :) 

That makes  me feel better that perhaps the laxative use is the trigger for the cancer, and not the melanosis coli in and of itself.  I wish medicine did less flawed research. 

As far as getting an answer from a doctor, I'm sure it won't happen.  I've asked 3 doctors and they all insist that I must have used senna laxatives at some point; there is no other explanation. My response has always been, "If I was a routine user of laxatives, wouldn't you at least think I'd be skinny?  And not constipated?"

 

Cheers,

El 


Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, nexium, tramadol, nasonex,Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan, zyrtec, zegerid, aciphex

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