Probably just another hypochondriac?

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Ringthane
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/6/2006 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, gang. I'm 35 and I'm scared. Here's why...
 
- no familial history of any cancers
 
- no visible blood in stools
 
- I'm "only" 35
 
- no abdominal pain
 
- I'm normally constipated
 
- 3 weeks ago, I had a bout of constipation+diarrhea, which normalized
 
- 2 weeks ago I noticed my stools are fewer in quantity, thinner (not pencil-like, but not what I used to pass either) and contain bits of undigested food
 
- for the past week the constipation worsened
 
- I stress and get anxious VERY often over almost anything
 
- my doc played safe and sent for a CBC, a kit of three stool samples and complete (colon+sigmoid) imagery. I will have the CBC results next monday, the stool culture results in about 2 weeks, and I'm scheduled for the imagery on July 10.
 
What are the odds of this NOT being a malignancy?
 
Thanks yeah

Ringthane
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/6/2006 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Forgot to add: I haven't lost my appetite, so I pretty much kept my regular eating patterns. But if it's not coming out and I?m not feeling bloated, nauseated, or full, where's it gone to when the next meal comes up? :P

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/6/2006 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Colon cancer is not very common, especially in young people (you qualify) and people without a family history. However IBS is VERY common. So I would say the liklihood you have IBS much, much higher than the liklihood you have cancer. It's good that you're getting tests just to be sure, but don't work yourself into a tizzy. The fact that you are normally constipated would indicate that you have had IBS for ages but now you're just experiencing a shift in symptoms, which isn't an infrequent occurence for people with IBS for a long time. There are several people on this board who used to be C or D and who are now the exact opposite or who alternate.

If your dr. hasn't already suggested a colonoscopy, then you might want to get one. They are recommended for people beginning at age 40, so you're about due for one anyways. They can see for sure if you have anything wrong in there and they can check for hemmroids and polyps. Polyps are not infrequent in people's colons and are not cancerous, but they do like to snip them out of there because sometimes, if they are there for a really, really long time, they can develop cancer. But as long as they keep taking them out every few years, nothing ever happens. I think they're the intestinal equivalent of a wart, lol. But, like I said, most of the time they don't turn into something worse and a lot of people just have them naturally, so if you do have them, they're really nothing to worry about. They'll just want to scope you on a regular basis (every few years) to keep them cleared out so you don't develop pain or anything else. And of course there may be absolutely nothing at all to see in there whatsoever. That's pretty much the definition of IBS: bowel problems with no known cause.

Make sure you talk to your doctor about what you can take to help you stay regular. If you haven't already experimented with fiber, try that. Also, there is the old standby: prune juice. And you can also get aloe vera in capsules--it's a natural laxative. Just make sure you ask your doctor about staying on anything--herb, fruit, fiber, OTC medicine--long term. You don't want to flush out vitamins or minerals or develop a dependency. I don't think prunes or aloe vera or fiber have any long-term repurcussions, but check just to be sure.

Oh, and anxiety makes IBS worse. Ask your doctor what you can do about that. Maybe therapy or meditation or yoga or, if you feel very debilitiated by worry, prescription anti-depressants. There are some people who get a lot of IBS relief from the anti-depressants--so much so that some doctors are prescribing them to IBSers who aren't depressed or anxious just because they seem to make the guts work better for some reason. But being anxious all the time will fast track the stomach and guts to problems, especially if they are sensitive to begin with. I ran over a puppy one day and was so upset I had diarrhea all the next day, so I know all about emotional upset making my guts upset.

Ringthane
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/6/2006 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you :)

For the past two days I've had abdominal cramps and the constipation worsened a bit, it's almost as if I don't have any waste to pass. I wonder where all the food is going and if it wouldn't be absorption-related too :P

Colonoscopy scheduled for July 10, looks like it's gonna be a full day, pun intended...

Thanks again... (I shouldn't take benzodiazepines since I do a lot of sleep apnea and I'm also chronically asthmatic).

Will be posting... :)

Edit: I have noticed an effect, about which I am only 50% sure it's anxiety/strain related - I am constantly aware of my rectal area and I "know" there is something wrong in there, as if the bowel is working to stay shut instead of the opposite. Weird, this thing. Just decided to take the antidepressant on a morning+lunch basis, hoping it won't interfere with my daily routines.


Ardet nec Consumitur

Post Edited (Ringthane) : 6/7/2006 2:08:51 AM (GMT-6)


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/7/2006 7:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I forget how many feet of intestines we have, but it's a lot. ...A lot of places for food to hang around. And I think too how much stool you pass depends on what you are eating; some foods are processed more than others and produce less waste. Things high in insoluable fiber, for instance, produce a lot of waste because you can't absorb fiber and insoluable fiber stays in a solid form (soluable fiber turns into a liquid).

Ringthane
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/9/2006 1:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Incredible: the antidepressant, along with an antispasmodic, normalized my transit.
 
I still feel an occasional cramp and it's not yet 100% as it was before, but no problems for the past 3 days.
 
Eagerly awaiting the CBC and stool culture results.
 
Also, there might be a connection between this and my chronic B12 deficiency, since my platelets have been historically at the lower normal range percentile (160k, 170k). I'm working on that too.
 
Looking better... :)


Ardet nec Consumitur


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 6/9/2006 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad to hear you're doing so good! :-)
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