Convinced my husband has IBS, or even IBD or colitis

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hopeful82
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   Posted 10/23/2006 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey all....
So ever since I've known him, he's had bowel issues. Stress especially aggravates his bowels, and he has diarrhea/loose stools more than anyone I know. But then he can go for a couple months with no problems. It can get to the point where he's passing quite a bit of blood (he blames it on a hemorroid). Currently he's in one of those stages where it seems to be flaring up and theres blood, and he's even had to stay home from work because he can't sit he's so sore around his bottom.
Ever since the first time this occurred since we've been together I urged him to see his doctor about it. He's been before but I think he downplays what is actually going on for fear of embarrassment, which I can completely understand. He said he mentioned it to his doctor at his last appointment about a year ago, but all he came back with was directions to eat more fiber and drink lemon water in the morning (his doc is a naturopath).
I'm worried that this cycle is being caused by some kind of chronic inflammation of the bowels, or maybe its IBS, but either way, he NEEDS to get a diagnosis so he can properly treat it, in my opinion. I'm worried all the bleeding will cause permanent damage to his bowels. It hurts me to see him in so much pain, when I feel it might be able to be controlled.
What do you guys think? Does it sound like IBS???
I just want him to get better :(
Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


crazycolonchick
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   Posted 10/23/2006 7:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry to hear that your husband is having such a bad time. Just from my experience (and I'm no doctor) it sounds to me like he could very well have ulcerative colitis. Has the doctor for sure said that the bleeding is just from the hemoroids? Has he had a colonoscopy yet? I have IBS and UC and have the exact same symptoms. At any rate the doctor should be able to do more to make him feel better. Good Luck!  
*Kali*
 
 Diagnosed with UC Jan. 05 (pathology report said it could be chrons but GI said its UC)
Having Colonoscopy with new GI Oct. 31
Meds: 3 Asacol 3X, prenatal vitamins, calcium supplements


7Lil
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   Posted 10/23/2006 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ali,
Welcome to IBS! :-)
It's really tough to diagnose digestive trouble... it seems that many disorders and diseases mimic each other. The only way for your husband to get an accurate diagnosis is to go through a battery of tests. Like Kali mentioned, a colonoscopy is a must.
Blood is not a symptom of IBS, but it is for Crohn's, UC and/or hemorrhoids. If the blood is bright red it is most likely a hemmie like he says. If it is darker then it means the bleeding is further up in the digestive tract. If his stool is closer to a reddish-brown it can be a sign of a bleeding ulcer. Either way, bleeding is a red flag (no pun intended). He should put the embarassment aside and get it checked out before whatever is causing it does further damage.
As for the D... it may be just as simple as a food allergy. Or IBS. A huge number of the population gets D when they are nervous or stressed out. That's where the term comes from "I was so scared I almost ___ my pants." Lactose intolerance is a big causer of D, so is Celiacs (wheat intolerance). Both of those are highly associated with gas and bloating. Does he have any symptoms other than D (and bleeding)?
Again, welcome, it is nice to see people on here looking to help their loved ones.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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hopeful82
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   Posted 10/24/2006 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your replies guys! I have told him over and over again he needs to rule out any serious condition, and I have told him that I am worried about UC or Chron's, but he just brushes it off. I've learned a lot reading through the posts, and it just doesn't seem like he has regular ole IBS to me due to the bleeding.
He has been to a proctologist about 5 years ago I guess, and hated the experience (well duh), so I think thats whats holding him from going back again. I know if a doctor told him he needed a colonoscopy he wouldn't do it because he doesn't think its that bad.
His only symptoms are usually the D, and when D happens enough, then comes the bleeding. At times, and this is not a usual occurence, he'll get severe stomach pains as well, but like I said that doesn't happen too often. I'm almost positive he doesn't have any food allergies.
Anyways, this morning he told me he is making an appointment with his doctor, and I almost want to make him let me go with him so I can make sure he tells his doc EVERYTHING that is going on. I just worry because he comes from a long line of stoic males who just refuse to admit that they're sick.
Thanks so much for the helpful information, I really appreciate it. :) I love my fellow HW'ers!! :)
Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


Keriamon
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   Posted 10/24/2006 8:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I believe that someone with IBD told me a while back that while there is no cure for IBDs, there are medicines out there that will help lessen the symptoms, severity and length of the flares, but the longer you wait about getting started on the medicine, the worse the inflammation can get and the harder it is to get the medicine to work.  So he may be making it harder to overcome by dragging his feet on seeing a doctor. 
 
Since they put you under when you get your colonoscopy, there's nothing to be embarrassed about; you don't know they're even doing it.  Perhaps letting him know this will help him. 
 
No offense to any men reading this, but men tend to be fairly stubborn and if you go on too much about this, he'll not go just to keep from giving you the satisfaction of having nagged him into it--regardless of whether or not he thinks he might ought to.  It certainly has to be his decision.  If suggesting that he might get worse unless he gets a diganosis and medicine don't convince him, then I'm afraid you're going to have to drop it.  But have you suggested calcium to him?  That may help his diarrhea and may lessen his pains when he has a bad spell.  Better to try something than nothing at all, I think. 

bluemeanies
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   Posted 10/24/2006 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
He should see a gastroenterologist and have a colonoscopy to rule out a more serious problem. They aren't that bad, I've had three and will have one every couple of years. Bleeding is a sign of IBD not IBS. Calcium can help the D, so can probiotics but I would push for him to go to the doctor.

hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2006 1:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, he said he'd like to start taking acidophilis again (he did for maybe a week about a year ago) as well as fiber supplements. I never thought about the calcium thing - I'll mention that to him too.

You guys are right about the nagging just backfiring... I just hope he made the appointment this morning like he said he would.

Thanks so much for all your help!!!! :)
Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


Keriamon
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   Posted 10/24/2006 3:25 PM (GMT -7)   
You can lead a man to water, but you can't beat him into drinking it, even if he's thirsty, lol.

You may just want to go ahead and buy some of the Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D pills and take them home to him (I don't know about your man, but mine forgets frequently) and tell them that they may help stop his diarrhea. I'd try one of the morning and one of the evening and see how it goes from there. Some people on here take three, but that's the absolute maximum because you can mess up your kidneys overdosing on calcium for too long. If he starts getting a little constipated, try taking 1/2 or 1 less pill a day. He may have to change his dosage frequently based on what kind of day he's having.

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23416
   Posted 10/24/2006 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ali :) I have UC and even though it's possible that your hubby may have something more serious going on, to me it sounds like it might IBS with hemmeroids. Why? Because the majority of people diagnosed with UC or Crohns have symptoms that don't go away (on their own) which is how they are usually diagnosed. Of course a colonoscopy is a must to confirm this but I know most men have a phobia of anything or anyone playing around their rear end! Stubborn men I tell ya! ;) Of course too, I don't want to scare you - truly I don't, there is always the possibility of colon cancer. How old is he....I know you told me once but I can't remember. If he is over 50 then he should be getting a baseline c-scope anyway for preventative measures.
@--->--Sherry--<---@
Uc(Left-sided) since 1992 - Colazal, 6MP, Biotin, Forvia
Secondary Raynauds Syndrome since 2004 -Meds - Norvasc...Fibromyalgia since 2006
Co-mod for Ulcerative Colitis.....Moderator for Allergies/Asthma
Help others such as yourself by donating to Healingwell, every penny counts!
 

 
 


hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2006 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Sherry! He's only 27, so I'm not worried about cancer, but thank you for the heads up! I'm in the field of public health, so I am all for preventive health measures so you can bet that we'll be headed for colonoscopies once we hit 50 :) I'm glad to hear that it doesn't sound like UC to you, that gives me hope :) I still want him to get checked out for sure though because I hate seeing him in these phases. He apparently didn't have time to make the appt this morning but said he will by the end of the work week.

Keriamon - I will be buying the Caltrate tomorrow! :)
Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 10/24/2006 6:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Ali,
What about surgery, has his doc mentioned it?  He's so young I wonder if hemmie surgery should be in his near future.
Have you see the calcium post?  Here it is if you want to know A LOT about how it helps.
Good luck!
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 10/24/2006 7:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lil - actually I mentioned the possibility of surgery to him. He didn't sound so keen on it (surprising huh? :) ). He goes to a naturopath doc, so I highly doubt he'd recommend anything surgical anyways. Thanks for the link...... I think I will send the info to my hubby actually! :)
Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 11/7/2006 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   
ugh......... so an update:
my husband is just getting over a cold with a cough, as am i (don't you just love fall?), and then this morning he starts getting these unbearable stomach pains that cause him to leave work. when he got home he threw up and has been sleeping since. this happend to him a year ago (the violent stomach pains) after a simliar situation - he had a respiratory infection and was put on prednisone to help the inflammation (i thought that was pretty drastic but whatever) and then had these crazy stomach cramps. he originally thought it was because of the prednisone, but now with it happening again i don't know what to think. this is so weird, i told him i am going to call his doctor for him since he obviously doesn't see the need to figure out what the he@#$ is going on with his body.
any ideas???? does IBS or IBD get bad when you are sick? :(
Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 11/8/2006 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   

update on the update - he went to the doctor this morning, the stomach pains went away as the day progressed, and his doc just told him to increase fiber intake, rehaul his diet (i must admit, despite the fact that i usually cook dinner for us and try to be healthy, his diet SUCKS), and take magnesium supplements. if things don't get back on track then he wants to do a "scope"- now what kind of scope he's talking about i'm not sure, i would assume a colonoscopy, but it could be that sigmoidoscope (sp?) or something like that, i don't know. all i know is i don't think my husband has the will power to change his diet - he lives for mcdonalds/taco bell/wendys (its so bad, i know), which if he has IBS, those things probably make it worse.

anywways, if you IBS-Ders out there could give me good advice on fiber supplements to buy for him i would appreciate it. thanks :)


Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 11/8/2006 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ali,
It baffles me that your husband's doc told him to take magnesium.  Magnesium usually makes D worse.  Did your husband ask him why he suggested magnesium, and what it will do?
If your husband indeed has IBS, he will learn the hard way to stay away from fast food / junk.  After a few months he will feel so bad that he'll have no choice but to eat healthier.  BUT, he will find that sometimes it is worth it to splurge.   tongue  

I really hope the doc is talking about doing a colonoscopy.  Frankly, in my personal opinion, I think sigmoidoscopies are a waste.  They only see into the descending colon, the patient gets no sedative, AND they have to "prep" none the less.  Colonoscopies, on the other hand, see into the whole large bowel.  Prep is a must, sedation is customary, biopsies are done, and the results are more accurate and broader.  Besides, if the doc sees anything abnormal while doing the sigmoidoscopy he will order a colonoscopy anyway.  I'd go straight to the colonoscopy.

As for fiber, that varies with each person.  I had lots of D and gas with Citrucel so my doc told me to go with Psyllium.  She said Psyllium is much easier on the gut.  You will, however, find a lot of people recommend Metamucil and Benefiber.  Your husband will just have to try 1 at a time until he finds the 1 that suits him best.

Has he considered taking probiotics?  What about eating yogurt daily?  Danon Activia is fabulous!


Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
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hopeful82
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   Posted 11/9/2006 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   

Alrighty, so I got the details on what went on at the appointment. He was told to take magnesium when he gets the stomach cramps only. As for the scope, he said the doc said he'd do a 60" scope, which I assume means the sigmoidoscope. My husband has had this before a few years back (before I met him) and does NOT want to do it again. I agree with you that it doesn't make sense to do that and not a colonoscopy since anything found with a sigmoidoscope will need to be checked out further. Plus, if a scope has to happen, at least my husband can be knocked out and not remember it, lol.

I looked at the notes that the doctor wrote for him. The doc is an MD, board certified in family med, but relies heavily on homeopathic treatments. So my husband was told to take metamucil and benefiber, excercise for stress relief, and quit smoking (yes, he's a pack a day smoker, ugh). Apparently this doc recommended he let him do accupuncture to help with the smoking cessation, so he might try it as he's been trying to quit forever. Anyways, he also said no more dairy (probelm, hubby loves milk!!!) and no more fast food. We are going grocery shopping tonight to buy fiber rich foods that are ready to eat bc thats the main reason he gets fast food - he doesn't feel like making anything himself when i'm not around.

Also, we bought him acidophilis about a year ago and still have it in the fridge (does it expire?) so I will make him start taking that again. Basically, the doctor said he pretty much has "undiagnosed IBS".... since he hasn't ruled anything out, but he does suspect IBS.

I think its really up to me to get him to change his diet and take these extra supplements... what a fun task! Thank you all so much for your help with this, you're all awesome :)


Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 11/13/2006 12:05 PM (GMT -7)   
A few things have happened since I last posted. Last Thursday my husband had a bad bout of D in the afternoon and called his doc again, who told him to come right in. He took a stool sample, but then also did a scope. Friday afternoon, my husband gets a call from his doctor saying the results of the scope did not look good and he wants him to get a colonscopy. I tried to get more information from my husband, i.e. didn't the doctor say specifically what he saw that wasn't good?? I find it hard to believe a doctor would just say "it looks bad" and not give any details like inflammation, lesions, etc... so I was pretty annoyed with that. Then my husband decides to tell me (for the first time) that when he got his scope a few years back they saw what looked like abnormal, precancerous cells, but that it turned out to be ok. Now, he's only 27, so I find it hard to believe he's at risk for colon cancer, but I guess anything can happen nowadays. So of course, he is freaked out that he has cancer now and I am just frustrated beyond belief that the doctor couldn't give him a better indication of what the "bad stuff" he saw was. I don't know what to think, and I come to tears everytime I think about him having cancer at his young age!!!!!!! :(  So now he has to miss yet ANOTHER day of work to do the colonoscopy, and who knows how long he'll put this off for. This is all just a miserable experience :( Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23416
   Posted 11/13/2006 12:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Aww Ali, I'm so sorry to hear that you guys are having a rough go of this! Colon cancer is a scary thing indeed (if this is what he has) but take comfort in knowing that colon cancer is one of the easiest of cancers to treat. I know several people that have colon cancer and have gone on living a productive and fulfulling life. It's not a death sentence like it once was. I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, hope he doesn't have it. Doctors can be so vague it's frustrating! Definately let us know what the outcome from his c-scope is.
@--->--Sherry--<---@
Uc(Left-sided) since 1992 - Colazal, 6MP, Hydrocortisone enemas, Biotin, Forvia
Secondary Raynauds Syndrome since 2004 -Meds - Norvasc...Fibromyalgia since 2006
Co-mod for Ulcerative Colitis.....Moderator for Allergies/Asthma
Help others such as yourself by donating to Healingwell, every penny counts!
 

 
 


Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 11/13/2006 3:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I seem to recall someone else on here had pre-cancerous polyps and all that had to be done was to cut/burn them off during a colonoscopy every two or three years and that was all. Apparently they're not uncommon (and they usually grow back), and so long as you get rid of them early on (and luckily they seem to take a long time to become cancerous), you can keep clipping them indefinitely without ever getting cancer.

Hopefully your husband has something similar that can be easily fixed. He'll just have to be more vigilent about getting scopes after this!

hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 11/16/2006 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Yet another update - but this time its good!! :)
 
So, my husband's doctor set up an appointment for him today with a proctologist (at least I assuming he was a proctologist and not a GI, my hubby was jokingly referring to him as the "butt doctor", lol)... anyways so he went in today, got another scope (poor guy!) but it turns out whatever was going on in there was nothing to be overly concerned about, but he will need to change his diet ASAP according to the doc's comments - no surprise there. So yay I'm happy that the specialist didn't see a reason to do anything further and that there was nothing majorly serious going on.
 
On a side note, I was looking at our bank account activity online today, and I was just appalled at how much my husband goes to McDonalds. I really had no idea how much he was eating there - almost everyday!!!!!!!!!!!! The doctor told him it must stop, and I have as well, and he finally realizes it. How this man can eat that much fast food and not be 500 lbs. is beyond me! Anyways, the next task is to get him to like vegetables and non-greasy food! :)
Ali
 
Co-mod for HIV/AIDS 
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
 
 
 


7Lil
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 11/16/2006 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Great news, Ali!!! :-)
Thanks for the update. Best of luck getting hubby off fast food... it is SUCH a difficult habit to break.
Keep us posted on his progress.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
 
Please donate to help HealingWell continue to help us..... www.healingwell.com/donate

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