Having GI issues and really scared

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/23/2009 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello all - this is my first post and I am really amped up right now since I just got back from a doctor's appointment and I am hoping and praying that someone here can give me answers.......
Approximately 10 years ago, I experienced a couple months straight of having bowel movements and experiencing a tearing sensation each time.  There would always be a lot of bright red blood in the stool afterwards.  I never saw a doctor about it because whatever it was went away. 
Fast forward 5 years from that to the birth of my son and an episiotomy which ripped ALL THE WAY DOWN...yea, fun times!  It took me 3 weeks after he was born to have a "normal" bowel movement and when I did, my anus felt like it was ripping open again, bright red blood, etc.  Once again, it healed and the OB/GYN told me it was normal for this to happen. 
2 years after that, I suffered a complete uterine prolapse (at the age of 32!) and had to have a total, vaginal hysterectomy which has now left me with a cystocele and rectocele - this hysterectomy took place right around the time my father ended up on life support for the final time and so I didn't take care of myself very well emotionally or physically.....he died a couple of months later :(
So now here we are present day, and I swear to God folks, my junk back there is falling apart!  Over the last year, I have developed what my family doctor called a "chronic anal fissure" and I have a few smaller ones that come and go.  If you were looking at a clock, the chronic one is located at 12 and the one that keeps coming and going is somewhere around 5 or 6.  My family doctor thinks it's because I was dealing with constipation alot and having to bear down so hard (sometimes, I have to push on this "bulge" down there to get it out) so he had me lay off the caffeine, start taking fiber, drink ALOT of water and also put me on Nifedipine/Lidocaine cream for the area. 
I was doing well with the regimen until a couple of weeks ago when work got stressful, and now I am back to square one.  In the meantime, he has run bloodwork on me to check for inflammation, which came back negative, but then again so did my Mom's and she was just told she is going to be losing a lot of intestine because no suspected the Crohn's disease that she was just diagnosed with!  He is thinking Irritable Bowel Syndrome, since I mostly deal with constipation and a few days of diarrhea now and then.  He just sent me for a cat scan today of my abdomen and pelvis and if anything comes back, I have to go see a colorectal surgeon.
Here's my thing folks and if I put this in the wrong forum, I am sorry..........if this isn't Crohn's and just simple IBS, is having these anal fissures normal?  Especially since I have 2?  Everything I have read on the internet says that it is not normal and there is always an underlying cause for multiple fissures. 
I have voiced my concerns to the doctor that something else HAS to be happening to me since I have multiple fissures.  I even gave him a good laugh one day when I told him I thought I had caugh Hep B or HIV from a tattoo I rewarded myself with last summer, after FINALLY graduating college - after he was done laughing he asked me if I wanted some meds for anxiety - I told him yes. 
I guess I just need reassurance that I am okay.....I mean, watching my father die at 52 has really messed me (and my whole family) up so anything like this sets me off......I just want to know that this will work out and....what you have all done to deal with the pain that these fissures cause. 
Sorry for the rambling and giving to much info to complete strangers, but I am at a loss right now.....thank you

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 12/23/2009 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Since your mother was diagnosed with Crohn's, then it would make sense for you to be tested. If you are in the States, then it is time to see a specialist - namely, a gastroenterologist, preferably one that specializes in Crohn's.
The gold standard for identifying Crohn's is a colonoscopy.    
Daughter (22) Dx'd Crohn's 3/06. Misdiagnosed for two years, including by top pediatric Crohn's specialist as stress. No symptoms for the past two years. Recent colonoscopy shows stricture gone but still two spots of inflammation in TI. Used LDN to taper off Entocort. Was on Entocort since April 06. Never had D. 4.5 mg LDN, SCD multivit, homemade yogurt, 5000IU vit D3, 500 mg calcium, 27 mg iron, monthly B12 shots, daily oral B12 1000. SCD diet modified to include potatoes and rice. 

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/23/2009 11:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I am with njmom here. I think with your Mom's history you need to get in with a gastroenterologist and get some testing done. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/23/2009 12:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Rider Fan said...
If I had to play internet doctor I'd tell you not to worry about Crohn's, as your symptoms don't seem severe enough. Congratulations! :)
The best way to find out for sure would be to have a colonoscopy and a barium test.

I don't even know the symptoms of Crohn's, so I don't know what to look for.  I have other GI issues, not just the fissures, but I don't attribute them to anything really.
Thank you all for your advice :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 12/23/2009 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   
There is some general info on Crohns at the top of this forum page. Also, might check the Crohns Colitis Foundation of America website. And be aware that anal fissures are often a complication of Crohns, so I agree with others that you should have a full GI workup by a gastroenterologist. Clearly there is something going on in your GI tract and you cannot begin go treat it until you get it diagnosed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 452
   Posted 12/23/2009 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
My suggestion would be first to get a GI and them get both an upper and lower GI test done as well as the colonoscopy.  You sound like you definetly have something going on and a colonoscopy might not tell the whole story.
Also, you sound like you have gone through a lot these past 10 years.  I am so sorry for that.  Have you thought about any sort of therapy?  Sometimes, especially when we are down, the mind can cause the body to go haywires.
Good luck and keep us informed on here...and welcome to a great board.
36 yr old Male with Crohn's Disease since '88 - No Surgery yet
Been on almost every type of drug with bad results
Remicade since Nov 2009
Prilosec 20.6mg - 2x a day
Multivitamin daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 12/23/2009 2:23 PM (GMT -7)   
You really need to rule Crohn's out - or in. My illness is not very severe, but it is definitely there and a number of seemingly unrelated problems are probably due to the underlying Crohn's. I also have more problems from constipation. It is not very reassuring to read that you have diarrhea after a few days of constipation. That can indicate some bowel narrowing and could be Crohn's. Your problems could also be due to the rectocele and cystocele. Those two will be the cause of your constipation and may even be enough to result in the fissures as a complication of constipation and your previous tearing in that area. Do not let this go - ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist and get a diagnosis.

BTW, you are better off dealing with the problems - bad as they are - than trying corrective surgery. The possible complications from surgery are not worth the risk.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/23/2009 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I have Crohn's and I deal with both constipation and diarrhea. I agree that you should see a GI and find out exactly what is going on and deal with it. Waiting is not really a good idea. It could be any of several different things and whatever it is it should be dealt with ASAP. I'm sorry you have had to go through all this and I hope it is something easily treated. Please let us know what you find out.

I feel a whole lot more the way I do now than I did a little while ago.
Crohn's Dx April 2006. Pentasa and Entocort EC

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/23/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you to everyone for your comments - when my doctor calls me next week with my CT results, I am going to ask if he'll send me to a GI doctor

It's just weird how all of this has taken place - I drastically changed my diet in February, going from hi-fat foods to low fat, lo-cal, better for you foods, started exercising, lost 60 pounds and WHAM! My stomach gets turned inside out.......
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