Colonoscopy Tomorrow - Then What?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/9/2009 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Alright, here is my long story (shortened)

Starting in January, I had this twinging/stabbing pain in my lower left side. It was so low (and came with an off schedule period) that I assumed it was gyno related. Went to 3 different gynos and had ultrasounds, blood work, urine tests, etc. All negative. Went to a primary doctor who did more blood work and ordered a CT scan, which came up with nothing. Ordered an MRI which came up with nothing. Since I was set on it being gyno related, I really wasnt paying attention to my bowel movements. Realized that I was having loose stools every single morning. Some mornings I had hard pieces to start, but immediately followed with loose hurried stools. Went to a GI dr who took abdominal xrays and said I was constipated. Ordered miralax x6 doses to clean myself out and then to take it daily for maintenance. Still had diarrhea every day. She explained that you can have diarrhea every though you are constipated, because it can "work around" the impaction. She told me I could up the amount of miralax because you cant OD on it, which made zero sense to me. My problem was that I was going every single morning and that it was a hurried BM with hard pieces followed by diarrhea. I dont understand how more miralax could help with diarrhea. I would have never guessed I was constipated anyways, because I had been going every single morning and previous to problems only every other day or so. I know that hard pieces indicate constipation though. So she took xrays again (argh) and said I wasnt constipated and ordered a colonoscopy. In the meantime, she ordered labwork for milk allergies, IBD, complete blood count, sedimentation rate and celiac. All negative. I start drinking this gallon of cr*p in 20 minutes for this colonoscopy tomorrow.

I'm upset beyond words at this point. It's been months with no relief. I've tried probiotics, getting rid of dairy, upping my fiber, sugar, trying acaia fiber, eating nothing at all, eating only fruit, avoiding fruit, magnesium, calcium, peppermint pills, slippery elm, you name it. Some websites say stay away from strawberries (before problems started I'd drink a fresh fruit smoothie with only fruit and spinach in the AM) and some say take them. Everything I read is contradictory and I'm so overwhelmed its ridiculous. There are so many websites, so many cure-alls, so many supplements and "buy this it works" programs that my head is spinning. Then I think I should take probiotics after this procedure since my body is being chemically wiped clean....but now I see a site that tells you to not take probiotics when your intestines are inflamed because it will worsen the problem.

I dont even know what I'm asking, but needed to vent. Do you think I should take probiotics after my colonoscopy? I feel like never eating again - I dont know what on earth I can eat after this. I dont know where to turn or what to take or what to do. I dont know if constipation is my problem or if diarrhea is my problem. I have both I guess! And how do I know what product to try when I dont know what to treat!? I do not want more xrays - it's getting ridiculous. My mom had breast cancer and now I fear I'm on my way to that with my health problems so young (27) and these constant xrays. We eat very well - mostly organic, but always natural, never processed foods. I am not overweight and I'm very active. Any help is greatly appreciated!

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/9/2009 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Dont know how to edit my post, but I worded some of it weird. During the time she had me on Miralax, I had straight diarrhea - no hard pieces. I tried to lower the amount I was taking, but no matter how small of an amount I still had D. I should say too that my pain has been gone for a month now - my problem is just this constant hurried BM in the AM - starting w/ hard seperate pieces and followed by loose stools. Problem is only in the AM...

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 6/10/2009 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,

I completely understand and appreciate your frustration. When You have tried everything and tested for everything, your options seem to be getting smaller and smaller and you don't know what you're treating anymore. I do have a bit of advice that you can take or leave, but I thought it would be helpful to you.

IBS is diagnosed by a process of elimination. This means that you must have these diagnostic tests performed in order to receive a diagnosis of IBS. Now I am not a doctor but it looks like the way your testing is going that you may have IBS. I would at least bring this up to your doctor. Here is a complete list of testing for an IBS diagnosis. Also, I don't remember you mention bacterial overgrowth or parasite testing. If you haven't done this yet, make sure you do.

Have you been evaluated for food sensitivities? This can look a lot like IBS but is actually an immune reaction to certain foods. People with IBS often also have food sensitivities as well. Or, sometimes people think they have IBS when it really is just food sensitivities alone. If you followed the instructions for the acacia and have made the dietary changes Heather Van Vorous talks about in her books but still didn’t see improvement, you probably either don’t have IBS or have something else like food sensitivities going on at the same time. This can make it difficult to stabilize IBS. I would recommend finding a nutritionist, naturopath, or other provider that is familiar with elimination diets to identify foods you may be reacting to. Try to find a good provider in your area. Once you remove the offending foods from your diet, you may be able to get everything under control. Here’s a great website that explains allergies and sensitivities if you want to learn more

If you do have IBS here's a great patient handout to follow. This gives a list of soluble/insoluble fiber foods and trigger foods to stay away from.

My next suggestion for your diarrhea/constipation is acacia fiber. I know you said you tried it, but did you take it long enough and the right dosage? Here are the instructions:

Taking too much acacia too fast can cause increased gas and bloating. Acacia is one of the lowest gas-forming fibers out there and going slow makes the gas issue totally avoidable. Please be patient because this really does work.

We recommend starting with ½ teaspoon twice a day (daily dose of 1 teaspoon). You can split the daily dose up as many time as you like throughout the day, just divide it by 2 or 3 depending on the frequency you prefer. Try to increase the dose every 4th day or so by a teaspoon (add this to the daily dose). If you get increased gas and bloating by jumping the dose up by a teaspoon, try cutting this in half. Some people with IBS are so sensitive they have to go up at ¼ teaspoons every 4th day. Keep stepping up the dose every 4th day or so until you find a dose that resolves your constipation and/or diarrhea. Constipation is usually resolved with a daily dose of 4-5 tablespoons/day and diarrhea/loose stools usually resolves at a lower dose of 1-3 tablespoons/day. You shouldn’t take more than 5 tbsp/day. The maintenance dose is different for each person depending on their specific symptoms. Dietary changes are often necessary to make lasting changes. In the beginning until you stabilize, it works best to take the acacia before each meal to minimize the effect of trigger foods in the meal and to calm the intestines before the food arrives.

I hope this helps and good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 6/16/2009 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   
If food sensitivities look a lot like IBS, cause side effects of IBS, and if bacterial or yeast overgrowth can cause IBS symptoms, then I think one needs to ask oneself, what the heck is is IBS then?! I have read many books and articles written by doctors that say IBS can be attributed to food allergies, gluten insensitivity/allergy, and/or bacteria/yeast overgrowth.

Perhaps you have a gluten sensitivity, not an allergy, which a test may not be able to diagnose. If you do have a yeast/bacteria problem, then eating refined sugar and grains will exacerbate the problem. By the way, have you ever taken antibiotics? I would definitely take probiotics, but they may not help in the the way you are hoping for, if you are still eating foods that are causing your symptoms (gluten, yeast, bacteria). Would you consider experimenting with a refined sugar-free, grain-free elimination diet to find out for sure?

What was the outcome of your colonoscopy?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 6/16/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I would take the Probiotics for awhile after the colonscopy. I hope you find some answers. Maybe they will be able to with the scope. I assume you have had CT scans.

New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/16/2009 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been tested (stool and blood) for gluten sensitivity and have none (through my doctors and through enterolab) No celiac disease either and I was tested genetically as well and all negative. I also am not allergic to milk, nor am i lactose intolerant. All food sensitivities came back to was legumes and tree nuts, all of which I have known and avoided for 10+ years. I've cut out all dairy and nothing has changed. I also was tested by 3 separate places for yeast overgrowth and all were on the low end of the "normal range" I cut out sugar and grains and dairy for over a month and saw not a single sign of feeling even an ounce better. Colonoscopy was all normal - took biopsies and those were normal as well. And all the blood work for complete blood count, sedimentation rate, IBD and celiac were negative.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 6/17/2009 8:18 AM (GMT -7)   


I was first diagnosed with IBS or Ulcerative Colitis in 1986. Prior to that time, I would have flare ups and thought it was always the flu. Extreme cramps, diarrhea, etc. Finally came to a head one weekend, when I ended up dehydrated and couldn't get out of bed. My doctor had been treaing me for ulcers but the ER doc realized what it was right away. Then did all the tests, etc. which came back fine.

However, I was put on Sulfafazine which worked great. I took the sulfa or aspirin on a daily basis until 2005. In March of 2005, I had to have a quintiple by-pass surgery due to lots of blockages. I have a genetic disposition to plaque build up, not overwieght, never smoked, in great health except for the blockages. I weighed 180 pounds, 6 feet tall at the time.
Anyway, the pain meds after the by-pass surgery make you extremely constipated so I stopped with the Sulfafazine. After about a month, I realized that I didn't need the sulfa or aspirin anymore. I have been in IBS remission since that time, never had another flare-up. I eat whatever I want, don't watch my diet, still at 180 pounds, etc.
This is kind of an extreme way to cure IBS or Ulcerative Colitis but was curious if anyone else has experienced this. My doctors can't explain it.  
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