left-side bloating & mild pain relieved by defecation, blood two times

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 10/28/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I am writing on behalf of my boyfriend. He had a very stressful presentation at work two weeks ago and stayed at work until 1am every day the week beforehand and ate only oatmeal for dinner. He developed constipation.

The day after the presentation, he had a small amount of blood on the toilet paper after defecating, and then when he got back to his desk he fainted briefly. He went to the walk-in clinic where he was referred for a sigmoidoscopy.

Since then, he has been experiencing low-level "wrenching" pain and a feeling of bloating or puffiness in his lower left side in what would seem to be the colon area, I guess about even with the navel.
-worse after eating
-also happens at other times, e.g. before eating
-lessens when he takes prilosec (which his doc rx'd for GERD)
-relieved by defecating and passing gas

He said he's seen potential blood one other time, but blood has not been a frequent thing. He says his stools have been about average--no particular constipation or diarrhea.

He is concerned about colon cancer or diverticulitis, but other possibilities are IBS and colitis, etc. I think he'll get the sigmoidoscopy to check for any major problems, and also perhaps to check for colitis or inflammatory bowel disease.

1) Will they check for colitis and inflammatory bowel disease in a regular sigmoidoscopy, or do they need to be instructed to look for these (since they're normally looking for cancer and polyps)?

2) I am concerned that if he had IBS, colitis, or hemorrhoids, the sigmoidoscopy prep (bisacodyl tablets and HalfLytely) and not eating solid food for 36 hours plus getting anesthesia (which can affect gut function, particularly when solid foods are resumed) might ironically make him worse off by messing with his digestive system.

At some hospitals, the prep is just eating a light breakfast and using two fleet enemas a few hours before and thirty minutes before. I've even heard that sometimes no prep is needed for sigmoidoscopy unless the patient is constipated. Might these be less GI system-affecting options for bowel prep, as opposed to inducing diarrhea with the standard prep?

3) Any other ideas for how to get a diagnosis?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 1293
   Posted 10/29/2009 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
I answered your other post.

Importantly are blood and stool work. They look for high white blood cels counts if there is an infection or cancer as well as other important parts to blood work.

There are certain stool tests that also check for inflammation in the bowel.

IBS is diagnosed on a clustering of specific symptoms, minus 'red flag' symptoms. Your boyfriend fits some of those that you have posted and IBS is more common then some of the others you have mentioned.

Bleeding should always be check out, but a lot of times its not serious.




You should read this


Only a doctor can diagnose IBS and the leading cause of misdiagnoses is self diagnoses. The other issue is sometimes people can have more then one condition, like he has gerd already, some of the functional disorders overlap and sometimes a person can have IBS and have other conditions. That can make the diagnoses harder.

Symptoms of IBS


Diagnosis of IBS

I am not a doctor. All information I present is for educational purposes only and should not be subsituted for the advise of a qualified health care provider.

Please make sure you have your symptoms diagnosed by a medical practitioner or a doctor.

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