This is my first post on the forum, and I have to apologize in advance because I have a longggg story.
I am a 22-year old, healthy female with no family or personal history of bowel issues. In mid-June, I woke up one morning with lower back pain, nausea/vomiting, a feeling of fullness in my lower abdomen, and mild, but sharp pinpoint pain above both hip bones. I went to my PCP, who did a urinalysis to rule out pregnancy, UTI, etc. I left with no answers other than to wait it out and come back in if symptoms got worse. Within a week, my symptoms subsided and all went back to normal.
A few weeks later, in mid-July, I suddenly began experiencing the same symptoms as before. This time, though, I began experiencing bowel issues too. I had loose stools that looked shredded/grainy, undigested food in my stool, lots of gas, etc. After about a week of loose stools, I had a few days of hard stools (which I attributed to dehydration). What really scared me was one of the days I had a hard BM that was completely encased in yellowish mucus. I have had small amounts of mucus in my stool previously, but nothing like this. I only had the mucus-encased stool one time. After that, the loose stools returned, still shredded/grainy in appearance. They look brown in the toilet, but when I wipe it looks more yellow than normal. I ended up going to the ER because I just couldn't stop freaking out about my symptoms. They ran a basic blood panel, urinalysis, transvaginal ultrasound, lower abdominal ultrasound, and abdominal/pelvic CT scan with contrast. Nothing was remarkable according to the radiologist or Doctor (other than, in my opinion, a couple of swollen lymph nodes in my mesentery that the doc deemed normal). I was sent on my way and told to follow up with my PCP in a few days.
about a week later, still riddled with symptoms (although the nausea was gradually subsiding each day), I called a family friend who is a gastroenterologist. I had a vacation coming up in a week and wanted to get these symptoms under control. I went and talked to him, and without doing any tests due to time constraints, he felt that I was having a case of post-infectious IBS (I had food poisoning in mid-May), or potentially some sort of inflammatory condition such as celiac, IBD, or infection. He told me to monitor my symptoms, start taking a probiotic, and come back into his office after my trip if I still felt sick. After my trip, I made another appointment with him, and he ordered a C-reactive protein blood test and celiac panel. He also prescribed Flagyl 250mg 3x/day for 5 days as an empiric therapy for infection..
I have started the Flagyl and had almost immediate relief from the abdominal pain I had had for over a month. The pain is still there, but much less prevalent. I also should mention that I have pain in my lower abdomen on both sides, but the right side is far worse. My bowel movements are still loose and shredded/grainy with yellow residue when wiping. I still have the nausea as well.
I am really starting to get nervous about my symptoms because they have gone on for so long. I'm truly worried about the possibility of colon cancer, which I know is pretty rare at 22-years old. Have any of you experienced similar symptoms? Is it possible that it's chronic giardiasis or another infection? Could it be from post-infectious IBS? I'm at a loss, and I start school in 3 weeks. I have anxiety as it is, and I am so anxious about not having answers. Please help!
Thanks so much for reading my novel! Any advice/help is appreciated! [code]