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Chronic Diarrhea - Not IBS, Crohn's or Colitis, So What Is It?


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#1 md55

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:45 PM

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Hello everyone, Iíve been dealing with chronic loose stools for over 2 years now and my doctor still hasnít provided me with a specific diagnosis of what I have, hence I was hoping to get more insight on my condition from fellow members on this board.My symptoms all started after I participated in a soccer game 2 years ago. It was the first time in many years in which I pushed myself hard physically. The next day I was very tired, developed a migraine and began having loose stools. Thinking it was just a stomach bug, I continued to play once a week for the next 2 months until I finally realized things werenít getting better.In short, here are my symptoms: - I usually have a BM every second day - BMs are usually loose and at times thin- There is no blood- I am not loosing weight- Occasionally there may be a small amount of mucous on the tip of the first stool that comes out. - Occasional pain on left side of abdomen- Symptoms are worsened when I carry out physical activities that require what many would consider normal amounts of exertion (e.g. shoveling, mowing the lawn, etc.). I have seen a GI specialist for my condition and tests along with biopsies of my intestines were done to see what the problem was. - The first was a sigmoid scope done about a year ago and revealed that lymphoid cells were present in my colon. Doctor mentioned that there was some inflammation during his examination.- A second scope was an endoscope done about 3 months after the first and revealed that all lymphoid cells were gone. Doctor mentioned there was no inflammation.- A third scope was done recently and biopsies showed a single lymphoid follicle that is within normal limits. Doctor did mention during the scope that there is some slight inflammation, but mightíve been caused by the enema that was used for prep. My specialist is unsure of what my condition may be since itís not definitively Crohnís or Colitis. Heís reluctant to say IBS since the first biopsies showed initial signs of what some Crohnís patients have. He did mention that it might be some form of post infectious IBS thatís either caused by a bug or autoimmune disorder, which explains the initial biopsy results, but he is not certain. As Iíve mentioned above, my symptoms all started after my soccer game in which I pushed my body extremely hard. Can this be a trigger that started an autoimmune reaction in my intestines? Or can it be such a coincident that I ate something wrong that day that resulted in the onset of my symptoms? I do have a kidney disease that many feel is also autoimmune related, so I am leaning more towards the side of an autoimmune reaction, but again there is no exact diagnosis for this. For the time being, he recommends that we monitor the situation some more and see if my symptoms would go away on its own. The treatment right now is pretty much trying to solve the symptom of loose stools through medication and diet. Dicetal is the med that he recommends.What frustrates me the most is that I feel Iíve been somewhat handicapped because the symptom is worsened when I do any sort of physical activities that require what many would consider normal amounts of exertion (e.g. shoveling, mowing the lawn, walking for long periods of time, etc.). By that I mean I would have stools that would be looser and I would feel soreness on the left side of my abdomen. This would persist for about a week before things return to its original state. This aspect of my symptoms is what stumps me the most. I understand that exercise may worsen symptoms but all I am doing are simple everyday tasks. It really makes me feel worthless at times because of this single aspectÖAny insight on my condition would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


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#2 BQ

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:07 PM

I'm sure you realize that we can't possibly diagnose you.I wonder though if you have tried to bulk up your stools with some soluble fiber....either through your diet or via a supplement?
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#3 md55

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:14 PM

I'm sure you realize that we can't possibly diagnose you.I wonder though if you have tried to bulk up your stools with some soluble fiber....either through your diet or via a supplement?

I understand that, I am just looking for some insight and whether or not others have gone through a situation similar to mine. I have tried using Metamucil and Calcium (as advised from this board), both of which did help bulk up my stools. I much rather use this rather than go on prescription meds if possible.

#4 BQ

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 09:27 PM

Well glad to hear that the Metamucil helped. There are other fiber options to explore so hit that aisle at the druggists or the aisle at the food store....Also... see this site for more info about fiber..... http://www.mayoclini...h/fiber/NU00033
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#5 crstar

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 10:22 PM

i use to tell my husband that i was like a car with a certain ration of gas everyday & that any thing out of just basic needs would put me in the minus column.........i felt that just going grocery shopping, having a dr's appointment, going to take care of a small grandchild, which slept most the time, would make everything worse.........sometimes just thinking about what i had to do to just leave the house, would send me to the toilet.........sometimes i would have to start the whole process at least an hour earlier than i needed normally, just to have enough time to get to the toilet 3-5x before leaving........& if i didn't start hours before & take a bunch of drugs, i wouldn't b able to go........it sounds like u have adrenal fatigue.........the things u describe about just doing normal things causing the D, that is so familiar........there is a great book called: "Adrenal Fatigue, the 21st century syndrome" by James Wilson.........get it & read it thoroughly, then take the quiz in it........it grades the symptoms.........there is another book called: Fiber Menace, there's a website by the same name.........these books helped me immensely...........u can also try some licorice root DGL, i think it's called........it's a natural thing for adrenals, altho, u may need alot, depending on how bad off u r.........it took me 6-1/2yrs to find a dr who would treat me for this thing.......most dr's don't recognize it as a disease.........& it is dis ease........the thing is, if u don't get help with this, it will get worse & effect more than just going to the toilet.........the adrenals produce a whole cascade of hormones, that if any one of them is in short supply, it causes others to b over-produced & this can cause D in a big way.......but it effects allergies & allergic reactions, digestion & sleeping, just to name a small portion of what the adrenals do..........what happened to me, was because of my adrenals being so deficient, caused hypothyroidism, which caused me to lose lean muscle mass.......which makes it even harder to do the normal things, which causes a bigger reaction, when i did anything physical.........don't let it go on........i found a dr that did iodine loading tests & treated adrenal fatigue, by getting a list of dr's in my area who treated them, by checking the Barnes Foundation, on the net...............i sent them $18.00 & they sent me all kinds of info.........now here's a piece of info, if u have adrenal fatigue, u r hypothyroid.........& vise versa.......they go hand in hand........what happened to u, from ur description, is when u over did the soccer game, u put ur self over that line.......there were probably other signs, but if they don't all come together & really impinge on ur life, we tend to over-look them & go about our business.......it can happen with a death in the family, marriage problems coming to a head, excess stress at work stress, any number of things.......but it's sort of like the straw that broke the camels back & from then on u'r fighting an uphill battle.........& family & close fiends haven't a clue & can look at u like u'r nuts........it can make matters worse, when the people u care about just don't understand........it's a case of needing them to walk a mile in ur shoes..........u can end up feeling very alone........& i'll tell u, drugs that effect the muscle activity in ur intestines or anti-anxiety drugs, r not the answer.....they only treat symptoms, they don't get at the base cause........& fiber doesn't fix what's going on with the intestinal walls.........they r suppose to b porous & let the liquid thru, it carries the nutrients to ur tissues..........when it doesn't u slowly become malnourished........this will make u sick & want to die & get it all over with.......& of course u become depressed when u can't do anything u use to do that u enjoyed, can't do anything without paying for it afterward, for days or weeks.........one more thing, potassium might help........it helps the intestinal walls to b more porous.........u can get it at any vitamin store.........& u may need more than one pill a day.........i need about 1000mgs a day........i suggest u try it on a day when u can stay home to c what happens.........try the one pill & c how u feel, then u may try to take more.........it's something that's very individual.........potassium can cause D, but if u don't have enough, it can cause it, too..........i am here, u can write to me thru this website if u want to.........u can also check out my other posts.......hope u feel better....... chris

#6 BQ

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:19 AM

According to the Mayo Clinic "adrenal fatigue" is NOT an accepted medical diagnosis.See this for more info:http://www.mayoclini...fatigue/AN01583
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#7 blondeoverblue24

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 09:58 AM

Personally, it doesn't sound like inflammatory bowel disease, but there's still a chance it could be Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease can occur anywhere from your mouth to your anus. So if it was in your small intestines, a colonoscopy wouldn't necessarily show it.

#8 Kathleen M.

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:09 AM

Um, Inflammatory Bowel Disease usually includes both Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's under that category.We have a chart here http://www.ibsgroup.org/symptoms that has the different symptoms that can to some degree differentiate IBS from either IBD's and which symptoms the IBD's usually do not share.. They have some similarities, but also some differences.Usually when Crohn's is in the small intestine it is in the last part of it that they usually can reach with the colonoscopy. A Sigmoidoscopy only sees the last part of the colon.
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#9 blondeoverblue24

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:22 AM

I know that IBD includes Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis - Sorry if I worded that a little strangely. What I meant is that even though the symptoms don't sound typical of either condition, there's still a chance that Crohn's could occur and that a traditional colonoscopy may miss it. CD is more likely to be in the last part of the small intestine, but not all docs are able to get into that section and there's still a chance that the disease could occur above the area where you were scoped.

#10 lclhstx

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 12:40 AM

Spectrum of non-inflammatory bowel disease and non-infectious colitis.Koutroubakis IE.A variety of inflammatory diseases of the colon, which can be differentiated from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and infectious colitis by their clinical, endoscopic and histological characteristics, are reported as non-IBD and non-infectious colitis. These diseases include microscopic colitis, ischemic colitis, segmental colitis associated with diverticula, radiation colitis, diversion colitis, eosinophilic colitis and Behcet's colitis. The etiopathogenesis of most of these diseases remains obscure and the epidemiological data are rather limited. These conditions are often troublesome for the patient and are associated with diagnostic difficulties for the physician. In many cases the treatment is empirical and there is a need for future research using randomized controlled trials.PMID: 19109860 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]full text article is here. clickhttp://www.ncbi.nlm....10/?tool=pubmed

#11 md55

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 01:07 PM

Um, Inflammatory Bowel Disease usually includes both Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's under that category.We have a chart here http://www.ibsgroup.org/symptoms that has the different symptoms that can to some degree differentiate IBS from either IBD's and which symptoms the IBD's usually do not share.. They have some similarities, but also some differences.Usually when Crohn's is in the small intestine it is in the last part of it that they usually can reach with the colonoscopy. A Sigmoidoscopy only sees the last part of the colon.

I have checked the symptoms shown in your link and I lean towards IBS much more than IBD. The main thing that worries me is that I've had biopsy results that came back with lymphoid cells in them, which I believe IBS patients don't have. I was thinking of going for a 2nd opinion though.Thanks for everyone's input, I greatly appreciate them.

#12 Kathleen M.

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 02:27 PM

That is worth keeping an eye on.Sometimes it is from an acute condition, but there was a recent paper where people who had things like are more likely than people who did not to be developing an IBD that may show up later.The thing is, for a lot of people you never see any problems later on, so it could be a nothing.They do see some cells like that for microscopic colitis, but usually they treat that diarrhea like IBS diarrhea unless that isn't enough, but if you had enough cells of that type for that they would have given you that diagnosis.So I'd keep up with regular physicals and if blood starts showing up in the stools get in ASAP rather than wait, but like I said it could be an acute infection and if nothing happens for 3-5 years other than IBS symptoms you can assume it was a short term something rather than an early indicator of something else.But since they sometimes see something early before you get a full blown case of an IBD it is worth doing regular pretty standard check ups like a complete blood count.
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#13 md55

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 10:11 PM

That is worth keeping an eye on.Sometimes it is from an acute condition, but there was a recent paper where people who had things like are more likely than people who did not to be developing an IBD that may show up later.But since they sometimes see something early before you get a full blown case of an IBD it is worth doing regular pretty standard check ups like a complete blood count.

Kathleen, is it possible for you to send me a link to the paper that you mentioned above? Also, how does a test on blood count determine whether someone may have IBD? Thanks!

#14 Kathleen M.

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 10:16 PM

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/16690482 is the paper I was thinking of.
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#15 blondeoverblue24

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 09:26 AM

There's a couple of ways blood tests can help diagnose IBD - A complete blood count can tell you if you're anemic (red blood cell values lower than usual) because of blood loss, as some IBD patients have; it can also show if your white count is elevated, which can occur with inflammation and infection. They can also do levels of B12, which can be low if part of your small intestine is diseased (it can also occur if you have low dietary intake). They can do an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or C-reactive protein (CRP) which are markers of inflammation, and could be higher with active IBD. And more specifically, there are specific genetic tests that can tell if you're more likely to be Crohn's, ulcerative colitis or neither.

#16 md55

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:08 PM

Kathleen,Thanks for the article! Blondeoverblue,Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. The next time I do blood tests, I'll make sure my doctor tests me on some of those things.

#17 jmc09

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:25 PM

I find it hard to believe that somebody only has BMs every second day.I thought that even normal people had at least 1 BM a day and the only time I've ever gone a couple of days without a BM is when I've been extremely ill and confined to bed with not being well enough to eat at all.I'm not being insulting but if I was having a BM only once every 2 days I would be ecstatic.
Diagnosed originally with microscopic colitis in 1992 but no inflammation detected on subsequent colonoscopies,so IBS diagnosed. Hoping to share my personal opinions and experiences to help others and become more aware myself. No medical training at all.

#18 riddick

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 05:26 PM

Google HABBA syndrome.It's a gallbladder disorder...main symptom is chronic diarrhoea.

#19 blondeoverblue24

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:54 AM

Forgive me if this sounds rude, because I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just curious - Is Habba syndrome considered an actual medical diagnosis at this point? I've seen one article by Dr. Habba in the New England Journal of Medicine, but aside from that, I cannot really find major mention of it on sites you typically would, such as Mayo Clinic, American Medical Association, etc.

#20 BQ

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 12:08 PM

Here is some info:http://habbasyndrome.com/index.htmlI think it is "real" just not widely known....yet.
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.





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