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Hi there, first time poster, long time lurker. Now it is my time to disgust you with "too-much-info" details about my stools. :)I think that I might have IBS; or at least, I hope that I do since I scared to death that it might be coloncancer. I have yet not been diagnosed because I'm extremely terrified of going to doctors but I finally summed the courage yesterday to call and book in an appointment but sadly, my doctor is on vacation so I will try again next week or so. I understand the importance of seeking real medical advice, but nevertheless, I would like to hear what you guys think; I am extremely worried.I'm 23 years old and besides my colon I seem to be quite "healthy" (suprisingly since I eat like a pig). But it might be worth mentioning that my grandmother had coloncancer and my father had Chrons.I do not know for how long I have been having constant diarrhea since I have always assume that it was due to my unhealthy diet but after trying to quit candy and such, I noticed no real difference. I would at least say that I have experienced the symptoms for 1,5 years, and perhaps up to 3 years. So then, what are my symptoms?In short (and more details below): Diarreha, bloated feeling, a lot of gas, sudden need to go to the bathroom (often related to meals and the morning hours), and one fistula (if I correctly have understood what these are. I have a tiny hole near my anus and it has been there for 4 years or so). http://www.ibsgroup.org/symptoms I do not have the characteristics of IBD (except a fistula); I pretty much fit within the IBS category.I usually visit the bathroom 1-3 times a day; in the morning I need to go as soon as I wake up and if I have to go to school or somewhere else I need to go at least twice (not only to make sure that no accidents will happen, but when I get nervous I need to go more often). My stools range from very loose (no form) to loose (with form). Rarely, I have a "normal" stool that isn't small and loose, but that is far far far from being normative. After I have eaten, it seems that it takes around 6-10 hours for it to come out. I get a lot of gas after having meals, and I can feel my colon "going to work"; so I rarely eat if I know I'm going to ride the buss for more than 30 minutes later that day.
Even though my stools are loose, I can often "hold it in" but there are times when I can not (these stools are often more of a watery consistence). At least once or twice for day I feel pains because of gas and "gas pockets" which also makes me want to visit the bathroom.No visable blood, although I have had black stools for a short period (I checked these out, and oddly enough there was no blood but they couldn't figure out why they were black). Stool range in color from mustard to dark brown or even, although seldom, brown-greyish. The last week I have had loose (no form... which ends up as a "ball of poo"), and nothing I eat seem to effect it. Rarely but there are occasions when there is yellow mucus (mostly when I have "watery" diarrhea), if there is mucus in my "normal loose stools" is hard to tell, it is not visible at least. Also, sometimes I have a minor "sting" at the left side of my "pelvis" (not good at atonomy), it seems to be related to the gas pockets (since that is the place where I often feel bloated). What else? Small and narrow stools but I'm guessing this is due to their loose consistency; at times when I have "normal stools" they are not narrow. Or perhaps this is because the loose stools have formed to a solid mass in my colon due to not having been to the bathroom for a day or so? I dunnoAlso, no weight loss or fatigue. Nightly pains/toilet visits are rare but they do happen (perhaps once every second month?) and seems to be related to if I ate a whole bag of chips the day before or not :)Does this sound like IBS? I scared that I might be the signs of an early stage of cancer, which has made me very depressed the last 6 months and it has really effected my everyday life and indirectly my marriage. Is it possible to have such persistent (almost daily) diarrhea within IBS?Sorry if my English is at times lacking; I'm a Swede. ;-) Thank you for your time. Love Pär
 

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Welcome to the group!Your description could be IBS as it does have some elements of the disorder; however, as you have indicated, only a doctor can make that diagnosis.Many people who are undiagnosed worry about the symptoms being related to something more serious like cancer or IBD. A doctor can sort this out very quickly. Since you have mentioned that there is a history of colon cancer and Crohn's disease in your family, it certainly makes sense to meet with a doctor.I hope you can sort this out soon so that you can try and find some relief from your symptoms and set your mind at ease.Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your quick response.If it is IBD, I would not exactly be thrilled (far from it) but it would still be a relief knowing it is not cancer. Hopefully my doctor will return soon and I will get the courage to make an appointment. I'm almost as terrified of a colonscopy as I am of getting a bad diagnosis.If anyone else would like to quasi-diagnos me, feel free to. It is hard to say if this is anything like IBS since I'm not sure what you're experience is what I think you are experiencing.
 

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I actually have both IBS and Crohn's disease and would not wish IBD (Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis) on anyone. IBS is not a benign illness; however, IBD can potentially lead to much more critical problems such as colon removal or cancer.If it helps, your young age makes a diagnosis of cancer quite unlikely as it would be very rare to be diagnosed with that at such a young age. You indicated that your symptoms started about 1.5 - 3 years ago and IBD might have been more likely to be explored or diagnosed at a younger age, if you had symptoms for a very long time. Personally, my gastrointestinal problems became first diagnosed around the age of 7. I am now 49.Your doctor may gain enough information from your medical history to make a diagnosis without any sigmoid or colonoscopy. If your symptoms are affecting your quality of life, not withstanding your family history, then it suggests that you should seek a consultation with a doctor.Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually have both IBS and Crohn's disease and would not wish IBD (Crohn's disease or Ulcerative Colitis) on anyone. IBS is not a benign illness; however, IBD can potentially lead to much more critical problems such as colon removal or cancer.If it helps, your young age makes a diagnosis of cancer quite unlikely as it would be very rare to be diagnosed with that at such a young age. You indicated that your symptoms started about 1.5 - 3 years ago and IBD might have been more likely to be explored or diagnosed at a younger age, if you had symptoms for a very long time. Personally, my gastrointestinal problems became first diagnosed around the age of 7. I am now 49.Your doctor may gain enough information from your medical history to make a diagnosis without any sigmoid or colonoscopy. If your symptoms are affecting your quality of life, not withstanding your family history, then it suggests that you should seek a consultation with a doctor.Jeff
Hello once moreI did not want to downplay the seriousness of IBD (and I am sorry if gave such an impression); at the moment cancer and anything that will snatch away my life within the next couple of years, preoccupies my mind to such an extent that I tend to trivialize everything that does not, in a direct way, lead to death. Since my father had IBD, I know it is not a disease (is that the right term?) that is in anyway pleasant. My relatively young age does give me some comfort since it seems to reduce the possibility of me having cancer; yet since I have always been extremely unhealthy in my diet, the probability that I am one among the minority who could get cancer at such a young age, seems suddenly to be semi-plausible.Thank you so much for your replies. They have been very helpful, especially the last paragraph.
Wish you the best of luck. /Pär
 

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Even if you ate nothing but processed meat or seared or grilled meat that was never marinated it is still unlikely to get cancer at your age and never ate a single fruit or veggie and somehow managed to avoid getting scurvy really bad you would still be highly unlikely to get colon cancer before 50.Really, it isn't a quick disease. First you have to develop polyps and that takes a couple of decades even if you have a disease that makes you prone to it (and if 1/2 your family gets colon cancer in their 40's you have that, if not, don't worry about it).Once you have developed a few polyps then you have to wait for one to go bad. Only a few go bad so even if you are in a group of 10 people with 10 each, only one or two of you will ever get colon cancer even if you lived to 110 each.Most people with bad diets may have a polyp or two at 50. They take those out as well as any new ones that form later removed every 5-10 years and you never ever have to worry about colon cancer because they never get a chance to "ripen".Believing you must be the the one in a million who will have something extremely rare happen is a very common anxiety.You might want to discuss you anxiety with your docotor. Many of the treatments for that will also as a side effect make IBS better.
 

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1.Go to the doctor as soon as possible to help set your fears of cancer etc... to rest. Even if it is something worse than IBS at least you will know and be able to take it from there.2. Keep a food diary.3. Try to normalise your diet. I'm sure you know what you should be eating, but if not then the net is good for finding information on balanced and healthy diets. 4. Do something to relax - meditation, hypnosis etc... try to recognise what might be stressing you and find a way to minimise the effects. IBS and related conditions cause a vicious circle of worry, which feeds into any original stress and makes it all so much worse5. Exercise -yoga combines relaxation and exercise- but any form of exercise will help. It triggers endorphins, our natural pain killers.Please let us know what your doctor finds.
 

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Sorry for bumping an old thread but I just wanted to report back from my doctor's appointment.Before going there I did a fecal occult blood test (3 samples) and apparently there were no traces of blood (Yay). I did FBO test (3 samples as well) back in February after some black stools (reason as to why I had them is still unknown; nowadays I only get black-ish in connection with licorice). This time around they also checked my blood for infections but did not find any, and they also check for gluten sensitivity and found nothing. The doctor informed me that I have gained 6 kilos since my last visit in Feb, so it seems that my bowels are at least working to some degree. He said that my symptoms probably point to IBS. I asked if I should do a endoscopy or others tests to be sure but he said that no more test were necessary at this moment in time. My thoughts: since I have had these troubles for at least 1,5 years, and the fact that I am maintaining (in fact, gaining ) weight and no blood seems to point away from cancer; at least in my mind
So, does this count as being diagnosed? I never said that I have IBS, but that it sounds as if it is the case. It seems to be sort of an quasi-diagnosis at best but I guess that is the best answer he can give me without having a camera up by butt (anti-YAY).Also, I asked for medications but would not prescribe any; instead I was merely to told to eat healthier ("more fiber!" Guess you have never heard that before). I was hoping that I might get something for my supermega-urgencies. Believe it or not, but they are not always that fun
At times the possibility of having one of these urgencies hinders me from leaving the house since they come without warning. Even when I have not eaten anything out of the ordinary, and it is one of those days where I feel great -- then all of the sudden: BATHROOM... NOW! Enter explosive D.So what do you think? :DAlso, a question for those of you who know a lot about IBS. The one thing that seems to be to point away from me having IBS is the abdominal pains. I do have them: they range from odd feeling in my stomach - to mild ache - to killmenow-cramp (all three are mostly located below my belly button -- the hypogastric reigon [?]), but I do not have them every time I have D. They occur mostly when I have a lot of gas or semi-urgency (and of when I have Urgency). I'm worried that I do not have them frequently enough for my symptoms to be classified as IBS.
 

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Do you have symptoms on 7 days or so during a month?Usually for IBS it is 6 weeks (not consecutive) worth of symptoms over the course of 6 months. So you can have symptom free days. And you don't need all symptoms with each BM even if the BM isn't perfectly normal. IBS tends to wax and wane.Pain with urgency, especially if it calms down once the urgency goes (like you have a BM or let out the fart) is pretty typical of IBS.That gotta go NOW!!!! thing is very common in IBS. IBSers often have rectal hypersensitivity. (but not always so doing the test to show rectal hypersensitivity doesn't do much for diagnosis as you can tell who has it by the symptoms alone so why spend money on a relatively expensive test that ties up a tech for a couple of hours when the patient describing their symptoms gives the same information).Rectal hypersensitivity can really ramp up the "gotta go" signal so you get the "I'm about to burst" level of signal from even small amounts of stool or gas.Most of the testing use for IBS is really looking at other things to see nothing else is wrong. It is like you spilled something on the remote and it is shorted out, but the repair guy only checks the circuits inside the TV and says they find nothing wrong. There is starting to be some tests for the "remote" but they aren't in wide use.
 

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Do you have symptoms on 7 days or so during a month?Usually for IBS it is 6 weeks (not consecutive) worth of symptoms over the course of 6 months. So you can have symptom free days. And you don't need all symptoms with each BM even if the BM isn't perfectly normal. IBS tends to wax and wane.Pain with urgency, especially if it calms down once the urgency goes (like you have a BM or let out the fart) is pretty typical of IBS.That gotta go NOW!!!! thing is very common in IBS. IBSers often have rectal hypersensitivity. (but not always so doing the test to show rectal hypersensitivity doesn't do much for diagnosis as you can tell who has it by the symptoms alone so why spend money on a relatively expensive test that ties up a tech for a couple of hours when the patient describing their symptoms gives the same information).Rectal hypersensitivity can really ramp up the "gotta go" signal so you get the "I'm about to burst" level of signal from even small amounts of stool or gas.Most of the testing use for IBS is really looking at other things to see nothing else is wrong. It is like you spilled something on the remote and it is shorted out, but the repair guy only checks the circuits inside the TV and says they find nothing wrong. There is starting to be some tests for the "remote" but they aren't in wide use.
Thank you once again for your quick reply Kathleen. My stools range from soft formed to unformed mush (assuming I understand the meaning of "mush". I'm thinking: oatmeal). Not sure how often I have the symptoms but it is quite often. This week I have had no real pain or mushy-stools, but the week before that I had a lot of mush and watery D urgency (liquid, with mucus but not really water). I rarely go along without experiencing D and/or abdominal pains but most of the time it is manageable; however, there are periods where everything is much much worse.My abdominal pain usually goes away when I have passed enough wind but sometimes it is so bad that I need to have BM to get rid of the cramps. But there is one thing that I do wonder: There is definitely a link between my D/gas and my abdominal pains (assuming of course that pain in the hypogastric region [or simply below the belly button, but sometimes above as well] falls within the category of abdominal pains) but sometimes I can have D without cramps, and often I can have abdominal pains that are relieved with gas or BM but it does not really effect the stool consistency (I have soft formed, or unformed mush 98% of the time anyways) or frequency (although I want to go, the issue can simply be resolved by passing enough gas). Does not the pain have to be connected to frequency and consistency as well, according to the Rome criteria?I'm sort of relieved that my doctor thinks it is IBS and nothing more serious (and thus no camera in the butt! YAY!) but at the same time, I do not think he took things is seriously enough: "eat more fiber". *sigh*
 

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I've never heard they have to be only at the exact same time every time.Usually "fewer symptoms than IBS" is just another functional issue, but usually they only diagnose functional diarrhea if you never have pain with the diarrhea or functional pain only if all the stools are totally normal range. If you get things in some combination they go with IBS (and since it doesn't matter treatment wise it really isn't a big deal if you have functional diarrhea symptoms on Monday but IBS on Tuesday, you use the same things to treat the diarrhea).I do think you may want to find a doctor that has read something about IBS since they graduated medical school and knows the "eat more fiber" as the only treatment isn't really up-to-date.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've never heard they have to be only at the exact same time every time.Usually "fewer symptoms than IBS" is just another functional issue, but usually they only diagnose functional diarrhea if you never have pain with the diarrhea or functional pain only if all the stools are totally normal range. If you get things in some combination they go with IBS (and since it doesn't matter treatment wise it really isn't a big deal if you have functional diarrhea symptoms on Monday but IBS on Tuesday, you use the same things to treat the diarrhea).I do think you may want to find a doctor that has read something about IBS since they graduated medical school and knows the "eat more fiber" as the only treatment isn't really up-to-date.
Very helpful reply. I guess I could be possible that I have a combination of both but who knows.
As long as it is not cancer I'm happy :DThank you once more
 
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