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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So like everyone else, I have a bit of a story, that being said, I'm not sure where and who to turn to at the moment. I'm currently in China where the possibility of changing doctors is pretty much impossible since there is only 1 foreign doctor in the city. There are ''western'' standard hospitals (in a very large sense) with 'english speaking doctors' (generally the head of departement who doesn't leave his office) so going to a Chinese hospital (where they only made things worst the last time) doesn't feel like an actual option.**sorry for the details but I figured someone might of had this as well**In the past 2 weeks I've been getting what I think is bloody stools (extremly dark brown and black) as well as bloody mucus in my stool (the mucus being red-brownish) and vertigos. I'll be walking to school and feel like I'm going to pass out, or simply sitting in class, or even now, half lying-sitting in bed and just typing away. When I had a colonoscopy, they found I had swollen bowel to the point where it blocked the camera from going any further. This appeared to be a 'normal' IBS thing (at least that's what I was told). The swollen bowel results in extreme pain (like being stabbed). Has anyone ever had this happen to them? Should I be consulting just about now or wait till it just goes away because it's just another 'normal thing'? I can't afford to see the doctor at the moment, my only option being to ask my parents for money, which they'll give me but can't afford, so I'm trying to seek advice before going there. My current doctor is not a GI but he's consulted the best Chinese GI in town and had all my results pass through her before diagnosing me. I feel that any 'unsual symptoms' will get me transfered back home to a Canadian hospital, and concidering I'm in the middle of term, I'm hoping to not have to go there. So if anyone's experienced this, or you have comments, or well, anything at all, let me know as the vertigos seem to be more and more frequente and I'm a little freaked out...
 

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A swollen bowel is not normal for IBS. IBS is diagnosed when nothing can be seen to be wrong and your colon should appear completely normal during a colonoscopy. There is also a blood test to confirm IBS but it's not available in most places. If a normal colonoscopy cannot be performed due to some obstruction, then I would be concerned enough to seek further help. Blood in your stool is also a concern as it doesn't sound as if it just originates from a fissure near the anus. That would look quite fresh and is not serious. Blood that looks old can be serious as it originates further up the gut.You can get extreme pain like being stabbed from IBS, so the severity of the pain is not diagnostic. However, your other symptoms make me quite worried about your health. Above all, your parents would like to see you well and the money would be their last concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know they won't care to spend the money if it's to see me feel better, and I know that my father is trying to understand, and my mom also having problems I know she understands, but it's never easy to ask for a huge amount of money to pay for a doctor who I'm starting to wonder if he diagnosed me alright. You say swollen bowel is NOT an IBS symptom? Then it's one of those 'oh S***' times. Back to the doctors office.... I just hope my insurance will cover the flight back home... I am hoping for other insights....... Something a little more reassuring perhaps? ...
 

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Before you go, you may want to read up on IBS and the common symptoms so that you can question your Dr. more thoroughly on what you have. Before the advent of the blood test, IBS was diagnosed purely on the basis that nothing could be observed to be wrong, it (our gut) just didn't function properly, i.e., it's a functional disease. I have found that most GPs are quite ignorant about IBS so you need to become an expert on it yourself. This forum is a great resource for that.If it makes you feel an better, a lot of IBS'er would prefer to have something obviously wrong as it could then be treated whereas the treatment of IBS can be quite tricky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, let's put it this way, if he can't find anything wrong, he said he was sending me to taiwan (or somewhere like that, I'm not 100% sure) to see a global doctor specialist. if thats the case, I'm simply gonna go back to Canada. Theres not a thousand options here, I'm not going to wait around and pay loads of money until someone figures it out.. can't afford to. Medical care in Canada is free... I'll be scrapping my term, and possibly any chance of a scholarship I had, but hell.. I don't think I can handle not knowing whats wrong with me for much longer. From what I've read, my doctor might of ment IBD? At anyrate, I'm tired, annoyed and I just want some answers... And I especially want to feel better.
 

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Here is a symptom comparative list to refer to or bring with you to the Dr there:http://www.ibsgroup.org/symptoms Scroll down to "Separating Your Symptoms" to see the chart.One really can't tell if one has blood in the stool without a stool analysis. Can the Dr's there do one without it costing an extreme amount for you? Lots of things can cause darker stools besides blood. Mucous is also common in irritated bowels. And the vertigo??? Again MANY things can cause that. Viruses, Inner ear infections or fluid buildup in the inner ear, not eating enough...?? can cause that as well. When they told you you had a 'swollen bowel' and they couldn't get the scope any further... is there ANY way something was lost in translation there. Some folks with IBS have had the same exact thing happen to them during colonoscopies because their bowels were spasming etc.I would not panic.. and completely give up your schooling over this. There could be some very good & simple explanations for your symptoms. If I were you.... I would find out exactly what your Dr meant.. bring someone with you that IS a good translator. ASK the questions.. get the answers THEN decide whether it is really necessary to scrap all of your studies there.
 

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Did you do any blood tests? Did they show any sign of inflamation or anemia whatsoever? Do you have any fever (even low grade or intermitent)?Test for ocult blood is also a good idea to proove that what you see in the toilet bowl is really blood not some fancy chineese "food additive". I don't know what you're eating there but every time I go to China for several weeks my stools look kinda dark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After going back to the doctor (who speaks English by the way, so it wasn't a translation probleme but he is not a native speaker.. his first language is Spanish) Well, there was a misunderstanding, apparently it's not IBS but Chronic Colitis (and he conciders IBS as being possible !?) That said, I did have blood in my stool, but after looking more into it, the blood did come from my colon, having a constant C would have digested the blood really slowly, hence the dark colour. I do have anemia because of this but when I have a D it's basicly fresh bright red blood. I was told to eat more green veggies. I havn't seen any improvement from this but hell.. might as well try... Brocoli and Bukchow are on the menu for the next month. I'm still not too sure what to think about all this. I tried to reasure my parents by telling them I was feeling better but.. not quite. Oh, and for those who mentionned maybe not eating enough? Eating does become a problem when I have flare-ups (which are more often than anything) but I force feed myself in those times knowing I'll just feel worse if I don't eat... so no I don't think not eating enough has anything to do with it. And well, for the last few months I've mainly been cooking at home since eating out is now out of question (ChongQing is the home of spicy food..)
 

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If you have an autoimmune disease you are going to need more than some green veggies to control the ulcerations and bleeding. Especially if you bleed regularly enough to be anemic. He has no plans to put you on any medications what-so-ever? I might seek out another doctor. One that will treat the bleeding.Now it is possible to have both IBS and Ulcerative Colitis as the inflammation from the UC causes the same kind of damage that you see in post-infectious IBS so you can get both as a diagnosis.
 

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You asked when to seek another opnion?? Well I think NOW would be a good time to seek another opinion. You have anemia and you have blood in your stool... um... you need more than green vegetables IMHO and I would seriously seek another opinion as soon as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm... damn. Ok well, I spoke to my teacher this morning and he offered to take me to a traditional chinese doctor and see if I could get better results... I don't know where to turn too and honestly, even though deep down I want to go home, I'm terrified of stopping school again... It's my first year back after 3 years and it's been hell learning to be a student again. If the traditional doctor can't help, I'll be flying home soon. Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just contacted a hospital in my hometown. Officially. TCM will probably have effects 9-11 months BEFORE I get to see a GI in Montreal. The waiting list is 1 year. Now what? (List swear words one behind the other) I'll either bleed out or pass out and hit my head way before I get to see someone apparently.
 

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Have you had blood tests to show you are dangerously anemic? Did you tell anyone? While they will make you wait things like my hemoglobin is so low I need a transfusion usually gets you moved up. You may need to talk to a NURSE not the person making appointments. Most places the nurse decides who needs to be seen ASAP. If you call and say I need an appointment you get whatever is available of the regular appointments which can be weeks or months out (even in the USA some doctors are a 6-12 month wait for a non-emergency appointment). If you talk to the triage nurse she can determine if you have something serious and would die soon. They do actually want to see you before you die, but if you haven't talked to the triage nurse, no one knows how serious it is.
 
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