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Hello,

Looking for some reassurance. I'm 41 years old, a long time sufferer of IBS (but otherwise fit and healthy...don't smoke, not overweight, eat a pretty good diet and I exercise regularly). However in the past few weeks my symptoms changed. Started with what seemed to be an viral infection (5-6 episodes of diarrhea, 1 episode of vomiting, chills) a few weeks ago. That only lasted about a day. Then a few days later had an entire morning of severe lower abdominal cramps and the urge to have multiple bowel movements (sometimes I'd go, sometimes it was just gas or mucus). Ever since then I've had persistent lower abdominal pain, loss of appetite, bloating and some nausea (no vomiting). My bowel movements have alternated between loose and mushy to sticky / hard and small (no blood). One night I even woke up in the middle of the night with stomach cramps and had to have a BM and couldn't fall back asleep due to cramps. I've also lost a few pounds in the last few weeks since the onset of my symptoms (but I haven't been eating as much either due to lack of appetite, food not really looking appetizing and anxiety). My GI doctor did stool studies for infection which were negative and a CBC which was normal. Have a colonoscopy scheduled for next week, I'm sort of freaking out about the possibility of colon or rectal cancer. I should note that 8 yrs ago I had a colonoscopy that didn't show any cancer or polyps. My wife thinks my symptoms are all just worsening of my IBS due to my anxiety over cancer. Anyone else ever experience this?

Thanks for any input.

Max
 

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I shouldn't be too much worried. You will get the definitive results after colonoscopy for sure, but probably your wife is right. For early detection, doctors are suggesting colonoscopy for every 10 years after age 50. Given that you had your colonoscopy 8 years ago with clean results, it is unlikely that you have cancer. I have met with IBS 4 months ago, and the first 20 days, I was freaking out that I had cancer due to sudden loss of weight, diarrhea, sometimes green sometimes black stools, etc. After colonoscopy, and almost all the tests available, I was diagnosed IBS. My symptoms have slightly improved, and I'm thinking positive that maybe one day I will recover 100%. At least thinking positive helps to improve. Keep us posted regarding your results and good luck.
 
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