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I'm an 18 y/o female who's had gut issues for pretty much my whole life, and I'm just wondering if I should get them checked out more seriously. Whenever I mention symptoms to my mum she says not to worry, and my doctor doesn't seem to bother either (though I only mentioned bloating and appetite to the doctor).
I've had random stomach cramps since I was younger, which my mum originally thought was chronic appendicitis, but I continued to have problems after an appendectomy at the age of 12. I've had intermittent stomach cramps with seemingly no cause since then, but in the last year or so I started having some other issues. I had no appetite or felt bloated when I woke up. I only ate one meal/2 small meals a day because I'd feel very full, even until the next day. The doctor thought it was hypothyroidism, because I was depressed and my thyroxine levels were down. However after 6 months, my levels were normal again and I still experience this. The lack of appetite is definitely a depression thing, but the bloating is still unexplained.
I've also had blood and excessive mucus in stools for as long as I can remember, but only occasionally. There is usually very little blood; it's only visible as a drop or small smear on the toilet paper, and I usually don't have pain. It isn't exactly bright red, it's more orange-y. Just red enough to show it's blood, but barely, if that makes sense? Sometimes there appears to be larger amounts of blood, but it is only visible in the toilet water and not on the paper or the actual stool. I can't tell if it's just the normal "cloud" you get when a stool hits the water, because the colour is on the fine line between red and brown (red enough to scare me though).
The problem is, I don't know if the signs are serious enough to warrant being checked, particularly because I've been having them for so long with seemingly no further problems. I'm very nervous around doctors and also have a host of other issues that could be causing these things. To give some more background:
> I have clinical anxiety, which I know can aggravate IBS or be comorbid with IBD (although I don't know whether I have IBS or IBD). As mentioned I have clinical depression, which causes appetite changes. I also have high-functioning Aspergers, and I'm told ASDs can be linked to GI problems.
> I know I am lactose intolerant, but my parents don't really care so we don't have milk substitutes in the house. Plus I have no self control and will take milk anyway with coffee and the like. Whenever I drink milk I get bad cramps.
> When I was quite young, I got badly constipated and ended up with a small anal tear. The wound healed but it sometimes reopens, and that could be the cause of the blood. Having said that, when it happens there is usually a sharp pain, and recently I have been seeing blood but not having pain.
> In the past few months or so I noticed a small squishy lump near my anus. It doesn't hurt, but I'm wondering if it could be a haemorrhoid?
> My grandma had a history of stomach ulcers. They were benign, just irritating. I don't know if ulcers are hereditary, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
> Again, my grandma had endometriosis, as did several of my aunts. One aunt had such a severe case that she coughed up tissue that was originally from her uterus. I myself have not been diagnosed with the condition, but have severe menstrual cramps to the point of nearly throwing up or fainting as well as iron-deficiency anaemia. I've read that IBS symptoms can be similar to endometriosis symptoms, so this is a consideration as well.
Thank you for reading through all this gross information, and if you think I should see a doctor, do you have tips on bringing this up with them in a way as least awkward as possible? I appreciate the help.
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