chronic diarrhoea/stomach pain - urgent referral to gastroenterology. Worried, advice appreciated

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi guys,

Looking for urgent advice please.

I'm really concerned about some bowel issues I've been having, in particular I'm concerned about cancer. About 3 months ago, I began having diarrhoea multiple times a day, always after eating, accompanied by excessive gas which would lead to extreme abdominal pain and fecal urgency if I wasn't able to go to the toilet there and then.

Along with the postprandial diarrhoea I've been having a lot of bloating, gurgling, and abdominal pain which can be anything from cramping, to indigestion-like, a feeling of pressure/fullness in my abdomen, and abdominal point tenderness in several places, mostly above my navel. Onset is generally 5-20 minutes after eating. Going to the toilet alleviates the symptoms very temporarily but they quickly return. I'm having diarrhoea so often now that I'm getting an urge to go but nothing, or only very little, comes out because I'm basically empty. In the last few days, my diarrhoea has become so bad that I've literally been passing nothing but AIR for 5+ minutes at a time despite feeling like I need to pass stool. My stools also have very strong, unusual odours that are either vinegary/sweet, or grassy/hay smelling. My bowel movements don't smell like typical stool at all any more.

I've had multiple blood and stool tests; Blood tests included Liver function test, full blood count, Tissue Transglutaminase IgA, b12, folate, ferritin, urea, electrolytes, eGFR (CKD-EPI), serum C-reactive protein (CRP), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate.

Stool tests were: H pylori, enteric MC&S, Clostr difficile toxin, and fecal calprotectin.

(forgive any short hand or repeats; my GP uploads test results online so this is just me copy/pasting directly from that).

All tests were normal except:

CRP - slightly elevated at 7.0

Creatinine - slightly lowered at 27 umol/L

Folate - slightly lowered at 4.6 ug/L

My GP has basically ruled out coeliac/gluten intolerance, parasitic/viral/bacterial infection, and crohns/ulcerative colitis based on my blood/stool test results and has now referred me urgently to a gastroenterology unit to be seen in on 7th Jan 20, which is within the 2-week wait period the NHS suggests for suspected cancer patients.

As you can imagine, I'm terrified. Does my GP think I have cancer?

Does anyone have any idea at all as to what my symptoms could be except cancer? Given everything that's been ruled out, I'm struggling to see a benign diagnosis...

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    I think you have irritable bowel syndrome and it sucks a lot I have irritable bowel syndrome and it sucks a lot I get sick after eating I have diarrhea gas and constipation it sucks so much

  • Posted

    IBS -D. Wouldn't worry too much,sounds pretty classic.

  • Posted

    IBS is a benign cause. Has no doctor suggested this? When all tests are negative, IBS can be diagnosed. Your symptoms sound like IBS especially with the pain and diarrhoea after eating and temporary relief of pain after a bowel movement. The fact that so many things have been ruled out is good news for you and a reason to consider less threatening possibilities. If your doctor suspected cancer, he would have said that was what he was looking for. He doesn't seem to have done this. Having a quick referral is a good thing because you won't have too long to wait and worry. Worry aggravates gut problems so try to stay calm and don't google symptoms. Try a food diary to see if foods trigger diarrhoea or pain. Have you had any recent stress?

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your problems. Firstly, don't think it's cancer and try not to panic over this as stress will aggravate your situation.

    Sounds like you have a lot of build up gas and this would usually accompanied by distension or bloating or even cramps for your stomach. I've experienced this and also able to relate to that funky gas smell. After I've tried to follow fodmap diet (still not able to practice 100% till date) and did yoga, it has massively improved. Esp yoga, it helps me to expel all the trapped wind /gas and that offers relieve from blowing or stomach cramps. Hope my suggestion helps

  • Posted

    Hi 10Bex88

    Your CPR ..C-Reactive Protein is showing a slight rise which may be showing slight inflammation probably to do with gastritis. Your ESR... Erythrocite Sedimentation Rate is related to Inflammation also which is showing normal. Creatinine slighty low showing kidneys are ok. I imagine your doctor is sending you for gastritis check because of CRP readings. Anxiety and worry are not going to help you but make your symptoms worse. Stop worrying about having an illness which has not been diagnosed...

  • Posted

    Hi guys, thanks for all your replies.

    I've just had a colonoscopy today. I was originally scheduled for only a sigmoidoscopy but the doctor found two polyps and told me he needed to do a full colonoscopy. In total, I have 4 polyps - 4 sessile(largest 3mm) and 1 pedunculated (8mm).

    All have been removed and sent for biopsy and I've been told I'll need screening again in 3 years (depending on histology results, of course).

    I know a lot of you have tried to reassure me it's just IBS and I went in fully expecting nothing of interest to be found, to having 5 polyps discovered. Images were taken of all polyps and all were excised and sent for biopsy. As you can imagine, this has only solidified my fear it's cancer.

    Does anyone have any experience of this? What are the chances of one of these polyps being cancer, given my young age?

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