Colonoscopy clear, symptoms never resolved

Posted , 7 users are following.

In 2014, I noticed some fresh blood in my stool after the birth of my child. My doctor thought piles and gave me a Sigmoidoscopy. It was clear, biopsy normal. No piles or even a fissure. It never resolved, so in 2016 I went to a new doctor, I had an Endoscopy with full Colonoscopy. Both tests came back clear. Endoscopy had normal biopsy and he didn't even take a biopsy for Colonoscopy as there was nothing to sample. Not even polyps. No piles or a fissure.

I still have fresh blood. Never changed, never went away. It's obviously coming from somewhere. I've had constipation (hard stools - very hard), my whole life but I don't know where this is coming from. I'm scared I have cancer.

I cannot afford a whole new Colonoscopy (insurance won't pay til next year). What should I do? Are there any other tests in the meantime? I can't believe I need a third test. 

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  • Posted

    If it's fresh red blood then the likely culprit is nearer the exit do to speak. I'm not a believer in medical coincidence and the fact you have hard constipation would normally suggest piles or an anal fissure but I appreciate they have checked for this. Have you had your red blood levels checked to try and get a handle on how severe the blood loss is? Are you straining very hard? Wonder if you might be bursting a blood vessel. Is it bleeding every day or just a bit from time to time? The latter is much more common. I think it's worth trying to correct the constipation gently with added fibre and use of a stool softener. If you don't bleed when you are not constipated then I would strongly suspect there is a connection. It doesn't sound like cancer particularly if it was occurring when you had the negative tests.

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    • Posted

      I am not very anemic but have low ferritin. It's very small amounts on top of the stool but not on the toilet paper. Bowel movements are painful, with straining but not every time. However stools are hard every time. I see blood maybe every few bowel movements but not every one.

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    • Posted

      If your constipated and straining I agree with Megan about the blood. Get treated for constipation I use glycerine suppositories if I can't go they work within 5 mins also you can buy stool softeners . Worth a try x

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  • Posted

    Hi Megan,

    The only thing I would like to add to the other comments is, perhaps you need to drink more water. Dehydration is the cause of quite a few health issues (including headaches). Drinking water will help make the stools softer.  Also is it possible you were 'stitched up' to tightly after having your baby? 

    As has been said already, fresh blood in stools is unlikely to be cancer. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Megan

      I don't think you are drinking enough water.  You should have at least 2.2 litres of water a day according to the Mayo Clinic.  That's at least 4 pints or 80 fl oz in the UK.  I think if you are having hard stools you need

      a stool softener.  For the last 16 years I have been prescribed Fybogel, which is psyllium husk which I mix in at least 12 fl oz water once or twice a day, depending on how hard my stools are.  The US version is Metamucil.  I also drink around 8 half pint mugs of caffeine free tea.  My stools are mostly soft, well formed and easy, although as I have Diverticular Disease I do occasionall have spells of constipation, which is when I up the Fybogel.  It has a mild laxative effect and I usually have more than one movement a day.  I don't think I would have been prescribed so long, if it was not safe to take daily long term.  It is available in chemists and on the Internet.  Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Megan, bloody stools are not the same as fresh blood on top of the stool you've passed. Bloody stools are usually dark or tarry looking in appearance.   You've already had  an endoscopy, I'm sure they would have picked up on it, if things were not as they should be. Definitely drink more water though.

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    • Posted

      It's much the same thing. My tip would be to try it for a few days (it takes a bit of time to work) at about half the recommended dose and you need to drink a good deal of water with it because it is a bulking agent. If that still doesn't help then try at the full dose. Don't use it if you are not passing stools at all. I find it helps for a week and my gut then gets back to normal but if I take it too much my gut becomes irritated and I get the opposite problem. Everybody's bowel habit is different so you have to find what suits you best. Another approach is to ask your pharmacy about a stool softener. This works a bit faster and makes your stools softer. Ask the pharmacy how long long you should use a stool softener for. Metamucil should be usable for long periods as it's only like eating more fibre. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi Megan

      As you've had hard stools all your life, Metamucil powder mixed in 12 ox water should help to bulk and soften the stools.  I think the powder works better than the capsules as it makes you take the water.  Chug it down straight away - don't let it thicken.  That way it starts to work in the stomach where it should.  You would need to try it for at least a week to see if it helps.  I've read on the forum of some people try it once, it does not have an instant effect so they give up.  This is not a laxative that works quickly, it is much more gentle.  A few people have reported that it caused them constipation.  That has not been my experience at all, but we are all different.  Good luck

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  • Posted

    No, that's a laxative and long term use can mean the bowel can't act properly without it. Fibre in food is the best long term solution although again I have to watch I don't push things too far in the opposite direction. Plenty of green vegetables and nuts and fruit and things do help. Constipation is very miserable and it can easily cause a bit of blood for obvious reasons. I also find some foods (like eggs which I love) can make it worse. Plus you get a rebound effect. If you suddenly decrease fibre or aren't eating enough or stop using a laxative you can get a constipation rebound. So it's best to be gradual with everything. But for some people (my uncle was one) it is just something that is part of you. He lived til 86 though if that is any consolation.

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  • Posted

    Hi! Like others, I feel that constipation could be the culprit. Have you had your thyroid tested? Constipation is a typical symptom of a sluggish thyroid.

    ?Having constipation for the first time in my life sent me to a physician, and after a blood test, she quickly diagnosed hypothyroidism. A pill once daily has solved the problem. (And when I forget to take the pills, the constipation comes back.) 

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    • Posted

      My thyroid has been tested and is normal. I had a bout of postpartum thyroiditis that resolved shortly after giving birth. I called the GI doctor who did my sigmoidoscopy and he wants to see me. So nervous I'll need another colonoscopy. I get that constipation can cause hard stools but I don't understand what's bleeding or why they couldn't see it then? There's no blood on the toilet paper.

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  • Posted

    I would start with a stool test to be sure it is blood. I would have a rectal examination to check for piles again or a fissure. Piles can arise quickly and go away again. Blood from the gut tends to be bright red in colour, or maroon if its a bit further up. Blood from the stomach or the duodenum tends to be jet black because of the effect of stomach acid. I once had bloody stools from a burst blood vessel in the sigmoid colon.  Blood can be an important sign of cancer but as a symptom it does NOT mean it HAS to be caused by cancer. It is far more usually caused by something else. Cancer in the gut is generally a very slow growing cancer so it is difficult to see how bowel cancer could have developed in a year or less. Also, and most important, you had the bleeding when you had the last endoscopy and colonoscopy which were both clear. It may be that the hard stools are themselves causing small tears in the lining and blood. Presumably you have had full blood tests to check an organ like the liver is ok.
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    • Posted

      It's blood. They've given me stool tests each time and you can literally wipe it off it's fresh. I'm more afraid that they totally missed the cancer. I heard it does happen.

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    • Posted

      That is very unlikely because you have had a sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy and on both occasions they knew you were reporting blood. A tumour that has got to the bleeding stage is likely to be very noticeable. What is their explanation for the blood or do they have simply no idea what it could be? is your blood count normal?
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    • Posted

      The doctor who did sigmoidoscopy said constipation (though I'm not sure what that really means - maybe scraping the inside?) and the colonoscopy doctor said perhaps an anal fissure that is playing wack a mole (peekaboo). But I've never been diagnosed with a fissure. Thank you for helping me. It's so stressful. My blood count is normal. The only thing that ever came back was low ferritin but my doctor thought (my regular doctor) that it was due to my diet/being a female/heaving periods.

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