I have and underactive thyroid and have recently been diagnosed with DD following a barium enema. Would really appreciate some advice.

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Two years ago I had one episode of rectal bleeding and was scheduled to have a colonoscopy. The week before this was due to take place my Uncle died in hospital. I found out his death was caused by 3 perforrations to his bowel whilst undergoing a colonoscopy! Needless to say, fear kicked in and I declined the procedure (I know what you are all thinking). My GP prescribed lactulose, citing co-codamol, which I take for a long standing neck injury, as causing constipation and thus the rectal bleed. Fast forward to August 2013. After a light lunch I suddenly began experiencing severe abdominal pain, I couldn't stand upright and it hurt even to breathe. I went to lay down, but had to dash to the loo. As I sat down, the pain became so bad I really thought I was going to die. I began to shake, sweat,even though I was shivering and my vision went - it was like a white out - I couldn't see, I got the urge to push, pretty much as you do when you are having a baby (a lady on here described the pain like that of childbirth - couldn't put it better myself!). I yelled for my husband, doing the drama queen bit "Help me I think I'm going to pass out" bit and as he came in to offer his support, all hell broke loose. Never in my whole life have I seen such a mess, blood and you know what in the toilet bowl. Sorry for being so graphic. The pain subsided after that and I was able to go to bed with a hot water bottle and sleep. The bleeding continued for 2 days and I went to a local Walk - In Centre. The Doctor there described my experience as classic symptoms of Diverticular Disease and told me to see my GP to make arrangements for tests.

I explained my reasons to my GP for not wanting to have a colonoscopy. He fully understood, he also explained that coleorectal surgery had been his specialist field when he worked in hospitals, which reassured me. After examining me, he said he couldn't find anything sinister, but best to get me checked out. I've had the barium enema, which has shown I have Diverticular Disease, but the Consultant would like to perform a sigmoidoscopy, to check for piles or polyps. Is this procedure similar to the enema with regard to little discomfort and does it take long?

The other thing is, I have only had this one bad experience. I now take fybogel rather than lactulose and still take the co-codamol, as I do find it also helps with the pain. I don't get diarrhea, having only had it the once at the time in August. I do however have stomach cramps and the feeling of trapped wind, but no feeling of fullness or bloating, is this normal? I have also had the odd, miniscule bleed, but literally nothing more than a 'spot'. Reading other people's experiences I am beginning to wonder if I am extremely lucky and suffering from only a very mild form of the disease.

Anything anyone can tell me would be appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read my post!

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  • Posted

    Oh you poor poppit , yes I do know what it is like to sit on the loo and feel you are dying from the pain. I too have felt so hot and sweaty with the pain that I have literally torn off my clothes and yes as you say you feel faint. The only problem in our bathroom is we have quarry tiles and so I am terrified of crashing down on those and doing even more damage. Yes I have yelled for my husband too, to see him stood there not knowing whether to stand up , sit down , ring the doctor or not is something I dont want to experience any time soon. Like you I now take Fybogel twice a day and although I have only been taking it for about two weeks now it certainly has stopped the urgency to get to the loo (and in a lot of times not being able to make it). It is a joy to feel that your bowels actually do what they are supposed to do.

    Touch wood I have never, so far, experienced severe bleeding, that must have been terrifying for you. I too take codeine for the pain and I also take a couple of codeine if going to the shops to give me extra confidence to venture out.

    My Aunt died at 70 of bowel cancer, but then that was a few years back and although she was offered all kinds of osocopys etc she refused and so was not helped.

    Hang on in there , it is a comfort to know there are hundreds of other people all going through the same thing. By the way I am 68 and I have had this for years.

    If you plough through the posts on this informative forum I am sure you will find somewhere, someone explaining the experience of a sigmoidoscopy

    Keep your chin up.

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  • Posted

    OMG! I am so sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble. I am not having any of this kind at all even though I have acute DD, an underactive thyroid overprescribed so that I was on 200mg of thyroxine!

    I also have a large gallstone. I was 60 last year and have had this for four years.

    You should not be offered a colonsocopy! you should be offered a CT scan as that is your only option.

    A sigmoidoscopy is a shorter version of a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies go right through to the end of the colon, a Sigmoidoscopy goes as far as the first turn under your left breast. For me a sigmoidoscopy is painless, unlike a colonoscopy and you don't need to have any pain relief , although in your case I should go for it. Sorry to be so blunt. You can still have a perforation in a sigmoidoscopy.

    you should be monitoring your diet very carefully and I would advise you to look up Sherrie Bressica.

    She is an American nutritionist and the only help I have ever got.

    Good luck to us all


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  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your reply. I had been considering the sigmoidoscopy but hadn't realised perforation can occur with this procedure too! I don't think my GP would agree to me having a CT scan. But that won't stop me asking. I have to admit, I feel blessed in some ways as I don't seem to be going through as much pain and discomfort as a lot of people on this forum. Some experiences have been horrendous by comparison. What scared me most, was I didn't know what was happening to me at the time and so, expected the worst possible outcome! I used to be on 175mg of Levothyroxine when my condition, after radioiodine treatment, became hypothyroid. But in recent months this has been reduced to 100mg, I also have to take prescribed vit. D capsules and Ramipril and Indapamide for HBP. I note that there are a number of people on here who are also hypo and have DD. Coincidence? Or a by product of a now sluggish metabolism?

    I am eating a high fibre diet plus lots of rice and pasta which I like anyway and this seems to be doing the trick. However, pre-Christmas shopping I sccumbed to a Mc Donald's with my hubby and I think I am paying the price for it this week - won't be doing it again :-(.

    I will look up Sherrie Bressica, thanks for the recommendation, every piece of info will help me to understand what's going on. The real fear is the bleeding, however small, because it made me worry all was not well. But it seems to be a common aspect of DD, which again makes me less fearful.. I am so very glad I stumbled upon this forum, it has really helped.

    Good luck with your Gallstone and DD and thank you once again for taking time out to reply to me. It is very much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Sherry Brescia is the name, pardon my spelling.

    A nurse bumped me up to 200mg and when a doctor saw it he was nearly apoplectic! He actually told me that 'he would be having words'!

    There is definitely a link between Levothyroxine and gallstones, and yes, oddly, DD follows close by.

    I have been racked with guilt that it is something that I have done to end up like this. I am an ex smoker and liked red wine in abundance but it seems that the Levo is to blame.

    I don't know if white pasta is good for DD and bread gives me jet engine wind.

    I'd love to keep in touch on here with you. sometimes it just needs a friend to get you through the bad time.

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  • Posted

    Well, don't go beating yourself up about causing your DD. I have never smoked in my entire life and apart from my student days where I drank the odd cider and blackcurrant, haven't really drank much at all. Certainly since I became ill with my thyroid in 2005 haven't touched a drop - mind you I drink tea like a fish! My husband can't keep up with me. My main vice is sugar in my tea. I can't drink it without, but I can with coffee. I have read that pasta and rice is helpful with DD plus high fibre, but they don't know why it works. I do seem to get wind more so than before though :-)

    I'd love to keep in touch. It's a wonderful way to be able to make comparisons between what each of us is experiencing and for support and encouragement when it gets tough. I'm not far behind you either, I'll be 60 in 2015 - heck how the time whizzes past. My ex student pals, with whom I still keep in touch, will be having a mass 60th then. I volunteered to organise it - reckless or a brilliant idea - I haven't quite worked out yet lol!

    Thanks for your support. designergirl :-)

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