Normal Colonoscopy, still rectal bleeding

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I had a colonoscopy 2 weeks ago because I had beed noticing "dark blood mixed in with stools" for 5 months. Blood tests also showed anaemia, but that's common with me. I had no real other symptoms to worry about.

The colonoscopy was campleted fully, done by a gastroentoroligist and I was not sedated - he took 6 random biopsys and did not see any polyps. The biopsys came back normal for diverticulitis, crohns, colitis, malignancy, everything was tested and came back negative.

Two weeks after the colonoscopy, I can still see the dark blood mixed in the stool - although it did stop for the 2 weeks since the coloscopy, so it isn't the biopsy's.

I wonder if anyone has had this experience and whether anything else worrying was subsequently found. Also, what other tests were you recommended for if anything.

I have been referred now to an Upper GI endoscopy, but the stools are not black/tarry as they would be from the stomach etc and so I'm reluctant to have this.

They have also referred me for a Kidney and abdominal/pelvic ultrasound - this I will do, but I'm not sure what they're looking for. I'm prepared to do that because it's a simple test and I assume it will give them useful information.

I'm wondering if I can just ignore this - anyone else subsequently went on to uncover problems - because all the reading isn't telling what else this type of bleeding can indicate.

Thanks smile

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21 Replies

  • Posted

    I definitely would have the upper GI. Prep is very simple; not like the lower saga. No clear out needed. I have had duodenal ulceration and the tarry effect depends on a number of factors including volume.These exclusionary tests are a bore but the blood is coming from somewhere. The upper GI was the test I most feared because I have a phobia about gagging. I couldn't even stand having my throat examined by a doctor when I was a kid. In fact I have had 8 now and they are not that bad. Have some sedation and the throat spray and the gag reflex only lasts a fraction of a second usually. There is also a test where they can give you a camera in a capsule which you swallow and they can take it through magnetically and examine the whole digestive tract. Small bowel problems are rarer than colon ones but they are not unknown. With blood and with anaemia you have got to get to the bottom of it. Once that is done the anaemia corrects pretty quickly. I lost a lot of blood before a friend visiting in hospital guessed what was going on! I just thought it was the meds they were giving me. I would never have been so blasé at home but in hospital you can just float along imagining they must somehow know if anything is wrong..crazy!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for responding - but I don't see how a test that finishes just the other end of the stomach can explain the type of bleeding that I have - the stool is not dark but the blood is - it is red, not black.

      The aneamia is related to a thalassemia trait and has been going on for decades, I also have fibroids

      I would like to be offered the capsule - I have heard of that and it makes sense because for the blood to be so visible and mixed in - if it isn't the large intestine, it may be the small - but unlikely as high up as where the upper GI endoscopy ends.

      My reluctance for the upper endoscopy is mainly risk of infection - I wont opt for sedation because I have read other's awful experiences and they are less likely to stop or pause if you are 'out of it' with sedation. I particularly fear infection because of the meningitis outbreak in London and what I've read on cleaning scopes and rare cases of infection. So I'm not convinced that having it is justified.

      Did they find anything with you then - if so, do you mind telling me what and were your stool symptoms the same - and was what they found something worth worrying about/treating. My anaemia wont go as a result of this you see - it is connected to other things.

      I don't mean to sound like a web medical expert - but I am weary of the medical intervention side of things, because it also comes with it's own risks.

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  • Posted

    You said you have fibroids? Sometimes Endometrosis has symptoms that coincide with fibroids. Does your rectal bleeding start or worsen around ovulation or your cycle? It can cause rectal bleeding and won't show on a colonoscopy.
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    • Posted

      Hi Megan, thanks for your reply - and I meant to ask you which day this week you are due for your colonoscopy?

      Your input is really useful and makes complete sense - I do think this is probably related to my fibroids - I would not say that the rectal bleeding is worse around my cycle - because it tends to be with every movement - however all of my bloating etc I have related to my cycle and my bowel movements are easier/more frequent at that time of the month - so I have always put it down to pressure in the abdomen from the fibroids. This is why I didn't really worry about any bowel symptoms until I saw the rectal bleeding.

      The good thing is that I am 50 and have had my 3 kids so if there is endometriosis - it doesn't bother me. I am hoping to be able to ignore the fibroids until menapause, because there isn't much pain etc - just bloating.

      I just want to be reassured that there can be rectal bleeding without panic! As you can imagine - I've just started reading up on endometriosis after your reply, and it seems that treatments depend on symptoms and how seriously they affect you - I can deal with them as they are. This is useful information to help me ask more targeted questions - I will now specifically ask about GI endometriosis too - just started reading up on it, from your reply.

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    • Posted

      The thing is she took 6 biopsies and if they're all clear, no need to worry then. I heard that colonoscopies can miss things, but if biopsies were taken then theres much less of a chance.

      Mine is scheduled for Monday but I'm seriously considering canceling. I cried to my husband for 2 hours last night!

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    • Posted

      Oh no, so glad you have him for support. I was exactly the same and just wanted to find a reason to pull out of it - but honestly I couldn't find anything that outweighed the symptoms. 

      Research also shows that the gastroentorologists are the best ones for the procedure - more accurate and safe.

      Plus your 2 sigmoidoscopy's carry the same infection/perforation type risk and you had them safely....tbh they are more likely to keep wanting to poke around with these types of tests (each carrying risk) until you have the 'gold standard' to rule the worst out.

      Is there something else that's also bothering you about the colonoscopy - other than perforation and infection?

      From what you've said so far - I really hope you don't cancel - but maybe there's something else; does your husband feel you should get it?

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    • Posted

      I'm set on no sedation and they said that was fine, they don't force it. But I'm afraid they will. Silly, I know. I had bad experiences with sedation.

      I guess it's just the risks that come with a Colonoscopy. And then I doubt my symptoms. I don't see blood every time and have no other symptoms so I'm thinking maybe it's not that big of a deal? I don't know.

      For your situation though, I'd definitely look into Endometriosis. Especially if its darker red. Uterine cells can grow anywhere with Endo.

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    • Posted

      Yes I understand - I was the same with sedation, not because of a bad experience but just because I'm not that trusting and like to be alert and on guard for everything.

      They give you a consent form and on there I specifically wrote "no sedation" before I signed so it was clear in writing because I suspected the same - that they would sneak it in. The Colonoscopist did not connect me to a drip of aneasthetics - but he gave me a shot of pain killer (Fentonyl) and told me what it was and then (boscopan) to relax the bowel and again told me what it was before hand - this was once I was on the table immediately prior to the procedure (there was no anaesthetist present, just 2 nurses) and indeed I was fully aware and not sedated.

      Another thing you can do - tell them you are not sure you will have someone to accompany you home - then they can't/wont give sedation.

      I'm beginning to think it's not that rare to opt for no sedation - from what other's have said and chatting with the endoscopy nurses before my colonoscopy.

      Thanks for your advice re. endo too - I don't have much pain though and I guess 6 clear biopsy's is pretty thorough - I'm thinking that I may indeed be OK just doing the two ultrasounds and not the upper GI. 

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    • Posted

      I would ask them why they think it could be an upper GI problem if the blood is as you say. Presumably they must have considered this too. In the end of course everyone has to make their own individual call but self-diagnosis can be at least as risky as professionals being over enthusiastic.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice - after the colonoscopy the nurse talked me through the notes and the GI Dr (Colonoscopist) wrote Melena? and Anaemia as the reason for an upper GI Endoscope - I did not have a chance to negotiate this with him personally - but I did say what the stool looked like - but the procedure was recommended on what he suspects. The blood test pretty much explains the type of anaemia and I've had no 'malena'. I don't want to self diagnose other than to make an informed decision as to whether to risk certain procedures.

      I will call the endo dept and see if I can negotiate this by speaking to a specialist - because when I asked the nurse - she wasn't able to speak to his reasoning. The thing is they said to book the upper GI within a week or else I'll be 'discharged' and I've managed to stall by saying I was waiting for the 6 biopsy result. So your prompt responses have been useful

       

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  • Posted

    I hope all is going well.

    I did notice that your initial message referred to "dark blood mixed with stool" and then in a following message, mentioned blood mixed with stool that is red. 

    Depending on whether the blood is red or dark maroon, the doctor will probably focus on different tests.  I just don't want you to go through more tests than you need. 

    Hope you move on and find out what is going on.  Best of everything.

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    • Posted

      Thanks joe, Yes the blood is dark red - but in no way black or tarry. My reasoning is that, if it goes through the upper track, stomach bile etc, it would not be dark red but black - from what I've read - plus I don't have intigestion, vomiting, nausea or any thing upper end related. It could be in the small intestine though - so the capsule camera that 'ethermail' suggested above may be the better option.

      If I can humbly speak to a specialist in endoscopy, I would ask for the capsule option, hopefully before they 'discharge' me for not booking an upper GI endo. But when you call to book you are speaking to reception and when you finish your colonoscopy you are speaking to a nurse about the specialists referral. I have not had the opportunity to really discuss options and the reasoning behind them - but with all this helpful advice, I will try on Monday smile

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    • Posted

      For want of a better discription - it is like period blood - darker than fresh blood (piles) but not brown/black or dried like old blood either. Not ust on the surface but mixed in.

      I am doubting Endo because of lack of pain, though I know that is possible, depending on location. I have a feeling it may be a fibroid causing partial bowel obstruction - maybe the pelvic/abdominal US will explain more.

      I may just leave it alone whatever they find - because most things, short of cancer, I can live with. This is why I'd like a capsule camera to swollow - on the slim chance of cancer in the small intestine. I guess I can only call on Monday and ask - I'll be thinking of you that day too!

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    • Posted

      Yeh the prep is all about endurance - I had the movieprep and was just so hard drinking all that volume. 

      Really respect that you're going ahead with it though, and yes I was pleasantly surprised that the procedure was fine too - and it all felt worthwhile in the end smile

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    • Posted

      Hi Lady67208

      i have just read this and I am coeliac, went undiagnosed for 20 years. worried as had 3 rd episode of red blood mixed in stools and vomiting and pain also. GP wont send me to specialist, just blames my diet! I think I need capsule endo. Did you get this done and what was the outcome please.

      Nigela x

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