Scheduled first colonoscopy + endoscopy, but....

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Hello! 32 year old lady here. I have had various abdominal problems for most of my life, mostly chronic constipation and a small appetite (feel full/gross really fast). Diagnosed with IBS. In the past few years, I've had episodes of bleeding (it once lasted a month with a lot of blood; that was back in 2012.) Last year, I had a long episode of lower left pain, with blood in my urine. A catscan revealed nothing wrong. It eventually went away (aside from the occasional brief episode.)

Most recently (last November), I started having a burning pain in the middle of my stomach and upper stomach. It was CONSTANT. Not horrific, but distracting and draining. When my stomach growled in hunger, it would also spasm. (That symptom only lasted about a week.) I went on the FODMAP diet and started to feel better, but I still have episodes of the burning. The doctor thinks it might be an ulcer, though I did test negative for the H. pylori, and all of my blood work looked good. 

Also around this time, I started to have rectal bleeding. I have had some rectal pain, but the bleeding and the pain don't always occur at the same time. My doctor examined me and didn't see any fissures or hemorrhoids, though it had been a week at that point since my last bleeding. I have bled since, and last week in particular, it really hurt. I suspect a hemorrhoid has since appeared. I don't know if the bleeding was a hemorrhoid all along that came and went before I saw the doctor, and has since reappeared. But my doctor was concerned enough to refer me to a gastroenterologist for the first time in my life. They recommended both a colonoscopy and endoscopy. 

The day after this, I got the calprotectin test result, and my level was a 54. Not very high at all. Thus, no real inflammation in my guts? I don't even know any more, you guys. For years, I've wanted to be taken seriously by doctors and have tests done. I've flat out asked for a colonoscopy more than once, and been told no. Now I am scheduled to have one, but it's two months from now. (That was the earliest appointment.)

I guess my question is: are these symptoms time sensitive? If you don't "go in" when you are in the middle of an episode, will it even be an accurate test? And if all the other tests show that I am not inflamed, what will a colonoscopy potentially reveal that the other tests could not? Am I going to subject myself to such torture to find out it was just a hemorrhoid? What have been your experiences? 

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  • Posted

    You mention having chronic constipation, therefore the bleeding could most definitely be from haemorrhoids.

    Having recently had both a colonoscopy and an upper GI endoscopy let me reassure you that neither were painful or horrendous in the slightest. The colonoscopy is looking for polyps, signs of crohns, IBD and they will take a couple of tissue samples to biopsy. If you have the camera down into your stomach they are looking for ulcers and inflammation. Out of the two procedures this one is the more invasive but just focus on your breathing. You can always opt for the sedation.

    If I were you I would go ahead with the procedures, just to rule other things out and reassure you. Keep up with the FODMAP diet if it makes you feel better. There are only certain conditions that these procedures can detect but they’re really not as awful to endure as people think. 

    Do you take any medications for the burning in your stomach? A lot of people assume too much stomach acid is the cause and take PPIs to suppress it but we need our stomach acid for digestion. Often it is a problem with the protective lining of the stomach. There are natural supplements that you can take to help with this such as slippery elm. 

    I know it’s frustrating, and actually when you become embroiled in a long term chronic health condition with Doctors, it makes you realise how much they do not know! Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Constipation can cause fissures and haemorrhoids which can cause bleeding. Straining for a bowel movement can cause them. The blood is often bright red.  Haemorrhoids can be internal or external.  An endscopy  and colonoscopy may help to identify the problem.
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  • Posted

    Hi, just reading your post, honestly a colonoscopy is not too bad I’ve had a few, and suffer with prolapsed bowel, waiting a an op for this, cancelled three times since Sept, cause of no beds etc. It is not as bad as going to the dentist in my opinion. I get bright red on the toilet paper sometimes, 5ho I am not sure if it’s things like tomatoes or blueberries colour coming through.

    i also feel full fairly quickly , and am losing weight which is being investigated though I don’t actually feel unwell, but I have a very good doctor who listens and arranges tests when necessary 

    I get chronic constipation which prohibits me going far from home and this has probably been the cause of my present PRolapse..I had a repair done a few years ago and now it’s happend again.   I drink water all day, loads of different veg Senna and stool softeners..and walk a lot up and down hill to our shops, but still never completely empty my bowel..this cane happen six or eight times a day..just a little at a time uncomfortable and tiring cos the bowel  falls out each time..spend a fortune on gloves nappy bags and baby wipes...  alsobhave eosophagus discomfort and dry throat..I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid and this slows down the evacuation I think..apart from all that I am ok for an old lady of 82..

    good luck with your investigations, they will be worth it and hopefully they will sort out the problem for you.

     I also drink a glass of warm water with a little juice before breakfast which helps getting into a regular habit.. but still go through the day.. 

    good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi notsowildflower, I hear your concerns and have felt you anxiety about having this test.  I had both tests done, and they were able to see that I am borderline colitis even thou I didn’t realize I was.  There was some mucus there I guess.  Theses specialists are amazing and are looking to rule out a whole bunch of things.  So doesn’t matter when, they will still be able to see “something” if it happened previously.  Take deep breathes...I wish you all the best.
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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your responses! I feel much reassured about proceeding with the tests. 

    A few things I forgot to mention in my original post...I have taken pantoprazole for the burning in my stomach. Also, my constipation improved significantly five years ago when I started taking miralax. That stuff changed my life, no joke. I still have occasional episodes of constipation/hard stools, but nothing like I used to experience. 

    I got the prep instructions for the colonoscopy today, and it's a miralax prep. (With dulcolax and gasx tablets.) No other exotic liquids. Everyone I've spoken to warned about how disgusting and fowl the prep liquids are, but this is just miralax. Highly unusual? Should I just be grateful and shut up? XD

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