Advice about Bowel Movements
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Advice about Bowel Movements
Ever since I was pregnant, and during my pregnancy, I
periodically have blood in my stool. It's going on nearly 4
years now. Since all the medical books pretty much tell you to
run immediately to a doctor if this happens, it worries me a
bit. My doctor has made some alarming errors in diagnosis on
other things (though she is extremely sure of herself), so when
she told me not to worry about it, I insisted on more assurance.
She did a rectal exam and told me it must be from an internal
hemorrhoid, though I have no other symptoms. Later, when I
worried about it again, the physician's assistant in the same
office did another rectal exam and came to the same conclusion.
They prescribed stool softeners, which I am sure I don't need,
and I've never been able to connect it to any sort of
constipation. We've never done any other sort of tests. Is this
really something I don't need to worry about? Have others had
the same experience? If I should insist on some other tests,
what would they be? I'd really like to stop worrying about this.
If the blood is red than it is right there near the surface, which
really shouldn't be a concern. It is probably just as you've been told,
an internal hemorrhoid-- be grateful that you don't have other
symptoms!! During my pregnancy, my butt was like a cauliflower and I was
in great pain and distress.... do yourself a favor and take the stool
softeners so you don't get to that point!
If the blood was dark, then it would originate from higher up in your
colon or stomach and that would be a warning of something serious.
Too bad we are not more inclined to use bidet's, we wouldn't have these
issues as often!
I have had problems with hemorrhoids since I was in high school (sounds
like you do not have this problem though). Anyway, when I was 30 I
started seeing bright blood in my stool (and started getting fissures
too which bleed as well)...even when I was not constipated sometimes. I
had a lot of internal hemorrhoids (which you may have developed during
your pregnancy and/or delivery). These generally do not hurt. It's the
ones which are near the opening which tend to hurt more. They are just
prolapsed veins and the skin is very thin there. However, if they
bleed, they are a warning sign that your stools may be a little too hard
and/or you may be straining a little too much during bowl movements. I
generally take this blood as a warning signal to drink more water and
increased the insoluble fiber in my diet (wheat bran, citracel or
metamucil (sp?), peas, beans etc). Stool softners (such as colace) can
also help when you are having an incident.
Generally, if the blood is bright red it is mostly likely caused by
hemorrhoids. If it is dark or tar colored then this is something more
serious. If your doctor has done an internal exam they may be able to
see these hemorrhoids and see that they are swollen or bleeding which is
why they may not be concerned.
However, I know how you feel...it always gives me a chill to see it.
If they do start causing you pain or constant problems, you can get them
banded (removed with an outpatient procedure...not surgery). But I
would recommend trying a diet change first.
I had the same thing. After going through a colonoscopy -- a fairly
unpleasant procedure -- it was diagnosed as an internal hemorrhoid.
Note that everyone has to have a colonoscopy eventually (many people
start having them at 50), so it might be reasonable to push up the date
for your first one. But it's probably nothing to worry about.
I've also had blood in my stool, but it's always been connected to
constipation and the hemeroids I developed after the delivery of my
daughter. I started drinking lots more water and eating a bowl of fiber
cereal every day to smooth things out which has helped. That said, blood
in the stool can also be connected with disorders of the colon. Because
I have a family history of colon cancer, and because 2 of my brothers
had colonoscopies and polyps were found, I had a colonscopy also and 2
pre-cancerous polyps were found and taken out. This is not to say that
the bleeding I experienced was due to the polyps specifically, but I
wanted to rule it out because of my family history. You might consider a
consult with a gastroenterologist just to be on the safe side and for
your piece of mind.
happy I did it
You need to see a gastroenterologist. GPs are notorious for
misdiagnosing (although some are wonderful.) And a rectal exam just
isn't going to give anyone enough information. It's a good sign you
don't have other symptoms, but I would get to a specialist sooner rather
than later. In the event that you have something that needs attention,
you will do much better to treat it as early as possible. Cancers and
other nasty things can grow for years without any warning... and then 6
mos. after it's finally been detected, you're dead. I'm not trying to
scare you and I sincerely hope you are fine, but get this checked out.
Blood in the stool is not normal.
First off, I'd ask for a colonoscopy, especially if there's any history
of colorectal polyps (or cancer) in your family. That's the thing
everyone's afraid of when they insist you go straight to your doctor.
It's a disease with almost no symptoms, and if you get it in the early
stages, it's almost completely curable.
Why not bite the bullet and get a colonoscopy? They're not fun but will
probably give you an answer for certain Jill
I think the test you should ask for is a colonoscopy or a sigmoidectomy
(sp?). Go to the American Cancer Society website and you can find the
name of the test. Although one shouldn't overly focus on small problems,
it is also important to be assertive about medical care. I was diagnosed
with cancer at a younger age than it usually appears -- my doctor
dilly-dallied for about a year before doing a biopsy; but it was also my
fault because I wasn't assertive, was very busy, and didn't think there
could be anything wrong with me. Since then I've been to a number of
support groups for cancer survivors, and for younger (30s,
40s) people without 100% clear symptoms this seems to happen more often
than not. If you have the test and it's nothing you'll be relieved, and
if it's something you will have done your best to catch it in time.
I have had blood in my stool but also have mucus as well. I had a
sigmiodoscopy (sp?) and was told I had protitis (an inflamation of the
rectum). I was prescribed meds (enemas and suppositories) and they work
well at keeping the symptoms at bay. You might want to see a GI doc. I
see Dr. Rorke in Berkeley and he is mild mannered and this is his
specialty. I personally would get a second opinion from a different
doc, preferrably a specialist.
anon, of course
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