Alright, I must begin this inquiry by admitting I have had hypochondriac tendencies in the past and have tended to convince myself that every little bump, twinge, and pain was some form of cancer (despite my age, 25, my relative level of fitness and total lack of any familial history of cancer).
I've been having lower-mid-right abdominal pains for about a month and a half now, and prior to that, about 3 months of occasionally floating stools. Also, about 3 months ago I graduated from an extremely stressful graduate school program and drastically improved my diet around the same time the floating stools began (much more fiber, vegetables, fruits, less red meats, fats, etc.). The floating stools are usually well-formed (not diarrhea), normal in size, shape, and color. They occasionally vacillate from being hard, dry, constipation-like to softer stools, which often have undigested bits of food in them (carrots, tomatoes, black olives, etc.). They are NOT pale, grey, foul-smelling or greasy, and flush easily. I didn't think much of this until one night I happened to read that floating stools might be a sign of pancreatic cancer (not knowing they were referring more specifically to sterreahtoah). I recently had an acquaintance who was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer at only 34 years old so naturally, I panicked and convinced myself that I was suffering from an incurable cancer.
The next morning I woke to a stomach ache on the right side, roughly the crick in the stomach where the abdominal muscles meet the obliques. I immediately scheduled my yearly physical with my doctor. I had blood drawn to check normal panels as well as a liver function panel - everything came back more or less normal, with the exception of my bilirubin, which was very slightly elevated (1.3 on a normal scale to 1.2). I had drank pretty heavily the weekend before and fasted for the blood test, so the doctor didn't think much of it.
My stomach pains (more like very slight cramps/pressure at best - about a 1 on the pain scale) didn't go away, I went in again. He did a full blood work up and everything came back normal, and did a full abdominal ultrasound for which everything also came back normal.
Now several weeks later my symptoms more or less persist. I have a floating stool about every other or every third bm, and I still have dull, persistent abdominal pain on the right side (approx. 2 inches to the right and one inch up of the belly button), and occasional back pain on the lower right side (around the upper hip), as well as occasional right flank discomfort. The pain seems to be omnipresent when I am sitting in front of a computer with nothing to do but Google cancer statistics, and disappears at odd times - like when I am very strenuously working out (80% - 95% max BPM). I also wake up in the morning with no abdominal discomfort. I am not fatigued (actually much less so since I started getting back into my normal shape), work out at least 3-4 days a week very strenuously (80 minutes lifting/hard cardio), have lost a little weight (intentionally, due to change in diet and aforementioned exercise), eat lots of fiber, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc. I have no rectal bleeding. I occasionally wake up at night, but I believe this is from the anxiety as the pain is so subdued and I have a pretty strong history of occasional insomnia and anxiety. Though my vacillations between hard/soft stool might not seem to present as traditional IBS, there is a marked difference between the two.
I spend hours Googling my symptoms and often worry about them, despite reassurance from my doctor. I am wondering what my next steps should be - be they a CT scan (I have insurance but it would still cost me some serious coin), a psychologist, etc. It frustrates me because I am typically very rational and have a high IQ (147), and despite knowing the incidences of things like Pancreatic cancer among 25 year olds (0-1 incidents per 100,000), I still worry. I think I need help in some form or another. Thanks for your time.
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