Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

My mom needs help...

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 22 Replies
  • Posted By: thesage
  • February 24, 2009
  • 08:38 PM

My mom has had severe diarrhea for almost a year now. She needs to go to the bathroom nearly twenty times a day. She burps a lot and can barely eat anything without immediately going to the bathroom. She also feels joint pain in her left arm really badly, since december, and has pain in her hands for a long time (her doctors thought she had arthritis).

She had a colonoscopy yesterday and the doctor discovered that she has diverticulosis (probably from the fact that all the fiber she eats is not digested properly) and a hernia in the upper portion of her stomach (forgot what it's called...) probably from all the straining she has to do when she has a bm.

My mom recently is becoming more and more incontinent and can barely eat antyhing. She also developed a fever after the colonoscopy and the doctor told her to simply take tylenol.

She has a lot of history:

She had tuberculosis, bronchitis (several times), hepatitis type a, and an apendectomy when she was a child. She was in labor for a very long time when she gave birth to me (over 12 hours, the doctor said she didn't need a c-section...). She has also had several urinary tract infections.

I think that all the stuff found by the colonoscopy is caused by the diarrhea. We don't know what is causing the diarrhea though...

A friend of hers (who was a nurse) thinks she may have Chron's disease. I read up on it and her symptoms seem to fit. I dunno what to do. I'm sick too (will eleaborate once I find out what's wrong with her...).

My mom has seen several doctors over the years. She keeps getting referred and doing all these tests and they never find out what's wrong with her. The doctor who did her colonoscopy wouldn't even come see her after the procedure. Does anybody know any good doctors near Washington DC?

Also, if that blaze person posts about being sensitive to emf's or w/e in this thread, I'll be seriously *****d. Stop feeding off of other's fears. Just ignore him from now on. He's probably a troll from 4chan. While trolling is fun, doing it in a forum like this is plain immoral.

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22 Replies:

  • For some reason the edit button wouldn't show up for me again but I forgot to mention that she tested positive for H pylori and she took the prev pack. While on it she was fine but once she was off the prev pack her symptoms returned.
    thesage 10 Replies
    • February 24, 2009
    • 09:25 PM
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  • Okay, I've read your posting. Initially, I would be concerned whether your mother has diverticulitis rather than diverticulosis, the latter being quite common in persons 50 years of age and older. Diverticulitis, by contrast, is a disease wherein the diverticuli become inflamed and sometimes infected, causing rather striking GI symptoms in the affected individual. The upper epigastric hernia is known as a hiatal hernia and more often occurs as a predisposition in some persons, although being overweight is a factor in many cases. You did make a comment that seemed contradictory and I would ask you to elaborate. You stated that you thought the hernia was subsequent to all the straining to perform a bowel movement and I would ask how this is occurring in the midst of what you are characterizing as profuse diarhhea that doesn't appear to consistent with straining of any type. Is she also experiencing bouts of constipation? There are a number of disorders that could account for your mother's symptoms but I would be surprised if she has Crohn's disease. There are medications to control the diarhhea and in the absence of identifying an underlying cause, her condition could be due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome but this would be a diagnosis of exclusion. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 25, 2009
    • 01:41 AM
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  • Okay, I've read your posting. Initially, I would be concerned whether your mother has diverticulitis rather than diverticulosis, the latter being quite common in persons 50 years of age and older. Diverticulitis, by contrast, is a disease wherein the diverticuli become inflamed and sometimes infected, causing rather striking GI symptoms in the affected individual. The doctor said she does not have Diverticulitis. He isn't really a credible source since he didn't even come to see her after the colonoscopy (the nurse told us what he found). I know that Diverticulosis is caused generally by a low fiber diet. My mom has more than enough fiber in her diet though (oatmeal for breakfast everyday, salads every night, a fruit for lunch). Both of my grandfathers had diabetes so she watches our diets. I think that her body is not being given enough time to absorb the fiber before it is passed, which is weird since she recently has started to gain weight.The last time she had a colonoscopy was 11 years ago. They found nothing wrong with her. She's currently 62. The upper epigastric hernia is known as a hiatal hernia and more often occurs as a predisposition in some persons, although being overweight is a factor in many cases. You did make a comment that seemed contradictory and I would ask you to elaborate. You stated that you thought the hernia was subsequent to all the straining to perform a bowel movement and I would ask how this is occurring in the midst of what you are characterizing as profuse diarhhea that doesn't appear to consistent with straining of any type. Is she also experiencing bouts of constipation?I'm sorry I didn't really explain this. She has diarrhea, not constipation. Her body is almost constantly pushing out whatever is in it. Sometimes she feels pain from this and I guessed that maybe her body is using so much force to push out stuff that she got a hernia from it. That's what I meant. She is not using any strain to push out her bms. It quite literally is flowing out of her... Sometimes she feels pain and all that is coming out of her is a mucus. Usually her bms are liquid and not hard at all. Before this she used to have regular bms. She did have a urinary tract infection before, but that cleared up. There are a number of disorders that could account for your mother's symptoms but I would be surprised if she has Crohn's disease. There are medications to control the diarhhea and in the absence of identifying an underlying cause, her condition could be due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome but this would be a diagnosis of exclusion. Best regards, J Cottle, MDThe reason I mentioned Chron's is that I read up on it after her friend suggested it. In the article I read that in some severe cases one can experience bowel movements nearly 20 times a day, which is what happened to my mother... It also mentioned having a high C-reactive protein, another one of her symptoms, and joint pain (which she started experiencing recently). It just seemed to fit... I dunno, I'm not a doctor (though I do plan to become one...) and the ones in my area are barely doing anything for her (it took her 4 years to find someone who would treat her uti that wasn't something to do with shocking her with electricity).Thank you for your time Doctor. Sorry if I come off brash, I'm just frustrated how doctors have treated my family over the last couple of years (a doctor's laziness let my grandmother's benign tumor in her adrenal gland which caused her high blood pressure to become malignant even though we asked for it to be removed).@blaze: My mother is not losing weight from the diarrhea, she in fact has started to gain weight despite the fact she hardly holds anything down and used to excercise regularly before her symptoms started showing up (she started skipping lunch since the resulting bms would not let her work at all). My mom also does not use cell phones that much or live near a cell phone tower... This is the last time I'm responding to you so do not bother replying.
    thesage 10 Replies
    • February 25, 2009
    • 04:28 AM
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  • Have they ruled out all the common GI infections like shigella, salmonella, campylobacter, yersinia etc?
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • February 25, 2009
    • 08:35 PM
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  • What I mean is that these infections are known to sometimes cause reactive arthritis. I am so sorry that you have had such bad experience with doctors. I am glad that you plan to become a doctor.yourself We need doctors who have personal experience of health care. I think, it makes you a better doctor. :) Can I ask, was the tumor which was missed in your grandma a pheochromocytoma?
    Felsen 510 Replies
    • February 25, 2009
    • 10:59 PM
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  • Hi, I am not a doctor and not going to give you any advice. I am just so sorry to hear that about your mom. I hope you will find out what kind of diarrhea it is and she get well soon. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 26, 2009
    • 02:32 PM
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  • I wonder if you have copies of any lab tests that were performed and would consider posting those on the forum, taking care to first redact any identifying information. If I can get a better look at her overall lab values, I might be able to provide better direction. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 01:16 AM
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  • Here are my mom's blood test readings from August 2008:ferritin 78hemoglobin A1C 5.4cholesterol 118triglycerides 75HDL 33LDL 70cholesterol ratio 3.6magnesium 2.3T3, free 410T4, free 1.4TSH 3.04creatinine 155CRP 2.8Thank you so much for your help!!!
    thesage 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • I,too,am sorry for your experience with doctors.I think that in this high-tech age many doctors forget that it's a human being they're working on.They themselves have often devolved into human''doings'' rather than human beings,and that's bad for everyone.Now,about her diarrhea,has she had any stool cultures,any stool swabs for WBC's,any tests to see if her diarrhea is osmotic or secretory,any stools for ova and parasites?If not,it's time to change doctors.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • I forgot to ask if she'd has a Sudan stain of her stool,too.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • Also,be sure they checked her colon biopsies for microscopic colitis.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • Complications of Crohn’s Disease

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  • Blaze,you have no defense this time.This person specifically asked you not to intrude,but you forged ahead.What about ''no'' do you not get?A lot of people are seriously tired of your crap,so why don't you spend more time washing your hands and less on here?
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • Just ignore blaze. Don't bother responding to him anymore in any threads. Please, drop the subject for the rest of the thread. Just add him to your ignore list.In order to stay on topic, I forgot to mention that the doctor wrote that my mom has gastritis.I don't know if they checked for those things. It would've been great had her doctor actually communicated with her about what he did to her...The tumor missed on my grandmother was on her adrenal gland.
    thesage 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • I don't know if they checked for those things. It would've been great had her doctor actually communicated with her about what he did to her... . I dont know what goes on in your country but where I are (in Australia) one has a legal right to request and get a copy of ones own medical file including all the tests and test results ones had. Maybe it is the same where you are, and your mother could request it copied for her?
    taniaaust1 2267 Replies Flag this Response
  • Either get copies of her lab tests or copy down what I wrote and demand that the tests be done.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • The doctor's office called yesterday and said she had a really bad infection. He put her on the prev pack. She still hasn't gotten it though since his staff/him is too lazy to call the pharmacy to get her the prescription. Ironically this guy was in this 100 top doctors list in the Washingtonian. Lol.She was put on the prev pack before and, though she felt cured while she was on it, the minute her prescription ran out she got sick again. What should we do if the prev pack isn't enough again this time? I don't want the virus to become Immune to it and it's not good for her to take strong antibiotics for a really long time... I'll try to get all those tests done, but it's hard to make an appointment and my mom works a lot, it'll take some time. Honestly, I think it's sorta dumb that they had to do a colonoscopy to give her the same medication she had before...I'm not sure if it's legally required that doctor's give you your medical records here since sometimes they charge a "copying" fee (which is ludicrous). I mean, can they not give you your records if you can't pay that fee?
    thesage 10 Replies Flag this Response
  • The doctor's office called yesterday and said she had a really bad infection. He put her on the prev pack. She still hasn't gotten it though since his staff/him is too lazy to call the pharmacy to get her the prescription. Ironically this guy was in this 100 top doctors list in the Washingtonian. Lol. She was put on the prev pack before and, though she felt cured while she was on it, the minute her prescription ran out she got sick again. What should we do if the prev pack isn't enough again this time? I don't want the virus to become Immune to it and it's not good for her to take strong antibiotics for a really long time... I'll try to get all those tests done, but it's hard to make an appointment and my mom works a lot, it'll take some time. Honestly, I think it's sorta dumb that they had to do a colonoscopy to give her the same medication she had before... I'm not sure if it's legally required that doctor's give you your medical records here since sometimes they charge a "copying" fee (which is ludicrous). I mean, can they not give you your records if you can't pay that fee? It doesn't explain the muscle pain, but that could be unrelated. Could is the key word. It does completely explain the diarreah however. The question is, is she on any antibiotics. The other thing is has she been tested for it? It's a long shot cause the colonoscopy should have picked it up. However you say the doctor didn't really pay attention so maybe it was neglegence. Has she had a stool sample to check for this?
    davidmt1 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • After so many tests and still no results have you considered alternative therapies ? It's a long shot but anythings worth a try when you get to this stage. I hope you find the answers and soon, not knowing and being in so much pain is not nice at all. Best wishesSamantha http://www.undiagnosedillness.org
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • What is a prev pack?
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
  • Never mind,I found it.You keep her on it is what you do until she no longer needs it.
    richard wayne2b 1232 Replies Flag this Response
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