Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

severe abdominal pain, loose stool

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 17 Replies
  • Posted By: AKawai
  • December 11, 2006
  • 03:32 PM

My symptoms are as follows: Diarrhea, severe abdominal pain (can be upper and/or lower), relief of pain when completely empty, going to the restroom doesn't always alleviate pain, skin rashes always coming right before my bouts (left arm and waistline), unexplained chills right before bouts (sometimes). I also get blood in my stool possibly from rectal bleeding from pushing too hard, but it is hard to tell.

These bouts last for about 2-6 weeks, and there is no relief. I usually go to the restroom about 6-15 times in the morning before I stabilize. From there, if I need to go to work, I have to time my next meal so that I will not have pains until I am off of work. These bouts come 2-4 months apart, and happen 3-5 times a year. All OTC diarrhea medications have no effect.

I went to several doctors. I was tested for giardra, gastroenteritis, etc. and came out negative for everything involving bacteria, fungii etc. Just to be safe, the doctor put me on Cipro for 15 days, which had no effect. The next few times I had a bout, I also developed a perirectal abscess which had to be cut. CT scans came back normal. My blood count showed that I was very slightly anemic. A colonoscopy turned up normal, but I could not 100% complete the procedure because I moved about while sedated. Upon being told I cold be allergic to something in my diet, I went on a diet of white rice and white rice pooridge for about a month but I had the runs anyway.

A few things seem to precede my bouts which may or may not be coincidence: Changes in smoking habits (quitting or starting again), ingestion of ibuprofen seems to really aggravate my system, drinking anything stronger than beer sometimes does it, and eating more vegetables.

I have a feeling it is Crohn's and have told doctor's this repeatedly. However, with my clear colonoscopy, they are reluctant to diagnose it so that I may try some treatment options. These bouts only started about two years ago, although as I think about it now in retrospect, I've had bouts of abdominal pain without diarrhea since about 5 years ago. The unexplained rashes on my arm and my waistline occur almost every time I have a bout now, and the first time I got the same rash on my left arm and waistline was possibly 10 or more years ago.

I did binge drink for a while, 5-8 years back, which leads me to think that this may be related to alcohol related damage, though it could be completely unrelated also. Right now I take no medications except prilosec on and off for heartburn that comes and goes (especially with coffee). I also don't drink rarely and small quantities if I do. I smoke about 0-3 cigarettes per day.

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17 Replies:

  • I would normally think a dietary cause too, but if you literally ate nothing but rice for a month with no improvement, that pretty much answers that! Well, then again, rice pooridge is pretty high in fiber. Did you continue to have pain? Or just running to the bathroom 3-5 times a day? This was probably a lot more fiber than your diet was used to, this could cause continuation of some symptoms. If the pain changed at all, the food intolerence should be studied further. Food intolerence could cause the abcess, or it could be a result of the damaged intestine. It could have caused what has happened, or it could be a symptom of it. Did you continue taking your pills during this test period? Ironically, pills are usually made of corn and/or wheat gluten, two of the most commonly offending foods. Have you discussed the alchohol thing with your doctor? It sounds like the best contender. Binge anything isn't good for the body, and the digestive system often bears the brunt of it. From there, it can spread out as vitamin and mineral difficiencies set in - hormones go out of whack, blood sugar and insulin levels roller-coaster around, etc..Pills, caffeine, alchohol, milk, acidic foods & drinks could all further aggrevate a intestine hurt from alchohol.
    Azaral 152 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 04:03 PM
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  • I grew up eating white rice and tons of it with no problems. The fiber could be a cause still. I doubt I have allergies to other things because I remained sick after prolonged eating of just rice porridge. The pain and the runs were still there. I thought fatty foods were bad, and then one time my symptoms coincidentally disappeared after eating a burger and fries. There were times that I would eat junk food and my symptoms would appear as well as times when I was avoiding all caffeine, smoking, all junk food, acidic drinks, milk, cheese, etc and still had a bout. The only consistent thing that seems to hurt me is ibuprofen, hard alcohol, caffeine when my problems start, and too much sugary drinks (especially soda). I'm not surprised though, because I read somewhere that caffein and fructose have a laxative effect. I don't know what to think of ibuprofen, but I avoid it and take acetominophen. I rarely take pills though, and when I do, it's the occasional acetominophen, or aspirin. Someone suggested vitamins after my problems started, but they didn't help nor hurt, so I stopped taking them. Usually when my problems start, I drink gatorade once a week to keep some ions in me. Fibery foods do seem to hurt me, although I'm not as certain with this one. Regarding alcohol, the doctor told me he really doubts that this could be the cause, but he had my pancreas checked out, and it was fine. I still think it could be an issue but am not sure. I don't drink at all anymore, but have bouts anyways. I don't know if I mentioned this, but usually before my digestive problems start, I get a rash around my stomach and my left arm. On two occasions, but not every time, I have gotten chills (with a regular temperature) and the rashes a few days prior to my digestive problems. I was wondering, if I did have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, and I was still in the early stages, would the doctors be able to see damage via a colonoscopy if I get one several months after my last 'flare up'? Usually what happens is I schedule an appointment for a general practitioner and they have to refer me to the GI specialist who is booked for months, and I get a referal to get a colonoscopy from him. Usually when I finally get a colonoscopy, it could be months by which time I feel no pain. To be concise, I was wondering if anyone knew whether or not ulcerative colitis or Crohn's is properly diagnosable in the early stages during a non-flare up period. If not, when would a doctor be able to see cumulative damage?
    AKawai 2 Replies
    • December 21, 2006
    • 02:00 PM
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  • My sister has many of your symptoms, and it's ulcerative colitis.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 25, 2006
    • 10:07 PM
    • 0
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  • When you exhaust yourself with testing and you think you want to try it, I suggest anxiety. This may sound rediculous but I had it for 15 years, same symptoms a million tests and no one diagnosed me. Until I was 12 hours away from being cut open the next morning. They sent in a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me in 1 hour. Antidepressants control a nerve that controls diarrhea. Believe me when I say, it saved my life. I hope you give it some thought. Even my MD, colon Dr. everyone for that matter kept saying it wasn't my nerves. I got a miracle, I hope you do to.
    jcjjjs 14 Replies
    • December 27, 2006
    • 01:26 AM
    • 0
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  • I have many of your symptoms and it's Crohn's DiseaseI have a feeling it is Crohn's and have told doctor's this repeatedly. However, with my clear colonoscopy, they are reluctant to diagnose it so that I may try some treatment options In my case colonoscopy shows nothing in remission period (after treatment with Salofalk (Rowasa) enemas), but colonoscopy shows aphtoes on exacerbation period. You should consult with experienced doctor. To be sure it is not Crohn's try to find another gastroenterologist via Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. HealthCareBase http://www.healthcarebase.com/crohns-disease.php
    patricii 2 Replies
    • January 3, 2007
    • 01:08 AM
    • 0
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  • When you say you were tested for giardia and such, did they do a comprehensive stool exam where you collected your stool over a 3 day period? Did you have your stool tested while you had your outbreak or on a normal day? Were you tested for c. dificile bacteria? Many doctors do not test this and it needs to be specified when doing a comprehensive stool exam... C. Dificile is a horrible bacterial infection directly caused by certain antibiotics. It causes pseudomembraneous ulcerative colitis. Unfortunately, the Western treatment for this disease is MORE ANTIBIOTICS! I had this and thought I was going to die having severe diarrhea with a "cold to the bone" feeling. It's worth testing for and doing another stool culture. C. Dificile can become "dormant" and the spores stay in your body, causing flare ups. I went to an acupuncturist who was an expert Chinese herbalist and my symptoms improved dramatically after 2 weeks with yucky tasting herbs. I recommend finding an acupuncturist who is also trained and licensed in Chinese Herbal Medicine. I have since become an acupuncturist myself and have successfully treated conditions like you have described. To find an acupuncturist near you please go to www.acufinder.com and type in your zip code. Please give this a try I believe it will really help you. Hope you find this helpful.Doctor of Oriental Medicine
    acuann 3080 Replies
    • January 3, 2007
    • 01:54 AM
    • 0
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  • All tests for infectious agents were done at a time when I was ill. I was put on aerobic and anaerobic antibiotics at the same time while I had the runs. I have also been put on metrodiazole for an abcess (when I also had the runs), which would have eradicated any c. dificile. The metrodiazole did help with prevention of reinfection (for the abcess) but did not help with the runs at all. I tried the most comprehensive tests for disease causing agents, and came back negative serveral times, so I think there is a very very small probability that this could be the cause of my problems. Also, I have tried powdered lactobacillus probiotics that when I first started taking seemed to stop my runs, but the next time I got the runs, I took it and my runs continued for weeks, so I can only conclude that the first time it seemed to work was merely coincidence (or at best, it only slightly helped the situation).Thank you for your input though. I will ask my doctor if there are other more comprehensive tests or if there are other infectious agents that I should be tested for. As for anxiety, I do not feel anxious, but if I ever do get colonoscopies during a flare up period and nothing shows, I will have to take this into more serious consideration. Flareups have occurred during times of break and relaxation as well as during times of high stress, so there is little reason for me to suspect psychosomatic illness. There is also a lot of blood in the stool during flareups, which could only be consistent with anxiety if the bleeding were from pushing too hard, but at the same time the blood looks slightly darker. The doctors could not make heads or tails of my bleeding, and confirmed what I though (it could be from inflammation, but could also be from pushing too hard-- which this disease makes me do sometimes). I will look into anxiety and IBS if I get several clear colonoscopies during flareups. Thank you for your input. From here on out, I will just wait for another flare-up to try to get an immediate colonoscopy. patricii and "unregistered"-- Thank you. I have a very strong feeling that I have UC or Crohn's. As I understand, except for inflammation/damage characteristics via colonoscopy, these two disease share so many symptoms that I have a feeling it will be a long way before getting a diagnosis of one or the other. patricii-- How were you able to get your initial diagnosis if you don't mind me asking. Were you able to get a colonoscopy during a "flare-up" period? Thanks all. I guess the best I can do is try to get speedier service the next time I get a bout of the runs.
    AKawai 2 Replies
    • January 6, 2007
    • 02:27 PM
    • 0
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  • Ewwwww Rice is very acidic, impoverish when bleach and it is the number one cause of allergies in Asia. When your tummy is sick ( and if it has permeability)- it starts building antibodies again the foods you commonly eat.Please check this outhttp://www.thewolfeclinic.com/newsletter/newsletter0004.htmlUse http://whfoods.org/index.html to select a food that can help your condition.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 6, 2007
    • 02:42 PM
    • 0
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  • Have you been tested for coeliac disease? It may be a cause of diarrhea that does not respond to antibiotics or any common therapy.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 19, 2007
    • 10:17 AM
    • 0
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  • having read your tale of woe and sorrow i really do feel for you,so stop the booze and ciggy's as i'm just about to k, that will solve 3/4 s of your probs. funny thing is u know it
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Two suggestions I would like to make. Digestive enzymes is number one - you may be lacking - they tend to decrease as we get older and you would have likely done some damage to your pancreas during the binge drinking period. High quality multi-vitamin along with calcium, mag and essential fatty acids - Everytime your intestines are having problems, you're not absorbing nutrients. The mal-absorptive state will create a host of new problems. They call ill health a 'downward spiral' for good reason.lso, would like Also, I would like to agree with the suggestion for a celiac test.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Complications of Crohn’s Disease

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    mommy cat 1654 Replies Flag this Response
  • this is an old post, but i hope i can help. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is very common in about 15% of the population. 80% of the people diagnosed are female. this could be your issue. it is related to seretonin not being asborbed by the intestines. this is why anit-depressants help and why when the "anxious" person started taking them the symptoms went away. IBS is finally coming into the mainstream world and more and more studies are being done to help it. if there is mucus in your stool on a regular basis (there is always some mucus in diarehha - regardless of whether or not you have IBS, but more is present if you have it) then it would suggest IBS, especially is no certain food seems to be the culprit. ask your doc about this. blood tend to suggest some type of inflammatory bowel disease (such as Chron's), but it could also just be bleeding due to irritation from the requent BMs.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 8, 2009
    • 03:02 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Have the doctor check for C. Diff, i had it last year and sounds exactly the same and they couldnt diagnose it for several weeksMy symptoms are as follows: Diarrhea, severe abdominal pain (can be upper and/or lower), relief of pain when completely empty, going to the restroom doesn't always alleviate pain, skin rashes always coming right before my bouts (left arm and waistline), unexplained chills right before bouts (sometimes). I also get blood in my stool possibly from rectal bleeding from pushing too hard, but it is hard to tell. These bouts last for about 2-6 weeks, and there is no relief. I usually go to the restroom about 6-15 times in the morning before I stabilize. From there, if I need to go to work, I have to time my next meal so that I will not have pains until I am off of work. These bouts come 2-4 months apart, and happen 3-5 times a year. All OTC diarrhea medications have no effect. I went to several doctors. I was tested for giardra, gastroenteritis, etc. and came out negative for everything involving bacteria, fungii etc. Just to be safe, the doctor put me on Cipro for 15 days, which had no effect. The next few times I had a bout, I also developed a perirectal abscess which had to be cut. CT scans came back normal. My blood count showed that I was very slightly anemic. A colonoscopy turned up normal, but I could not 100% complete the procedure because I moved about while sedated. Upon being told I cold be allergic to something in my diet, I went on a diet of white rice and white rice pooridge for about a month but I had the runs anyway. A few things seem to precede my bouts which may or may not be coincidence: Changes in smoking habits (quitting or starting again), ingestion of ibuprofen seems to really aggravate my system, drinking anything stronger than beer sometimes does it, and eating more vegetables. I have a feeling it is Crohn's and have told doctor's this repeatedly. However, with my clear colonoscopy, they are reluctant to diagnose it so that I may try some treatment options. These bouts only started about two years ago, although as I think about it now in retrospect, I've had bouts of abdominal pain without diarrhea since about 5 years ago. The unexplained rashes on my arm and my waistline occur almost every time I have a bout now, and the first time I got the same rash on my left arm and waistline was possibly 10 or more years ago. I did binge drink for a while, 5-8 years back, which leads me to think that this may be related to alcohol related damage, though it could be completely unrelated also. Right now I take no medications except prilosec on and off for heartburn that comes and goes (especially with coffee). I also don't drink rarely and small quantities if I do. I smoke about 0-3 cigarettes per day.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 24, 2009
    • 02:36 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Celaic disease? Rash and bowl habits make sense. It is highly genetic. The lining of your stomach inflames when you eat anything containing gluten- like rice. http://www.aafp.org/afp/980301ap/pruessn.html The cure is a life long gluten free diet.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I grew up eating white rice and tons of it with no problems. The fiber could be a cause still. I doubt I have allergies to other things because I remained sick after prolonged eating of just rice porridge. The pain and the runs were still there. I thought fatty foods were bad, and then one time my symptoms coincidentally disappeared after eating a burger and fries. There were times that I would eat junk food and my symptoms would appear as well as times when I was avoiding all caffeine, smoking, all junk food, acidic drinks, milk, cheese, etc and still had a bout. The only consistent thing that seems to hurt me is ibuprofen, hard alcohol, caffeine when my problems start, and too much sugary drinks (especially soda). I'm not surprised though, because I read somewhere that caffein and fructose have a laxative effect. I don't know what to think of ibuprofen, but I avoid it and take acetominophen. I rarely take pills though, and when I do, it's the occasional acetominophen, or aspirin. Someone suggested vitamins after my problems started, but they didn't help nor hurt, so I stopped taking them. Usually when my problems start, I drink gatorade once a week to keep some ions in me. Fibery foods do seem to hurt me, although I'm not as certain with this one. Regarding alcohol, the doctor told me he really doubts that this could be the cause, but he had my pancreas checked out, and it was fine. I still think it could be an issue but am not sure. I don't drink at all anymore, but have bouts anyways. I don't know if I mentioned this, but usually before my digestive problems start, I get a rash around my stomach and my left arm. On two occasions, but not every time, I have gotten chills (with a regular temperature) and the rashes a few days prior to my digestive problems. I was wondering, if I did have ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, and I was still in the early stages, would the doctors be able to see damage via a colonoscopy if I get one several months after my last 'flare up'? Usually what happens is I schedule an appointment for a general practitioner and they have to refer me to the GI specialist who is booked for months, and I get a referal to get a colonoscopy from him. Usually when I finally get a colonoscopy, it could be months by which time I feel no pain. To be concise, I was wondering if anyone knew whether or not ulcerative colitis or Crohn's is properly diagnosable in the early stages during a non-flare up period. If not, when would a doctor be able to see cumulative damage?With the rash you may want to read up on Lyme disease
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • You know I've been dealing w/ something simliar for 8 yrs. now and Iv'e been tested for IBS, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, Chroans, Hormonal impalance, Thyroid, The whole endocrine ordeal, Done a colonoscopy/endoscopy, stool culture and the list goes on. Any never tested posotive for anything, actually I was told I have the most healthy looking inside they've ever seen, how amusing. I've been put on a gluten free diet, I've been put on a low fiber diet, I' ve been put on everything imaginable. And yet the abdominal cramps, loos bowels, running to the bathrrom 6x plus regardless of what I eat continues. Only difference is, literally it does what it wants. You see when I was 15-19 I expierenced this 6months straight and then 6months I didn't with a flare up here and there. Now from 20-22 It went from the 6months on/off too the whole you won't have diarrhea/loose bowels but you will pass "normal" stool 10x plus a day. And now finally age 23 it went from "normal stool" 10x plus a day too loose/diarrhea, painful cramping mimicing prior yrs. All now is to see if it'll last only 6months, And still no diagnosis, I'm "very healthy"
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 22, 2011
    • 06:30 AM
    • 0
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