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do you look before you flush?!

(4 Posts)
isitnearlytime Tue 04-Mar-14 14:57:59

Sorry for the tmi question!

I never used to make a point of looking before flushing after a #2. Then I developed health anxiety relating to bowel cancer and went to the other extreme examining every poo in detail! I got thoroughly checked out which involved having a colonoscopy and was told I was fine. However I carried on checking for a while afterwards and developed a new anxiety that maybe the colonoscopy had missed something. A few weeks ago I decided the only way to stop the anxiety was to stop looking so I now throw down enough paper before turning round to flush that there's nothing to see! I do still check the toilet paper after wiping but that's more to ensure I'm all clean. I know it's advisable to look in case there's signs of disease but presumably as I've been given a clean bill of health I'm safe not to peek for the foreseeable future?!

Just wondered if it's the norm to look/not look - never gave it a thought in the past!

struggling100 Tue 04-Mar-14 17:08:25

I do think you are probably worrying unnecessarily: you sound very nervous about this particular condition. Is there a reason for this? For instance, do you know someone else who has had this disease, or have you read something worrying about it in the press? I wonder if you would benefit from chatting to your GP about how anxious you feel over this, pointing out that you know it's not really completely rational?

I do think it's wise to keep an eye out for the symptoms of bowel cancer, especially if you are over 50. A colonoscopy isn't 100% - no screening test is. HOWEVER, that does not mean that you should worry unduly about this or obsess over dissecting every poo! Do remember that anxiety itself does all kinds of damage, so the more you can limit its effects, the better. Just have a quick check, and be aware of any changes to your normal habits.

GobblersKnob Thu 06-Mar-14 06:59:15

From someone who has lost ten years of my life to health anxiety, I would say your system of not checking is an excellent one and to carry on.

Health anxiety is a horrible thing though and please be aware that you are extremely likely to start obsessing about another illness.

Cbt is an excellent way to learn to cope and you can ask your gp for a referral. In the meantime there is a book called The Happiness Trap, by Russ Harris, that I would highly recommend.

isitnearlytime Thu 06-Mar-14 08:49:16

Thank you for that. The other post that said I should still check as a colonoscopy is not 100% did worry me a bit. I know no test can be 100% but I was led to believe colonoscopy is pretty close and is the gold standard. I believe I can still look out for bowel cancer signs without actually looking at my poo - except blood & wierd colour which I guess I would see on the paper. I had the colonoscopy privately as I was worried about bc as my dad had it even though I had no red flag symptoms. They did it to check for polyps - none found.

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