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Urgent referral to gastroenterologist(14 Posts)
I posted last week about some noticeable changes to my bowel habits and received some good reassurance. I've been to my GP today and I'm now really frightened.
I'm 38 and for the last couple of months have had a noticeable change in my bowel habits. I've been having looser, more frequent stools. Each morning now, like clockwork, I will need to go and it is usually loose. I'm also having abdominal cramping and a specific pain under my ribs on my right side. There has been no blood that I can see.
Some family background: my mom, her sister and two of my cousins on that side of the family all have ulcerative colitis.
The doctor examined my stomach and did a rectal exam and confirmed I have piles. He then said he was referring me to a gastroenterologist urgently. He tried to do it under the 2 week wait referall but I'm too young so it's just an urgent referral.
I'm now absolutely terrified that this is bowel cancer. I have terrible health anxiety anyway and this is just pushing all of my buttons. I was expecting him to maybe refer me, but I wasn't prepared for it to be seen as urgent. I asked for reassurance and he just shrugged and said I have some symptoms of it but that I don't fit the profile as I'm under 40 (just!). He also said they would be looking for colitis at this point.
So I have to wait and see but I'm in an awful state and so scared that this might be the beginnings of something terrible. I don't smoke, have a good (vegan) diet and am fairly fit. Can anyone offer me any reassurance or experience? I just cannot cope with the thought of living with this hanging over me for some weeks to come.
Thanks in advance.
@BonnieBlueButler I have recently been referred to for change in bowel habits, going from constipation to loose, stomach ache, pain in left side and bloating .
My GP referred me as non urgent both she and consultant said statically I'm too young 38 but it does happen . So I'm awaiting an appointment for a CT and colonoscopy .
Have a history of crohns, diverticulitis and bowel cancer in my family.
I really hope your appointment comes through quickly
Thank you VLCos.
I think you replied to my last post. It's really kind of you to reply again.
It's the urgency that has frightened me. I don't really understand why as I don't really tick any of the red flag boxes. I'm now concerned that he felt something during the examination that he didn't tell me about. Is this major paranoia?
I was worried before but my symptoms weren't really severe. I'm really scared now!
Yes,I am waiting for a Colonoscopy as I have been suffering stomach pains which last days/weeks at a time.
When all this started(dec) I also had indigestion and back ache-the GP sent me for a Endoscopy on the 2 week referral and told me that Cancer was on her list of possible things wrong so I know how you may be feeling now.(everything came back fine)
I am still anxious now,some days I will go twice/three times a day other days not at all so mine is more constipation than loose.
It is hard not to read too much onto things and google did not help-in fact it is what set me on to the Cancer thing in the first place.
I had to keep going back to the Docs and pushing for more tests-I just want to be certain.
I am 39 to and to be told cannot do certain tests etc as under 40 does NOT offer any reassurance at all does it?
Just to add I think they sent me under the 2 week wait for ME-because I was so obviously anxious and even said to the GP that I could not bear to wait 6 weeks!
Maybe this is the case for you also?
Easier said than done-I know-but try not to worry and at least you are getting seen now.
@BonnieBlueButler I am sure if he felt something he would have said. He could have reassured you a bit. Perhaps because of your family history this is why he's pushed it . Because colitis can be damaging itself.
My GP said the same about age saying I don't quite fit a 2 week referral . I think it should be at there discretion.
Me and @charliebear78 and you are all similar age with similar concerns so they should take any age seriously .
The rush first thing in the morning is also consistent with IBS, its a very common symptom along with stomach cramps. It could be one of many things, hopefully you will not have to wait too long.
Thank you all for your good wishes. I do think it was the family history that made him refer so quickly. It was just his blase manner in saying it wsa urgent.
VLCos do you mind me asking how quickly your referral came through? And I assume that is just a consultation and any further tests need to be waited for again?
The GP also casually asked me if I'd like to do a blood test. I wasn't sure so said yes but now I'm terrified of getting it done. If it comes back that I'm anemic I will panic and assume the worst.
Hi @BonnieBlueButler it was taking a month for my initial consultation but went on the NHS booking site and decided to travel further so got an appointment within two weeks.
That was with a consultant he said he wanted to do both CT and colonoscopy . I had to have a blood test to check renal function and then I can book CT next week. He said appointment for colonoscopy should come within 2-3 weeks. It's been a week.
If I don't hear next week I'll ring his secretary to chase up.
If I google I have everything apart from blood. Your doctors beside manner sounds awful. The consultant was lovely and he said we have to rule everything out but said it in a nice way.
I think consultant have the power to get the tests done as quick as they want of they are worried.
I had a sample tested for blood which was negative , had a test I'm not anaemic but low ferritin.
The waiting is so bad as you imagine everything .
I really hope your appointment comes through soon. I'm always here if you want to chat :-)
These symptoms are also found in gall bladder issues. Pain under your right rib especially. My friends sister had her gall bladder out, her only symptom was long term loose stools.
It's most likely everything will be fine, but always good to check. Even in the hugely unlikely case it is bowel cancer, it is very treatable if caught in early stages
Thank you all. I don't seem to have fever but it's interesting to see the symptoms are similar to gall bladder problems.
Can I ask you honestly whether you think a GP would withhold information if they found something in a physical exam? I'm aware of how paranoid this sounds but after the rectal examination which confirmed piles the doctor then said about it being an urgent referral. Do you think he felt something? Would he say if so? It's just that from everything I've read, I'm confused by the urgency.
I really do appreciate the comments and support. My health anxiety is out of control and I'm really frightened by all of this. I'm finding it very difficult to function. I'm so cross at myself for the state I'm in.
Actually just to add I was diagnosed with gallstones and was having the bowel issues. My GP said gallstones don't effect the bowel hence he thought I needed further investigation :-/
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