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Worried- bowel problems

(85 Posts)
IsThisValidEnough Fri 10-May-19 20:43:53

My husband has, for about 5 weeks, been passing a lot of blood 3 or 4 times a day. He went to the doctor after a week of it and she did an examination with her finger and could find nothing wrong so gave him some cream. It made no difference so he was given pessaries for piles. This eased his symptoms but, after a weeks worth, still no better. He has a blood test on Tuesday, to test for anaemia, gluten intolerance and inflammation of the bowels. She wants to test for these first. If they come back clear then it will be a look at the hospital.

He is so miserable and utterly terrified it is cancer. He is early 30s. It is really affecting him as he is having to rush to the loo.

I've happened to read my magazine tonight and it was full of bowel cancer stuff and now I am suddenly absolutely terrified too.

Can anyone shed any light on what else it could be? We have had such a shit year I don't think we can survive much else.

OP’s posts: |
MissConductUS Fri 10-May-19 21:15:38

It sounds more like ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Bleeding and urgency are common symptoms of both. Colorectal cancer would be very unusual at his age. 91% of patients are over 50 at diagnosis"

coloncancercoalition.org/get-educated/what-you-need-to-know/colon-cancer-facts/

He really needs to have a colonoscopy done to find out what's going on.

I have ulcerative colitis and as I've had it for more than 10 years my risk of colorectal cancer has started to increase. Those cancers typically develop over a long period of time.

Haworthia Fri 10-May-19 21:18:22

Definitely push for a colonoscopy.

It is rare to get bowel cancer so young, but I follow two women with incurable bowel cancer who were diagnosed before 30 and 35 respectively. They both promote a campaign called Never Too Young trying to raise awareness of bowel cancer in younger people.

IsThisValidEnough Fri 10-May-19 21:52:55

Thanks both, the doctor is very good and has already said she will quickly refer for colonoscopy, just wants to do some blood tests first. None of the other options sound good either, sounds like hell. It's dawning that this isn't going to be easy, whatever he has.

OP’s posts: |
WeeDangerousSpike Fri 10-May-19 21:56:42

Agree with Miss that the urgency with blood sounds like colitis or crohns. I have colitis too, and while it's not something I'd wish on anyone, it's not cancer.

The inflammation blood test will indicate if it's one of those.

Best of luck flowers

HitthefloorforTaintedLove Fri 10-May-19 21:59:19

Another saying to ensure he has a colonoscopy.

Whatever is going on it's not normal to be losing so much blood.
Sincerely hoping that this then results in appropriate treatment and him feeling much better.

My DH is older than yours but yes has had bowel cancer so I can understand how terrified you feel. Obviously I hope it's not the case and I stress it's not common to have it at 31, but it's not impossible which is why he needs to be tested properly.

I know all the coverage is scary, but recent bowel cancer awareness campaigns will hopefully save some lives.

Happy to answer questions here or by PM 💐

IsThisValidEnough Fri 10-May-19 22:05:54

So basically there isn't anything small that he could have? Nothing a round of antibiotics might fix? I'm grasping as straws. Thank you for sharing experiences thanks

OP’s posts: |
HitthefloorforTaintedLove Fri 10-May-19 22:49:57

I just am not familiar with the small things it could be (awful piles?) but whatever it turns out to be you'll get support here.

💐 for Miss and Wee, hope your symptoms are managed as well as possible.

TheNemesisOfLame Fri 10-May-19 22:57:33

I've had UC for years too.
It can be a pain in the arse - literally. But manageable with drugs and rarely impacts on everyday life unless I'm having a flare (maybe every 5 years or so - depends on stress levels).
It's also a good excuse to review diet and stress in your life- if that's something that might be an issue.
Good luck for your DH.

MissConductUS Sat 11-May-19 00:09:41

So basically there isn't anything small that he could have? Nothing a round of antibiotics might fix? I'm grasping as straws.

It's very unlikely. Any GI bleeding tells you something is amiss. The urgency is due to fecal matter coming in contact with an ulceration (that's what's likely bleeding), the colon experiencing the local equivalent of pain, and strongly contracting to expel the stool and stop irritating the ulceration.

The good news is that the medications that have become available in the last few years are excellent, unlike the almost useless ones I started with 16 years ago. I've been in full remission for 18 months on a medication called Entyvio. I have to get it infused every 8 weeks but it's a bloody miracle drug.

tryingtobebetterallthetime Sat 11-May-19 00:20:16

Another vote for push for a colonoscopy. Bleeding like that is one the first signs I had ulcerative colitis 35 years ago. At that time, it came and went. I was scared, embarrassed, and generally in denial. I didn't get medical help until I really could not function at work I was in the bathroom so much with urgency, pain, and bleeding. Up to 20 times a day.

Nowadays treatments are so much better, and the approach is to treat more aggressively early on. Entyvio is a game changer for many, including me.

Push for a diagnosis. There are treatments that can really help. I find that if I let a flare up go too long, it is harder to get under control.

It might not be colitis and there may be a simple solution, but knowledge is power.

Best of luck!

tryingtobebetterallthetime Sat 11-May-19 00:21:44

Forgot this. I was diagnosed right around my early 30s.

INeedNewShoes Sat 11-May-19 00:33:01

I have ulcerative colitis, diagnosed in my late twenties. The first year or so was difficult as frequency saw me in the bathroom an average of 20-30 times a day, mostly first thing in the morning. I felt pants due to this and blood loss but it was never quite bad enough for me to have to take time off work (if I was particularly attached to the bathroom one day I would work from home). I actually quite quickly adapted to the practical considerations with this.

My consultant was brilliant and kept me calm while we tried various drugs on each step of the treatment ladder. Eventually after two years, once I'd started immunosuppressants things started to improve and I was eventually symptomless. There are treatments higher up the ladder than these which I'm happy to know are there if I flare again.

I'd advise against Googling. There are some extreme stories out there which aren't representative of average cases of these diseases.

IsThisValidEnough Sat 11-May-19 06:17:53

Thank you all, I'm not a bury my head in the sand person. It took a lot of nagging to get my husband to go to the doctors but I am so glad he did. I've had a good cry now. I feel bad feeling sorry for myself when he is going through it but he is terrible with illness. A cough or a cold floors him, he is a such delicate kind of person I can't imagine him surviving anything remotely serious.

I wish I was the one going through it because then I know I would cope.

Thank you for your honesty, blood test and stool sample is Tuesday. I hope results don't take too long.

OP’s posts: |
PanickingDriver Sat 11-May-19 07:06:59

Does he have a family history of early onset cancer (especially bowel)?

I think quite often the younger cases are associated with genetic syndromes like Lynch, so if this doesn't seem likely then cancer is very unlikely at his age but I would push for a colonoscopy to check for everything mentioned above.

jcq17 Sat 11-May-19 07:08:12

This needs an urgent 14 day referral not bloody pile cream. Some doctors 🤦🏼‍♀️

jcq17 Sat 11-May-19 07:08:37

Least of all to put his mind at ease!

iVampire Sat 11-May-19 07:24:31

There are several other possible and way less scary diagnoses - such as diverticulosis, maybe polyps (though they only bleed occasionally), rare parasite

When I was referred, GP made a hospital appointment request, and ordered blood/stool tests on the spot, so I was all set to see someone from the GI team, with test results available to them, within a fortnight,

As GP has examined rectum, then it seems your DH does have piles (a doctor is really quite unlikely to get that wrong when they have had s look and a feel). They have not responded to treatment, so he’s referred. It could be unusually stubborn piles, piles plus something else (giardia?) or an inflammatory condition.

Has he got his hospital appointment yet? Will he be seen by gastric team, or can it go straight to colonoscopy booking?

chainmail Sat 11-May-19 07:35:55

While you are waiting for the tests, have a look at the FODMAP diet so he's not eating foods that are known to aggravate the bowel https://youtu.be/Z_1Hzl9o5ic

Runningintothesunset Sat 11-May-19 07:41:43

OP - I have Crohn’s if you want to pm me. He definitely needs a colonoscopy and then hopefully things will be clearer.

If, and I repeat if, it’s UC or Crohn’s then they are both a huge spectrum of diseases. Think of allergies, you have people who get a bit of a rash all the way to instant anaphylaxis. Most people with both diseases get to live normal lives, albeit with some adjustment occasionally.

IsThisValidEnough Sat 11-May-19 07:55:22

When he first went, she did put her finger up his bum and said she "thought" she could feel a small pile. She wasn't 100% though. It was another doctor who said the cream she gave him wouldn't cure the pile, just reduce the symptoms. That doctor then gave him the suppositories. My husband felt much much more comfortable while using them and used them 3 times a day for the full course (around a week). They stopped helping after a couple of days though. Then he went back, she did not re-examine him but referred him for blood tests to rule out some things. She said she would refer or a colonoscopy after the results.

My husband is NC with his family. He remembers his sister had IBS but hasn't seen her for 10years or anybody else so genetics will remain unknown.

OP’s posts: |
MissConductUS Sat 11-May-19 09:47:09

Thank you for your honesty, blood test and stool sample is Tuesday. I hope results don't take too long.

Unfortunately, those tests are really not going to tell you much. The blood test will be for CRP (C reactive protein), which just tells you there is inflammation happening somewhere in the body. The stool test will be for a bacteria called c diff, which can produce similar symptoms.

You really won't know what's happening until the colonoscopy, unless the stool shows c diff infection.

weAllSingAlongLikeBefore Sat 11-May-19 09:50:04

Yes I think we both accept that he will need a hospital visit regardless of the blood results. Poor DH is almost in tears today but is grateful it doesn't cause him pain. I am also being a wuss

Ellabella989 Sat 11-May-19 09:54:15

It could be internal piles. My DP had these a while ago and would bleed when going to the toilet. After a colonoscopy it was shown to just be internal piles that they treated there and then. He’s been fine ever since.
Has he lost weight at all and is he very fatigued? I think it’s very rare to get bowel cancer at such a young age so hopefully it’s nothing sinister like that but he should def have a colonoscopy to rule everything out

weAllSingAlongLikeBefore Sat 11-May-19 10:03:17

He has no pain and hasn't lost weight or tired so that is positive. Yes perhaps internal piles. I will ask him to push hard for a hospital trip on Tuesday

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