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GI bleeding, fleshy mass in stool, has scleroderma. Done colonoscopy, micobes unidentified. What could it be?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2007
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My mother, 62 yrs old, 5'2" and 140 lbs, was recently released from the hospital after having a 'mystery' GI bleed and the passing of strange fleshy masses for a week. A colonoscopy revealed possible white patches of infection from the colon to the bottom of the stomach, but the pathologist and infectious disease doctors could not identify any microbes that might be causing the disease. In two days she had lost a pint of blood and continued to be down one pint even upon the day they released her. She was diagnosed with scleroderma, but no real answer on what this bleeding is caused from. She was still bleeding a little then, and now the bleeding has returned and she is becoming weak again. Further, she is now passing rather large masses that look fleshy but have a solid,waxy consistency, like a semi-hardened fat. The smell, both of the gas and her stools, is a cross between feces and rotted flesh. Why is this such a mystery, and what could it be?
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 50 minutes later

Thank you for the Query.

I would like to know few more things which would help me in suggesting you better:

1.) Is your Mother overweight?
2.) Does she smoke?
3.) Do you have any family history of colon cancer or colon polyps?
4.) Does she have abdominal pain?

Your mother's history suggests that she may be suffering from Colon Polyps which may later turn cancerous, hence she needs urgent evaluation by a Gastroenterologist and repeated colonoscopies to confirm it, so that necessary treatment could be initiated at the earliest before it is too late.

Your Doctor may examine the Polyps if they are adenomatous, inflammatory or hyperplastic. He/she may run few tests like

1.) CT Colonography
2.) Sigmoidoscopy
3.) Fecal Blood Tests
4.) Genetic Screening.

Once confirmed, the treatment involves,

1.) Endoscopic resection
2.) Polypectomy
3.) Proctocolectomy (Surgical removal of Colon and rectum)

The treatment depends upon the severity of the condition and your treating doctor will know better.

Let her follow these lifestyle modifications:

1.) Eat healthy nutritious balanced diet which should include fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables.

2.) Avoid smoking and alcohol if she does.

3.) Drink plenty of water and avoid stress.

4.) Practice relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.

5.) Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.

6.) Limit fat intake.

7.) Stick to her treatment plan and go for regular follow up.

Hope I have answered your Query, I will be available to answer your follow up Queries.

Wish your Mother Very Good Health.

Take Care.

Dr. Mohammed Tauseef.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: GI bleeding, fleshy mass in stool, has scleroderma. Done colonoscopy, micobes unidentified. What could it be? 21 hours later
Dr. Tauseef,

My mother is 140 lbs and 5'2", so I don't think she's overweight. She had the sixth colonoscopy in four years while she was hospitalized, and while they removed some polyps, they said they were non-cancerous. In the past she has had pre-cancerous polyps, but recent colonoscopies have come up benign. She quit smoking over 10 years ago. There has been no history of colon or rectal cancer in her family, and her pain seems to concentrate in the lower part of her stomach, on the left side below her ribs, and the lower colon near the vagina. She has had a hysterectomy so we know that this part can't be related to menstruation.

She continues to pass not only a lot of blood, but these thick, waxy, tissue-like masses. The pathologist and infectious disease specialist could not trace the infection or the bleeding to any bacteria, virus, or amoeba that they tested for, and during the colonoscopy the gastroenterologist could not find the site where the bleeding was coming from. While she has appointments with her primary care doctor and the infectious disease specialist and we are making arrangements for her to see a doctor specializing in scleroderma in Denver, I am hoping that you see something in this constellation of symptoms that seems familiar to you.
Answered by Dr. Mohammed Tauseef 58 minutes later

Thank you for Writing Back to me.

Systemic Sclerosis or Scleroderma affecting the Colon, that is large Intestine is known to cause symptoms like,

1.) Diarrhea
2.) Constipation
3.) Malabsorption.

Your Mother doesn't seem to have any Infectious Disease but a Auto Immune Disease where in the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue and is coming out every time she passes stools in the form of thick tissue mass. Take her to a Gastroenterologist first and then a Immunologist. She requires a Holistic approach for her condition to be treated.

Her treatment will Involve,

1.) Regular screening for Colon cancer by repeated Colonoscopies.
2.) Corticosteroids.
3.) Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs.
4.) Immune suppressing Medications.

Let her follow the advice which I have given earlier, stick to her treatment plan and go for regular follow up.

Kindly do not delay, and take her to her Doctor at the earliest.

I wish her Very Good health and All the Very Best.

Take Care.

Dr. Mohammed Tauseef.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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