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First, I Apologize If This Is A Bit Rambly And

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Posted on Mon, 22 Jun 2020
Question: First, I apologize if this is a bit rambly and perhaps gross. Im also sure stuff like this gets posted all the time but I have severe Health Anxiety and am desperate for some piece of mind. My GP has prescribed me anti-anxiety medication in the short term but I have not been feeling much better.


I have been struggling with ongoing loose stools for a while now. I was originally thinking it was my lactose intolerance as I ate dairy even though I knew I had it. However, recently I cut dairy for a bit. My symptoms ceased, but only shortly, and I then preceded to have looser stools again after a few days (albeit less loose than before). I also saw an unusual amount of undigested particles of food like fruits and vegetable skins. I should add that while I did cut dairy, my diet still consisted of a lot of fast food, just dairy free. I also thought I saw a small amount of red blood on my toilet paper around this time, but I thought maybe was being paranoid. It looked like extremely small specks of red-ish blood.


I was very paranoid for 4-5 days and would try to make myself go more often to so I could see if there was blood. I finally did see a very very small amount of light pink blood on the TP, but it could have been from wiping too much.


I went to my GP anyway to get looked at and they ran a quick test and did say that they found blood in my stool (I never actually saw any in the stool myself, only small amounts on the tp) and I have been stricken with a lot of anxiety since then. Im scheduled to see a GI next week but the anxiety is killing me atm. My GP said that it could have been my Lactose Intolerance causing irritation in my bowels, but I always had the understanding that LI did not cause bleeding of any sort. Ive made some dietary changes like including much more (particularly soluable) fiber and cutting out fast food almost entirely and my stools have been more formed and have had to go less often, for the most part. Mostly normal,solid stools with intermediate loose ones, usually shortly following the normal ones. I think that the the looser ones could have perhaps been caused by a soda that I drank with my food that same day.


Here is what is causing my anxiety even though, I believe deep down its irrational.

I read that colon cancer causes loose stools because your body sees the tumor as an obstruction that needs to be clear so it constantly funnels water in to try to clear it. Even thought I have been able to form more normal stools, I am having the recurring thought that I could just be overcompensating for my body producing water because of the cancer. That my body still is producing excess water because of the cancer to flush it out, but I am just eating so much soluble fiber that I am not always getting diarrhea despite the cancer. Therefore even though dietary changes have helped me drastically, I still don't feel better at all, mentally

I've had worst symptoms today, but I ate two Pop-tarts late last night which obviously includes a lot of sweeteners that I read can trigger IBS.


I should add that I am only 24 years old, of normal weight, and have no family history of bowel cancer or any type of cancer, in fact. I do drink a bit too much alcohol on average, however.

I doubt many will read this entire rambling mess but if you do I would greatly appreciate any piece of mind you could provide. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time for this.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (51 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
All you need is a colonoscopy test.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for choosing "Ask a Doctor" service for your query.
Have seen your details and I appreciate your concerns.
Firstly I would like to say that just calm down young chap. You need to calm down your nerves. G.I symptoms and anxiety are related to each other and very often these symptoms are worsened by anxiety.
So first thing you need to do is try to control your anxiety.
Initially you can try some breathing exercises,meditation etc however a short term therapy of SSRI with Benzodiazepene's could be taken to curb it.SSRI's would also help to deal you with repeat obsessive thoughts.
Secondly your symptoms could be suggestive of inflammatory bowel disease. Loose stools and mild bleed are common in it. Colon cancer is usually uncommon in young age and is commonly seen in patients more then 50 years of age.
However to rule out inflammatory bowel disease colonoscopy should be done.
Colonoscopy would also rule out any polyp or Colon carcinoma.
So colonoscopy test is an answer to all your questions.
Secondly you can see a lot of undigested food in your stool along with traces of blood on TP. Your diet also consists of lots of junk food. This could also be a cause of frequent loose stools.Irritable bowel syndrome is again a diagnosis of exclusion and you need to go through a colonoscopy for diagnosing it.If colonoscopy is normal and patient has symptoms it's called IBS.
Thirdly body making soft stool to drain out mucous. Its not possible.

Discuss about getting a colonoscopy done with your doctor.
Change your food habits(you have to).
Treat anxiety.

Follow up with any query.
Hope I was helpful,
Thank you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar (18 minutes later)
Thank you for your timely response.

Firstly, I began a treatment of Diazepam 2mg recently, but my anxiety has not improved much. Should I consult my GP about a different option?

Also, am I correct in saying that despite my symptoms being partially alleviated by an improved diet that there is still a chance that there is a serious problem like cancer? And is there anyway you could give me an indication as to how likely that is? I understand it is very rare in younger people but the possibility still terrifies me as I read that the rates in younger people has been increasing in recent years.

Lastly, am I correct in thinking that, even if this does turn out to be the worst case scenario, that it will likely have been caught very early and be treatable? As stated before I have not seen any blood in the stool itself at all, my pain levels are typically low if present at all and relieved by a bowel movement, and I am not experiencing much in the way of weight loss or fatigue at all. I am aware that a colonoscopy is what I will end up getting, but the wait is causing me so much anxiety and I feel like the longer I wait, the worst things will be if it ends up being something serious.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Follow up.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thank you for follow up,
1)Yes you could consult your g.p; A number of Benzodiazepene's are available other then Diazepam.
It's not necessary that every benzo is effective on every person. Your G.P should consider altering the doses secondly adding a SSRI like Paroxetine 12.5 mg would be a good idea.
2)Chances of it being related to your food habits are very high and chances of it being a cancer is very low but if blood is present a Colonoscopy should always be done.
Hope you can understand that no one could predict it. Your blood in stool test was positive but examination of rectum was normal so though chances are less yet you have to go for a colonoscopy to rule out carcinoma.
Secondly sometimes polyps could also cause the problem. Colonoscopy is the only way to rule them out.
3)It's not important if you have seen blood in your stool or not. If stool for occult blood test is positive it means that you have blood in stool.
The good thing is that unless a patient is in last stage treatment options are available with a good prognosis(Please note chances of it being carcinoma are really low).
Very likely your problem is related to IBS.
When is colonoscopy planned?
Waiting for reply.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Ramesh Kumar (29 minutes later)
I have my first consultation with the GI on Tuesday the 9th where I plan to insist on a colonoscopy.

I do have one final question if you wouldn't mind indulging me. Is it possible for blood to appear in a stool sample if blood was swallowed? I had gone to the dentist for bleeding gums just two days prior to my rectal exam and did a cleaning where I likely swallowed a fair bit of it.

I will still visit my GI regardless of your answer to this question, but I was merely curious if that were a possibility.

Again,
Thank you for your help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ramesh Kumar (5 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Follow up.

Detailed Answer:
Hi there,
No blood would be broken down into heme and globin while passing through the digestive tract.
Yes visit your GI and insist on colonoscopy.
Follow up with what GI suggests you.
Hope this answers your query.
Thank you and do rate the answer.
Good luck and get well soon.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Answered by
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Dr. Ramesh Kumar

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 2807 Questions

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First, I Apologize If This Is A Bit Rambly And

Brief Answer: All you need is a colonoscopy test. Detailed Answer: Hello and thank you for choosing "Ask a Doctor" service for your query. Have seen your details and I appreciate your concerns. Firstly I would like to say that just calm down young chap. You need to calm down your nerves. G.I symptoms and anxiety are related to each other and very often these symptoms are worsened by anxiety. So first thing you need to do is try to control your anxiety. Initially you can try some breathing exercises,meditation etc however a short term therapy of SSRI with Benzodiazepene's could be taken to curb it.SSRI's would also help to deal you with repeat obsessive thoughts. Secondly your symptoms could be suggestive of inflammatory bowel disease. Loose stools and mild bleed are common in it. Colon cancer is usually uncommon in young age and is commonly seen in patients more then 50 years of age. However to rule out inflammatory bowel disease colonoscopy should be done. Colonoscopy would also rule out any polyp or Colon carcinoma. So colonoscopy test is an answer to all your questions. Secondly you can see a lot of undigested food in your stool along with traces of blood on TP. Your diet also consists of lots of junk food. This could also be a cause of frequent loose stools.Irritable bowel syndrome is again a diagnosis of exclusion and you need to go through a colonoscopy for diagnosing it.If colonoscopy is normal and patient has symptoms it's called IBS. Thirdly body making soft stool to drain out mucous. Its not possible. Discuss about getting a colonoscopy done with your doctor. Change your food habits(you have to). Treat anxiety. Follow up with any query. Hope I was helpful, Thank you.