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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Inconsistent stools. Is it possible that my sciatica is causing my stomach issues?

Answered by
Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S


Practicing since :2000

Answered : 339 Questions

Posted on Fri, 22 Jun 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hi,

I am concerned about my stool. To give you a little background on my medical history: I am a 31 yr old male and have frequent heartburn for the last 4 years. I don't watch what I eat, I very occasionally drink and when I do the heartburn really intensifies. I am also frequently bloated and gassy. I have trouble releasing gas most of the time and when I do they are small tiny little things. I almost never burp (probably because when I try liquid tries to come up with the gas) so any gas I release has to come out the other end. I also sometimes have stomach pain. I mostly get two different types of pain. One pain feels most like a light cramp on my left side about 2 inches below my ribcage and just to the left of the center of my stomach. The second pain I mostly get is hard to describe. It is like my entire stomach is spasming or sore, sort of like I have bad gas. If I touch anywhere around my stomach while I have this pain it almost feels as though I can massage the pain away (only temporarily). I also have pain in my lower left back and into my left bottock. I have been told I have sciatica which is not hard to believe since I do do home construction work as a side job. The pain in my back does extend somewhat into my leg but mostly I feel that the pain travels upward into my mid-upper back rather than downward as most sciatic nerve pain does. However, if I do massage my left leg or put pressure around my left knee it feels as though it helps relax the pain/nerve. But mostly I feel the pain in my lower left back starts real low around the bottom of my left buttock and travels up. The pain is not severe. It is a dull nagging annoying pain that only gets temporarily relieved. Sometimes I take I wine bottom or something hard and cylinder and roll it along my lower left back to release the pain/tension (I dont know if it really releives the pain of if it is just centralizing it and distracting my mind from the dull nagging pain.

My REAL problem that is worrying me is that my stool is never consistent. Sometimes it is loose, sometimes it is hard and the right color (dirty brownish), sometimes it is darker than usual, sometimes it is lighter than usually, sometimes it is gray/clayish looking, sometimes it is like rabbit pellets but today it was a little loose, lighter (almost a pale dark yellow color) and the tail end of the bowels like almost exactly like ground beef that was not fully cooked. It had mixed colors of dark brown, reddish/brown and regular color brown. The tail ends consistency was also similiar to ground beef as it was like little od shaped balls that were binded together into a clump (almost exactly like ground beef when you chop it and fry it). I am really worried about it since I do have stomach pains, gas pains and this lower left back pain. I dont have any trouble going to the bathroom at all really and I guess I am pretty regular. I usually go once in the morning like clockwork and then once again later in the day or at night.

Is it possible that my sciatica is causing my stomach issues? Are they not related at all? I do have alot of stress in my life which I know could cause some things but its ongoing and comes in waves which is scary to me. One week I will have heartburn, sciatica, muscle gramping, weird different stool, gas and feel bloated and the next week its all gone. Then a week later it comes back ans sticks around for another week or couple of days.

All the pain is predominetly on my left side (sciatica and stomach issues). Obviously the gas and tightness I feel around my stomach is not centeralized on my left side but rather around the entire stomach. I am not sure what causes my stomach to act up and my sciatic (or whatever it is) acts up on its own schedule. Sometime the two act up together. Sometimes the sciatica will come first and then the stomach, sometimes just the sciatica, sometimes just the stomach. I just cant put my finger on why I feel like this and what my problem could be. I am really concerned about my stool from earlier today so if you could shed some light on any of this it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 14 hours later
Thanks for posting your query
The heartburn signifies acid reflux disease and is usually associated with a lax lower esophageal sphincter or a hiatus hernia with compromises the sphincter.
Stool colour is a function of the food that you have eaten, drugs consumed, stercobilinogen secreted and presence of any fat. The colour varies according to the relative proportions of these components.
Stool consistency is a function of intestinal motility and the absorptive function of the intestine. Rapid motility or reduced absorption leads to a liquid or soft stool.
Abdominal bloating is usually due to an altered intestinal motility, inflammation or a bacterial overgrowth.
The pain described can be secondary to sciatica and associated compression of gluteal nerves or a manifestation of sacroiliitis. Of these, sacroiliitis is associated with bowel problems in the form of either reactive arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease associated spondyloarthopathy.
Hence, consult your gastroenterologist and get the following investigations done:
•     Stool routine examination
•     Serum CRP
•     Complete haemogram
•     Xray of the Sacroiliac joint & lumbar spine.
Depending on the results you may also have to undergo MR abdomen and spine, OGD/Colonoscopy
I hope I have answered your question. Please accept my answer if you have no further queries.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Aparna Kohli

The User accepted the expert's answer

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