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Lumbar pain, stomach discomfort, orange stools, headache, itchy anus, taking fish oil

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Practicing since : 2000
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I have been having fairly intense lower spinal pain (lumbar), stomach discomfort, and a change in bowel habits (orange colored stools, some stomach discomfort). I also have had dull head pain almost constantly. My anus area itched every night for about 6 months, and I scratched it causing it to bleed. I am 57, had a colonoscopy in 2006, and and endoscopy in 2008, both were fine. I have been playing golf, and although it hurts a little to play, the pain is more significant in my lumbar when I finish and try to sit. Finally, I am on fish oil for heart, and let the gel tablets get hot in the car (> 100F) before taking them for lunch and dinner (don't know if that has anything to do with the stomach problems). Please advise.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 10 hours later

Thanks for the query.

If you have to connect lower spinal pain and bowel disturbance one can think of -

1) Post infectious spondyloarthritis - usually follows bacterial colitis or enteritis.

2) Inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis ( ankylosing spondylitis) - usually associated with stiffness and limited ability to bend forward. The bowel component of it usually presents with diarrhoea, loss of weight with or without bloody stools or abdominal pain.

3) Unrelated illness - backpain secondary to osteoporosis or degenerative spine disease & GI disease secondary to infections, vitamin deficiencies, dysmotility, food intolerences like milk. A good physical exeminations and few tests like stool examinations, CRP (Quantitative) and an Xray or MRI lumbosacral are will help. You may get these done under guidance of a physician or gastroenterologist.

Hope I have answered your query adequately. Should you have more concerns, I will be available for follow ups.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Lumbar pain, stomach discomfort, orange stools, headache, itchy anus, taking fish oil 2 hours later

Thanks for your response. As I mentioned, I had a complete colonoscopy in Mar 2006 and an endoscopy in Sept 2008. Both came back clean with the exception of the colonoscopy which was fine, but they found a fissure at the anal opening. What is the percentage chance (in your professional opinion) that I could have developed colon cancer that would have spread to my lumbar spine within this time period? I am seeing a gastrointestinal specialist on Wed, but wondered how worried I should be.

Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 7 hours later
Thanks for the follow up.

The doubling time for colonic cancer is around 670 days and a colonic cancer usually develops for a polyp larger than 2cms in an otherwise normal colon.

Hence with a normal colonoscopy the chance of finding a significant Malignant lesion in the colon over the next 5 years is negligible.

This is the rationale of offering colonoscopic surveillence once in 5 years in many of the countries.

Hence I think you shouldn't be unnecessarily worried and go and XXXXXXX your GI for further guidence

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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