Should I push for a colonoscopy sooner? - Colon Cancer Conn...

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Should I push for a colonoscopy sooner?

Ambjtb profile image

I have always had severe constipation, and aways told I have IBS-C. Eventually it got so bad no matter what I ate or drank, I resorted to taking laxatives way too frequently. Stool softeners alone didn’t help. I’ve already had a colonoscopy and endoscopy done few years ago and they said there was irritation but that was it and to eat better. I went to the doctor again bc I knew the laxatives would eventually make things worse. She gave me medicine to take for a month that helped me go and since then I go every morning but it’s very very dark and mushy, some have been tar-like and almost black but not all the time. But always mushy. And I still have to push hard even though it’s mush/liquid.. sorry tmi. But I’ve been waiting for them to schedule another colonoscopy like they said but they haven’t and I haven’t called to tell them my poop has changed because I don’t know if it would make a difference. I have constant stomach aches and nausea. I’m always tired. I just want to feel better.

7 Replies

(general info that doesn't seem too terrible): (but, they make no mention of anxiety, which reduces their credibility with me)

With me, constipation's largely an anxiety issue (and, not readily dealing with constipation tends to up my anxiety) -- thank goodness for a chemical free method of dealing with it on those rare occasions when I encounter it (up to a cup of warm water held for 5 minutes, inserted using a drugstore rectal syringe, is very effective). Just one session usually gets me back on track. I'm wondering if you're prone to anxiety, or, are becoming anxious about your constipation.

Once you start taking laxatives, your body soon adapts. Take them long enough and you may hardly recognize the output anymore (laxatives can be very harmful over the long term, if nothing else, they disrupt the body's rhythm -- eg. your straining despite soft stool). If you can avoid laxatives (eg. by using my mini-enema approach), I urge you to give that a try. At this point, one session likely won't suffice, it may take several days or weeks off laxatives to restore your normal function imo.

Unless you've had a positive 'F I T' test result (cancer markers in stool blood), why would you want another colonoscopy?

~wbic, member coloncancerconnected forum

Ambjtb profile image
Ambjtb in reply to wbiC

Thank you for replying! I do have a lot of issues with anxiety and I think it does make my stomach problems worse. The doctor I saw wanted to do another colonoscopy to check for damage to my colon from the overuse of laxatives she said.

But since I’ve seen her I have had black stool, but I haven’t had any visible red blood.

Ambjtb profile image
Ambjtb in reply to Ambjtb

But I also haven’t taken a laxative in several months now!

Ambjtb profile image
Ambjtb in reply to Ambjtb

I hope it hides the image unless you click on it... not sure how to do that but this is how my stool regularly looks now.

Images are hidden by default on this community.

wbiC profile image
wbiC in reply to Ambjtb

sorry (not into viewing images)

For anxiety based constipation issues, I suggest: a healthy diet (veggies, whole grains & beans in particular -- beans can take some getting used to, starting with small portions and building on that should work); before a bathroom session, taking a nap can be invaluable (for me, 10-15 minutes suffice -- as that's great for making me less tense, and reduced tension generally is desireable -- because there's a muscle that diverts the colon near the rectum that is apt to add more challenge to the process if it's tense and crimping the end of your colon).

For anxiety generally, there's all sorts of tips (I've found ten years' worth of self-taught CBT invaluable, and a useful habit has been a pretty much daily meditation break or at least 'quiet time' of avoiding thoughts, for some 22 minutes, caffeine's something of a trigger though I find green tea's quite tolerable @ 6 cups/day).

If your colon's pretty much bizarrely damaged by long term laxatives, I suppose a colonoscopy may have merit to satisfy one's curiousity. But if not looking for polyps, I'd wonder about the utility (what's the next step(s) if things look iffy??) -- all I can imagine is then recommending a cleaner diet. But maybe your doctor has some other approach in mind ???

In your shoes, I'd be trying to track any steady (though maybe small) progress in the hopes the body would heal itself.

~wbic, member coloncancerconnected forum

MOLLYMILO007 profile image
MOLLYMILO007 in reply to Ambjtb

I had constant constipation due to pain meds had a ct colonoscopy..found nothing I've changed my diet to fibre fruit each morn more water etc and its helped alot..its norm diet related I had a fit test as blood in my stools but they found nothing...try the diet and up your fibre and fruit as much as u can hope this helps jx

Nicole_GCCA profile image

Hello Ambjtb ,I'm sorry to read about your constant stomach aches and nausea and constipation. This sounds very uncomfortable and miserable.

It is important that you let your specialist know about the change in stool color and consistency.

It sounds like you were given a prescription medication to treat your constipation, is that correct? If so, did the doctor tell you that a change in the consistency of your bowel movements was a possibility?

As you probably already know, if any screening that is not a colonoscopy (stool DNA test, FIT, iFOBT, Virtual Colonoscopy) comes back as abnormal, the next step is a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is a procedure that is not used only for ruling out or diagnosing colorectal cancer - it is also how doctors measure other digestive diseases.

If your doctor has recommended another colonoscopy to see if there has been damage from the use of laxatives, that is something that you should consider and discuss with your doctor. As with all invasive procedures, particularly those that involve sedation, there are risks involved that you should discuss and understand prior to having the procedure.

Are you on any medication (either prescription or over the counter) that might not be causing constipation, but could be making it worse? There are many over the counter and prescription medications that are used to treat things that are not related at all to a gastrointestinal disorder that can cause constipation, or, if you already are prone to constipation, these medications can make it worse.

Any type of supplements, even protein powders or vitamins that you take, should be something that you share with your specialist.

Many people have had success and relief from IBS-C through a combination of diet changes, exercise, and medication. It is difficult to find that balance and can be frustrating, as well.

Have you seen this group on HealthUnlocked? Lots of members post frequently and are very knowledgeable about IBS through their own experiences.

Please do get in touch with your gastroenterologist. I hope you find some relief soon!

~Nicole, GCCA Staff Member & Colon Cancer Connected Site Administrator.

Just a reminder - this group is here to offer support, share experiences, and offer our thoughts - but this is not medical advice, and you should always consult your medical professional(s). Additionally, for all emergencies, seek urgent medical care, never delay.

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