New recruit alert!

Hi all. New to this site. Came across it after trawling the Internet to try and alleviate quite significant anxiety related to current symptoms I'm experiencing. After a very stressful set of circumstances that pretty much lasted for the whole of 2016, in Oct/Nov last year I became aware of stomach cramps/pain that wasn't subsiding. Also felt (still feel) tired/sluggish etc and had some blood after going to the toilet (I do have a nice wee bunch of piles!) They're not giving me any pain so that's good. So along with the stomach pain and blood I decided to diagnose myself (with the help of Dr Google) with bowel cancer 😮 Cue copious amounts of stress/worry/anxiety and completely irrational thoughts (I'm usually quite a rational person, honest!) So various trips to GP, no concerns re blood tests, referred for colonoscopy (7th March) due to symptoms and basically told I'd just need to "stop worrying until there's something to worry about". Easy eh? So since I've been researching possible causes (to divert me from actually going into overdrive about bowel cancer) I've found the posts on here really helpful. Can identify with all of the symptoms others talk about and have noticed certain foods can trigger pain/discomfort. So whilst absolutely not ruling out other causes until I've had the colonoscopy, I am feeling slightly more optimistic/hopeful that it's ibs. Now I know it's a nightmare of an illness but at least it's not life threatening. The stress I was under last year was the worst I've ever experienced and I know that can play havoc with your bowels. Sorry for the long post and if you've managed to remain interested to read till the end, thanks! Roll on the 7th March so I can move on and deal with whatever I need to deal with 😊

12 Replies

  • Welcome. It's pretty common for people to expect the worst. But seriously, try to relax. Easy to say, tough to do. Is this your first colonoscopy?

  • Hi there, Thanks for that. Definitely trying to gain some perspective, it's been slow but getting there! I had a colonoscopy about 10 years ago after similar symptoms but a much more serious case of piles so I know what to expect. Not the most pleasant of experiences but necessary. What's your experience been like?

  • With IBS? I got it sometime in my 20s, probably after an infection from a parasite while traveling. I'm 35 now. I suffered with daily diarrhea, occasional incontinence. Never thought it was cancer, but I was young and my mind just didn't go there. The hardest thing was having people not understand what IBS is. Coworkers would say well meaning things, like if I missed a day of work they'd say I hope your 'tummy ache' is better. A tummy ache is a far cry from IBS. So I've talked a lot about it to people, been pretty open if people want to know more.

    Finally saw a gastroenterologist and had all the tests.

    The one thing that has worked pretty well is the FODMAPS elimination diet and monitoring food and symptoms. That helped me identify the usual food culprits. That being said, I have a few food triggers that are considered okay on FODMAPS. So it's a good starting point.

    Now if I don't eat anything I shouldn't, my symptoms are largely gone. I still have flare-ups every six weeks or so that don't seem food related, but seem associated with an autoimmune disorder. I'm seeing a rheumatologist to try and sort this out. And stress can still make my guts terrible. But all in all I'm about 70% better through diet modification alone.

    I hope you find similar relief. It's a lot of trial and error, a lot of frustration and tears. I try to laugh about it, IBS puts us in funny positions at times. If there's ever an IBS convention, I have stories to share with other sufferers over drinks that I'm sure we can all relate to 🙂

    Should have mentioned. My pain comes low, below the pant line. It comes suddenly and strongly - I have to double over or crouch down no matter where I am. It suddenly leaves after a minute or so, and I know I need to find a bathroom and poop after that which prevents a second attack.

  • I really appreciate all the info you've shared. Sounds like you've had a bit of a time of it but come through it intact so that's good! The main pain I've got is lower left side and also back pain which I've had for ages, diagnosed with sciatica two years ago. I'm ready to tackle whatever I need to when I know for sure what the issue is.

  • I have been through the same scenario myself. .I've had IBS for many years, but when suffering a lot of stress last year, I had the worst flare up ever..I also convinced myself it was the dreaded big C...Which made my stomach and anxiety go off the scale..My Dr was very understanding and gave me relevant blood tests and told me to stop worrying and she would only do further tests if she thought I needed them..It took a long time, but talking to friends and family really helped..I now try not to worry and have noticed if I'm out with friends or busy, I hardly think of my stomach..It is very easy to be told don't worry, and I know it can't be helped. .. Once you've had the Colonoscopy, tell yourself you're fine and start enjoying life.. All the best.

  • Hi there, Thanks so much for that, it's reassuring when you hear other people's stories that are similar to yours. Probably reflecting back over the years I've always had ibs type symptoms but didn't pay much attention to them. I agree that once you worry less the pain doesn't seem to be quite as bad. Glad to hear you're feeling better. I'll post when I've had the test and what the outcome is. Thanks again for your reply, it's helped give me some perspective 😊

  • Hi...Glad I've given you some reassurance..This site does help seeing other people sharing their issues. ..and knowing we all share a lot of them...Stay positive..You're not on your own...Let us know how you get wishes :-)

  • Thank you. Everyone has been lovely and really helpful. Will definitely update you all 😊

  • Be sure to mention at your appt what foods seem to be a trigger for you. It might give them some idea as to what they need to look for ie coeliac.

  • Hi there. Still trying to figure it all out. My problem is I enjoy rich food and good red wine too much lol. Not ready to give it up!

  • Hi. Your post comes across as from a strong person. Whatever the outcome on March 7th I have a feeling you will find a way to cope. I'm in a similar situation for 2nd time. I also happen to suffer from health anxiety. And in particular about bowel cancer

  • Thank you. I am quite strong so that's why this completely irrational response I've had has thrown me. Felt like I was losing my mind worrying. So had a word with myself and decided that worrying was pointless and only making me feel worse. Although in the dead of night in bed my mind tends to go into overdrive and the thoughts take over.

    What's your story? Are you waiting on tests too?

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