How is colitis diagnosed? If its a colonoscopy I'm not sure I can face it!

I do seem to have all the symptoms of colitis, and my thyroid problem is auto immune, so I guess there may be a link. My GP is a bit rubbish, I've been there once or twice with blood in my stool and they always want to fob it off as piles, which I don't think it is as I just don't match that profile, I'm extremely regular and never strain. Also, when I get these flare ups I feel inflamed and sore for a couple of days. They don't happen often and are short lived, which is why I don't want a colonoscopy as I don't think it's a very bad case at all. Well, that and the fact they sound horrible!

13 Replies

  • Personally I would ask to see a specialist to reassure myself it wasn't anything serious. My friend has just discovered she has a large polyp in her bowel and will need a minor op. to have it removed but she is very relieved to know that's all it is.

  • Lolalois, A colonoscopy does not sound wonderful but if you have a problem - any kind of problem - it ought to be looked at. Blood in the stool is not a thing to be ignored, especially if you are sure that you don't have piles.

    I've had a colonoscopy and the medication they give you is very effective. I was convinced I had been awake and holding a conversation with the person doing the job - but then realised that the conversation had lasted only a couple of minutes and the rest of the time I was drifting in a dream. It was over before I knew it.

    Please don't delay getting it looked at just because you don't like the idea of the colonoscopy - which is not a foregone conclusion anyway. And if they tell you there's nothing wrong as a result - as they did me - then you can have peace of mind.

    Marie XX

  • In order to get the good medication, you need to have someone to go with you and stay with you for 24 hours. Otherwise they will only give you gas and air and with just that a colonoscopy is pretty painful.

    The prep is a breeze in comparison.

  • Hi Lolalois, last year when they had no idea at all what was wrong with me, I had the pleasure of a colonoscopy. I felt the same as you, nervous, worried, embarrassed. But I promise you, it isn't what you think it's going to be. The most annoying part of it all is the preparation you take the day before and even that isn't too bad if done properly.

    My uncle was rushed to hospital 2 years ago and was in for about 6 weeks due to complications of undiagnosed colitis. I'm not trying to worry you but the colonoscopy is definitely worth it in the long run, for the peace of mind at the very least xx

  • ...if the blood is a fresh red then it could well be piles. If it is darker then it can be from further into the colon. Colonoscopies are pain free these days - I too had one earlier this year and didn't feel a thing. I have Crohns and hadn't been checked for almost 20 years !! Please do not be fearful - the thought of the process if far far worse than the reality. It's worth it for the peace of mind. Had mine done here in Crete - absolutely no problem - and was well cared for.

    Do hope your GP will take notice of you. Fobbing you off once is just about forgivable - but twice - NO..... x

  • I have had ulcerative colitis for most of my life although only officially diagnosed 17 years ago. The ONLY way to diagnose UC is with a colonoscopy where they can have a good look and take biopsies.

    If you had true colitis and you were having a flare up you would be on the loo more than off ! can be up to 20 times a day, although I have never been that bad. You would have bloody diarrhea, pain and feel unwell. BUT you can have it mildly and suffer very few symptoms, it does however need to be diagnosed and treated or you end up with scarring throughout the colon which only adds to the problems.

    The colonoscopy is not that bad, you have sedation and it doesn't take long, it's the laxative the day before that is the worst !! If you do have UC then you will be having scopes on a regular basis. You are also more at risk of bowel cancer hence the need for regular scopes.

    I started anti inflammatory drugs when I was diagnosed and haven't had a serious flare since, touch wood !

    Don't put this off, get a referral to a Gastro Consultant, good luck.

  • hi there , as per the above comments don't worry about the procedure I had this done 3 times in the past year [ suspected big c ] , absolutely pain free --- I even asked for a colour photo for the wall to show what a 'pain in the a++e ' really looks like as a talking point ==== my wicked humour even made the doctors week ==== as stated the worst thing is the the pre op meds you take the day before [ make sure your not far from the loo ] but none of it was in any way painful for me ....... just remember IT WILL BE SORTED FOR YOUR GOOD HEALTH ....LoLalan

  • Hi Lolalois, Please for your own peace of mind go and have the test done. I am the biggest coward on earth regarding tests such as this but I had it done on 2 occasions and was fine each time. As other people have said its the thought rather than the actual procedure and with sedation you will not feel any pain. My mother in law who is in her mid eighties had it done earlier this year and had no bother at all.

  • Thanks everyone. Maybe I'll go back to the GP again, but I've described all my symptoms before and they are convinced its piles. Do you feel sore and inflamed inside with piles? I thought the internal ones were symptom free.

    I could also ask the thyroid doctor I see privately if I don't get any joy at the GP. He might be a better bet.

  • Hi I have had dozens of colonoscopies over the years. However, first I should see a gastoenterologist. A colonsoscopy is easy, just heavy sedation , so you remember nothing1 The Preps are the worst bit, but even they are now a days vastly different. The preps you take before hand at home. Afterwards you may have mild pain but that is it. Nothing else will work as with a colonoscopy they do biopsies of anything that looks different. If you have any other investigation, then you end up having a colonoscopy any way.

    Best wishes,


  • Thanks Jackie. Dozens sounds like a lot! Everyone has been very reassuring about them. However, my GP surgery seem very blasé about blood in the stool. I've been a couple of times and they just tell me it's hemorrhoids. It doesn't happen that often, so it's not a persistent problem, but when it does I feel very inflamed and sore inside. Maybe they're right, but I might go again and see what they say. My digestion is generally a bit dodgy, I think they've got me down as an anxious patient (which I'm not, apart from about colonoscopies!).

    L x

  • Hi L. You definitely need to see a Gastro, it could well be nothing but you need to be sure. Also ,I hope the GP arranged a stool test, simple,at home If dried ( black) blood can be more serious, if bright red more likely to be something simple like Haemarroids., However, do be sure as GP`s are good at dismissing things and in my experience cannot even diagnose a malignant spot!It can be something like Diverticulitis, colitis ,Chrohn`s etc but just may be important to get a real diagnosis.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi,

    I've had UC for a long time...and had quite a few scopes....without any sedation at will be fine...try not to worry..get checked out ASAP. Good luck. X

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