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Dr. wants a stool sample from me....
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Dr. wants a stool sample from me....

26 male. Suffers from anxiety from time to time. I am a worrier.

I went to the Dr. today for a check up, he had me on 10mg of Paxil for about 4 or 5 weeks.

I told him I'm still having stomach pains... lower left abdominal pain.... and on and off diarrhea.

I told him my stool changes have been going on for about 2 months now.

At first he thought it was just IBS from anxiety... but now he wants to do a stool sample.

What do they look for in stool samples?

I asked him if he thought I had cancer... and he said "NO."

He did say I could have colitis or a number of things... but he said a stool sample is a good place to start... and they can tell a lot from a stool sample.

So what are your thoughts? I'm a little anxious.

What will they look for? What kind of things can they find out just from a stool sample?

Thanks guys!
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358304_tn?1409713092
Oh, and he also wants me to go off the paxil b/c of the sexual dysfunction... if anyone can tell me how to wean off 10mg that would be very helpful. My dr. said to cut it down to 5mg for a while.... but that's about all he said. I've only been on it for 4 or 5 weeks. So I would hope withdrawal isnt too bad. I know I wont stop cold turkey.

He prescribed me more ativan and said to ONLY take it when needed.
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370181_tn?1408130715
Don't be so anxious about your stool test, cnote! It's a very common test and we do many of them on patients in the hospital. As your doctor said, it is just a good place to start as it will rule out a great many things. I know you are concerned about cancer.......aren't we all? If you had colon cancer, your stools would be very dark and "tarry" appearing..........which would indicate blood. Many of us have seen what is known as "frank" blood on our stools. Frank blood is simply fresh blood and is red.....in other words, it's obviously blood. This is normally from hemorrhoids which can "rupture" when the stool is passed, or it can also be from a large, difficult to pass stool when you've strained and small blood vessels burst. The amount of blood is very small and is almost never anything to worry about.
Your doctor has ordered a stool test which will assist in diagnosing disorders associated with GI bleeding or drug therapy that leads to bleeding, it will assist in the diagnosis of pseudomembranous enterocolitis after use of a broad-spectrum antibiotic, it will help dx suspected inflammatory bowel disorders, detect altered protein digestion, look for intestinal parasitic infestation (usually indicated with diarrhea of unknown cause) it will monitor effectiveness of therapy for intestinal malabsorption or pancreatic insufficiency.................the list does go on..........Like I said, it's going to "rule out" a whole bunch of stuff for your doc.
Please try not to worry, which I know is incredible difficult, but it will only make things worse.

As for getting off the Paxil, I'd call him back and ask for more information on getting off this med. Granted, you haven't been on it long, but I'd still want a bit more advice than what he tossed at you. I'm pretty sure that you won't have much difficulty, it's nice to have as much info as you can. And you do have the Ativan to fall back on, but do try to keep that at a minimum.
Hope this has eased your mind even a little. I'm sure you've NOTHING to be overly concerned about!
Please let us know what they find out, OK?
We're all rooting for ya, ya know that, right?
Peace
Greenlydia  
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i had diarrhea for a year and a half straight.  had all kinds of stool samples, colonoscopy, blood tests, ct scan etc.  nothing showed anything significant.  being anxious and having ibs probably did it.  it went away briefly but when i went on zoloft it came back.  when i stopped the zoloft it went away and so far so good.  still anxious but you can't have everything.  was anxious on the zoloft too and had diarrhea to boot, so i guess i'm better now.
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480448_tn?1403547723
cnote---

As lydia said above...a stool sample can be used to rule in, or rule out a lot of different things...and NO...NOT cancer.

My sincere advice to you IS...if after the stool sample you still have no answers, but the symptoms persist, INSIST upon a referral to a GI doc.  Once you go that route....and a GI doc rules out any issues, or gives you a solid diagnosis....then you can go from there.
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358304_tn?1409713092
Thanks nursegirl6572. But what do you mean by "and NO...NOT cancer."
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358304_tn?1409713092
**UPDATE**

Dropped off my stool sample this morning... not the funnest test to take at home... let me tell ya... lol.

He said the results should be back in 24 to 48 hours.

Will keep you posted.
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370181_tn?1408130715
What nursegirl meant was that you DO NOT HAVE CANCER.

Stool samples are not much fun to collect.........but at least it was your OWN poop you had to deal with! I, on the other hand, get to collect these "jewels" from total strangers. My "NO WHINING" sign is lit up...............

We shall await the poop report!
RELAX!
Peace
Greenlydia  
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358304_tn?1409713092
Thanks greenlydia. :)
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358304_tn?1409713092
**UPDATE**

So I called the Dr's office this afternoon around 2pm, and the lady on the phone looked up my information... and did verify that the lab test was complete.... but the Dr. hasnt signed off on it yet.

So It's 6:20pm right now... and I havnt heard from him.... so I'm sure it he found something bad he would have called me today.
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370181_tn?1408130715
You can rest assured that if there had been anything bad on that report, the doctor would have called.
Let us know what he says and what he intends to do next if this hasn't resolved itself. I also agree with nursegirl that if this does continue, to see a GI. PCP's are OK, but if you're having problems in a specific area, it's really best to get a specialists opinion.
Hang in there!
Peace
Greenlydia
  
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358304_tn?1409713092
Woke up this morning.... sweating kinda... (I kinda do that anyways, especially with anxiety sometimes).... anyways...

Got out of bed, and as soon as I stood up, I had to go to again! It was diarhea (diarrhea).... water diarhea (diarrhea).... and it was really dark...

I've also been having sinus troubles... I think... I keep having to clear my throat, especially in the morning... and I usually will clear it hard enough to cough some of it out... and this morning I coughed and spit in the sink... and it was clear, but had some brown speckles in it...

And it scared me... then I though.... "Lastnight RIGHT before bed I ate a chocolate zebra cake... and a cup of milk... and failed to brush my teeth...

So it was probably some of that that was stuck in my throat or something...

Then I kinda made myself cough again.... and I keep wanting to gag when I cough for some reason.... and finally I felt something come up... and i spit it out.... and it was a big piece of phlegm... and it was dark yellow....

I've coughed this junk up a few days in a row now...

Do you think I have an infection?

I do feel cruddy.... like achy.... tired....

Of course, LUNG CANCER... crossed my mind again... lol.

But I thought rationally about it... I've been having bad post nasal drip for a couple of months... So its more than likely just sinus...

So what should I take to clear up this junk? I sneeze alot during the day... but my nose doesnt seem to run or get really stuffed up...

What should I take to clear it up?

Do you think there is a link between it and my diarhea (diarrhea) I've been having off and on for the past 2 months?

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370181_tn?1408130715
STOP IT!
You don't even have the test results back from your stool sample yet and already you've moved on to lung cancer!
What happened to the amazing epiphany you had with your Grandfather, the scripture readings, the wailing and weeping, the "giving it all over to the Lord?"
You feel "cruddy," achey (achy) and tired, you 'think' you've been having problems with your sinues, which you state have been dripping for a couple months now, you say you sneeze a lot, you've been hacking up **** with brown speckles, which YOU probably think is blood but I'm more inclined to agree it was that zebra cake, whatever the hell THAT is that you ate without brushing your teeth............sheesh, listen to yourself, cnote!
Sounds like you have some sinus issues going on, perhaps an infection, perhaps allergies, which can appear out of nowhere, so don't bother writing that you've never had allergies before. Post nasal drip will cause you to cough and have a sore throat.........oh dear, I shouldn't have written that........it wasn't one of your symptoms, but I'm sure it will be now!
I seriously doubt there is a connection between your nose and your butt, BUTT (LOL) I'm not the doctor here and that is where you should go, ONCE AGAIN,  with this new wagonlaod of symptoms. I have NO idea what you should take to clear it up and even if I DID have some ideas, I couldn't tell you to take anything, you KNOW that, you've been here too long to know we can't "prescribe" stuff for each other!
See your doctor...........and then a therapist for your hypochondria.
Sorry to seem so abrupt, cnote, but no matter how many of us can relate to all your various symptoms, or the things we've tried to fix them, the bottom line is ALWAYS going to be that the ONLY one who can tell you FOR SURE, not only WHAT you have, but HOW to treat it is your doctor.
Give your head a rest!
Peace
Greenlydia  
  
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358304_tn?1409713092
Oh Greenlydia... you are so great. lol. =)

I am a hypochondriac arent I? lol.

I'm quitting smoking this saturday!!! =) Getting on the patch, my unlce did it... and no longer wears the patch... and has been smoke free for over 100 days...

I also found out this morning that my wife and I are having another BABY!!! Yay!!! My 2 year old is SO excited. =)

But you are right... I am a hypochondriac....

And there probably is no relation to my sinus issues and my BUTT... LOL. BUTT BUTT BUTT... lol.

You are great! And an inspiration... sometimes I just need a little SLAP in the face... and you do a good job at that... (IN A VERY NICE AND COMICAL WAY.) lol.

Talk to you soon Greenlydia.

**I think I feel a sore throat coming on now... OH NO!!! Must be throat cancer!?!!**

HAHAHA IM TOTALLY KIDDING. =P
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Going to beat the same drum, but your diet *****, c.  You're having digestion problems and you continue to eat dairy and wheat.  Now you have sinus congestion.  When are you going to go see a holistic nutritionist and get this sorted out?  I mean, I'm not one to speak, I'm not so good at following my own advice, but I used to do this for a living and you just sound like someone whose diet has caught up to him, and it's exacerbated by anxiety.  Cake and milk before bedtime?  I mean, come on, guy, when you have digestive problems, does this sound logical?  We're all rooting hard for you, you seem like such a nice open guy, please, do something for yourself before you end up like me, 56 with a life ruined by medication and never having gotten better from the original problem.  Don't be like me, 'kay?
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358304_tn?1409713092
Thanks for the advice. I probably should change my diet. But I'm not eating anything different than I was a few months ago... can you become allergic or sensitive to certain foods that quickly? Because some days I can eat p & j sandwhiches on wheat bread, and no problem... or drink a glass of milk and no problem...

What kind of diet should I do?

Should I just stay away from milk and wheat? and see how that goes?

I do drink lots of soda... always have been a soda drinker...

I hear too much sugar can also be bad for an inflamed gut or IBS.

So I'm gonna just start drinking water.

I'm also quitting smoking this saturday! It's my start date! Going to buy The Patch on Friday. I'm excited. My uncle said the patch worked for him. He's been smoke free for over 100 days now... and doesnt even need the patch anymore. He smoked almost 2 packs a day.

I bet this will help too with my hypochondria. lol.

It doesnt make sense that I fear cancer or the worst when I have symptoms... yet I still continue to smoke cigarettes... Stupid huh?

Well, I'm thinking (actually I know) this is going to be a good thing. =)
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242912_tn?1402547092
Hey you :)

Yes, cut out the sodas completely and drink water instead...and not just for a couple of days.  Incorporate fruits and veggies if you haven't already.  You need fiber to bind you...and to be healthy :)   And last, when you quit smoking your sinus problems will magically clear up and your GI problems will likely disappear.  When I quit smoking both my sinus and GI problems improved dramatically.  You are going to feel so much better.  I am glad to see you're going to quit as I've suspected Some of your problems have been smoking related all along.

Prepare to be amazed!! :)
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358304_tn?1409713092
Thanks for the inspiration Jade59!!! I'm even more excited to quit! =)
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you do have a sinus infection with what your coughing up.
Congrats on your new baby! How far along is your wife?
Be prepared for a little boy. You've got to let me know as soon as you find out, okay.
Go to the drug store and get a Neti Pot, I think it's called. It cleans out your nasal cavities and works great.
And don't forget your patches! Take care. Remar
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358304_tn?1409713092
**UPDATE!!! POO REPORT** HAHA.

My Dr. called me today, and said "Good news, nothing was found in your stool."

He said it is more than likely IBS from anxiety, and he said to just accept it, and watch my diet. Try soluble fiber etc. He gave a list of foods to focus on for a while. He said eventually it will probably subside. He said lower left abdominal pain is a very common symptom of IBS. He said my worryful stomach/knots in stomach has probably caused this.

I told him that I was quitting smoking tomorrow and going on the patch. He said not to. He said to cut back as much as I can... like today I've only had 2 cigarettes!!! Which is awesome for me!

He said if I go on the patch, and just quit cold turkey... he said more than likely I'll be back in his office freaking out again about something else anxiety related.

He said that cutting back and back and back will help... and he said he can help me tackle my anxiety and the quitting smoking at the same time.

He said to see him in a month.

I'm having such a good day now after getting the good news. =)
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That's great news!
Now you have to stick to the diet he gave you, okay. Try to stay away from caffeine. I know you like soda but try to drink decaf.
As far as the smoking, I kind of disagree with your Dr. If your going to quit I think it's better to quit cold turkey with the patch. You may be able to cut down for awhile, which your doing, but pretty soon you might find yourself smoking as much as you did before.
It might work for you though and I really hope it does. I would still get the patch and put it on in the morning. If you have to smoke take it off and put a new one on in about an hour.
Stick to that diet and I hope you feel better soon. Take care. Remar
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480448_tn?1403547723
I think the whole idea of the doc recommending that cnote not quit smoking all together is to lessen the stressors he has, which of course only increases anxiety.  Basically, "one thing at a time".  The doc said he would help cnote quit while he helps him get a hold of the anxiety.

I couldn't agree more.
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I attempted a taper from my Xanax this year and was under the supervision of a Psychiatric Medication Manager, which, in MY humble opinion, is the only way to go. Most GP's know squat about tapering and their usual advice is to simply "chuck 'em." A PMM does NOTHING but work with you on your taper and they play by YOUR rules. But what I wanted to say was that I also decided, since I knew I was going to be going through hell, I might as well ditch the cigarettes at the same time, ya know, kill two birds with one stone. How very wrong. My PMM said that with all the stress in my life, this was the very worst time to attempt to quit. I took his advice, which was a smart move. As both nursegirl AND my PMM have stated........"one thing at a time!" No better advice out there.
Greenlydia    
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Next time you have a test, think about the reality of living (it is supposed to be enjoyment, by the way) with your life instead of worrying about some nightmare possibilities that don't exist in reality for you.

Someone I know did not even get out of the lab waiting room before her doc was called about the bad results, so if you go a day or so without news you are likely safe. Next time stop wondering what terrible thing can be happening to you while waiting.

Your life is short, so why spend the youthful part of it thinking that you are old?
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**update**

Feeling awesome! Had such a great weekend!!! I have kicked anxiety in the but.t.

Coming off the paxil so far is no issue.

Coming off the Ativan is no issue.

I'm just feeling great and hanging on to it.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi there!
I have to tell you one think and it might help you to get over the fear of illness..

I use to be the same like you, any symptom would drive me crazy but I never had any panic attacks or anxiety disorder and never was treated for this issue..

last year I had many troubles after I deliver my son (postpartum issues) and had anxiety and stoped eating and felt weak and drained all the time that it made me say to myself TO DIE IS BETTER THAN THIS FEELING! being sick and make everyone worry around you is not fun!

Since I said "death better than this"..I stoped worrying about any symptoms ..I even now have sometimes some heart beat issues and I don't care and said to myself what has to be it will be AND NO ONE AND NOTHING CAN CHANGE IT.. destiney man..believe in it then you will find all worries are useless!


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I just want TO CLARIFY that saying death better than this situation is NOT MEANT TO BE SUICIDAL THOUGHTS but it just to pass you info that fearing illness is fearing death right? so when i was really feeling bad I wasn't scared from death and saw it as relief from pain..
SO since that my whole thinking has been changed and am not fearing any sickness any more .. lol! so for what to plug our self into these awful thoughts if it will not help to prevent any thing from destiney anyway!

Enjoying the BEING HEALTHY time before getting really ill and regret NOT TO ENJOY IT BEFORE!

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480448_tn?1403547723
cnote...glad you had a great weekend and are feeling good, however, please make sure you are sticking with your therapy.  It is important that you arm yourself with coping skills and methods to handle the anxiety when it hits.  Trust me....coming from someone who has suffered on and off for a lifetime....sometimes it sneaks up on you...even in the best of times.

You have to be ready to face it and address it.  Just dont kid yourself into thinking that it is "gone" for good after a few great days.  I wish it worked like that, but unfortunately, anyone with an anxiety disorder can tell you it doesn't.

Keep up with the positive thinking, and stick with that therapy!
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358304_tn?1409713092
umadam -  I totally understood what you meant. lol. No worries.

nursegirl6572 - Thanks so much! Yes, I still have my therapist appts. scheduled. I plan on continuing them. =)
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Avatar_n_tn
Next time you're stuck worrying about all the horrible possibilities that could go wrong try to remember that you can either dwell on all the harmful possibilities that could go wrong or try to enjoy the time that you have right now.

Let's presume someone actually had cancer(which you wouldn't get conclusive results from a stool sample anyways). If you had a finite amount of time, what would you do with it? Spend it all suffering from anxiety about the unknown?

Randy Pausch has an excellent lecture on time management being that he had a limited time to live due to pancreatic cancer.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTugjssqOT0
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Do i have to do the stool sample before eating or after?
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Avatar_f_tn
Here is a hint. Perhaps you can figure the rest out. It takes a few days for food to go through your system so what effect do you think could occur whether you take it before or after eating a meal?
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