Hi, my name is Madeleine and I am 18. For about 4 years now I have had diarrhea, nausea, constipation, bloating and intense abdominal pain after most meals. I live in Africa so I have never really been tested for any food allergies so we just kinda figured that I should stay away from the obvious things like dairy, wheat, sugar etc. I have done a lot of research on my symptoms and I just figured that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome but after 2 years of staying away from certain foods, I am still in the same position. I rarely have a normal bowel movement. My stomach gets so bloated that I often look pregnant and people actually stop and stare at it, because my arms and legs are thin but my stomach is so big that I really do look pregnant! My stomach expands so fast that I have horrible stretch marks on my belly that look like someone has clawed me! I feel extremely self conscious about my looks and I still don't know how to fix it! I eat relatively healthy because living in Africa I don't get much of a choice in what I eat!
I am also starting to worry that it could be bowel cancer as my grandmother died 2 years ago of it. I have almost all of the symptoms especially being constantly exhausted! I wake up and I am soo tired and it lasts most of the day! There has also been small ammounts of blood in my stool. I am very nervous about telling my family that I could have bowel cancer because of my grandmother...is there anything else it could be? Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? My stomach is very distended right now! It looks like I have swallowed a basket ball!
Thanks in advance for you comments or suggestions!
Bowel cancer is extremely unlikely at your age. What you describe suggests that you have some type of inflammatory bowel disease, a vitamin deficiency disease, or a protein deficiency disease, such as Kwashiorkor, where a large belly and thin limbs are characteristic. You must seek medical attention immediately, so that the correct diagnosis can be made and treated, before permanent damage occurs to a number of parts of your body.
Well the blood in stool and history of bowel cancer needs to be checked out; get scoped.
One thing it could be is Celiac's Disease, an allergy/intolerance to gluten. It is not checked in normal allergy testing (it is an autoimmune response, not really an allergy). But just google celiac's and you can see the symptoms; your symptoms are very similar. If you are going to get scoped you could have them biopsy while they are "up there". Even the bowel/colon cancer could be caused by untreated Celiacs. The treatment is to eliminate gluten completely. Let me know what you think.
I understand totally what u are going through. It happens to me every time I eat something unless I eat plain salads for days straight and then I'm not as swollen. I know it is due to all of my many food allergies and I have to say the only thing that helps me is a colon cleanse like once a month. Colon cleanse I bought from GNC. I've done alot of reading on it and my bowels are not regular what so ever and I get to hurting so bad that I cant stand it and the colon cleanse helps. I was taking laxatives but I didn't want to become addicted to them. I wish I could tell you more but I'm still trying to find something else that helps me daily.
First of all I would definately suggest you see a physician because of the blood in your stool. It may not be serious but that is something they usually want to know where it is coming from. You may have diverticulitis in the large intestion which can cause this, also inflammatory bowel disease and with medication they can help you. Also there is a possiblility that you may have intestional parasites especially since you are in Africa. There are some nutritional supplements that can help you with this too. But like I said first of all check to make sure it is not a medical emergency.
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