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Loose stools + mucous = ???
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Loose stools + mucous = ???

31 y/o Male - 6'0" - 140 pounds (tall and thin, high metabolism runs in my family)

I have been having problems for about a month now.  It began with severe fatigue and joint pain in my knees and fingers around April 20.  I have since chocked the fatigue and joint paint up to poor sleep due to travel anxiety.  It got better when we returned from vacation and has only returned on nights where I have gotten poor sleep - but I figured I would include this info just in case it may be relevant.

During vacation I had significant discomfort on my lower/mid right side nearly every day (6 days) - all day, often extending into the back around the kidney region (no burning or pain with urination).  Back from vacation the pain continued for approx. one week, typically alternating 1 good day 1 bad, increasing in severity in the back/kidney area but still only about a 3-4 on pain scale.  I met with my GP on Monday May 11 to discuss my symptoms.  I have a history of stomach related issues - all undiagnosed.  I have previously had stool study, Abdominal CT, and at least 4 Ultrasounds in the past 5-6 years.  My GP wants to order another ultrasound and has referred me back to my GI doctor on June 1 most likely for a full upper and lower GI workup; primarily b/c my Dad was dx with Stage 3 colon cancer 2 years ago at age 59.

In the meantime my stools continue to be very soft/loose - not diarrhea per say but very loosely formed and typically in multiple smaller stools (3-5 per movement, 1-2 per day).  The past couple of days I have observed a noticeable amount of mucous in the stool and some partially undigested food.  No visible blood or black stool.

I am writing to basically inquire to any specific questions I should ask my GI doctor during my visit next week.  I am confident that this is nothing serious but with 2 young children now, I really want to ensure my health is intact for them so I will submit to any testing required.

Thank you for any help and advice you can offer!
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I agree with the workup thus far, including the proposed lower GI workup with a colonoscopy,  Indeed, colon cancer needs to be excluded, also, inflammatory bowel disease as well as infectious causes can be detected as well with the colonoscopy.

If negative, more specialized tests, including blood antibody tests for celiac disease, as well as stool tests looking for malabsorption can be considered and discussed with your GI physician.

Regarding the feeling of something stuck in the throat, an upper endoscopy can be done to exclude GERD, as well as other causes of dyspepsia.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin Pho, M.D.

KevinMD.com
Twitter.com/kevinmd
5 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm sorry - I forgot to include, and is likely worth noting, that during the last couple days of vacation and the first 3-4 upon returning I had significant reflux - feeling of something stuck in my throat but it has since subsided.  I have experienced this infrequently before but rarely on a day-to-day basis.  I hate to think that all of these symptoms are anxiety related but I suppose it is possible.  As previously mentioned, it's most important to me to exclude any serious causes so that I can ensure my good health for my kids.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your prompt response.  I'll be sure to follow-up after my appointment with my GI doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just wanted to post a follow-up.  

Still having burning pain intermittently in my lower right abdomen.  I did go to my GI Doctor who wanted to do a blood test for Celiac and also a Upper Endo.  I did the blood test - which came back negative.  The endoscopy was going to cost me $600 out of pocket which I simply could not afford due to some large medical bills that my wife has along with still paying off the birth of our daughter over a year ago.  So I had to put that on hold.

Now I'm thinking though that I should get a Colonoscopy first.  The pain is clearly localized to the appendix/large intestine area so I don't think that a scope of the stomach is going to help much in diagnosing the more prominent pain.  

I still wonder if it's related to stress.  I have had a VERY stressful two weeks at work, this week working 70+ hours to meet a project deadline.  The stomach and intestinal issues definitely seem to be related to my stress anxiety load.  I'm gonna keep my eye on it for the next week or so now that the project is complete and see if the symptoms improve.  If they don't then I'll head back to the GI to schedule a Colonoscopy.
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Avatar_f_tn
I sure understand this Tired!  I still owe 500 on the colonoscopy I had done and now I have a new insurance so an endoscopy would cost me that 500 again. I am a single mom and can't do everything. Not sure what to do if my dr wants me to get an endoscopy for the stomach problems I am having.  Hang in there. I hope things settle down for you.
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