Whether or not it's related, it all seemed to start with Acid Reflux.
I am 29 years old, and started having burning sensations in the chest around December or so. I went to my PCP, at the time, and after a battery of tests generally focused around the heart, the pain was attributed to Acid Reflux. I've always been prone to anxieties, and I was going through a very stressful time, considering a job change -which I did, around January- and trying to get a lot done in little time, in general. My sleeping patterns had always been erratic at best, and I had been sleeping, perhaps, 6 hours nightly on average.
Then I had a particularly stressful time during the beginning of my next job, and that's when things got worse. First the Acid Reflux got worse. I fixed it fairly easily with a change in diet to more Alkaline foods.
One day I go to the restroom and, after my bowel movement, I notice a lot of blood in the toilet paper. My Bowel movements had been a bit erratic for a few days, and when I felt my anus I noticed a soft protrusion of some sort... a somewhat elongated bump. It was a bit sore, and defecating hurt a bit. My sleeping patterns were crazy, with me going to bed sometimes at extremely late hours, eating at crazy times, no regular schedule whatsoever. Then I noticed my stool seemed to start getting thinner. It alternated between hard and very soft... I never quite had full on constipation or diarrhea. The bleeding seemed to last for a couple of days, and as the weeks passed it got a lot better, to the point where I only noticed a few smudges on the toilet paper. A couple of times I seemed to notice streaking on the stool, a thin line. Then the stool seemed to get softer and softer, as well as thinner.
My diet was crazy at the time -the heartburn was fine- but my stool seemed to keep going from very soft to a little less so, and the softer it got, the thinner it got... to the point where I had a couple of pencil sized ones. It never quite got to the point of diarrhea, but it was consistently soft... and sometimes I'd still get some smudges of blood on the toilet paper.
Then one day I had a very painful and thick brick of stool, completely round. I had a stronger bout of bleeding from that exterior bump. It went back to consistently thin stool after that, and by then my anus felt pretty consistently sore. On the third bout of bleeding, my fiancee looked and confirmed that it seemed to come from a raised surface on the exterior that had a little fissure (perhaps a hemorrhoid). The bump got much smaller after that, but still I remained frightened by the thinning feces. The bleeding was much reduced and mostly gone. Then, after weeks of very soft and thin stool, I had a couple of nearly normal ones... one was nearly round, the other was a bit lumpy here and there but appeared to be fully round.
I went to see a Gastroenterologist yesterday who checked my rectum for masses, felt none... and did not feel or see any hemorrhoids either. There were also no apparent masses in my abdomen, and no tender spots. She explained that sometimes hemorrhoids are found in a process of elimination, when the bleeding cannot be attributed to anything else. She did confirm seeing the slightly raised remains of what I explained had been the -or one of- the previous hemorrhoid.
Since then I've had 2 nearly regular movements with somewhat flaky, but nearly round stool, and one thin/soft one. No blood whatsoever, anywhere, in the last 3 days. I've also ingested a lot of fibers, have been trying to eat at reasonable times, and have had a lot of gas along with abdominal discomfort in the last 2 days.
I have a colonoscopy scheduled for monday, but I was really hoping to get some guidance here. My Gastroenterologist did not feel comfortable giving me any feedback until the bloodwork results return and the colonoscopy is done.
My bowel movements have been crazy, alternating between thick and thin. A friend of mine who had the same - or very similar- symptoms said they attributed it to an inflamed colon with colonoidal spasms.
I've gone crazy over the last few weeks researching all sorts of possibilities waiting for my appointment... and I know the colonoscopy is coming very soon, but I really just wanted to see if anyone here has any insights into the nature of this beast. Could this be cancer? Or IBS?
It sounds like you were suffering from a hemorrhoid, which can protrude from the rectum and cause bright red bleeding, and soreness. The increase of fiber can be producing the gas and abdominal discomfort, so be careful to add small amounts of fiber at a time. Too much fiber will also constipate you along with all the above. Your tiredness could be attributed to all the stress in your life. But I commend you on being pro-active with your health! A colonoscopy is a big nothing and well worth the peace of mind. When your bottom is sore from a bad hemorrhoid, you may be withholding your bowel movement without realizing it because of the pain caused with exertion, making it come out more slender. I don't think it is cancer or IBS, I think your system is just messed up from all you've been going through. But it does warrant a colonoscopy, and will give you one less thing to worry about. Best of luck to you, and let us know what you find out.
Thanks a lot for the support, Mammo.
I forgot to mention that what I mean by it getting thinner is that it it's gets flatter, like a squashed ellipse, not fully round. It seems to get rounder when it's firmer.
Does that change anything?
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