Have the doctor do a stool study. I did and was diagnosed with c-diff (even after I asked If I could have that and they said most likely NOT) I am always in the bathroom, feel nausea, very tired, dehydrated, and crampy. Go Figure!
If your blood and stool samples are negative then you probably have one of three things: irritable bowl syndrome, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. It could be something worse but why think zebras instead of horse when you hear the beat of hoofs.
Since you are in the US (I assume) your doctor will probably want to do a colonoscopy, a biopsy, maybe an ultrasound, and more lab work – to get started.
I have had chronic mild to moderate diarrhea for years. For the last year I’ve been in South America. While in Brazil I got very bad dysentery. I tried to treat it myself with Imodium for the first week. After that I went to the clinic and was given IV fluids IV meds and Rx’s to fill and take for 5 days (they didn’t do any testing they just treated me for what was the most common cause for the location) after another week I was back at the clinic because what they gave me didn’t work. The only think that stopped my diarrhea was to stop eating and drinking – nothing in – nothing out. The clinic gave me a different set of IV meds and an injection and the same meds to take at home. After 4-5 days the diarrhea was gone but the pain and feeling that I had to have a bowl movement wouldn’t go away. This was finally resolved with a short course of prednisone.
In Chile I had a similar episode but the clinic did a blood test and detected salmonella. By the time I went to the clinic my symptoms were getting better and while I filled the Rx for Cipro I never had to use it. On my way to Bariloche Argentina I got sick again and the doctor wanted me to just take Imodium, since I was only in Bariloche for the day to renew my tourist card for Chile there wasn’t time to do the lab work and get the results back so she gave me the Rx for Cipro – I couldn’t imagine the 6.5 hour bus ride having to go to the bathroom every five minutes or having to see another doctor in Chile for an Rx for Cipro. I took lots of Imodium (6 the first day, 4 the second, 2 the third then stopped) I continued the Cipro but on the second day off of Imodium was having explosive watery stools. So I went to the doctor in Chile and all my tests came back negative for pathogens.
This got me thinking because I am very careful about what I eat and almost always prepare my own food. And looking back over the years I see that I have always had this problem to one degree or another. The doctor here diagnosed me with Crohn’s/ Ulcerative Colitis and gave me prescriptions that relieved the diarrhea and in hours and are relatively inexpensive.
I want to make a comment about medicine in the US and our neighbors down South. I have CalPERS Blue Cross -- it is supposed to be one of the best in the nation and is “supposedly” international. 2 hospital visits in Brazil (my co-pay in the US $50 ea) my cost in Brazil =0. My visit to a private hospital in Chile (my co-pay in the US $50) my cost in Chile about $100 including lab work. Visit to walk-in clinic in Argentina (my co-pay in the US $50) my cost $26. My doctor’s appointment in Chile (US office co-pay $20) $25.
My most expensive drug (because there wasn’t a generic) $45. My co-pay in the US for a month supply of a non-generic drug=$45. My least expensive drug for a 3 month supply here $2.75 my co-pay for a 3 month supply of a non generic drug $15/mo. My average wait time at a clinic or hospital= less than 5 minutes. My wait time at a pharmacy less than 1 minute….. Draw your own conclusions