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Avatar universal

3 months of diarrhea

Back in August I had a bloody stool and went to the doc to have a barium enema.  The radiologist didn't see anything wrong.  It took 5 days for my stools to harden after that and since then I have had diarrhea off and on (usually in the three days on two days off pattern).  I have Graves Disease, which probably doesn't have anything to do with this, but I thought I'd throw that in just in case (yes, I know diarrhea is a symptom of graves, but I have not had chronic diarrhea until just after the enema).  Anyway, they had me scheduled two weeks later for a colonoscopy, but because I was having diarrhea I had to cancel.  I can't reschedule the colonoscopy until the diarrhea stops, but in the mean time the bloody stools have stopped.  No one else in my family has been or has gotten sick, and we all eat the same meals, so I am thinking it's probably not a bug.  I haven't run any fevers, I haven't been naucious, and I haven't had headaches or any other symptoms of anything that I know of.  Have I had some sort of reaction to the barium?  It just doesn't make any sense.  Help please.  (oh by the way, I'm a military dependent, so I can't go to a real doctor without seeing our PA, who doesn't seem to know much about anything, to refer me, so I want to go in with some clue of my own so I don't have to listen to him say things like, "well, did you try imodium?")  Please give me some ideas.

6 Responses
Avatar universal

I have some off and on diarrhea. Not as bad as yours, though. Can I ask, do you suffer from any medical anxiety? Any other anxiety?

The reason I ask is that the bowels are highly sensitive to this psychological stimuli. I do suffer from anxiety and my worry seems to specifically impact the rate, degree and frequency of my diahrea.

Also, when I was having diahrea my GI put me on metamucil wafers.
I also added one "Pro-Biotics" acidophilus tablet per day to get things back in balance. The fiber and acidophilus acted to slowly firm the stools.

Just some ideas.
Avatar universal

have you tried modifying your diet (increasing or decreasing fiber)?  are you taking any new supplements?  I'd suggest you reschedule the colonoscopy.  it doesn't matter if you have diarrhea or not, it's not a reason to postpone the scope and it won't interfere with the procedure or the results.  actually, I can't remember ever having a colonscopy when I DID'T have diarrhea.  

Avatar universal
thanks for the advice.  I haven't really modified my diet (either as a cause or a remedy) with the exception of milk, but I think I will try adding more fiber.  I thought for a while it was milk, so I tried lactaid. When that didn't work, I cut out all dairy completely for a week.  That didn't work either.  

As for the colonoscopy, I seem to have this problem even when I haven't eaten anything for hours and hours.  The bulk of it (no pun intended) occurs in the morning even though I haven't had anything since 6 the previous evening, so I don't think it's are reaction to any particular food or drink.  The thing that bothers me about having the cononoscopy with the diarrhea is that I couldn't eat after the barium because my stomache was so upset, yet I had diarrhea for hours after the enema (more than 24 hours of completely not eating), which continued for days, even after I had eaten.  (That's what makes me think something is up with me and the barium, but then why would it still be happening this long afterwards?)  So, even with me completely empty for the colonoscopy, I might still **** all over the place (for lack of better words), and even the doctor doing the colonoscopy didn't like that idea, but he was positive it was just a bug and would go away in a few days...  so much for that.

I don't have any medically determined anxiety, but I am more anxious about things in the morning because that is our big rush to get everyone ready to go.  But this started before school started this year, before I had a big morning rush.  I won't rule out anxiety completely, but I don't know whether that is actual cause or something that just might aggrivate whatever this is because the morning rush and anxiety do definitely tie in together.

With everything that is going on with my endocrine system, I am tempted to just travel the hundred mile to the endocrinologist and pay out of pocket to be seen.  Maybe it is my thyroid?  I just don't know.  For now though, I will try the fiber supplements.  

Thanks again,

Avatar universal
You should try increasing your fiber intake and see if this will firm your stools up. I too have bouts of diahrea and a teaspoon of metamucil seems to firm it up. I also take a probiotic which you can get at the drugstore, which will put some good bacteria back into your colon and intestines. Yours could have been thrown out of whack from the tests.
I hope you get some relief soon,
Avatar universal

ditto what virgo said.

don't worry about the d and a colonoscopy.  if it bothers the doc that's doing the scope, find another doc.  remember, there is suction on that scope.  trust me, it's not a problem.  there are quite a few of us with Crohn's disease that end up with fecal incontinence for a variety of reasons and have still been scoped.  I've had severe diarrhea and still was scoped without a problem.  talk to your doc about the prep tho.  if you are still having diarrhea, you are most likely dehydrated.  using the standard prep can make that a problem.  an alternative would be to do a 2 day clear liquid diet and a mild laxative rather than the harsher golytely, phosphasoda or mag citrate.

take care
Avatar universal
You might want to look into more dietary issues such as Celiac Disease which is a lack of tolerance of wheat/gluten in food products.  Diarrhea is a major result of this intolerance.  My wife has had CD for 20 years only because it took medical doctors that long to figure it all out.  Now she is fine.  You can find more information at www.celiac.com and other sites on the internet.  You may want to check out on some sites where they list gluten-free food products, because it is surprising what foods contain gluten or wheat products.
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