I’m mom to three, one grown, one about to enter college, and one in high school. No history of UC in the family whatsoever. My daughter leaves for college in a little more than three weeks. We’ve been searching for answers since 2 weeks following the onset of symptoms.
Her Daughter’s Symptoms:
Gastro says it’s NOT UC…symptoms are:
Feeling generally unwell/nauseous, bad gas (really foul-smelling), some bloating with stomach cramps, usually diarrhea, followed by small amounts of occasional constipation. Diarrhea sometimes accompanied by urgency. 99% of the time with red blood. Sometimes with mucous.
She’s Leaving For College in Three Weeks
Thank you Adam for your research and for facilitating this forum.
My daughter, now age 18, began having symptoms in mid to late April. She was feeling generally unwell/nauseous (whether she ate or didn’t eat), had bad gas (really foul-smelling), some bloating with stomach cramps, and diarrhea, followed by small amounts of occasional constipation.
She then came down with a severe sore throat (I thought strep), so off to the doctors we went. The diagnosis was No strep, just a “virus.” She also had a bad canker sore in her mouth that took weeks to resolve. She’s had them on rare occasions, but never to this extent. The doctor said she was re-opening it by accidentally biting it and to use warm salt water rinses and an oral analgesic.
The diarrhea increased in early May, accompanied by blood and some mucous.
She went back to the doctor and a physical exam ruled our hemorrhoids. Blood work showed normal CBC and no signs of Celiac disease or inflammation. Stool specimens ruled out bacteria, parasites, ova, etc.
On 6/2, she had a colonoscopy and endoscopy with biopsies. ALL normal. No signs of UC, which is what the Gastro was thinking. No signs of polyps, tumors, fissures, or internal hemorrhoids. Normal, normal and more normal.
The day following the colonoscopy, she didn’t have any bowel movements. The following day, she had a somewhat formed stool with no bleeding. The next day, diarrhea with bleeding returned.
The diarrhea and diarrhea with urgency and bouts of constipation- all with red bleeding continued.
The Gastro suggested that my daughter might be having difficulty passing stool due to bouts of pebble like constipation, which is causing peri-rectal tears which could result in bleeding. Stool also backs up around the constipation, turning into diarrhea which works its way around the constipation, sometimes with urgency, 99% of the times with bright red bleeding. No peri-rectal tears or ANY bleeding was seen during the scope. The Gastro doc said these tears can heal over very quickly.
Dr suggested taking a Colace a day to soften the stool. My daughter was reluctant to try ANYTHING that could make her bowel situation even more unpredictable. She had to attend a 3 day college orientation (traveling 4 hours each way, living in the dorms, sharing limited bathroom stalls) and she’s now trying to hold down a part time job. I haven’t insisted that she try this.
I’ve researched a “Soluble Fiber” diet with the hopes that this would help “bulk” up the loose stools. To me, this would just be a temporary fix because it doesn’t solve the underlying cause.
The Gastro ordered a 3- day stool collection, which has shown very little, although my daughter hasn’t been able to collect the specimen necessary to test for C-diff because she hasn’t been home when the urgency arose. The initial C-diff test was negative.
One thing that DID appear this time was signs of “inflammation” in the stool. Fecal ocult shows blood in the stool, which was no surprise.
The Gastro said the next step is an MRI Enterography to look at her small intestine for the possibility of Crohn’s Disease.
This test is scheduled for Wednesday.
Some random things, or perhaps not so random to a new set of eyes:
My daughter really hasn’t altered her diet, although she IS lactose intolerant. She usually takes a Lactaid tablet before consuming dairy.
Greek yogurt every morning and a probiotic every evening (“Align”) MAY be helping– my daughter remarked that when she stopped eating the yogurt, she felt worse.
I’m considering trying a higher-quality Probiotic (perhaps Healthy Trinity by Natren) and have purchased L-Glutamine which just arrived. I guess I’d like to wait before introducing anything “new” into the mix. Thoughts?
She has periodically suffered from hives of “undetermined origin” and saw an Allergist/Immunologist several years ago. The hives weren’t food related, but seemed tied to stress and/or hot/humid conditions.
Bleeding stopped toward the end of the cleanse prior to the colonoscopy. Bleeding also stopped after a day of severe diarrhea earlier this month. Probably because she was “empty.” But the bleeding didn’t start up again with the very next bowel movement, either.
The bleeding is bright red, which led the Gastro to believe it was coming from her colon and NOT from further up.
She has taken a significant amount of Motrin due to dance-related injuries (Grade 2.5-3 ankle sprain in Nov 2013).
She hasn’t lost any weight. If anything, she has been gaining and now weighs between 135-140 lbs at 5′ 7″ tall. Her activity level decreased since sustaining the severe sprain in Nov 2013 and hasn’t resumed to what it was pre-injury.
She drinks black coffee every morning and often has another coffee or iced coffee later in the day.
She takes Melatonin before bed.
She has had migraines for which she takes Excedrin Migraine formula. Current migraines may be as a result of cutting back on caffeine consumption.
Over the last 12-15 months, her previously thick hair has thinned. Significantly. She isn’t taking anything that would cause this. Her allergist and general doc ran thyroid blood work last year which was normal.
She takes an oral contraceptive, a multi-vitamin with iron and Citracal + D.
Can OC’s reduce gut bacteria?
She takes Claritan or Zyrtec every morning.
She’s allergic to penicillin-related antibiotics.
I expected (maybe wishful thinking?) that my daughter’s symptoms would’ve been caused by some bacteria or parasite acquired from travel (she went to Italy in April 2013 and Mexico the year prior). Or from accidentally ingesting some lake water while kayaking last summer or this spring. OR from drinking from an unclean travel coffee cup or sports water bottle.
The Gastro doc hasn’t tried any medications– for which I think I’m somewhat grateful because I’m wary of the side effects, especially of the Prednisone. But this can’t continue without some diagnosis or intervention.
I can’t think of anything else to share…except my distress that we’re running out of time- my daughter leaves for college in 3 weeks.
Medications/Supplements right now:
written by Angela
submitted in the colitis venting area