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Ask Family Physician Your Own Question

Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12603
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Had sudden onset of bad diaarehea for one week, with bright

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Had sudden onset of bad diaarehea for one week, with bright red blood in stools or on the paper and lost some weight from not eating much, week after was just uncomfortable, third week now I have pains in lower and mid left side, sometimes in right, back aches, no diarrhea or constipation, but have small, soft, paler light brown yellowish stools, visible mucus, possible blood too, smaller appetite. Lost about 3-5kg.

Third week I had FBC, LFT, came back ok, had 3 urine tests and no sign of infection. Not anemic, Ultrasound to be performed in 4-6 weeks, should i go back and ask for an immediate colonoscopy? Concerned about cancers of bowel or pancreas, liver.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Family Physician replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question:

At your age, cancers of the colon, pancreas or liver would be very rare.

While I would not discourage a more complete evaluation including a colonoscopy if the symptoms persist, I do not personally believe that this represents an situation where an immediate colonoscopy would be required.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My concern comes from 3 weeks of what I find are rapidly worsening symptoms despite my "reassuring" test results in this third week, painkillers offer little relief, and my stools having so much mucus, the softness, and the pale brown/yellow colour, and what looks to be blood in them still. Bowel movements do not help my condition, no bloating or gas. The pains are constant. Around a 6 - 6.5/10.


 


I am 5'6, normally 61KG, a big eater, so the weight loss is alarming for 3 weeks.


 


What can I express to, or ask my doctor for as far as further testing? I fear I am being overlooked because of my age and will end up with a tragic, late diagnosis. My grandad passed from ulcers and an abdominal cancer also.

Expert:  Family Physician replied 1 year ago.
Oh...
I'm sorry, your original post seemed to suggest that your symptoms while persistent were actually getting better.

At your age, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease would be much more likely causes than cancer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

With the persistant and worsening symptoms, and the new development in the condition of my stools (colour, paleness, mucus, and blood), would addressing my concerns over these given the duration and developments, change or speed up the investigation of the causes?


 


Should I ask for a stool sample to be evaluated first? Or is it all in my doctors hands and opinion?


 


I do not feel I am being taken seriously, always being "reassured" instead on every visit. Is this a normal process with these symptoms?

Expert:  Family Physician replied 1 year ago.
I do believe a stool specimen test would be a reasonable step at this time. Also, if your GP has not yet referred you to a specialist (gastroenterologist), this would seem very reasonable, since it can take a while to get an appointment.

I am based in the USA, where many physicians order too many unnecessary tests which can lead to complications, extra time away from work and huge costs to the health care system. I did have the privilege of spending 10 months in the UK as a medical student. I found that the physicians in the NHS are for the most part caring and competent and more conservative (and in many ways more appropriate) in their ordering tests.

I do think a stool specimen and a referral to a gastroenterologist would seem reasonable and appropriate at this time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am actually a resident of the UK (England)!


 


Is it normal practice for me to request a sample to be taken, and a referral to a specialist if I have drastic concerns at this stage, and for them to be complied with, or is it still my doctor's decision for both of these despite my wanting them? Would i ask him for a second opinion if he won't action both of those?


 


I am never sick so this is all new to me. I almost feel as if i am harrassing my doctor, but I have night sweats now, and am overcome with anxiety and feelings of depression because of this. Is it worth mentioning this also? This is all very helpful advice!

Expert:  Family Physician replied 1 year ago.
I do think it is appropriate to ask your GP for a stool test and referral.
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12603
Experience: Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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