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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22576
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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Woke up this morning with moderate abdominal cramping, gas,

Customer Question

Woke up this morning with moderate abdominal cramping, gas, watery diarrhea x2 so far. I scheduled an appointment with a gastroenterology doctor for Wednesday morning, but like I said, I'm still pretty scared. He's probably going to have me do a colonoscopy, and I'm afraid the results are going to show cancer! Please tell me again why this is very very very unlikely to be cancer.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
Hi--how long has this been going on? Ever had it before? Could it be related to something you ate?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

This has never happened before. Remember? We've been having this conversation off and on for about a week now.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
Sorry--didn't realize it was you. OK--symptoms of colon cancer--and sometimes there are none for quite some time--yes, abdominal pain. Constipation and sometimes pencil thin stools. Obvious blood in the stool. But not abdominal cramping and diarrhea so you can cross of cancer from the list here
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Alright. I'm so confused as to what this could be. The Xifaxan obviously isn't working. So probably not an infection.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
I still think it's your gall bladder
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Gosh I hope so. But from what I've read, the stools only turn orange if a gallstone is blocking a bile duct. I don't have any other symptoms of it blocking a bile duct.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
No, if the gall bladder isn't emptying properly that can be just the same as a gall stone blocking the duct. The HIDA scan can detect that
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

If it's not my gallbladder, could this be the onset of IBS-D? Does it start this suddenly?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
Could be IBS and it can hit out of the blue but your upper GI symptoms like the nausea and lack of appetite aren't usually seen with IBS
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22576
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Dr. Chip and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok. Thanks.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
Again my pleasure
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Could Xifaxan cause "chemical-smelling" stools? I'm not sure if it's a metallic smell or not. Definitely never smelled it before the past few days. I went to urgent care almost 2 weeks ago with a stool sample, and he did a stool test on a little card and said there was no blood in it. Could there be blood in it now? Stools are still slightly orange, and when I break them apart with a cotton swab, I see some small black flecks. Could this be blood? Or undigested food?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
The black flecks are just undigested food. Yes, the Xifaxan and cause that type of smell and it wouldn't be from blood
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22576
Experience: Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
Dr. Chip and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Ok, thank you. I have an appointment with a GI doctor tomorrow morning.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
Let me know how it goes of course
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

My appt with a GI doctor has been reschedule until tomorrow, so I didn't get to see him today. As you know, I'm terrified of this turning out to be colon cancer. Something else I just realized is that for YEARS I guess I've had chronic constipation. Before my pregnancies, through my pregnancies, after my pregnancies, and up until the past few weeks, I've either had to strain to go, or going would be easy, but I'd pass little pellets. I can't remember the last time I had a "normal" bowel movement, I always considered this "normal' for me, as I have hypothyroidism, even though it's controlled with medication.


 


Now that I'm having this diarrhea, I'm concerned even MORE that this might be colon cancer, as I've read that early signs of colon cancer are the "normal-for-me" type of stools.


 


When I had a gallbladder attack last month, my doctor told me to go on a strict "fruits & vegetables only" diet. Well, I did that for about 2 days, and my stools were well formed, and soft and easy to pass. "normal".


 


My question is - with this information of years of either straining or going easy, but passing pellet like stools - does this seem more like colon cancer?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 10 months ago.
No--still not sounding anything like colon cancer. It sounds as though there hasn't been enough fiber and fluids in your diet but hard stools and pellet like stools isn't indicative of cancer. In general, as I said before, the signs of colon cancer are pencil thin stools.

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