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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I went had a fever of between 99 to 101 degrees for the past

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I went had a fever of between 99 to 101 degrees for the past 3 days until yesterday. I had abdominal pain also, so I went to the ER yesterday. I had a CAT Scan done also yesterday which was a routine follow up to lithotripsy surgery for kidney stones I had in January. CAT scan was done with pyelogram for kidneys. In the midst of my scan, the tech asked if I was having abdominal pain. I said that I was, but I assumed it was because of the stones passing, since I passed another fragment on Friday. But she said that my colon was inflamed (irritated), or as she said they call it "Angry Colon" in the CT department. I went to the ER yesterday because of the abdominal pain and fever I was having. The ER doctor looked at my CT scan and also took blood and urine samples. He said that my urine was very low in sodium and electrolytes because of all the water I have been drinking to pass the fragments of kidney stones after the lithotripsy. He also said that is why my colon was inflamed. I have been taking Allopurinol since I had uric acid stones. The ER doc wanted to keep me overnight, but since I have a mild infection, my husband asked if he could just prescribe the antibiotics for me and I could go home. He said fine, and wrote the RX's. He prescribed Ciprofloxacin 500 mg tabs, 1 tab every 12hours for 7 days, also Metronidazole 500mg tabs, 1 tab 3 times a day for 7 days, and also a pain killer Tramadol 50 mg, 1 to 2 tabs every 6 hours as needed.
I was wondering how long it is going to be before I start feeling better? I still have pain, and I am nauseous every time I try to eat. Is this normal for having an infection in your colon?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.

Were you diagnosed with diverticulitis?
Was a specific diet recommended?
Are you still running a temperature?

dr abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No, I was not diagnosed with diverticulitis, they diagnosed me with "inflammation of the bowel". A bland diet (light) for the next few days, and yes I still have a low grade temp---especially tonight, I have felt hot and measured my was 99 degrees.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Ok, thank you for clarifying...

It can take 48-72 hours to improve once starting the antibiotics.
It sounds like your fever, at least, has been coming down which is a good sign.

If you are having pain after eating, I recommend changing your diet to clear liquids for a day. Then, if your pain has improved, advance your diet again to a bland diet.
The clear liquids will allow your bowel to rest.

The question that remains now is what is causing the inflammation of the bowel.
If the pain/inflammation is in the left lower abdomen (the sigmoid colon), diverticulitis is the most likely cause. While you are slightly young for diverticulitis, it does occur in people in their 40's.

Inflammation can also be due to bacterial infections or inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. You should follow up with a gastroenterologist next week as you may need to have a colonoscopy in the near future.

Worrisome symptoms for which you should seek medical attention--increasing temperature again (means the antibiotics are not working and you may need IV antibiotics), persistent vomiting, increasing abdominal pain.

I hope that you feel better soon,

Please feel free to ask any follow up questions,

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Wouldnt the CAT scan have showed that I had any of these conditions and wouldnt the ER doc have told me? Also, my pain is mostly on the lower RIGHT side of the abdomen. I am not having any bleeding though. I have been reading about Crohns, and it says bleeding is present. Also, my sister was diagnosed with IBS, and my mother had Colitis. I also have not been vomiting, but I have had nausea.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
Crohn's and ulcerative colitis cannot be diagnosed by a CT scan, nor can any specific type of infection.
Right sided diverticulitis is much less common than left sided diverticulitis. It is unlikely that is the cause...usually we can tell that there is an underlying diverticula that is inflamed unless there is an abscess obscuring the pocket.

You are correct, bleeding is typically present with inflammatory bowel disease (more common with ulcerative colitis, Crohns often does not have visible bleeding--thus Crohn's is much more likely to be a possibility in your case)

IBS does not cause inflammation.

At this point, the cause of your inflammation is unknown. That is why a colonoscopy is likely in your future...

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Can a CT scan tell if you have cancer in your colon or anywhere else in your body? The ER doc would have said something to me right?

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
A CT scan can diagnose cancer but it is not the test of choice for colon cancer.
This is because it does not visualize the inside of the colon (the lining) and therefore it does not see polyps well. That is why a colonoscopy is the test that is needed for colon cancer diagnosis.

A CT scan would be able to tell if you had advanced cancer that spread to lymph nodes and/or if you had a large tumor.

Your symptoms do not sound like cancer...
The most common presentations of colon cancer are iron deficiency anemia (due to slow non-visible bleeding, unexplained weight loss, a change in bowel habits such as new, pencil thin stools).

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia last December 2011, but my primary thinks its because I have abnormally heavy periods along with PCOS. I went to a hematologist, and he thought the same thing. So he put me on iron tablets. The blood test taken in the ER yesterday did not show I was anemic anymore though. I have not had any unexplained weight loss though, and I have had pencil thin stools before, maybe about a month ago. My stool I passed this morning was not pencil thin and not diarrhea, but not solid either, and had undigested salad that I had for dinner last night. Also, isnt there also bleeding with colon cancer?
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
The bleeding with colon cancer is usually not visible.

In a menstruating woman, iron deficiency anemia is usually due to her period.
It is in the elderly where we need to rule out bleeding in the GI tract if we see this type of anemia.

Consistently pencil thin stools would be suspicious. If you had it a month ago and not now, it is not worrisome. The thin stools with colon cancer are due to narrowing of the colon. This would not suddenly go away.

It does not sound like you have colon cancer. You are not describing anything that suggests you do.

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, well thank you for clarifying. I have been worrying myself to no end. I appreciate all your help. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 5 years ago.
You are very welcome.

I completely understand the is scary when something like this happens.

You should start to feel better over the next day or so.

Dr Abby
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