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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Chronic Yellow Diarrhea and Nausea

 kmorgan - Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:03 am

For about the past year I have been experiencing off and on bouts of Diarrhea for no obvious reason. Sometimes it will happen while I'm eating, right after I eat, or when I haven't eaten anything yet so I don't think it has much to do with my diet. Recently, however, the diarrhea has gotten worse and taken on a bright yellow color. When I get these bouts of diarrhea it will often be accompanied by nausea and will wake me up at night. I also have been experience a sharp but rather mild upper left abdominal pain and sometimes wake up with pain in my upper middle abdomen when I breath in. This may be unrelated but about three months ago I had severe diarrhea with blood in it, which brought me to the ER and the doctors prescribed me an antibiotic (Cipro) because they believed it was an intestinal infection. The blood disappeared from my stool after taking this but the diarrhea and nausea continued. Since then my doctor has mentioned that he believes it is IBS but hasn't done any other tests so I'm not sure if this is a correct diagnosis. I am an 18 year old female and am otherwise healthy. Please help! Oh also about a month prior to the intestinal infection I had a stool sample done but it came back clear.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:00 pm

User avatar Hi there --

This could be IBS, it could have been aggravated by a c.diff. infection (and if so was successfully treated) but also could be due to something else, and that something could be any one of a great many things that should be ruled out. For instance, and especially considering the apparently wrong-sided abdominal pain, it still could be due to something like hepatitis C, for which you should have been tested, as well as a general liver panel. And though it seems your diet isn't at fault, you should also be tested for celiac disease, which doesn't always manifest immediately after eating, although sometimes it does. It also can cause diarrhea, bloody stools, stomach discomfort, pain and bloating, among other symptoms. And of course having one thing doesn't mean there can't be other things going on at the same time (such as having IBS or some other chronic problem along with a passing bacterial infection which may have been cleared up by antibiotics).

There are a number of blood tests that should be done to rule out the more serious potential problems and narrow down the field of possibilities. I hope your doctor will be willing to either order these or refer you to a gastroenterologist who will be better at figuring this out for you. He may even order a colonoscopy, which really isn't nearly the big deal people sometimes make of it (only the prep is even annoying, and that's self-administered the evening before). Just a thought. There are so many possible causes of this, and the main thing is to make it stop! You don't need this aggravation and whatever's causing it can likely be treated or at least managed well enough to eliminate the symptoms and allow you some relief.

I hope this is helpful. Good luck to you and please do follow up with us here as needed.

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