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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Is it something besides Chron's/Colitis?

 ctri - Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:24 am


I am a 32 year old female and over the past month I've been having chronic diarrhea. My symptoms came on gradual with a few episodes of diarrhea a week. When I wasn't having diarrhea, my stools were thin and pencil like. Gurgling in my lower abdomen usually lasted 2 days after having an episode of diarrhea. Over a few weeks, I noticed I wasn't eating as much and that I was losing weight. One day I ended up in the emergency room because of severe diarrhea and pain in my lower back that radiated to my groin area (right side). The nausea began and I became very weak and pale. I thought I was passing a kidney stone (I passed them in the past). As I waited in the emergency room my pain subsided. Urine and blood tests came back normal. They also performed a Abdomen CT scan and pelvic ultrasound...all normal. A rectal exam showed a slight trace of blood in my stool. My temp. was going up and down between low grade and normal.

Over the next week, new symptoms appeared while others got worse. (diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, bloating, gurgling in stomach, rapid hear rate, pain in lower back, groin, ringing in my ears). I also started experiencing a burning sensation in my groin area at night --I'm not sure what that was from. I became so weak I couldn't even get out of bed without feeling dizzy. I made a doctor's appt. and she referred me to get a colonoscopy. A stool test showed no infection.

A few days before the test, I started to have an appetite again (I was able to eat more than a banana) and had enough energy to walk around my apt. I had the test which showed no visible ulcerations. They did take a biopsy to check for inflammation.

Since the test, I've continued to have a low grade fever. My diarrhea isn't as severe, but my bowel movements are still not normal. I am starting to eat small meals again (non dairy products). I don't have back pain anymore or the burning sensation in my groin. I did however experience night sweats where I had to change my clothes 2x during the night because I was so wet-- this was a new symptom. Today I feel fine, yesterday I felt so weak it was hard for me to walk from my car to my desk at work.

Could this be Chron's or colitis? I'm concerned about the night sweats since I've never experienced them before with my other symptoms and it seemed to creep up when other symptoms subsided. Could all of my symptoms be anything else?

Your guidance is greatly appreciated...

Thank you,
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:25 pm

User avatar Dear ctri,

The symptoms and signs of IBS are very similar to what you have described.

However, they are non specific and shared by many other conditions affecting the GI tract especially, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
IBS is less commonly associated with blood in stool.

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are caused by inflammation of the wall of the GI tract. They are highly suspected according to your complaints.

Complete history and physical examination, some tests may be recommended by some doctors to confirm the diagnosis.
Colonoscopy or Flexible sigmoidoscopy for visualization of the entire large intestine (colon) or the lower part of it (sigmoid colon) respectively is usually requested.

If any lesion is suspicious a biopsy should be taken to rule out Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

We can not reach a diagnosis by simple history and examination in such cases. The results of the biopsy can tell whether it is due to inflammatory causes or not.

Free colonscopic examination dose not mean negative disease since the disease affects primarily the entire GI tract and usually starts in the small intestine, so a Barium follow through can help investigate the small intestine with a Small bowel X-ray.

Keep on follow up with your doctor.
Keep us updated.
Best regards,

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