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Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy #279443
11/14/17 10:38 PM
11/14/17 10:38 PM
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Nicole_B Offline OP
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Hi everyone,

I've been mostly lurking lately, but I started having some (more severe) GI symptoms recently that my doctors are checking out. (Hopefully this isn't too off-topic, but I know GI symptoms can be related.) I had a few instances of rectal bleeding -- initial exam didn't show any cause, and the gastroenterologist doesn't think it seems like hemorrhoids, so he's sending me for a colonoscopy "to get more data." He said my symptoms weren't very clear (although I'm not sure I presented them well -- the GI symptoms/discomfort I have come and go more and aren't as severe/life-impacting as my joint pain, so I don't think about it as often), but he said Crohn's is one possibility, or potentially a polyp that's sometimes getting irritated.

I'm hoping the colonoscopy gives us some answers (having normal test results can get frustrating after a while when something is definitely wrong...), although who knows if it will shed light on what else is going on.

Has anyone else had a colonoscopy and have any tips?

Also, as a side note, my wrist pain has been getting worse again. I was starting to try to do some regular yoga as a gentler exercise to help with pain and to strengthen stabilizers, etc. (seems like it's just a good form of exercise all around for a lot of things), but it's started really bothering my wrists, since a lot of the poses require putting your weight on your hands. Anyone have suggestions on that? (Either similar alternatives, or alternate poses, or whatever.)

Last edited by Nicole_B; 11/14/17 10:45 PM. Reason: added a side note

Mid-20's. Undiagnosed upper and low back/SI pain (along with hips & ribs consistently, and neck, knees, heel/bottom of foot, ankles/achilles, and wrists periodically). Diclofenac 75mg 2x/day and Prilosec 40mg 1x/day. PCOS recently diagnosed.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279444
11/15/17 01:23 AM
11/15/17 01:23 AM
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Philadelphia
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David01 Offline
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Hello Nicole,

I get one every year. Day of the colonoscopy is pretty easy. Just show up and lie down on your side. Actually there is a little more than that but nothing that is difficult or uncomfortable.

The prep takes more effort. But it is not nearly as bad as when my colitis is in full flare.

My primary advice is to follow the prep instructions exactly. If the bowel isn't sufficiently cleared out then you have to do it all over again. Also, try to schedule the procedure as early in the day as possible since you will be fasting and can not eat until the procedure is over. I generally do not plan on doing anything after the procedure since the anesthesia leaves me a bit tired for the rest of the day.

My gastroenterologist orders a enterography mri when checking for crohn's disease. The prep for that is pretty easy, other than having to drink the barium right before the procedure.

I kind of look forward to finding out what is going on inside of me.

Good Luck!

--David


--Dave

52 years old
Dx: colitis - Sep 2014
Dx: ulcerative colitis - Oct 2014
Dx: ankylosing spondylitis - Nov 2014
HLA-B27 neg
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279446
11/15/17 12:46 PM
11/15/17 12:46 PM
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Winston Online
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+1 on scheduling the colonoscopy as early as possible in the morning so you can do the prep overnight. The prep is awful. I usually pick a show on Netflix or Amazon that I want to binge watch and just stay up all night doing that between bathroom visits. That makes it somewhat more tolerable for me. The actual procedure is not bad. They usually knock you out with propofol. You'll feel like yourself again pretty soon after it's over because propofol wears off quickly. Have someone stay with you the rest of the day though, just in case. (Always a wise precaution after any kind of anesthesia).

As for the yoga, make fists to keep your wrists straight during those poses. It's not as comfortable or stable as doing the poses palms down, but it helps a lot.

Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279447
11/15/17 02:30 PM
11/15/17 02:30 PM
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ThreeG Offline
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I'm a 42 year old woman taking Remicade. I've had two colonoscopies--the most recent one in May. It was so much smoother than the one I had ten years ago. The new anesthesia they use is so much easier. I usually get so sick from anesthesia, but this was really just like waking up from sleep. I had a little headache after, but that was all.

As others have said, the not being able to eat and the prep is the worst part. For me, getting down that prep is the worst part. Just be sure to follow the directions, however tempting it is to not quite finish drinking that stuff! The poor woman next to me in recovery was told her colon wasn't clear, so she was going to have to come back and do it all again. I can't imagine that!

I hope you get some answers. I think I am remembering that you and I have some symptoms in common. I have a lot of minor, but annoying bowel issues, but this colonoscopy showed only some minor inflammation that they didn't think was significant. I did have a polyp ten years ago, so I was relieved not to have another. Still, I know what you mean about wanting to just find something already!

And, here's a colonoscopy funny for you. When they wheeled me back toward the procedure room, I could hear music getting louder and louder. Then, in the room, the doctor had "Gangnam Style" playing. For some reason that totally put me at ease. Then, a few days later they called with my results and my visual voicemail transcribed it a "I'm calling from Dr. Not to Tell's office! So, there's plenty to laugh about in all the unpleasantness!

Good luck!

Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279448
11/15/17 02:54 PM
11/15/17 02:54 PM
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Nicole_B Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice! I am definitely not thrilled for the prep. Winston I appreciate the binge-watching advice, I'll keep it in mind. And I will try the fists for my wrists -- we'll see if that makes them less unhappy.

I'll keep you updated on if they find anything.


Mid-20's. Undiagnosed upper and low back/SI pain (along with hips & ribs consistently, and neck, knees, heel/bottom of foot, ankles/achilles, and wrists periodically). Diclofenac 75mg 2x/day and Prilosec 40mg 1x/day. PCOS recently diagnosed.
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279450
11/15/17 03:50 PM
11/15/17 03:50 PM
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SouthernMoss Offline
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For my latest colonoscopy, I was prescribed Prepopik for the prep. So much better than the previous prep! Just two 5-oz cups of prep spaced 4-5 hours apart, with lots of clear liquids of your own choosing between and after. The pharmacy warned me it would be more expensive than the other prep, but that it would be worth it, and they were right.

Be sure to have baby wipes on hand. You will be sore by the time you're done. frown


Ginny - 58 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis, both currently in remission
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279451
11/15/17 04:01 PM
11/15/17 04:01 PM
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SouthernMoss Offline
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On the wrist question, you might reach out to RAHMBA. He's a certified yoga instructor.


Ginny - 58 year old female
Dx with USpA in March 2013; changed to AS in July 2015
Iritis and Scleritis, both currently in remission
unicompartmental knee replacements: right-June 2014, left-Aug 2018
MTX, Humira, Cyclobenzaprine, plus Celebrex as needed
Supplements: Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Fish Oil, Culturelle probiotic, Melatonin (as needed)
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279452
11/15/17 04:12 PM
11/15/17 04:12 PM
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Winston Online
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Oh my gosh, yes, baby wipes -- the alcohol free ones. Also diaper cream. Apply diaper cream (I liked the A&D cream) after each . . . erm . . . experience, and you'll thank me later.

Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279455
11/16/17 02:48 AM
11/16/17 02:48 AM
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kglenn Offline
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I haven't had a colonoscopy yet, but when my son needed one, I read that avoiding meat for a few days ahead of the prep makes clearing things out go much more easily. Might want to consider it. Hope you find some answers!


Karen
Female, early 50's, HLA B27+, family history of SpA
Diagnoses: USpA (9/17), limited Scleroderma/Raynaud's phenomenon/Sjogren's syndrome (1/16), stroke (8/15), Factor V Leiden (8/15)
AS symptoms: right heel enthesitis/tendonitis; elbow tendonitis; mild low back/buttocks and hip pain/stiffness; normal MRI
Treatment: Xarelto; vitamins D3, B12, folate Primary non-responder to Enbrel and Cosentyx
Re: Update: GI symptoms and colonoscopy [Re: Nicole_B] #279469
11/21/17 02:17 PM
11/21/17 02:17 PM
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Nicole_B Offline OP
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Nicole_B  Offline OP
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Thank you for the advice, I will definitely find some baby wipes etc. I had already decided to do the more expensive split prep, so I'm glad to hear corroborating evidence that it is worth it!


Mid-20's. Undiagnosed upper and low back/SI pain (along with hips & ribs consistently, and neck, knees, heel/bottom of foot, ankles/achilles, and wrists periodically). Diclofenac 75mg 2x/day and Prilosec 40mg 1x/day. PCOS recently diagnosed.
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