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bad stomach cramping and an urgency to use the restroom

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For years now I have had digestion problems. Off and on I go through periods where a few times a week I have an episode of really bad stomach cramping and an urgency to use the restroom. I then defacate for about 20-30 mins straight but very slowly and very painfully. My stomach cramps really bad during it and stops when I am finished. Sometimes it hurts so bad I start sweating and shaking. My stool is not loose, it is regular consistency but shaped very strangely - almost like a bunch of small strips that have jagged edges. Regular color and no blood. I have tried keeping a food journal and have found no patterns within it. I really have no other serious symptoms - I periodically have headaches and fatigue. 4 years ago I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy and both were clear. Besides that I am healthy and eat mostly healthy. I cut out soft drinks and fried food a year ago, buthave started to live my life in fear of having an episode and often have anxiety because of it.

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replied April 30th, 2014
Digestive and Bowel Disorders Answer A46967
Hi, and thanks for your query on eHealth forum!

Since you cannot find a food correlation and have these symptoms on and off, please consult your gastroenterologist again. Before you go for that, get a stool test to rule out worms. A number of times a gastroenterologist is able to diagnose these conditions by clinical examination and main grains---wheat, rye, barley and oats. If you have gluten intolerance, then you probably have celiac disease or Non Celiac gluten sensitivity. There are blood tests called celiac test to detect gluten intolerancedetailed medical history. At other times a few tests are conducted. Blood tests to rule out anemia, stool test to look for white blood cells, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy etc are used to diagnose ulcerative colitis. Braium meal and follow through, endoscopy etc are done to rule out GERD, Crohn’s disease etc.

Irritable bowel syndrome is diagnosed by elimination of other causes. Gluten is a complex protein present in four. Crohn’s disease is a difficult entity to diagnose. Along with gut symptoms skin disorders and arthritis too are commonly seen with Crohn’s. An upper GI series using barium dye is done to see the condition of small intestines. The degree of involvement of the large and small intestine may vary from person to person. A biopsy is the most confirmatory. An elevated ESR, low protein, minerals and iron in blood are the other findings in Crohn’s which may or may not be present. A recent advancement in Crohn’s diagnosis is video capsule endoscopy.

Of these you had endoscopy and colonoscopy, but you need more extensive investigations as outlined above. Hope this helps. Take care!

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