Here we go again! Discussing taboo topics that nobody ever really wants to talk about.
You may remember a few months ago I met with a gastroenterologist to discuss my complaints of pain before, during, and after bowel movements. Didn’t read it? Check it out here. Anyway, he referred me to a colorectal surgeon here in San Diego for some further testing. A few months later and my insurance finally approved the appointment! And *poof* my very first visit to a colorectal surgeon took place last week (nearly five months after my initial visit with my PCP to discuss these complaints)…
Again, we talked about my Endometriosis and my fear that it may be on my bowels due to my recently-returned issues with stabbing daggers and pain, constipation, and diarrhea. He (and I) also agreed with the GI’s plan to ride out the symptoms as best I can until a second Endo excision surgery is (if needed) ever scheduled…we’d check out the bowels then rather than scheduling a potentially needless exploratory surgery.
Butt (haha see what I did there?) Dr. Worsey (the colorectal surgeon) wanted to examine my guts with a little camera, which is something I’ve never had done and wanted to make sure I checked out fine. Two enemas that morning before my appointment and now I’m in a very (dis)graceful pose on a mechanical table, my toosh up in the air 45 degrees and my face pointed toward the floor. Let me tell you : a flexible sigmoidoscopy is not a pleasant experience. Not one bit and I took the rest of the day off of work due to the discomfort.
So, everything inside my bowel (up to the sigmoid colon) looks great. The only thing he found wrong was an anal fissure. Well now, that doesn’t sound good…It’s a tear in your bunghole or your bunghole canal. “But how can a tiny little tear cause such severe pain throughout my pooping process,” I wondered. Apparently, they can cause “severe pain during, and especially after, a bowel movement, lasting from several minutes to a few hours,” rectal bleeding, itching, and funky butt discharge…all of which I have had in the past. And 10% of patients who visit colorectal surgeons for poopy pain end up having anal fissures. So he gave me fierce instructions with a wagging finger to include more fiber in my diet and gave me a gallon-size ziploc baggy of sample packets of various fiber powder packets. He also prescribed…medicated suppositories *oh joy* to help the fissure to heal.
So, since February 10, 2016, I’ve been drinking my powder fiber drink (easing it into my diet once a day per the instructions; will eventually up that dosage to three times per day) and using my nightly suppositories (he gave me a 12-day supply). And guess what?
My gut still burns right before I have to poo…but that’s nice because it’s a kind of tell that I better get over there soon. But since two days after my appointment and medication regimen, I haven’t felt the daggers/stabbing pain/glass tear through the length of my gut. Or the excruciating stretching/tearing pain of my poop-hole, either. My poops have been…quick, easy, and dare I jinx it…normal. And every day…sometimes multiple times a day! I used to go maybe once every 3 days…this is so much better!
But what does fiber have to do with helping my pain? And my Endo? And my peace of mind? Well, besides smoothing out the transportation of my angry poos, it is believed that fiber may actually decrease excess levels of estrogen in the body by binding to it and pooping it out. Why is that important? Many physicians believe that Endometriosis is an estrogen-driven disease. It’s also believed to do the same with toxins and the “bad things” in our guts.
I eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and beans in my diet. I figured that was enough fiber for me…apparently not.
Looking for good fiber to include in your diet? I went through the sample packets given to me by my colorectal surgeon (these included Metamucil and Konsyl). Read the labels! All of the sugar-free samples contained Aspartame. And they also all contained psyllium, which may plug you up worse if you’re not drinking enough water. Do your research and find the right one for you. I take Maxi Health Fibermax once a day…I used to drink it with orange juice, until I realized how much sugar was in OJ. Now I drink it with watered down V8 Harvest Vegetables. And it gets me half my daily requirement of fiber, and I’d like to think I get the rest of it with my daily food : 1 serving of shredded wheat with berries, as well as snacking on fruits and veggies.
I’d like to believe that the anal fissure was causing my very painful bowel movements and that the addition of fiber and these medicated suppositories have helped immensely. As of right now, I don’t have the painful poopy complaints that I’ve had of late. So I’d like to believe the anal fissure was the sole cause of my crazy pain in my gut. And that the fiber intake and healing suppositories will fix it. Time will tell. And anal fissures may recur at any time due to a hard or strainful poo…so if I keep up on my fiber regimen, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. And if the symptoms return or worsen, I will advise my colorectal surgeon and we’ll go from there. And feel comfortable that if I do go in for a second excision surgery, they’ll be taking an in-depth glance at the exterior of my bowels to make sure there aren’t any Endo implants. I’ve now laid a foundational relationship with my PCP, my gyno, the gastroenterologist, and the colorectal surgeon. They each understand my concerns and my Endometriosis diagnosis. And each of these physicians have stated how much they enjoy working with each other, so I’m having fun building my Team. 🙂
I’ve spoken with several EndoSisters (who don’t know if they have Endo on their bowels or not) who have also complained of the same stabbing/knives/glass dragging through their gut pain, or painful poops. I encourage you all to see your physician and get a referral to a specialist in the butt-area. It may be Endo (or not), but it may be something else…possibly as simple as a lack of fiber in your diet or a tear on your butthole. (Sorry, just really trying to keep this lighthearted…rhymes with farted…hehe).
And, remember, “Some people are so positive, that when they slip in dog poop, they pirouette.” ~Josh Stern
*Have you had poopy gut pain and found out the cause? Feel free to drop us a comment! I’d love to hear what it was, if you fixed it, and how…*
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons – Anal fissure
Flo Living – Endometriosis symptoms and how to heal
Home Remedy – Diet remedy for Endoemetriosis
Livestrong – Good foods to eat when you have Endometriosis
Love to Know – Diet for Endometriosis
Medical News Today – Anal fissure : causes, symptoms, and treatment
Medicinenet.com – Anal fissure
Physicians’ Desk Reference – Endometriosis treatment