doctors don't know why there's blood and sickness

PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Dear Motherload,

My boyfriend oftwo years has been having problems with his bowels and colon for most of his life. He goes to the bathroom at least four times a day, and complains about blood in his stool. When he first raised the issue with his doctor he was told he was lactose intolerant. He stopped consuming anything with lactose in it, but to no avail -- he was still having the same problem.

Each flare-up lasts for weeks or months at a time, to the point that he can barely eat anything. He has had numerous colonoscopies and tests of that nature, all coming up clear. Last March he became very ill with high fevers and weakness -- he could not eat and practically lived in the bathroom. Finally, after four-and-a-half weeks and twenty-five pounds lighter, he began to feel better. The doctors checked his blood and his stool and found nothing. They then tested him for leukemia but was cleared. They told him to take irons pills because he is severely anemic as well.

He has an uncle who was just diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, but the doctors assured him that is not what he has. We are all very worried about him because he is growing worse and worse. If you can PLEASE HELP US, I would really appreciate any answers you can provide.


Boyfriend is on the right track by having already seen a doctor about his problems, but he needs to be encouraged to continue seeking treatment until a cause for his problem is discovered, addressed and remedied. Apparently lactose intolerance has been ruled out as the culprit, but how about other food allergies such as wheat? He could try a gluten free diet for a while to see if celiac disease could be the cause of his troubles.

Keeping a very detailed intake and output diary for several weeks could be very beneficial in finding a "trigger" or some other clue. Imbalances and/or deficiencies in something may not be obvious to you, but careful review by a medical professional such as a nutritionist or doctor could reveal a deficiency in a particular vitamin or mineral or imbalance or lack of some vital element such as water or fiber.

Probiotic products like the fortified yogurt and cheeses might be beneficial in colonizing his intestines with something he may be lacking in or missing altogether. The most important thing however is to make sure he consumes enough water and fiber to promote good pooping health basics.

Thanks for asking Motherload!

Motherload is a Certified Nurse Assistant as well as an IBS sufferer, which means she knows a lot about poop. Got a question for her? Ask it here.

13 Comments on "doctors don't know why there's blood and sickness"

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

The first thing your boyfriend needs to do is to change his view of his medical treatment. He should think of himself as the main contractor and knowledge bank and think of the doctors he sees as subcontractors who, maybe, will help him figure this out. So his first job is to learn all he can about possible causes and, as Motherload suggests, begin keeping records and trying things out. Second, he should be more selective (if he can be) about the doctors he sees. He should, in particular, find a primary care physician who he trusts and who is smart and curious.

Regarding the later point, keep this “joke” in mind. Q: “What do they call the medical student who finished at the bottom of his/her class?” A: “Doctor.”


prarie doggin's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorg 4000+ points

Amen Logjam. I can tell you from experience that to gather as much information about an ailment will help immensely. The point I would like to add is you need to avail your doctor of your knowledge, and if he/she insists on treating you as if you don't know what you're talking about, find another doctor. There are still doctors out there that treat the whole patient.

Hum bunger's picture
l 100+ points


Case in point, to emphasize the above comments. My wife had a terrible illness that went undiagnosed for years. Finally after seeing dozens of doctors an ophthalmologist was able to make a life saving diagnosis by preforming a routine test any of the other doctors could have made. Both of you need to be as proactive about finding the cause this illness as possible.

Anonymous Coward's picture

Sounds like Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis. Skip the internist and go to a gastroenterologist.

the girlfriend's picture

thank you everyone for your comments & concerns. im pleased to say we finally have a diagnosis! it is, as he suspected & was told was deffinately not the culprit, suffering from ulcerative colitis. as we live in such a small province (nova scotia) there is only 2 specialists, the first one who said it was nothing, just lactose intolerance, and the second one, dr. sheppard, who is a miracle worker. we managed to get our hands on the report from the first doctor and it turns out that when the first doctor performed a scope on him, he found something, but passed it off because he decided it wasnt severe enough to persue any farther (huge mistake) and now, 2 years later, 85% of his colon is severly infected with ulcers and the first doctor is in alot of trouble :).. but with revenge thoughts aside, im glad to say that he has started a medication regimen that will hopefully fix him up good,, theres no cure for colitis but with these pills he should be able to live & eat freely FINALLY. thank you everyone & motherload for your concerns & answers.

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Not so fast, girlfriend. We're no where near through giving you bad advice and we haven't even started making fun of you and your boyfriend. We'll let you know when you can thank us and leave.


daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

I am both happy for a successful diagnosis and disgusted that your boyfriend has so much damage due to being basically put off. No doctor should take that much weight loss in stride. I hope you find out how much malpractice insurance the first doctor has, but only after leaving a flaming bag of poop on his doorstep.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Oh, daphne, she doesn’t need more support now! I was thinking more along these lines --

Hey girlfriend. How come you don’t just drop this guy? He sounds like no fun at all. Hell, his doctors don’t even like him, a sure indicator that he has no money. Oh, maybe he can strike it rich on a malpractice suit, but that’s not the US of A you live in, so I wouldn’t give him much of a chance. Plus, once he has money and his butt is fixed, you gotta ask yourself whether he'd keep you around.


vile movement's picture

The morale here is to keep a log, pencil and paper that is, of the stools.

The best analysis comes directly from the senses.

Primary sensing:
What does the stool look like? Dark stool, light stool, regular, etc?
How does the stool smell?

Secondary sensing:
What does the stool sound like when exiting the anus?

(Not recommended for everyone, as some stools are more toxic than others)
What does the stool feels like, in and out of water

Well....the property of the stool elimination of of the sense not yet mentioned above;

pew's picture

I'm glad you guys found the answer.

My uncle had this, and until treatment, he was very irritable, cranky, and hurting. His bowel movements also had a really disagreeable odor.
But now he's feeling great!

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Good luck to your boyfriend on his recovery and management of his illness.

I can sympathize with him, not for the same disease, but for going years with a sickness that couldn't be diagnosed. I didn't actually find the cause until I researched symptoms myself and the actual symptoms I had became life threatening.

Research is the key. Research, and finding the right doctor. You can save your own life!

Born right the first time.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

shitwit's picture
k 500+ points

I had a roommate in college with UC. Trust me, it's not any fun.

Glad to hear you all have found a diagnosis and it seems the treatment is working. It will be very important for him to pay attention to what he eats and how he poops for the rest of his life. No fun, but absolutely necessary.

Rock-n-roll! Poopy-poo!

Rock-n-roll! Poopy-poo!

DungDaddy's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Get him to put you in his will right now.

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