Hi all, I just stumbled across this page and would like some advice and just a bit of a vent, as most of you clearly know, not many people including doctors and physicians can sympathise or fully understand what it feels like to have colonic inertia/slow transit constipation. My constipation started abruptly whilst I was overseas travelling, everyone told me it was travelers constipation and would go away but it never did. I was overseas for 7 weeks and have had colonic inertia for 9 months now - nothing helps. Like most of you I've tried everything the doctors suggest; fiber (makes everything so much worse), water, exercise, cutting out wheat, gluten, dairy, FODMAP diet, candida free diet, antidepressants, all the laxatives in the world and enemas, acupuncture and Chinese medicine etc etc etc but of course, nothing works. I'm 24 years old and was 23 when it all started. I eat well and am of slim build, a vegetarian, never ever had any problems with constipation until I arrived in the UK (I live in Australia) for my trip, and bam! My bowels stopped working. I'd never used a laxative before, never had to ever think about anything like this as it had never been a problem. I'm struggling physically and mentally trying to deal with this, and come to terms with the fact that things will most likely never return to normal for me. No one can give me an answer and I have no idea what's happened. It sounds extreme but I find myself thinking that life isn't worth living like this. I have a loving partner and great family and friends but this is just making me feel so unhappy.
The only thing that was working for me even slightly was movicol which is now becoming less and less effective - my bowels simply won't respond. I feel sick often and get achy pains in my upper tummy, along with this comes nausea, I sometimes vomit but not often, just feel ill most of the time and of course bloated and uncomfortable in my abdomen.
Each doctor I've seen tells me I'm constipated (wow, really?) and that it's normal and happens to women of my age and that I just need to except it and take laxatives for the rest of my life. The last GI doctor I saw told me this whilst ushering me out of his office to the front desk so I could pay and than ran away before I could even ask advice about medication - I told him the laxatives weren't really working any more but he wasn't very concerned with this. I've had to fight to be put on the waiting list for a colonoscopy, I was told it won't show anything and that I'm too young to worry about anything sinister (GI Doctor thought it was ridiculous that my GP had even sent me for a CT scan) and that I'll still have problems and will just need to learn to deal with it. My mum passed away when I was 10 years old, I watched her die of small bowel cancer. My doctor tells me he family history couldn't possibly be related to colonic inertia but I'm still worried.
I feel like the doctors see my as a joke, a hypochondriac. I hate going to see them but need their help - what I would do to not have to go to all these pointless and expensive doctor appointments! Anyway, I've had all the normal test (stool, blood, thyroid levels, scans) but am still waiting on colonoscopy. Diagnosis was made off the description I gave my GI doctor so I guess we will just have to wait and see what comes of the colonoscopy but I doubt they will find anything.
I'm terrified of the thought of surgery and have read some horror stories but I can't live like this anymore, and depending on the outcome of the colonoscopy, I'm considering meeting with a colorectal surgeon to discuss surgery. Can anyone suggest a good one in Australia? I live in NSW. Before I venture down this track I'm considering having a faecal transplant. Professor Borody works from Sydney and specialises in them, I have an appointment at his clinic next month. I know that the transplants are usually reserved for those with Crohn's or ulcerative colitis but have heard it can be effective for chronic constipation also. If anyone has any news on this I would like to hear about it.
Also, has anyone else experienced these symptoms out of the blue like me? This seems to be the one thing I don't have in common with anyone whose suffering with colonic inertia.
Really hope everyone is getting by ok. Stay strong everyone!
Australia - surgeons or doctors recommended?