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Colorectal Diseases

Sorry for such a gross question, but..

09/10/2008

Question:

I`nd can`t remember the last time aisaw a doctor...I thik it wa 2 years ag when I changed jobs and got the obligator physical....I obviously didn`t admit any health problems ( I needed and got the job), but somethng is wrong with my colon....ugh! suddnenly, for the last few months, I either can`t have a BM for days without an enema(luckily my girlfriend isaq nurse), but then I have diarrhea for a week or so then it sort of rwsolves. I have a lot of black stools. I don`t have a primary-care doc and don`t want to lose the company halth insurance (pre-existing conditions-you have to wait for a year)......so that means waiting 10 more months to "admit" a problem so that the company insurance will cover it......can I wait????? My girlfrient/soon to be wife (an RN) says get yourself to a PCP and get a rferral to a gastro...but I hate to make this a pre-existing and out-of pocket expense which I can ill afford? the fleets for the constipation have worked, and some old paregogic helped the diarrhea, but nothing helps the black/tarry stools...thanks

Answer:

I agree with your wife-to-be that an evaluation by your PCP is in order. You don't mention your age, but with a change in bowel habits, an examination and possible referral to a gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon is a good idea.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati