What is wrong with me?

Patient

Q: For the past 6 years, I have suffered with frequent gas, diarrhea, and stomach pressure. The pressure is mainly at night and usually keeps me awake for a few hours, but once I am asleep, it doesn't wake me up. My stool is almost always loose. Around the same time these symptoms occurred, I also got a red itchy rash on my scalp and palms of my hands that has been on and off. I did notice that the 2 times I was on antibiotics for dental procedures, my stools improved significantly. The symptoms have not got worse over time.

Symptoms:  Gas, diarrhea, stomach pressure
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is possible that over the past 6 years you have been experiencing a chronic gastrointestinal condition. Such conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Chron Disease, and Diverticulitis. Your symptoms can be found in all of these diseases so it will be difficult to determine which, if any, you may be suffering with. We recommend that you consult a gastroenterologist to be examined and have testing done in order to determine the exact cause. You may be required to undergo a colonoscopy, which is a procedure wherein a endoscopic camera is inserted into the rectum to visualize the inside of your intestines. We recommend that while you await to be evaluated by your doctor, please try too prevent dehydration by drinking adequate amounts of water.

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