Question: Seeking Guidance for Severe Bowel Condition and Ileostomy Consideration

I am struggling with severe, unexplained bowel issues characterized by alternating diarrhea and constipation. Despite exhaustive testing, my condition remains undiagnosed. I’ve tried numerous treatments, from over-the-counter medications to acupuncture and hypnosis, without success. This has led to significant weight loss, fertility issues, and a profound impact on my overall happiness and quality of life. I am now considering an ileostomy with a stoma as a potential solution. Could you assist me in connecting with a doctor for further insights and advice on my next steps?

Response: Navigating the Complexity of Bowel Condition Diagnosis

The journey to diagnose bowel conditions can indeed be intricate and challenging. Here are some considerations:

  1. Diagnosis Challenges: According to research, differentiating between conditions like Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease can be difficult, with some patients labeled as IBD-unclassified (IBD-U). More information on this can be found at Gut Journal.
  2. Advocating for a Second Opinion: Given the significant impact on your life, it is advisable to firmly discuss with your current surgeon the severe compromise to your quality of life and explore all possible next steps. Asserting your right for a second opinion, especially from specialists in downtown hospitals, could be a vital step.
  3. Consulting Specialized Nurses: There exists a network of nurses specializing in wound, ostomy, and continence care. You can find NSWOC nurses who run clinics and may offer valuable suggestions at NSWOC Nurse Directory.

Your pursuit of a better quality of life is commendable, and seeking the right medical consultation is crucial. I encourage you to continue advocating for yourself and exploring all possible avenues for relief and management of your condition.

Warm Regards,

Lauren Wolfe, RN, BSN, MClSc (WH), NSWOC, CWOCN

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