Anal issues - BMs are a struggle

Anal Stenosis, Anismus, Anal Fissures - oh my!

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Anal issues - BMs are a struggle

Postby Jessiek » 26 Jul 2015, 17:34

Hi there,

I have been dealing with anal/rectal/sphincter issues since I was a teenager, so for 18 years.
It started after I came back from a trip to Europe, I had blood in my stool. The doctor examined me (which was quite upsetting for a teen girl to get a giant finger in my bum by an older man!) and he said it was nothing....then shortly after, I moved into dorms at a university and we had co-Ed bathrooms. I would hold my bms because I was nervous, but I couldn't help it, even when I tried to relax, I couldn't go. The bleeding came back and the tests and numerous doctors visits started. I never had bowel movement issues growing up. I was fine travelling through Europe. Some doctors were concerned and thought I had cancer, so I had a colonoscopy at 25. I have had every test - barium enema, barium swallow, defecogram (the weirdest test ever!!!), etc, you name it, I have done it. They did find some anal fissures but nothing else, nothing to explain why I struggled in the bathroom and why I couldn't go, and why it was getting worse.

Fast forward a few years and my bowel movements started to take 20mins, 30 mins, then 45 mins, then one hour, then 2 hours, now sometimes 2.5 hours. I usually go 2-3 times a day - so imagine how much of life is spent on the toilet!!! it's always a struggle when I am having a BM, and a lot of straining which I know isn't good for you. I have tried a lot of medications, and bran, metamucil, etc. Nothing helps. It's like my sphincter is too tight so I may feel like I have to poo, but it won't come out.

I have seen several specialists and finally a surgeon who said I have anismus or anal stenosis. He did a botox injection which didn't really help. He then said my only option is sphincterotomy surgery which has a 30% chance of leaving you incontinent. I don't want that. I have tried medications like diltiazem but it didn't help. Nothing does and it keeps getting worse. So I found a doctor in Portland, Oregon who does manual dilation of the sphincter. I Am going to try this next week if he thinks it will help. I am really hoping for some relief. I want to not obsess over bms, or struggle - it ruins my day to have all this struggle and pain. I am quite a positive happy person despite all this but I am wearing out.

Apparently with anal stenosis, the anal canal narrows due to the scar tissue from anal fissures, but I have also read that your anal canal can narrow which causes the fissures. Who knows what the answer is, I just need help! Please share any stories, or things that helped you. If anyone has visited the Sandy Clinic in Portland please let me know how it went!

Thank you, Much gratitude.

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Re: Anal issues - BMs are a struggle

Postby Savaici » 26 Jul 2015, 18:32

Hi there. Have a look at the sub-forum "Tell us about your doctor". There is a post there about the clinic, under Dr. Hubbard. Many good links on there.
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