Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Parasites

Posted 06/11/2012

If internet scare tactics from companies selling herbal supplements for parasites weren’t enough, the cable TV show “Monsters Inside Me” with its toe-curling film clips has cinched it. We’re in a new “Alien versus Predator” mode, though you might ask which one is us and which them. Those really large parasites you’ll see wriggling across your flat-screen Sony as you scream “I can’t watch this!” (but do) are all helminths, better known as worms. Worldwide, intestinal worm infestation is pretty common, but mainly in underdeveloped countries where people have a bit more contact with raw sewage than we do here in Chicago (unless you swim in the river).

The helminths are the stars of “Monsters Inside Me” because they’re big enough to see without a microscope. When patients ask me to check them for parasites or report “something wriggling in my toilet,” it’s the helminths they have in mind. Obsessing about parasites, despite your best efforts your mind keeps rewinding to John Hurt’s untimely and utterly galvanizing death-by-parasite in the original “Alien.”

Despite studying parasites of all stripes in medical school and testing thousands of patients for them, I think I’ve seen fewer than a dozen cases of intestinal helminth infestation in my entire career. Most of these were in children who’d picked up a pinworm infection (E. vermicularis), little ones being very democratic about their anal hygiene. Pinworm intestinal infection is generally harmless, its main symptom itching around the anus. Treatment using a worm killer, called a vermifuge, wipes out the pinworms after one or two doses.

A second infection is hookworm, once prevalent in the southern US and caused by a combination of inadequate plumbing and a preference for barefootedness. Probably most of the characters in Erskine Caldwell’s novels like God’s Little Acre and Tobacco Road had hookworm. Through a very circuitous route, the worm enters through skin and ends up in the intestines. Once diagnosed it’s easy to treat. I’ve seen exactly one case of hookworm, in a returning Peace Corps worker who should have known better.

Other less common helminths are roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) and the scary looking tapeworm (several species), once common when we were sloppy with our meat, poultry, and fish preparation. Jewish grandmothers and great-grandmothers were frequently victims of fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium), infected by sampling their uncooked haddock while making gefilte fish. These days it’s our sushi/sashimi addiction that renders us susceptible to fish tapeworm. Given the amount of sushi we eat, though, the actual incidence of tapeworm is extremely rare.

What’s living inside me?
It’s these worms (and that TV show) that cause people to lie awake at night wondering what’s living inside them. Well stop wondering and go back to sleep. I want to emphasize that all of these are (a) rare, (b) easy to diagnose, and (c) fairly easy to treat.

You’ll not see the single-celled protozoa infestation stories much on TV. Characters visible only with a microscope just lack the panache, the stage presence, to terrify. However, it’s infections with these little buggers that we’re discussing today.

Doctors are in full agreement that two specific intestinal protozoa–ameba (E. histolytica) and giardia (G. Lamblia)–are troublemakers. Both are acquired by the unappetizing “fecal-oral” route of transmission, which is exactly what it sounds like (now go wash your hands). Most people don’t recall just where they might have acquired amebiasis or giardiasis, but as a general rule you get it from someone who didn’t wash hands after using the toilet. Campers occasionally get giardiasis from drinking water downstream from a herd of cattle. Both infections are manifested by a sudden onset of diarrhea. In the case of giardia, it can be quite explosive and lead to dehydration. Just about anyone who has sudden diarrhea after travelling that doesn’t respond to the routine antibiotics for traveler’s diarrhea (Cipro, Xifaxan, Flagyl) should be tested for these protozoa.

Less agreement among physicians occurs with three other parasites: Endolimax nana, Dientamoeba fragilis, and Blastocystis hominis. For years, these three were considered harmless. Unfortunately, most lab technicians assigned to poop examination (a part-time job I myself held during medical school) are not well-trained in checking for them. It’s very likely a reasonable percentage of patients written off as irritable bowel syndrome/diarrhea dominant actually have an infection with one of these three. The main clues that their IBS is protozoan in origin are that the diarrhea emerges as a new event in their lives, unrelated to stress, and isn’t triggered by any particular foods. “I got traveler’s diarrhea while in Mexico and despite antibiotics, it never went away,” sends me a clear signal to check for parasites.

An easy fix
The combination of lab techs missing these parasites and physician disbelief that the three are troublemakers qualifies parasites for inclusion on our Commonly Missed Diagnosis list. Most of the really good parasite labs–Genova (formerly Great Smokies), Meta Metrix, Doctor’s Data, Meridian Valley–are virtually never used by physicians affiliated with large US medical centers, these doctors preferring to blindly trust their hospital labs. I remember one patient telling me how she handed her Genova parasite test result (showing heavy counts of dientamoeba and blastocystis) to her Northwestern gastroenterologist. He saw the lab and tossed it back without reading it, saying “This is garbage. Never heard of this lab. Bet you got it from a chiropractor.”  This, of course, can potentially lead to years of unnecessary diarrhea.

Nutritional guru Alan Gaby, MD, once remarked that if a patient has no access to one of the parasitology labs, she should take her specimen to a veterinarian and palm off her poop as belonging to her beloved pet. Veterinarians are much better than conventional physicians at diagnosing parasites.

Once a diagnosis of any of the three parasites is made, treatment is generally straightforward with an anti-parasite med like Flagyl (metronidazole), an antibiotic like the sulfa drug Bactrim, or a combination of these. After treatment for any parasite, whether it’s a helminth (worm) or a protozoan, a follow-up stool collection is mandatory to ensure it’s been completely eradicated.

Sleep well…

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD

Posted in Blog, Diseases, Integrative Medicine, Knowledge Base, P, S Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
38 comments on “Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: Parasites
  1. JasonMChicago says:

    Parasites are very, very common here in the US. I personally suffered many years not knowing about these little creatures. I find it ironic that we de-worm our dogs twice a year but never consider this for ourselves. Humans should de-worm too… even in industrialized countries.

  2. Carol says:

    Re: gastroenterologists comment about “garbage.” (See prior article on “Arrogant Doctors.”)

  3. Margo says:

    Actually, veterinarians miss macroparasites a fair amount of times, and not for lack of looking but rather limitation of the test used.

    One typical way to detect macroparasites in pets (such as roundworms, the subject of this story) is to look for ova (eggs) in the pet’s stool sample. But these don’t always turn up, even with multiple samples. Several years ago, when my dog suffered from intermittent diarrhea over several months, I didn’t get an accurate diagnosis from the vet until I found a very much alive and kicking 4-inch roundworm in the dog’s stool, which I bagged and later handed to my vet. “Sterile females or males only” was my vet’s mumbled explanation why the worms weren’t detected previously despite several specimens having been brought in; he added that this “occasionally happens”. Happy ending: once diagnosed, medication quickly solved that problem and the dog was back to normal.

    Wonder if this same test limitation doesn’t occur in people, as well, even when a well-informed physician wil take the time to order tests to look for parasites as done by a reputable lab?

  4. Bee says:

    Which stool test does your office recommend?

    Which of these is best: Genova Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis 2.0 W/Parasitology


    Doctor’s data Comprehensive Stool Analysis w/Parasitology x3


  5. Dr. R says:

    We use Meridian Labs which outsources to Doctor’s Data for their stool analysis.

  6. Sam says:

    I have been going through a terrible ordeal. After years of research and recently a severe cold with a cough that has lingered for months I have concluded I may have an infestation. When I reflect back over the years I really cannot pin point when or how whatever is going on may have started. I am starting to believe I have had it for years and due to the natural aging process I am now experiencing more symptoms than ever. I am having a terrible time trying to convince my family care physician that something is terribly wrong despite a laundry list of symptoms. I do not understand the dismissive demeanor of the physicians over the years. We have all seen or read about illnesses that may occur out of the norm. I find it extremely ironic for professions that studied science as a major and refuse to acknowledge mutations occur and with the ever changing microbial word anything can happen to anyone.

    Here is a list of my symptoms as of today:

    Cough with an odor from my throat or lungs
    Four staph infections in the last two years
    Sore muscles, lungs..sometimes muscle fatigue to the point I can not stand or walk
    Lethargy, insomnia, constipation, severe bloating, gas, diarrhea
    Vaginal odor that started a few years ago. Boric Acid inserts eliminate this problem but must be used weekly.
    The odor will return or become more prominent after my cycle or intercourse.
    Watering and irritation of my left eye, eyesight has deteriorated rapidly over the past 4 years
    Athletes foot on both feet and my right hand
    Itchy rectum particularly at night
    Pain in my joints particularly my back
    There is a specific area of my back on the left side under my shoulder blade that feels like a tight muscle that needs to release. It sometimes takes my breath away if I breathe too deeply.
    Hard lumps under my skin in areas all over my body.
    Pain in my tailbone that can be debilitating.
    Poor memory
    Pain particularly in my right buttock down into my leg. Pain and or soreness in my forearms like I have spent all day doing exercises on just these muscles.
    Index, middle, and ring finger on my left hand has sharp burning sensation only present on the top of each finger..this one, as well as the forearm pain has subsided greatly with self massage.

    I have found intermittent relief from fatigue and muscle pain using magnesium chelated and d ribose.

    I was diagnosed with IBS in 2008, after years of diet and lifestyle changes was symptom free for a couple of years.

    I find this list ridiculous to say the least. I feel like a crazy person with hypochondria. After all the research I realize these symptoms are listed in tons of diagnosis. Because of this coupled with a lack of physicians in my area to help rule out anything I have been coping with a dark, gloomy, hopeless quality of life.

    I find myself analysing doctor visits I have experienced in recent years. I am left with burning questions and self blame.

    Sorry for the lengthy post, I do feel a little better now that I have made a list and shared it with someone. I would never take this entire list to a doctor for fear of judgement and invalidation.

  7. Silvia says:

    Sam, I’m sorry for how you feel. You explained your systems & concerns very well. I have muscle, joint pain, severe abdominal distention, insomia, & other less bothersome issues. I often find myself wondering if sharing all the info is more confusing or beneficial at dr apt. I’ve had it go both ways. Its especially concerning when visiting a specialist. I found a GP doctor that understand he doesn’t always have the answer but that doesn’t mean syptoms don’t exist. We keep trying new things. Thanks for reminding me to get back on d ribose/ Corvalen. It did help a little with muscle pain. Now I’m on riflaxin to see if my tesinal issue improves. Thank you for helping by sharing your post.

  8. Chandra says:

    I have all the symptoms Sam states plus I cough up mucous when I cough and have to spit it up constantly and this round of symptoms I have severe left side deep in my chest pains it hits hard subsides then returns. This has been going on for 2 days this round. It started over a year ago. I seek medical help and get told it’s in my head they can’t find anything I’m paranoid or it’s a drug addiction problem.I have a girlfriend who has the same or worse symptoms she gets told the same thing by completely different doctors. I am scared and feel all alone in this nightmare. They almost had me convinced I was dillusional, I know this is real but have also been shamed by many even family that I’m overreacting it’s got to be me for some reason or another. I feel if I don’t get help I will end up dying especially as we speak with these severe chest ie heart pains because I have done a lot of researching on the Internet and know they get to the heart and brain which can be fatal if not treated.I have little money to even get Dr. Clark’s cleanse or the diagnose me report. But I will not give up until I am dead. Why doesn’t traditional medicine educate the medical community more on parasites? I do not understand…I need help but no one I have seen will take me serious. Suggestions please anyone…Thank you for reading

  9. Hello, the whole thing is going perfectly here and ofcourse
    every one is sharing facts, that’s genuinely good, keep up writing.

  10. ray says:

    I have shared similar symptoms and have also had wholly inept assistance from mainstream biomedicine. However I have started to use diamatceous earth daily to detox from from parasites bacteria yeast endotoxins with progressive improvement

  11. Alana says:

    For all of you who are suffering… with so many ignorant doctors our there: please educate on yeast overgrowth in the body! Yeast can cause all these symptoms & more! Science is now making the connection between so many illnesses & yeast – even cancer! Do your research. There are even great videos on Youtube. STAY COMPLETELY AWAY FROM SUGAR & SIMPLE CARBS – these feed yeast!

  12. Brenda estep says:

    My boyfriend and I have had experienced several different parasites we both thought we were going crazy seeing things that are unexplainable I know we have them for sure I have had so many urinary tract infections its unreal we tell the doctors all they want to do is drug tests on us recently our health has deteroaited he gary ended up in hospital for bleeding they said he had a parasite from the water he told them I had them to they said there was no way I steel go to emergency room cause my legs and feet swell so bad it can’t hardly walk they said it was an infection but no kind of antibiotic will help please help I can tell you the stages that these go through on each stage of there life cycle I also had something really scarey go into me by desolving into my leg have no idea what it is never found any info on the kind please help our lives my depend on you Brenda Estep 5418109203

  13. Dr E says:

    This sounds like Morgellon’s Disease. See this article
    Since is associated with Lyme Disease, you should be able to find a doctor in your area who is comfortable testing you for lyme and treating both conditions

  14. Heather Schmick says:

    I feel crawling inside my neck. It has been going on for a couple years and everyone thinks it can’t be real. I have yet to go to the Dr because I know they will say its in my head. The crawling moves from one side to the other. Recently I tried squeezing and holding whatever it is and it felt like it moved to my brain. I got really dizzy and had to lay down. I want to skip the primary Dr process and go straight to a specialist to figure out what in the world it could be. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
    Heather Schmick

  15. cliffmaurer says:

    Hi Heather – if you were going to consider a specialist, a neurologist would be a good place to start. However I would encourage you to get a thorough evaluation with a primary care physician trained in functional medicine. This way, a referral to a specialist would be based on more information. If you’re in the Chicago area, any doctor could help you at WholeHealth, or you could look at to find like-minded physicians in your area who could help.
    -Dr M

  16. Sylvia says:

    All good comments

  17. REB says:

    I have had 3 neg stool tests I see worms and my boyfriend has them. Doctors say I am wrong . Please tell me how to get an ID or Diagnosis. I have Oregon health plan. I will send pictures. I expel them every day.Please help me.

  18. Dr. R says:

    REB. If you pass parasites in your stool as mentioned, collect a sample for analysis. The parasite can then be identified and a treatment protocol recommended.

  19. REB says:

    With all due respect,I am here for a reason. I tried binging a plastic bag in to local Dr. It was hours old. He stepped back as if he was grossed out. He told me take it to lab. It was 11 hours old, they sent it out and 3 days later, neg test. The next 2 Drs. Same thing. 1 neg test. Then another and another. All done improperly, the time I collected and the plastic bag from my home is not protocall. I went to 2 Ers 1 “Lost” my sample 1 said “Go to PCP, nothing I can do” I even paid a doctor on HealthTap and once your tests are negative they dont believe me. The HealthTap Dr. stated”You need to admit you are wrong” But I ask what are they then.? No one knows. I eliminate them every day. I have to use enamas or I get impacted. Please, you say it is relativly simple, but not here. Let me send you pictures. I will pay you with a credit card. Please help me. I cant get help and they are going to kill me.I asked the HealthTap Dr, If I was wrong, no harm, but what if I’m right? Please its been 2 years. Cant I send and pay you? Please? I will send you pictures, worms eggs, bloody stool with mucus, Please at least look? The Health Tap Dr stated he will Prescribe if I have an ID. Please, Im begging you. Please save me.Can you Email an address I can send pis? Please?

  20. Dr E says:

    Hi REB
    You can order this test
    from Genova Labs. They have the best parasitologists in the country

  21. REB says:

    Thank you. I used this lab and paid a few hundred. They missed my parasites. Research has told me it took 8 seperate tests for one gal to get diagnosed. I can’t afford to keep getting these tests. I know what I see and would gladly send you pictures and pay you to try. I live in a small townand I am desperate, I can’t tell you how much I need your help. Can I not pay you with a credit card and send you samples? They are easy to get with an enema. I keep getting advice as to how easy it is but 2 years later, I cant get help. No one seems to want to back up claims of how well they successfully help, instead I get,”See your PCP” or use this or that” Will you take a sample from me? I will pay the costs. At least look at pictures by providing an email address I can send pics too and let me know if you have or have not seen these? Please?

  22. Dr E says:

    Sorry, but I really can’t help beyond the suggestion I gave you. Genova is the best lab for this and if you get the kit from them, they can determine what parasite you have and also tell you the med that will kill them

  23. lynne A drews says:

    I got a threadworm problem last August 2016 and treat it with mendanazole and again two weeks after!It did not work so ba k toDrs and got advised to take it at twoper day for three days repeat adter two weeks! Have now had several cycles of this to no avail! January 2017 small blood coated worms coming out my nose!Back to Drs and blood tast mucos tests stool tests all negative! Went to hospital and given albe dazole 400 mg Nextmorni g coughed blood up with something in it! For the past weeks I am tired feel like ive got flu constipated memory problems eye problems Today out breath called ambulance all obs normal! paramedic did not believe I have parasites!advised me to go bk to my Dr!!!! who would enhoy worms in throat. ose lu gs…

  24. Dr E says:

    You’ve received very potent worm killing meds and these don’t need to be repeated. If you live in an urban area, I would suggest finding a practitioner experienced in either Western or Chinese herbs. These can be taken for long periods of time and eventually to kill anything in your system

  25. Kimberlin Nicks says:

    The true is not enough only prayer. I swallow a spider in 2004 please tell me is a spider a parasite or just a bug.My doctor have done stool testing on me blood work negative.Sent me to infectious disease specialist, I told the doctor what I swallow he said can’t no spider live inside of you and he walked me to the door without any test done on me. My doctor send me to the Mayo clinic the doctor told me the same thing spiders can’t live in you put the Mayo clinic took stool test negative.Here it is 2017. I continue to feel the same thing inside my body. Movement Everytime I eat the spider come out of its web back to his same place for 12 yrs and about 6 small spiders in my brain my lower right leg is know giving out on me and my eye sight is bad. How I know it’s a spider, I was sleeping and I felt it crawling across my face into my mouth it was on my bed pole I jumped up cough for hours looked all around my bed to find out what was that and I notice the spider webs on top corner of my bed poles, threw the years I have done about 15 to 20 cleaning the black walnut herbal dropped was the best it almost kill it. I have already written and planed my good byes. I I’m truly loved by my husband and stepson and family and my church family and friend and for you,thank you for taking out the time for reading the Truth. Know I ask of you to add me in your prayer.

  26. Dr E says:

    Hi Kimberlin
    Ask your doctor to test you for chronic Lyme disease. Sometimes (but certainly not always), chronic Lyme patients describe symptoms similar to yours

  27. Grace Larbey says:

    Hi. I am very familiar with some of the symptoms posted. I have known I have worms in my stools since about 1 year ago. They are now visible through my skin and they are in my blood vessels. I have been treated like a kook and not believed by ER doc and my pcp did believe (hard to deny a sore on my knee with worm visible surrounding it but stool test came back negative so now I am a kook with him. I live in southwest Missouri in a very closed medical community (read:she’s a kook there so must be one here attitude) I am an RN with 25 years experience and I know worms when I see them and put them in stool test collection bottle, lots of them you do not have to try to find them there are lots of them ! I am afraid of death from these if not treated soon. I have reason to think, actually know they are in my lungs and head. Please please direct me to help. Is there anything I can get OTC to at least slow down progression ? Thank you for any reply. Gracie

  28. sarah says:

    thank you for pointing out that blasto is a problem. so many doctors disagree. I’ve been sick for 4 years with this. Finally they did a poop sample and it came positive for blasto in high numbers. unfortunately non of the antibiotics have killed this. Metronitazol was the worst for side effects. Also tried septra and Nitrazoxinade. There are many people just like me who are left in pain unable to kill this parasite. I hope more research is made into finding drugs that work. The Blastocystis foundation recognizes that once this parasite creates a biofilm the antibiotics struggle to penetrate the parasite.

  29. Dr E says:

    Your symptoms are very similar to a condition called Morgellons and recent research attributes this to Lyme Disease. Find a “Lyme Literate Physician” and get tested. The best test for Lyme is from a lab called IgeneX

  30. Kimberlin Nicks says:

    DR.E Thank you so much I will talk to my doctor about the Lyme and to get it tested at a Lab lgeneX.I will be getting back with u after this test is done thank you .

  31. Myya says:

    Im sorry for your ordeal. You will see that Doctors are rarely educated about worms and the place to start is curezone.come under the parasite threads. Good luck. I still need help too.

  32. Myya says:

    The Lab tests do not test for all worms. The labs will send a negative back if the parasite comes up as unknown. The 1000 types there are for humans to get are not all tested for. If the lab does not test for a particular worm than they can not ID it, so they call it food or feces even if it is worms. I just found that out after spending hundreds of dollars at 3 labs. Ropeworms are different and dont show up. They are different class but doctors are divided if they are real. They are but they are hard to detect and are usually mistaken for body mucas. Good luck getting a doctors help. They think you are crazy because the tests are negative and they refuse to help me. I have been to 6. I see worms every day in stool but Doctors don’t look at stool.I have begged for help and get none, they will kill you so dont give up. Curezone has some help.I am still fighting but I need a prescription and docs wont give one so I take horse wormer.

  33. CLZ says:

    I can more than relate..Started 2006 in new home..Life has been hell since..I speak to Doctors..explain I know my body(Had a Catering Business for 8yrs) sick flu like one time.. Born Orlando fl.Lived texas traveled California.Moved to Germany 1984 Italy 1987 Indiana 1990 Move to Illinois 2004 and my health problems and HELL started in mid 2005 summer 2006??? Have lots of pictures and they seem to run in a cycle that changes with day night,,spring fall..And any bug or flower tree . I feel bad for all the other people who wrote and see no end..I WOULDN’T EVEN WISH THIS ON MY HUSBANDS X WIFE!!!!!!!!!

  34. Kim says:

    hi Sarah Look into Lifestyle wellness its call RNA Ultimate Lyme Support System Extra Strength. I just order me a box Please read up on this and let me know what u come up with., I been feeling this for 12 years. I’m stepping out on faith I have no time left.

  35. Margaret Brewer says:

    Well heres one cor ya my daughter had a flea go into her eye her eye swelled up went to er and of course they said something bit her yea we no that to make a long story short sores will pop up and little baby fleas black in color comes out now if a spot itches she squee it and puss come blowing out and it’s thick and leaves a deep hole what kind of hospital would you go to the Dr’s think we are crazy

  36. K says:

    Margaret Brewer Your daughter sounds like she might have a staph infection now from her flea bite??? I am going through a lot of these symptoms on here and I am starting all this research because like all of us on here I have been laughed out and shamed out of the ER as either a tweaker or crazy because of my sores all over. I know something is not right but I also know the Doctors are completely wrong with their diagnosis…

    I live in the Pacific Northwest I am 40 yr old and in the last 6 yrs my quality of life has gone down. My muscles ache and always sore. Balance I do not have. Clumsy I have always been but holy moly there comes a time when that is not even describing it anymore. I trip over everything! My symptoms have me all over the board to the point that when I go see Doctors now I scare them and I get the deer in the head light look. Or I have to tell them what some stuff is. I was in a major car accident and suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury) causing memory loss which is why I can only say in the last 6 years. I believe though in the last 6 months my health has gone way down hill. I have been to the hospital and the ER in the last 2 months so many times I have had staph 3x in the last 1.5 months. I have been on the antibiotic bactrim way too much. fatigue does not even come close to describing the way I feel on most days.
    Overwhelmed with life definitely! I have been told I have fibromyalgia, bipolar depressant, pcos, gas, ibs, bloaty, sores all my body like staph, odor but not sure why cause I am a clean person, sleep issues, multi uti’s,overall my body always hurts aches stiff and I am curvy but not huge and I love being active but cannot be. I have children and it’s hard being a mom. I think infestation because I noticed this last week my puppies have worms and I was like hey wait a minute this all makes sense … and here I am researching a way. My youngest child has been showing signs of always being hungry and intestinal problems, dairy issues and impactment problems and her and I both get horrible charlie horse cramps in our calves all the time. Dr’s associate this to her as growing pains or low vitamin D she has even been tested for childhood cancer. Yet my head keeps going back to she eats like she has a tape worm. I bring this up to the Dr and they look at me like I am completely crazy.

  37. Amy Hopkins says:

    I had morgellons. I think it is related to Bartonella. It caused a lot of depression, anxiety, brain fog, etc. It also caused physical symptoms. If you cannot find the source of the parasites see a Lyme specialist. Ask the Lyme association in your to make a recomendation. I have been on 6 months of antibiotics and parasitic drugs and I am just now feeling better. I had the worst Herx reactions but kept on and the meds finally worked. If biaxin makes you fatigued it could be because of a bacteria or parasite dying and leaving toxins.

  38. Phil Levos says:

    Dr. E,

    I’ve had some odd symptoms for the past year. Before I left for China I had this ache in my lower abdomen and my doctor said it was stress related. When I came back to the US I still had this lower pain and dark green stools. I currently have shifting discomfort throughout my mid and lower abdomen with gas all day, everyday. I have a BM every day however each stool looks broken off from a previous stool. There is also some liquid substance that swirls around after a BM that my gastroenterologist said was probably just me shedding cells in my intestines.
    X-ray said I was constipated
    Blood tests came back fine
    Stool test came back fine
    Tested negative for celiacs
    What could this be?


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