Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Colonoscopy Results

 Had the colonoscopy today, and the results were:

1)  3 sessile polyps, 2-3 mm (likely benign, removed).  


2)  2 areas of diverticulosis (considered "mild.")


3)  The doc said my colon was "tortuous" (yes, it is 😂) 
No, "tortuous" not "torturous." In medical terminology,  "tortuous" means "(full of) bends/twists/turns."  Doc said it was likely due to chronic IBS-D (diarrhea).   


4)  Though one polyp was in the sigmoid colon, and diverticulosis can cause pelvic pain and constipation, neither can explain prior level of constipation - however - he did say that Sjogren's syndrome can play a role as it affects bowel motility, and another possibility is the IBS-D that I had previously could have switched to IBS-C (constipation), post menopause.

I just have to come back in 5 years for maintenance/removal.

But at least it's not colon cancer - whew! 

FYI, Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks its own mucosa, and it is closely associated with joint  inflammation/swelling as well. 

It typically and mostly affects the eyes and mouth (or at least initial presentation), and often remains there, but it can also affect other mucosa such the GI system, lungs, and kidneys, and in very rare cases, the heart. 

Often initial immunology/rheumatology labs are negative; in fact, people diagnosed with Sjogren's only have positive labs 25% of the time upon initial presentation (but may be positive later, as the disease progresses).  The most definitive test for Sjogren's is a salivary-gland biopsy, but even this is positive only 50% of the time with early Sjogren's.  

Thus, the diagnosis is usually made by a rheumatologist, essentially after a constellation of positive objective signs and symptoms (swollen neck glands, dry eyes, dry mouth, visible joint swelling.)

As for Sjogren's syndrome and me, we're not sure yet, currently being worked up. 

I had extremely dry eyes for 5 years and had been taking eyedrops, as well as Raynaud's phenomenon for 10 years, as well as sudden joint pain flares. 

But it wasn't until last year, after tongue soreness, a chronic sore throat, and a swollen neck gland for 3 months, that an ENT did a nasolaryngoscopy and a CT scan.  

Despite first-line lab tests for Sjogren's, she said that she still strongly suspected Sjogren's.  I was advised that the next steps would be a rheumatologist and a salivary-gland biopsy.

However, after antihistamines, the gland swelling went away, and I figured I'd wait until a major flare to get the biopsy, because it's not fun, they're not cheap, and are only definitive 50% of the time in early Sjogren's anyway.  

Thus, I may go ahead and get that referral to a rheumatologist, if the  problem persists, but for right now, I'm just celebrating that it's not colon cancer! 

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