Diagnosing A Leaky Butt
Editor's note: This was posted yesterday as a comment on the leaky butt discussion by an anonymous PoopReporter identifying his/herself only as "Cured." I felt it deserved more attention than as just one comment of many.
On February 7, 2005, I went to work like any other day. I was in a meeting when I started to smell "poop." To my horror, I started to suspect that it was coming from me. I got up and went to the bathroom to check things out. Waste had clearly leaked out of my anus without me realizing it. I cleaned up and went back to work. A little while later, I felt like I wasn't clean. I went back to the bathroom to check things out. Again, very messy. I thought that it was odd that I was leaking without being able to control it. I made about seven trips to the bathroom that day to clean myself.
The next day, I had the same problem. After three days of this, I started to worry. Prior to that first day, I had never had a problem keeping clean. I was very regular with my BMs -- I would get up in the morning, have breakfast, have a BM, take a shower, and get on with my day. I'd been regular like this for my whole life.
At the time the leaking started, I was thirty-eight years old. I had been healthy my whole life. After a month of leaking, I developed the courage to see a specialist (a gastroenterologist). She checked things out and suggested that I probably had a hemorrhoid problem. She prescribed suppositories and a medicine to reduce the inflation. I thought it was odd that the leaking would be caused by a hemorrhoid, as I didn't have any hemorrhoid-like pain, but I gave it a shot.
The suppositories and medicine made no change. I was still getting up in the morning, having a BM, taking a shower, and then leaking throughout the day. One month later I went back to the specialist and told her that I had no change in my condition. She maintained that it was a hemorrhoid problem and again prescribed suppositories and a medicine to reduce the inflammation. One month later I was back to the specialist again, and again I told her "no change." She referred me to her colleague to have the hemorrhoids banded -- that is, removed.
The second specialist scoped me and listened to my story. Instead of a hemorrhoid, he thought that I had a problem with bad bacteria in my system. He sent me to a lab to have my waste analyzed. The lab results came back normal, but he prescribed Ultralevure, a medicine that restores the good bacteria in the digestive system.
The need to take Ultralevure made some sense to me, as at the end of January, 2005, I cut my finger while preparing chicken. The cut got infected and I ended up taking very strong antibiotics. So I was very optimistic about the Ultralevure working.
After one month of Ultralevure, I went back to the specialist. No change. He prescribed me another three months of Ultralevure. No change. So I went to another gastroenterologist and told her about the problem.
This gastroenterologist checked me for rectal prolapse and to make sure that my anal sphincter muscle was strong enough. I had no prolapse, and no problem with the anal sphincter. She suggested that I had somehow forgotten how to control my anus. She prescribed physical therapy to learn how to regain control of my anus. I thought this was simply ridiculous -- I would not forget how to control my anus over night!
Because this problem literally did develop overnight. On February 6, 2005, I had never thought about my anus before; and on February 7, 2005, I developed what turned out to be a very mysterious problem.
I told my normal doctor that I was really becoming concerned about my condition not improving, and she referred me to a professor of gastroenterology at a hospital-university. Over the last year, he performed the same checks the other doctors had, adding a colonoscopy and an MRI of my digestive system. According to the gastroenterologist who performed the colonoscopy, everything looked normal. The radiologist who performed the MRI said that it looked like I had some inflammation at the end of the digestive system just before the anus, but nothing abnormal and nothing to be concerned about.
As any of you with this problem know, it changes your life in a not-so-positive way. For the last two years, I have really had to fight to prevent this problem from overly depressing me. About three weeks ago, I got down on my knees and prayed that God would heal me. A few days later I began to think about changes in my diet that I had made over the last few years. Two things came to mind: 1) I stopped drinking cranberry juice, and 2) I stopped cooking with garlic.
So after work the next day, I went out a bought a bunch of garlic cloves and cranberry juice. That night I sliced a garlic clove into little pieces and swallowed them with cranberry juice. The next morning I noticed that I only had to clean up after myself once after my shower, instead of the normal multiple times. So the next day after that I ate three uncooked garlic cloves and continued drinking cranberry juice.
I have been eating the garlic and drinking the cranberry juice for a couple of weeks now. And for the last three days, I have been clean! And believe that I am well on my way to being cured.
Not long after this problem developed, I started doing Google searches to try to find answers. What really scared me was the fact that I didn't find much information on this problem. It terrified me that I had seen three doctors up to that point and had all of them just shooting in the dark. Many months ago, I found PoopReport.com's leaky butt discussion. I was sad to see all the people with the same problem being told that the only solution was more fiber -- I had and have a healthy diet. I tried increasing my fiber intake, but that didn't improve me situation. When I found PoopReport, I told myself that if I was ever cured, I would share my story.
I really believe that cranberry juice is the cure. Having read more about cranberry juice, it sounds like a good thing to prevent and cure infections. I think that when I took the antibiotics years ago, it caused a good-to-bad bacteria imbalance, with the bad bacteria winning. I think the fact that I was leaking was my body's way of trying to clear things up -- perhaps a mechanism similar to that of a runny nose, but at the opposite end.
I hope and pray that those of you who are suffering with this problem will benefit from my experience with cranberry juice and garlic. If you don't, I still believe in the power of prayer and encourage you to ask God for help. Peace be with you.