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Abdominal cramps

Hi all. I would very much appreciate advice regarding a problem I currently have As well as my CML I have been diagnosed with IBS some years ago. I have over the past month been suffering with abdominal cramps. I am waiting a colonoscopy ( my second one as I have polyps), these cramps are new to me but for some time I also have urgency about going to the loo! Please is there anyone on this forum who can offer me some advice. TIA.   Bonnie.



Hi Bonnie,

You dont say which tki you are on .I have been on imatinib for 15 years and have always found that it leads to rapid bowel movements and this is a common side effect.Looking at the list of side effects it is possible but quite rare for imatinib and some of the other tkis to lead to diverticulitis and inflammation of the colon.As you have already had a colonoscopy and an initial diagnosis for polyps I guess the medics think you might have more of the same thing.I understand that if the polyps are removed at the time at which they are benign then the condition may be controlled.A colleague of mine had some polyps removed via some intestinal excision/scraping and is now doing very well.

In ten days I will have a CT colonography which is basically a virtual colonoscopy and this is because of similar symptoms to yourself -discomfort in middle and lower abdomen and tenderness on the left side in the area of the sigmoid colon;divericulitis is suspected but await a diagnosIs and also whether it might be tki related.My condition is more complicated as we have transient and asymptomatic elevations of LFTs (liver functions) but not the bilirubin-my specialist tells me it is not unusual to have elevated and fluctuating LFTs when commencing imatinib but after a long time  on the drug it is uncommon.

I was told that at the time of Covid a CT scan is less risky, and of course less invasive, than a colonoscopy.

In my case  it could be imatinib induced hepatitis so am being tested for Hep B and Hep C-they can mimic IBS  symptoms apparently and overlap with diverticulitis symptoms.We will have a diagnosis soon.

Have you been told that your condition is tki related or not?

Currently I am off dairy (soya and oat mik instead) as full fat products can exaggerate intestinal and colon symptoms. I am also told that eating 5  or 6 light snacks a day (rather than 3 large meals) might help.Some sources advise to concentrate on oily fish and veg/fruit and avoid red meat but the advice varies.

Some sufferers of intestinal issues take Buscopan which slows down any spasms of the colon etc but I have not tried that yet.

Do you as an IBS sufferer have any advice please?



Hi  John, thank you for your prompt and informative reply.. Regarding your IBS query. I was diagnosed with IBS in 2012 and initially was given mebeverine, an antispasmodic to help with muscle spasms. I took this for approximately 2 years when it seemed that I had no further use for it. I was coping ok for some years after that. Avoiding certain foods that I felt aggravated my IBS. However since diagnosis of CML in 2017 for which I take Imatinib, I had on occasions, rapid bowel movements, sometimes diarrhoea, and this led to my having a colonoscopy in 2019, where it was found I had polyps, which.after histology were found to be benign. In June this year I had an episode of uncontrolled very watery diarrhoea followed by a dental infection for which I was prescribed Penicillin V and this I believe has caused my current situation. Sorry for this long winded post but I feel it is important to pass on any connection to IBS. My advise to you would be to keep a food diary noting any foods that may iritate your colon, thereby identifying what triggers you experience. Hope this helps. By the way, apologies for mistake in my name, it should have read Vonnie.