General Question

kaylamo's avatar

What if I think I have appendicitis, but my doctor just told me to take a laxative?

Asked by kaylamo (22points) December 12th, 2012

I’ve been seeing this doctor since I moved here, for my hypothyroidism, she has misprescribed me twice! I have sharp pain in my lower right abdomen, slight fever, haven’t been able to go much, she just tells me it’s constipation and gave me laxatives. What to do?

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36 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Did you get examined by her? Did she palpate your abdomen? If so, follow her advice. If not, see a doctro in person.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Get a new doctor. Fever is a big red flag. See someone fast.

JLeslie's avatar

Slight fever isn’t good. If you push where the pain is and then release, does it hurt much more on the release? That usually indicates appendicitis. Since you are constipated I am inclined to think it is your constipation. Treat that and see if you feel better. If your symptoms get much worse go to urgent care or the ER.

Meanwhile, stop seeing her for your thyroid problem. Is she an endocrinologist? No matter what she is, if she misprescribes consistently that is a problem. One time, I would just call that an oversight. What do you mean exactly by misprescribe? Did she up meds when she should have lowered them? Or, did her staff just call in the wrong thing from old notes in your chart? I have never found a doctor’s office that can call in a medication right from old chart notes.

josie's avatar

Hypothyroidism can cause constipation. Did the laxatives make you feel better?

kaylamo's avatar

I was examined by her this AM…she did and when I told her it hurt she said “oops sorry”. It hurts when I release and when I push in on that spot. I have read (and I know you shouldnt believe everything you read online) that you shouldn’t take laxatives if you think it may be appendicitis because it could cause your appendix to burst.

For the hypothyroidism…she is not an endocrinologist. I was on 100mcg and it still wasn’t quite doing the job so she tried lowering my dosage, which is not correct. I argued with her and her nurses multiple times on the phone before they got it straightened out and upped my meds to 125 mcg.

@josie…i am hesitant to take the laxatives due to what I read about appendicitis and laxatives.

gailcalled's avatar

“Oops, sorry.” MIsprescribing?

Alarming news under the best of circumstances.

If I were you, I would get to the closest ER fast.

kaylamo's avatar

The first time she misprescribed me was the first time I saw her, I had previously been diagnosed as having hypothyroidism, I told her that and she tried telling me that it was hyperthyroidism. I argued and told her to do another blood test…she did, and I was right. Slightly alarming.

gailcalled's avatar


Stop hanging around here. You need a second opinion stat.

(Why are you continuing to see this woman and her staff; they sound dangerously incompetent? But that’s a discussion for another day.)

kaylamo's avatar

I’ve been looking for another dependable doctor in my new town, but haven’t had much luck. Might just rely on my go-to doctor two hours away from where I moved from.

gailcalled's avatar

@kaylamo; No ER nearby?

gasman's avatar

It’s probably not your appendix

There’s no recognized “chronic appendicitis” to cloud the picture. Acute appendicitis is a surgical emergency usually presenting with high fever & high white blood cell count (one of the first tests a medical facility would do). Sometimes the symptoms paradoxically improve for a while after rupture, but then a raging peritonitis ensures that hardly fits the picture of going home from the doctor’s & posting online, lol. More like the intesnsive care unit.

Anything that stimulates peristalsis (like laxatives) will cause some intermittent increases in pressure inside the colon, which is why it’s not a good idea if you think your intestines are ready to rupture (see previous paragraph). The presence of stool in the colon also does this. Consider increasing dietary fiber. Read up on IBS.

Judi's avatar

when you push on it, is there a sharp pain when you release? edit, just saw your post that it does. How about a second opinion?

gailcalled's avatar

Judi: Sorry. I just saw you had noticed her info on pressing.

kaylamo's avatar

@gasman, my brother had appendicitis a few years back and experienced the same symptoms…painful to cough, sneeze, move too fast..pain in the abdomen. She did do a white blood cell count and it was normal, but that it was what my brother’s came back as well. Not sure what else to think. At this point it is a constant pain but when I sneeze/cough/laugh or push on the is incredibly painful.

Judi's avatar

@gailcalled, caught that in time to edit. When my daughter had appendicitis that was the clincher for the doctor. She was in the hospital that night and surgery the next morning.
Not something to mess with. I had a childhood friend who died from a ruptured appendix.

Mariah's avatar

Get a second opinion.

gailcalled's avatar

@kaylamo: Why are you still here? “It is incredibly painful” tells you all you need to know. Get in the car now.

JLeslie's avatar

Wait, why not 112 mcg? Going up 25 mcg daily is a lot. Even going up 12 mcg daily can be too much. I change my dose by one pill a week when I change, but I am very sensitive. Most people who have been treated for a while, meaning you are not recently diagnosed, do not do well when they raise their dose daily, they wind up over medicated.

Meanwhile, it has happened to me more than once that a doctor said I should go up when I should be lowering my dose. Well, a nurse called with the result and new recommendation, but I assume it was from the doctor. What is your TSH?

I had a friend who had appendix pain off and on for a few years. She went to the doctor a couple times for it, emergency a couple times. They always said it was not her appendix. Finally while on a business trip she wound up in the ER again and they did an appendectomy, and it was indeed inflammed. After that she never had the pain again, so she was right all along.

Is there any chance your fever is a flu coming on? If you have a seemingly idiopathic fever, I think that is pretty significant if you also have right lower quadrant pain.

How about eat some raisins or prunes and drink a glass of water, and hopefully you will have a bowel movement and feel better.

kaylamo's avatar

I have been on the medicine for almost a year and a half now. Every time they lowered or raised the meds it was by 25mcg each time. The very first time I was prescribed she gave me 50mcg but that was too much right away. My TSH was at 36 when I was first diagnosed, then slowly came down to a normal range in about a year, but then it started creeping back up that is when she upped my dose again.

It is not the flu I don’t believe, I’m going to get a second opinion this afternoon. Something about a sharp, jabbing pain in my lower right abdomen tells me its not the flu.

JLeslie's avatar

@kaylamo Well, it sounds like you are on top of your thyroid, so I won’t go on about my experience. I think it is a little strange for 50 mcg to be way too much, and then within a year and a half need 125 mcg. But, I did know one person who had a very weird and similar experience with her thyroid swinging around a lot. Within a year she stopped needing medicine, it was very odd.

So you went from 50 to 25 and now up to 100? I guess you had 75 in the middle there somewhere?

Second opinion sounds good for the appendix.

gasman's avatar

@kaylamo The WBC count might not be elevated early on, at onset of abdominal pain, which is often felt in the belly button area rather than right lower quadrant. It’s always been a tricky diagnosis to make because so many other things produce similar symptoms. Now they can do CT scans. Still, a certain percentage of patients go to surgery with a normal appendix.

kaylamo's avatar

@gasman..this started Sunday with slight irritating pain in the belly button area, and didn’t think much of it until Monday evening when I started experiencing the sharp pains in my right side.

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Judi's avatar

I would also stop eating solid foods for a few days. If nothing is coming out, you shouldn’t put more in. also, if you do have emergency surgery, you will be better off if you haven’t eaten.

Ron_C's avatar

I have had a pain on the lower right side and a slight fever and it turned out to be diverticulitis. I knew it couldn’t be appendicitis because my appendix was removed years ago.

Regardless, we are not capable to diagnose your problem here, I would agree with others here that said that the fever is a red flag and I would go to an urgent care or even emergency room. The last thing you need is a problem with your bowels. Good luck and hope the treatment isn’t too expensive and that you get better soon,

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Your doctor sounds like a bit of a moron. Sorry, just had to say that. Anyhow, PLEASE do go get a second opinion, as your symptoms sounds very similar to mine when I had appendicitis. The first doc I saw didn’t believe me when I said I thought it was my appendix. He stuck his finger up my hiney, said I was fine, and he sent me home. Even with a fever and severe pain the lower right quadrant, he sent me home. Dumbass could have killed me.

And PLEASE report back in and let us know what’s up and how you’re doing! Welcome to Fluther.

Ron_C's avatar

I second @WillWorkForChocolate , please let us know how you’re doing.

Bellatrix's avatar

Go and get a second opinion – whether it be another doctor or better still the ER unit. I wouldn’t wait around here discussing it, go and get your health sorted out then you can have the discussion.

After this situation is resolved, find a new doctor. You obviously have no faith in her and you need to be able to trust your health professional is competent. Regardless of whether she was right or wrong to prescribe laxatives this time, you don’t trust her judgement. You need a new doctor.

Ren622's avatar

I had appendicitis and didnt know it a few years ago and laxatives made it so much worse. I ended up in the ER and was immediately prepped for surgery. Go to a different doctor, any diff doctor..go to an urgent care if the ER is too expensive. If it ruptures you will be in immense pain and will suffer a dangerous infection.

Ren622's avatar

I might add my symptoms started and progressively worstened over 5 days before the ER..but I did NOT follow the typical appendicitis symptoms and the reflex test didnt apply ..then at the ER they did it again and bingo there was the sign. If I listened to people who just went by pushing the outside of my stomach I would have become septic… trust your instincts.

Rarebear's avatar

I don’t have anything to add except it’s dangerous to get medical advice from an anonymous internet site.

_Whitetigress's avatar

You would know if your appendix has erupted so you’re ok there (You’d feel like you’ve been shot in the side by a gun.)
Your concern is legitimate about the on going pain. My wife had the flu/stomach bug the other week. She felt pain in her right side as well. If the appendix is going to erupt it’s going to erupt there’s no “calming” it down. So either you have it or you don’t. I knew my wife didn’t have it because the pain didn’t increase. Good luck, change your M.D. being misprescribed although normal, sucks.

skfinkel's avatar

If you don’t trust your doctor, and feel you need to inform her about medicines, etc., she is not the right doctor for you. As far as the current situation goes, I would get a second opinion. Calling your former doctor and finding getting some advice from him/her is not a bad idea.

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Mariah's avatar

Hey @kaylamo. Talk to us, when you get a chance. We all want to know how you’re doing.

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