Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
BOWEL MOVEMENT-STOOL SHAPE
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This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

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BOWEL MOVEMENT-STOOL SHAPE


  I AM 47 YEARS OLD. I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A FREQUENCY PROBLEM WITH URINATING AND BOWEL MOVEMENTS. THIS REALLY DOES NOT BOTHER ME THAT MUCH AS I AM USED TO IT. MY QUESTION IS THAT OVER THE LAST YEAR OR SO MY STOOLS SEEM TO HAVE TAKEN A DIFFERENT SHAPE. THEY ARE ALWAYS "FLAT" LOOOKING. THEY ARE ABOUT 1 TO 1 1/4 INCHES WIDE, BUT INSTEAD OF BEING ROUND THEY ARE ABOUT 1/4 INCHES THICK. THE COLOR APPEARS TO BE NORMAL AND HASN'T CHANGED, AND THERE IS NO BLOOD VISABLE AT ANY TIME.  OF COARSE I,M THINKING THERE MIGHT BE AN OBSTRUCTION CAUSING MY STOOLS TO BE PINCHED INTO THIS SHAPE. CAN YOU HELP NE WITH THIS?    
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Dear BGSteve,
Changes in stool shape can be a sign of a narrowing of stool lumen, although usually no pathology is ound.  By the time people reach the age of 45-50, screening for colrectal cancer should begin even in the absence of symptoms.
I suggest that you contact your physician to arrange for a stool guiaiac test (looking for blood) and a sigmoidoscopy(visulaization of the lowest 60 cm of colon).
Obtaining this information will allow your doctor to decide if additional testing is needed to investigate your complaint.
This informatioon is presented for educationa;l purposes.  Ask specific questiosn to your personal physician.
HFHSM.D.-rf
*keywords: cancer screening
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