Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Bowel Changes
About This Forum:

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).

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Bowel Changes

for the past several months weeks I have had some changes in bowel habits. My symptoms are that my stools are more loose than normal(not diarreah (diarrhea)) and they are somewhat smaller and thinner than usual. I have also noticed that when I have gas, the gas spells are smaller and seem to have no odor to them. I do have a BM usually every day and i have had no past colon problems although I did have my Gall Bladder Removed 2 years ago without incident.

I did an at home hemocult test which was negative for blood, have no famlit history of bowel problems and I do not smoke although I drink  alchohol moderately. My BM's seem to indicate that my colon is "spasming" as the shape is thinner than usual. I do have an occasional dull ache in my right side, but is is not painful or constant.

The conditon was improving but my today my BM was thinner, almost rectangular. The color of my stools seems to be normal.

I almost feel there is some type of an obstruction. What does this suggest??
Related Discussions
233190_tn?1278553401
I agree with the comments below - a colonoscopy would be the most reasonable next step.  Colon cancer is one of the cancers that is curable if detected at an early stage.  Any change of bowel habits or stool shape may be a manifestation of cancer and this should be ruled out.

If the colonoscopy is negative, you may also want to consider tests for malabsorption - which can increase gas.  Tests for fecal fat malabsorption or celiac disease can be considered.  If the all the tests are negative, then irritable bowel disease can also cause spasm, gas, and loose stools.

Again, the colonoscopy would be next most reasonable step - this can be scheduled with your personal physician or gastroenterologist.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
3 Comments
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Any consistent change in bowel habits warrants an investigation. My knowledge is mostly about colorectal cancer as my father had it, and I started screening for it at age 40. Thinner stools and shifts in habits can certainly be indicative of an obstruction. No matter what, a consulation with a GI Doctor and probably a colonoscopy are warranted if the changes and symptoms continue. One negative test for occult blood does mean that everything is fine. A direct view of the colon is really the gold standard for assessing the type of changes you are describing.

(I am not a Doctor, I am just giving you opinions from my personal experience.)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I totally agree.  You should definitely have a colonoscopy.   Colon cancer is a very preventable disease and it frustrates me that people do not realize this and get screened.  And by that I mean get a colonoscopy, which is indeed the gold standard.   Polyps can be removed BEFORE they turn cancerous.  I am a colon cancer survivor.  
Make an appointment now.  Your symptoms could be caused by many things, one of which is colon cancer.  There are many less serious things that could be causing your problems.  But the only way to know is to get the colonoscopy.   I have had three, and it is not a big deal.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
You may also ask to be tested for a parasitic infection. It's often overlooked and can cause a variety of symptoms.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank