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) 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??
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.
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.)
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.
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