Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Constipation and Stringy Stools
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Constipation and Stringy Stools

I am a 29 year old female in otherwise good health. I am 5'1 102lbs. I have not experienced any wait loss.  For the past two or three months I have been extremely constipated. The only way I can have a bowel movement lately is by drinking a lot of fluids and taking a fiber supplement. Twice I had to use a saline laxitive. I only use laxitives normally once or twice a year, so I know I don not abuse them. I have not noticed blood in my stool. Before I increased my fiber and water intake it would be more than a week before I even had a bowel movement and even then they were more like small pellets. I have been constipated several times in the past since high school, but I do not remember being constipated for such a long time as this. Now that I have have made some diet changes I have a bowel movement everyday. I am still worried about the possiblity of colon cancer. I am worried about the shape of them. They seem to thin about 1/4 of an inch from the end, but the rest looks normal in caliber. Also, yesterday I had a long stringy stool that connected to larger peices together. Today, my bowel movement was normal. I do not have a lot of cramping or gas, but I do feel I have to strain a little. Sometimes I feel like my rectum will not relax when I have the urge. Should I be worried about colon cancer? Nobody in my family has it. Thank you.
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misha,
your story sounds very similar to mine. i had constipation come from nowhere and learned to control it with a high fiber diet(at least two doses konsyl 6.0 grams each day, along with a nearly vegetarian diet). i also had a flexible sigmoidoscopy done to eliminate the possibility of colon cancer. it came up clean, to my relief.
my stools remain just as yours -- sometimes stringy, but mostly large and soft from all the fiber. the gastroenterologist told me that the only long term treatment for chronic constipation is diet. the plus side is that i have been forced to eat 100% healthy because of it. the down side is that there is usually only one item on the menu that i can order.
talk to your doc about the constipation and see if a flexible sigmoidoscopy is a good idea for you.
you might also ask about lactulose. it is a laxitive to help out when all else fails.
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Thank you for your story.  I don't feel as worried about colon cancer now, but I will still speak with my doctor about my options.
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