Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Morning diarrhea
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Morning diarrhea

I am a 40 year old female that has recently been diagnosed as mildly anemic.  I have very light periods and don't think the anemia is due to menstruation.  My hemotcrit(sp?) is 34 and was 36 last year and 38 the year before.

I have a history of loose stools - not necessarily diarrhea but almost as if everything goes through me with out being absorbed. I have complained about this relentlessly to my physicians over the years. I have been tested for hyperthyroidism and was told a couple of times I was "borderline".  More recently the tests came back normal.

I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy 3 years ago and both came back normal.  

Recently, within the last 6 weeks, upon waking, I have had one bowel movement in the morning that is a very loose unformed stool. The rest of the day I'm fine. There seems to be a distinct change.

My question is what if anything, I should ask the doctor to do.  My general practitioner said that because I had a recent colonoscopy and endoscopy, it is not of concern.  Also, when I had the endoscopy would it be of normal practice to test for H Pylori?  I never heard whether this was done.

My mother died of gastric cancer at age 59. I also have had ovarian cysts and am currently scheduled to have another u/s to check a complex cyst.
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The colonoscopy would rule out most of the major causes (i.e. inflammatory bowel disease, colitis) of losse stool.  

You can consider test for malabsorption - which can lead to your symptoms.  Obtaining stool studies for fat absorption, as well as blood tests for celiac disease can be considered.

H Pylori is a bacteria associated with ulcers and inflammation of the upper digestive tract.  It would be unlikely that the presence of this bacteria can lead to persistant loose stools.

The other option would be irritable bowel syndrome.  Various types of anti-spasmodic agents can be used to treat this condition.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician, or in conjunction with a GI evaluation.

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.

Kevin, M.D.
Medical Weblog:
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3 Comments
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h pylori test can now be done in doc's office .
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One more item I should mention:

My cholesterol has dropped from 181 - 130 over the last 3 years.  I am not over weight and have never been.  I sometimes wonder about malabsorption problems.
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I am 51 years old and have had your symptom of morning diarrhea since my teens. After several colonoscopies, upper endoscopies, barium enamas, contrasted x-rays of the digestive system, abdominal CT scans, and biopsies, I am told that I have Irritable Bowel Syndrom (syndrome) (IBS).

I don't dare plan on doing anything early in the morning without setting the clock early enough as to allow for the bathroom visit. I guess the silver linig to this is regularity. At any rate, one of my tests came back positive for H. Pylori, which was treated successfully with antibiotics. I am currently taking NuLev, but the jury is still out on whether this one will help. Immodium AD Advanced will give me relief when nothing else will, however, my understanding is that Immodium is not designed for long term use. I am scheduled for a small bowel series (x-rays)next week, as well as a visit to Boman Gray. I was hospitalized at Duke Medical Center two years ago, and at that time had ulcers, with the H. Pylori being the causitive agent. I am fortunate in that I live 1.5 hours or less from both Duke Medical Center and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Bowman Gray), which both have excellent Gastroenterology Centers.

I enjoy hunting, fishing, and SCUBA diving as hobbies, and you can imagine dealing with the digestive problem and trying to enjoy having a life at the same time. I would list all the medications that I have tried over the years, however, my 51 year old memory won't let me.

My advice, if nothing else but for peace of mind, is to find a gastroenterologist who specializes in gastric (intestinal) motility, and place yourself in his/her care. The "not knowing" creates stress, which adds to the problem, which adds to the stress, which adds to the problem, etc. Do your homework with regard to your physician. I worked in a hospital ER for several years, and as an orthopedic surgeon's assistant for five years. During this time I worked with several doctors and have learned one thing for sure. There is a difference between a doctor and a business man who happens to have an MD at the end of his credentials. If your physician will not take time to sit and listen attentively to your concerns, then find one who will. Remember, the doctor is hired by, and works for, you!

I wish you luck in dealing with your problem, and if it is irritable bowel, I have been told many times over the years that it will not advance to something serious.

I hope that this has been helpful, but I do reinforce the fact that a good, reputable physician is where you need to start. One more thing, beware of "snake oil" salesmen who have the answer to "all your ailments right here in this little bottle". Your problem, if it is IBS, will not have a quick fix, so frustration will definately figure into the picture, and frustration sometimes leads to desperation, and desperate people sometimes do desperate things. It is your life, and as much as possible, take control and responsibility for it!

Good Luck,
brownie24540
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A related discussion, intestinal problems was started.
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A related discussion, contiue of case 1 of morning diarrhea was started.
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