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skinny bowel movements
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skinny bowel movements

I am a 38 year old woman; otherwise healthy (regular vigorous exercise, healthy diet, 130 lbs).

I have had problems with chronic constipation since I was a teenager, initially brought on, I believe, from holding my bowel movements as a child.

I had intussusception surgery at 5 months of age. (Also included removal of appendix.)

Over the last year, I have had a variety of digestive problems that come and go. None persist permanently.

I have had aching pain throughout my digestive tract (from my stomach and throughout, but mostly in my bowel on lower left side) that is only relieved by fasting for a few days.
I have had chronic (extreme) bloating, not accompanied by gas or digestive noises. It tends to just go away, without any relation to passing gas or stool.

After a recent 5-6 week episode of extreme, intermittent bloating (couldn't fit into my clothes), my digestion feels like it is back to normal, but now I have had very skinny stool for the last two weeks. I thought I was probably constipated without any other symptoms, but enemas and extremely high fiber laxative foods (organic prunes, etc) have not changed my stool. I also do not feel constipated or bad at all (my stomach is flat again); I just have the long, very skinny bowel movements.

I do not have much pain at all, with the exception of the random aching of my bowel. (Lower left side.)

I NEVER have:
diarrhea
bloody or dark stool
vomiting
fevers
excessive gas

There is no history of colon cancer in my family

Could adhesions from my infant intussusception surgery be causing my random digestive problems?
Could I have a partial obstruction from chronic constipation that can't be relieved by enemas?
Could stress or anxiety cause my symptoms?
Could a malabsorbtion syndrome be causing my random symptoms?

I really don't want to have to go to the doctor and pay $2,500 for a colonoscopy if nothing is wrong with me. So, if my symptoms have pretty much gone away, do I need to worry about skinny, long bowel movements with no other symptoms?

Thank you.


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I know the stools you're talking about.  It's really just a form of diarrhea, which can happen for any number of reasons, including the stress you asked about, but what is more likely is periodic constipation will usually be followed by diarrhea, hence your small stools.  Best thing you can do to keep things moving regularly and prevent the thin waste, is to eat enough whole grains and drink enough water.  For example, every day I eat a store brand 100 percent whole wheat bread sandwich with dark green lettuce, and I eat Cheerios with fresh blueberries and Acidophilus milk several times a week (your prunes are not enough...you need bulk).  I also guzzle lots of water everytime I brush my teeth.  To relieve stress, I slow down, I deep breathe, I sit out on the porch when I get too high off the ground, I write down what's bothering me, I keep my thinking moving forward, and if I'm in a situation that bugs me, I go about methodically changing it over time.  I go about these things in a natural way, but by all means, if this keeps up despite trying a few of these things, go to your general doc and let him have a look at you.
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