Those With IBS Do You Have Narrow Stools?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by greatgran, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Guess I am to scared to go to a doc as I have med phobia.. Well, may have to as I have noticed narrow, frequent clay colored stools. Also have bloated feelings at times. This has been going on for a few months. Seems I never completely empty.

    I have read this could be a sign of IBS and also other things.

    Sorry, don't mean to be gross . I did purchase some Activita going to try that for a week or so and if not improved with this and diet changes guess will have to go for the colonoscopy..

    Just curious if any of you have experienced the narrow, frequent stools and if so the cause and treatment.

  2. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    If you haven't recently had a colonoscopy, you should consider going to your doctor and having one done. Sometimes narrow stools can be a sign of a colon polyp.
  3. fifthofanickel

    fifthofanickel New Member

    When I had narrow, clay colored stool along w/the bloat, I had a colonoscopy & found I had microscopic collagenous colitis. You say sometimes your bm's are frequent, are they more than 6/day? I was going around 6-12 times a day & sometimes during the nite. I went on a gluten free diet for about 7yrs. & finally my intestines healed enough, that I could reintroduce gluten.

    I still have the colitis/ibs & control it w/Caltrate w/vit.D. At times I still have the narrow stool, but for the most part they are normal in size & color. And I only need to have a bm 1-2 times daily. I had another colonoscopy around 3yrs ago & everything looked normal..So I think my controls are doing ok. I also have "trigger" foods I need to be careful of. Maybe that would be something for you to think about also..

    I just ate bland foods for about a week, that more or less cleaned out my gut, then started eating other things, & kept a journal as to which ones caused the frequent bm's & bloat. It's a constant testing w/what your body can tolerate.

    So sorry you are having this prob. along w/what you're going thru.....I hope you can find an answer soon.

  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Hi Jamin - My dad had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with cancer. My sister had a colonoscopy and a pre-cancerous polyp was found. They both had the colonoscopies because they had symptoms of something wrong. When a person's bowel movements change and don't go back to normal within two weeks, it should be investigated. My dad's cancer wasn't discovered until he was 82. Had he gone for a colonoscopy ten to fifteen years earlier, his polyp probably would have been found when it was small and before it had become cancerous.

    Take care.
  5. mysticbrit

    mysticbrit New Member

    Before I was finally diagnosed with celiac, and have since removed gluten from my diet, the narrow stools, along with the bloated tummy, were my norms.

    If you haven't had a colonoscopy in a long time I'd suggest you do. No one enjoys the experience but frankly once the prep is over the procedure is nothing to worry about.

    I understand how miserable you're feeling. Perhaps the Activia may help, at least it's a readily availalbe option.

    Good luck,
  6. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    Hi Greatgran!
    Have you changed your eating habits in anyway? If it's been going on for a few months, I think it's more than just a little change as we all have from time to time.

    IBS has pretty distinct symptoms as far as I know - and with me anyway, but I'm sure it can also come in various degrees.

    Have you googled your symptoms to see what you can find? Sometimes the internet it good, sometimes it's so broad and lists so many ailments it can scare the crap out of you (pardon the pun)

    Your bowel movements can say a lot about your health. In some cases a narrow stool isn't a bad thing, probably means your stool is looser than not, but the color may be indicative of what you're eating and how it's being digested.

    I'd say it might be worth investigating, especially since it sounds like you're worried about it.
    I know you've had some less than positive experiences lately with your Dr.'s, but I think they would address this. Bowel movements aren't in your head and any Dr. that suggested it are full of S**t.

    I do have IBS. 20 years ago I had the constipation kind. 10 years ago I developed the diarrhea kind. I'd say that was worse because of the limitations it put on my life. Since taking pain medication which normally can constipate people, I've happily become "normal".

    Let us know how the Activia works! Maybe that will do the trick, if not, talk to our Doc.
    Keep us posted, okay?

  7. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, greatgran.

    A few years ago I had "pencil stools" and bloating, and I thought I just had a yeast infection. Eventually my wife convinced me to have a colonoscopy, and lo and behold, I had rectal cancer!

    Fortunately it was still Stage III, and surgery, chemo, radiation, nutrition, and a great deal of prayer fixed me!

    I'm hoping that you don't have that, but just the same, I agree with those who have recommended that you get a colonoscopy.

    Best regards,

  8. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Thanks to each of you for your replies.. I am going to give it a couple more weeks then guess I will have to go to the doc.

    I have had the VERY frequent urination problem for about a month went to the doc, no UTI and kidney functions were normal. Wonder if the two are related. The doc said nothing except to lose weight and I was borderline diabetic.

    Sorry to be gross but everytime I go to urnitate then I have a little BM that comes out. I did have a some what normal one this morning not pencil thin but still narrow and broken.

    Now not sure what doc to see, an urologist, obgyn or gastro. Hoping time and diet changes will help.

    Rich, did you have frequent BM's . I do and they are soft just a little comes out at a time ,pasty and not pencil thin but narrow and broken..Sorry this is a little gross but is a body function that needs to be healthy..

    Thanks again and must admit I am concerned because I feel what ever may require some surgery.

    God Bless,
  9. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Hi GG - When you were seeing your doctor about the frequent urination, did he/she check your ovaries? Sometimes frequent urination, bowel problems, and bloating can signal a problem with the ovaries. Some doctors don't think to check the ovaries when a patient is complaining of peeing a lot.
  10. sixtyslady

    sixtyslady Member

    I have the narrow stools once in awhile and had many test with nothing wrong I do have IBS.and the Dr said just to watch if they ever get like a thin ribbon,it could be a sign of a blockage.however I have determine mine are from spams in my colon,but I only have them once in awhile. Sixtyslady.
  11. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, greatgran.

    I can't remember how frequent my BMs were for sure, but I think they were fairly frequent. The main things were that I was very bloated, and my stools were always pencil-thin. In my case, it turned out that I had a tumor about the size of a lemon, and it was fairly close to the bottom of the intestinal tract, i.e. in the sigmoid colon and the rectum. It was blocking the passage of stools so much that they had to become very small in diameter to get through. Since the tumor was so close to the bottom, they didn't reconsolidate and become larger in diameter. They just continued on out as pencil stools.

    It turned out that the bloating was caused by a yeast infection that was living in the crevice formed by the tumor, and the yeast was producing a lot of carbon dioxide gas, causing the bloating. I treating the yeast by taking about 6 anti-yeast remedies all at the same time. My stools were then pitch black for about a day or so, and the bloating stopped, so I'm pretty sure I killed the yeast.

    If a person has a tumor higher up in the colon, the stools may not always be pencil-sized, because they can reconsolidate after passing the tumor, before they come out. So there can be a variety of characteristics of the stools, but if there has been a change from their characteristics in the past, that's something to be concerned about. They like to use the term "a change in bowel habits." I never knew what that meant. I think they should be a little more graphic in describing what to look for. Changes in the size, shape, color, or frequency of the stools that continue to occur and are much different from the way they used to be are the things to look for.

    I continue to believe that you should get checked out. I'm not sure what type of specialist you should see. I went to a gastroenterologist and had a colonoscopy. I've had several colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies, and I do not recommend sigmoidoscopies. They are less expensive, but they don't look at the whole colon, and they don't use anesthesia. I would say that sigmoidoscopies have been my most painful experiences. Of course, I've never given birth to a child, nor have I had kidney stones or gallstones, so I can't compare to the pain involved in those things, but sigmoidoscopies hurt like heck in my experience! So go for a colonoscopy and find a gastroenterologist who has a lot of experience in doing them, because like a lot of things, some people are more handy than others, and that can make a big difference.

    I hope this helps.

  12. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    It always seems pointless to me when doctors order tests such as occult blood tests and sigmoidoscopies, because at the end of the day, they still have to do a colonoscopy anyways. The first two tests only detect cancer 30% of the time, whereas the colonoscopy is much more accurate. I think in the past they claimed a 90% success rate, however, I was reading in Life Extension Magazine that they now think the number is closer to 60/70% accuracy. Still, that is much better than 30%.

    I had a colonoscopy done three years ago without anesthesia and I can honestly say that it didn't hurt. There were a couple of seconds here and there when they were turning a corner, however, beyond that, you really don't notice anything. It was interesting watching on the screens and seeing how pink my innards were!

    GG - You might find that you have to go to several specialists before you get an answer as to what is going on. The symptoms might all be related, or possibly, you have a couple of different things happening at the same time. Good luck!
  13. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Thanks again for you taking the time to reply and giving me so much help.

    Tiger, I have no ovaries so we can rule that one out, thank goodness.

    Sixtyslady, Spams of the Colon sounds like a Dx I would like to have but of course I think the worst. I am giving this another couple weeks if not improved will give in and go . I have an appointment with a gp doc on Oct. 6th may wait till then but my husband says he will give me week then I have to go. He had cancerous polyps and the colonoscopy saved him so he goes faithfully every 3 years. He doesnt mind it at all.

    Rich, I am so glad you caught your cancer even though you had to go thru a lot and thank you so much for sharing all your info. with me.

    God Bless and I will keep you posted..
  14. MsE

    MsE New Member

    Well, I can't add a bit to all the good advice you've received, GG, but I will go on record with the rest of the folks who say that if things don't clear up very soon you should see a doctor. It may be nothing, but it could be something--and the possible somethings are not ones you want to ignore. I, too, dread doctor visits, but if I were in your place, this is one time I would force myself to go to the doctor if "things" were not back to normal very soon. MsE