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Are my irregular bowel issues due to a colon problem?

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recently had some bowel issues..I suffer from severe anxiety and during this episode...I had a lot of gas...and irregular movements sometimes with a bit of food in my stool...once had eaten red licorice and found it in my stool in which case I freaked and thought it was blood...however since my anxiety has calmed bowel movements are very regular and back to normal I am wondering if I should be concerned that maybe I have bowel cancer...would I have symptoms and then could they disappear if I had something seriously going on with my colon?
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 13 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

I understand your concern.

Manifestation of Colonic cancer depends on its location.

(R) sided tumors usually present with anemia, fatigue and vague symptoms while (L) sided tumors present with bleeding PR and obstructive symptoms.

Having said that, there may also be some diarrhea and sometimes they may be completely asymptomatic.

Colonic cancer is usually seen after 50yrs of age and younger age of presentation is usually seen only if there is a genetic predisposition.

All GI problems are worsened with stress.

Since you are quite young and symptoms have resolved completely and presuming you have no family history of early colonic cancer (<45-50yrs) you are unlikely to be having any colonic malignancy.

Hope I have answered your queries. I will be available for your follow up queries if any.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Are my irregular bowel issues due to a colon problem? 28 hours later
thanks for the answer..

I also sometimes not very often when I wipe I HAVE LIKE ONE OR 2 TINY VERY FADED red flecks...that often absorb into the toilet paper when smooshed..

should I be concerned that this is bleeding...

sometimes I will see these little flecks in my stool...not many but a few...

I never have the toilet water stained with blood...and there is no streaking of bleeding and does not appear to be through-out my stool..just sometimes these little flecks...that almost look like food...

if it were bleeding what would it look like....??
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 15 hours later
Thanks for coming back and projecting your apprehensions.

Blood streaks on the toilet paper or a few specks on the stools occurs if you have a fissure ( a small cut in the anal area).

People with fissure also have some perianal irritation and occasionally pain while passing stools and also complain of constipation.

These can also occur with a condition called solitary rectal ulcer syndrome, and are usually associated constipation.

Such spotting can also rarely occur with rectal or distal polyps also.

So if you are too concerned please go visit your Gastroenterologist and he will guide you.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Are my irregular bowel issues due to a colon problem? 12 hours later

thanks for answering..

I guess my question is this....

it seems when I eat certain things some of it comes through into my stool...

The last episode was salsa...and the next day..I had a faded red fleck and then later on that night had a movement and no flecks or blood on tp but unsure if there was some in my stool..I lterally had to put my head into the toilet to try and see and I am still now sure...No blood on outside or red color...but maybe some red fleck inside (unsure) if this were bleeding would it be more obvious??

ALso this seems to happen on occassion not all the time...this morning my movement was uneventful and very normal...

I dont have any abdominal pain...sometimes a bit of cramping before I have a movement then pressure in my anus...

my movements as of late have been very regular same time every morning and well formed and brown....with no visible food partices ( I had been avoiding red foods) until the other night wit salsa..and lasagna.

I am 34 no hx of bowel ca...and have good energy run 4x a week...

my concern is this is bowel cancer...

if there was bleeding what exactly should I be looking for????

Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 16 hours later

The above answers are with a presumption that you passed blood in some of the bowel movements. All the conditions listed earlier can produce minimal bleeding intermittently. As I had written earlier with your symptoms chances of cancer colon are minimal.

Passing of some bits of undigested or semi-digested food ocassionally is normal especially with food of plant origin.

But if you have a doubt as to whether there is blood, do get a stool routine examination including an occult blood. If it shows blood then you need further work up to rule out fissure / polyp / solitary rectal ulcer syndrome, etc.

Hope I have clarified your doubts.

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