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History of gastro. Have loose stools, anal fissure. No pain or bleeding. Stomach or colon cancer?

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Last year I had a bout of gastro. Since then I have loose stools. Occasionally I will have a normal bowel movement, but for the most part every morning at 8 am I get really strong smelling gas and then need to go to the bathroom immediately with loose stools. Some days are watery, other more forms blobs. Celiac disease has been ruled out as well as lactose intolerance. I have no pain or any other symptoms. I did have an anal fissure that would cause bleeding, but there has been no blood in a year. I have asked my doctor for a colonoscopy but because of my age (33 years) and the fact I don't present any other symptoms he is not ready to order one yet. Could this be stomach or colon cancer?
Posted Tue, 9 Apr 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 19 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Stomach cancer does not cause diarrhea. Colon cancer can cause such symptom. However it does not happen often at your age. Typical symptoms of colon cancer are diarrhea and constipation alternately, weight lost, blood in stool (mixed with it), abdominal pain. The risk of colon cancer rises significantly after 50.
Although your doctor does not want to perform colonoscopy, there is a test which can rule out colon cancer without it. This test is called iFOBT (fecal occult blood test) and can be performed at home.
Your symptoms seems to be caused by chronic bacterial infection. Severe diarrhea should be diagnosed and stool bacteriology tests should be performed at first.
Rifaximine is a medicine which can be very helpful at your case (especially if this is really chronic infection). You should ask your doctor about it.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: History of gastro. Have loose stools, anal fissure. No pain or bleeding. Stomach or colon cancer? 18 minutes later
I have had these symptoms a year this week. My hemoglobin is normal. Could this be a bacterial infection for this long? Since my bout of gastro, I crave chicken and XXXXXXX more so than beef. I did notice today mucus in my stool. This was the first time I noticed it. I have not had a bowel movement since. The one this morning was very watery so I took an Immodium afterwards and it worked.

I was ask my doctor to test my stool. Are there any other recommendations you can make or any other diseases or issues this could be? The diarreha is the only real symptom. I don't have any pain or discomfort. I do have acid relfux which I control with medication that I take once every other day.

Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 9 minutes later
Reasons of chronic diarrhea is quite a lot. However chronic bacterial infection is the most possible. Generally in the digestive tract there is a lot of good bacteria which do protect our intestines from colonization by bad bacteria. If any factor will allow bad bacteria to grow in the intestines, it can colonize it instead of the good bacteria. And as long as this bad bacteria wont be eradicated, the diarrhea will be present.

Other possible reasons of such chronic diarrhea are: inflammatory bowels disease, medicines, chronic alcohol intake, hormone-producing tumors, lactose intolerance, food allergies, and many more.

Stool tests are the simplest and first which should be done. Depending of the results some other tests may be necessary (like mentioned colonoscopy).

Hope this will help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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