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Noticed blood and undigested food in stool. No weight loss. What is the problem?

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Practicing since : 1962
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I have had loose stools for some months. I need to use the lavatory 3 or 4 times a day but sometimes have no bowel movement at all for 24 to 36 hours, maybe once a week. On occasion I see what appears to be fresh blood in them, not clots, no mucous. There is also sometimes undigested food, last night's red bell peppers did not digest. There is no particularly bad odour. I have had no weight loss at all, in fact I seem to have put on weight in the past year. The stools appear to have grit or sand in them. I do not feel unwell. However, this is not normal and has started some months ago, so it is different from before. I exercise less than I should and work at home on my PC although I walk a couple of kilometres a day. Can you help?
Posted Wed, 19 Dec 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Charles S Narasi 2 hours later
You state that that you have had intermittent diarrhea
for sometime now without associated weight loss.
You also mention you may see some fresh blood at times..
You are in the age group when any change in bowel habits
has to be taken seriously. It is possible you may just have
diverticulosis, pockets on the colon wall which can get
infected and give you symptoms. Condition is called
Diverticulitis. This could be mild to severe. Sometimes
this is associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with
abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.
One of the things you describe is the presence of undigested
food particles. This could mean , you may be lacking in
digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Amylase and Lipase
are enzymes your pancreas produces that helps digestion
of starches and fatty foods.
I would recommend that you have your stool tested for
the presence of fat.
Most of all, if you have never had a colonoscopy you are
overdue for one. Let the doctor check your colon thoroughly
and make sure you dont have any tumors in the lower part
of the colon.
Please see a gastroenterologist who can guide you properly.
I wish you well.
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