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Sudden bouts of diarrhea. Suggestions

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5373 Questions
I often have sudden bouts of diarroeah which lasts about 1/2 to 1 hour with no after effects. I do not get much warning and more often than not I do not make it to the bathroom. There does not seem to any rhyme or reason I can go weeks/months without an 'attack' and then I can get an attack every day for about a week.
Posted Sun, 16 Jun 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 43 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Such sudden bouts of diarrhea which appear without any particular reason can be a symptom of serious large intestine disease. Bouts of diarrhea are very characteristic for partial bowels obstruction due to tumor in the colon. The tumor partially blocks the intestine (what can be noticed as a constipation, but not necessary) so the stool above the tumor accumulates. From time to time, when there is enough of the stool above the tumor, it suddenly passes it all. Unprepared for such amount of the stool intestine, can not absorb so much water. So you have a diarrhea.

The tumor does not have to be colon cancer, but I have to state it because the risk of this cancer significantly rises over the age of 50. Such symptoms should not be neglected. Other possible symptoms are weight loss, abdominal pain, blood in stool, constipation, nausea.

Diarrhea can also appear due to intestinal infection. In such case, fever can be also present.

I suggest you to visit your doctor and get colonoscopy done. Stool tests and blood work should be also performed.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
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