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Why am I having irregular bowel movements with diarrhea sometimes?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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Hi, I am worrying a lot at the moment I keep thinking I have bowel cancer. I have used to weigh 18st which is a lot I am now down to 17.8. I have been suffering from irregular bowel movements sometimes loads of diarrhea which has been lose and watery. sometimes I am getting big oval shaped yellow pellets which have been foul smelling. I have been quite tired lately too.

My weight seems to have pushed up right under my breastbone where it used to be down in my lower gut. I have been to my docs lately who has sent me for blood tests.

The family have a history of ibs but I am not convinced its this at all.

Please help i am worried sick and keep thinking I have cancer.
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query,

Based on the history, I would like to assure you that you are less likely to have bowel or colon cancer.

The reduction of weight by 0.2 stone, is not very significant to be considering colon cancer at a young age of 30 years, specially in a person with no family history of colon cancer.

To consider a person to be having colon cancer : - here are some important points:-
- Age greater than 50 years
- Blood in or on the stool (either bright red or very dark in colour)     
- A persistent change in normal bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation or both, for no apparent reason     
- Frequent or constant cramps if they last for more than a few days     
- Stools that are narrower than usual     
- General stomach discomfort (bloating, fullness and/or cramps)     
- Frequent gas pains
- A strong and continuing need to move your bowels, but with little stool     
- A feeling that the bowel does not empty completely.
- Weight loss of greater than 10% body weight (For Eg. 1.8 Stones in your case)
- Constant tiredness

In case you still have any doubts, you can consult your treating doctors to order a stool test for occult blood, which might be helpful.

Your diarrhea could be associated with stress and anxiety induced and can be helped with symptomatic medications like :
1. Imodium - to reduce the watery diarrhea.
2. Activated charcoal (Brand : Charcoal) to reduce the foul smell in the stools as well to relieve any from of bloating as well.

I hope this answer is adequate. Should you have any more concerns, I will be available to help you.


Dr Anvekar.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why am I having irregular bowel movements with diarrhea sometimes? 2 hours later
Thanks for the response. I have been suffering with bloatiness in my stomach which is really causing concern. I also have tiredness even though i been sleeping. My stools have constantly changing sometimes thin other times with big lumps like pellets. I also have lumps inside my gut apparently lipoma but there is millions of them around my belly button. When i pass stool sometimes it could be like a black juice that i cant even see the botton of the toilet with a frothy discharge on top. I have suffered in the past with a hemoroid in my back passage.

What could the problem be. Would my blood tests show if i have cancer
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 1 hour later
Hello Again,

Thanks for the follow up,

The bowel issues including bloating, stool irregularity etc could be associated with functional bowel disorders.

To rule out any organic disorders or any inflammatory bowel issues , the best initial test is a stool examination and microscopic analysis.

In the mean time steps to reduce your bloating and gas issues should be taken including:-

‎1. Increase the amount of fluid you drink, especially water. Avoid carbonated drinks and alcoholic ‎beverages.
‎2. Avoid foods that cause gas, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and XXXXXXX The amount of gas that ‎different foods cause varies from person to person.
‎3. Avoid swallowing air. Swallowing air may increase your symptoms.
‎4. Eat slowly. Avoid gulping food or beverages. When you rush through meals or eat on the run, you ‎are more likely to swallow air.
‎5. Chew your food thoroughly before you swallow.
‎6. Avoid drinking through a straw, or chewing gum or eating hard candy.
7. Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
‎8. Keep calm. Tension and anxiety can cause you to swallow air.

As I mentioned earlier , any form of cancer do cause blood panel changes, and can be detected in specific ways.

In addition, as explained earlier, colon cancer - the most commonly presents with bloody stools which may or not be opainful.

You might benefit by consulting a gastroenterologist, who can order the necessary tests and initiate proper intervenion as nededed.

I hope this helps, Regards,

Dr Anvekar.,

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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