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Frequent bowel movements with dark flaky stool. No fever. Will this be cured by not taking food?

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Gastroenterologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1984
Answered : 922 Questions
For about a week I have been having dark XXXXXXX flaky stool. The stool is not well formed. Is accompanied by liquid. The urgency feels like diarrhea, and it occurs about every couple hours. For the last couple days I have tried "starving it out". For the last about 40 hours I have had zero food (only water). The frequency and amount of the BMs has reduced as a result of that, but the stool characteristics remain the same.

But . . . I feel fine otherwise - no fever, chills, cramps (except just before I have a BM).
Would it be beneficial to continue to withhold food to see if that helps this clear up?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Ajit Naniksingh Kukreja 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query

What I gather from your information is except for ill formed XXXXXXX flaky stool with frequent bowel movements you are normal

Here are some common causes of XXXXXXX flaky stools:
1] Indigestion
2] Gastritis
3] Giardiasis
4] Viral entritis
5] And some rare conditions like toxic megacolon which anyway I feel you need not consider

I would recommend you take light diet, add a probiotic twice a day and see for 24 hours, if there is no improvement you should go for a stool examination and if need be a culture report

Apparently It won't help with holding food, but in alternative medicine they do recommend the same but simultaneously add plenty of fluids orally to maintain nutrition and hydration

Hope I have been able to clarify your doubts
Am available for followup queries
Get Well Soon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Frequent bowel movements with dark flaky stool. No fever. Will this be cured by not taking food? 1 hour later
Thank you.
Yes, except for the cramps that occur just before and during a BM I feel very normal.

I am keeping well hydrated, mostly with a sports drink that has added electrolytes. I am willing to tough it out for another day without food and see if I can break it that way. Would it be ideally beneficial to not have any food, or might something like broth be okay?
Answered by Dr. Ajit Naniksingh Kukreja 13 hours later

Thanks for posting your followup

I appreciate the sensible way you have been taking care of the issue

If you are properly hydrated, there is no harm in not having any food, anything like broth will definitely give you some energy as it comes under the category of items that are nutritious and easy to digest[But I would suggest a vegetable broth - Stock]

Hope this helps
Am available for any followup queries
If there are no further doubts, do accept this reply and rate it

Wishing You A Speedy Recovery
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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