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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Having brown and fibrous stool. Suffering from haemorrhoid and gastritis. Is this the cause of concern?

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Dr. Vaishalee Punj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2222 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 22 Nov 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: this is a follow up question. my wife got a stomach bug. About a week to 10 days later I got the same thing. both of us had a lot of gas and pressure. no nausea, vomiting or diarrhea and no fever. We both did notice a very slimy substance when wiping during the first few days but went away after a week. Her symptoms seemed to last around 2-3 weeks( off and on). Mine have lasted around 4 weeks. Not sure if she still has symptoms off and on but I have health anxiety and started thoroughly examining my stool from that point on.
My stool are brown( light-dark) and solid but sometimes the solid stool looks kind of like its not compacted all the way, sorta like fiber.They both sink and float, usually sink. I also notice a very very faint translucent film in areas of the bowl in the water that is not visible just looking in the toilet bowl. I only see this clear very thin translucent film if I shine a flash light down in the bowl and move it around over the water It never covers the entire water. Sometimes its there and sometimes its not. I also have a hemorrhoid that has gotten flared up which preparation H suppository helped tremendously not to mention my gastritis is flared up too. I also get gastritis off and on of which my gastro says is stress related. My last colonoscopy was 2 years ago and last blood panel 6 months ago.
If I look at my stool in the toilet it looks normal with the exception of the sometimes fibrous looking stool. Am I examining this too much or does something sound off.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 57 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Hi

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX

It seems that you are having mucosal discharge in stools on and off. It seems to be from an infection of the intestines, since family members are having similar symptoms. There can be an inflammation for other reasons as well.

The fibrous nature of stools can be either due to the type of foods you are taking or it can be undigested food.

The best next step will be to test the stools for WBC or RBC. Also get some basic tests done like hemogram, celiac screening test, liver function tests, etc. If positive then go for culture of the stools along with some more blood tests to find the bug. If the test is negative, then the treatment will mostly be supportive.

The supportive management includes the following:

- Include fruits and vegetables in almost all the meals
- Take hygienic home-cooked food and pure drinking water. This is an important step as you may be contracting the bug from food or water. Among bottled water, go for water with lowest PPM.
- Take yogurt or curd in your diet
- Avoid eating outside, avoid junk food, also avoid eating meats etc that are raw and indigestible
- Avoid taking unnecessary medicines, especially the ones that can alter normal flora like antibiotics etc.
- Wash your hands before and after cooking and eating food. Since a person may contaminate his food due to improper handling. Such bugs usually transmit feco-orally.

I hope this helps

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr Vaishalee

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Vaishalee Punj 38 minutes later
I'm between insurance at this time so a entire work up is very expensive. I've had GI issues for 15 years( stress related gastritis and reflux) and without insurance testing costs a lot.
The symptoms are not as they were and have definitely decreased at least 80-90%. I was fine before this hit and the initial mucus was considerable and noticed upon wiping, now wiping is normal and stool seems it is getting back to normal. Like I said, the only way to see anything is to put my glasses on, stick my head and a flashlight very close to the bowl and scrutinize the water. so I'm thinking that the mucus is minimal at this point.
10 years ago my with my first XXXXXXX hemorrhoid my GI said "mucus is always in stool and with an XXXXXXX hemorrhoid even more so". He noted my anxiety and told me that awareness of your stool and scrutinizing every bowel movement were 2 different things so looking for something wrong with every stool was not helping me and if changes were subtle not to get alarmed.
If nothing sounds alarming and are inline with an issue that while unpleasant will likely resolve on its own and wasn't urgent, the cost of the testing would be better avoided if not likely needed.
thanks for your help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 15 hours later
Brief Answer:
Hi

Detailed Answer:
Hi again

Yes, it is nothing alarming and an added cost of treatment can be avoided at this point.

Even if it is infection of the intestines, then antibiotics are not usually advised.
Your GI was correct in saying that hemorrhoids can cause it. Since it is decreasing, there is nothing much to be worried about. Even if hemorrhoids are present, an intervention does not seem necessary at this point.

The lifestyle measures that I have described above should definitely help you. For now these should suffice, unless any alarming symptoms develop like blood in stools, pain abdomen, fever, etc. Such alarming symptoms need investigations.

Regards

Dr Vaishalee


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Vaishalee Punj 13 hours later
Thank you for your help. I definitely seem to notice a correlation between when I feel my hemorrhoid is aggravated and the translucent film on the water. I got off of the suppositories for 2 days because I don't like to use them. I pushed a bit during a bowel movement and the next day I could feel the urge to go. I noticed a bit more film coverage on the surface of the water but again if I don't use a light for reflection its not visible. my stool is solid not mushy. I wondered if the urge to go and going more frequently gave my stool less time to firm up and thats why they looked more fibrous.
Anyway,how long can it take for this residue to resolve.
I did ask my wife about the duration of her symptoms and she said her bowels were acting up for a good 3 weeks at and when she ate a bunch of raw fruit her bowels acted up immediately for a few days again. She also noted she did have the mucus when wiping but laughed and said she wouldn't stick her head in the toilet to look at her BM so she had no idea if there was any residue on the water.
Again, thanks for your help and advice
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
Hi again

Detailed Answer:
Hi again

The residue resolves whenever the inflammation (due to infection or hemorroids) resolves. Mostly you need to live with it as most other people do.
There are creams available that can be applied externally for easier passage of hard stools. These creams contain lidocaine along with some antiseptic. Lidocaine is a local anaesthetic and helps prevent the pain. Prunes, taken 3 - 4 in a day, also help in relieving constipation. There are other syrups like Lactulose syrup etc that can be used for constipation.

Your wife also needs to take precautions that I mentioned for you. You need to stick to the precautions at all time. Fruits can be source of infection if not washed in clean water before consuming. Tinned fruits and vegetables should not be taken. For diarrhea, rehydrate with gatorade etc.

I hope my suggestions help take care of your condition at home.

Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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