Loose stools. Taking Barium medication. CT scan shows nodules on lungs. History of IBS. Treatment for loose stools?

Posted on Sat, 16 Jun 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: HELP PLEASE...after tests and 'basic' diagnosis. My gastroenterologist (on vacation) other docs
in the group practice are unavailable!

I had a CT 4 days ago (abdomen-pelvis-emphasis on pancreas) with IV and night before, 2 (450ml) bottles of Barium.pri

CT ordered on basis of long term loose stools (no agnother symptoms) Doc suspected pancreatic insuff'cy

Have had IBS on and off 25 years. Also type 2 DM.
It seemed that all barium has cleared YESTERDAY considering my BM yesterday was firm and brown.

(a week before scan stools firmer and more regular (not mostly floating)

Today's BM the same EXEPT a few 1" pieces of gray thick stool on the outside of totally brown stool.
no other symptoms..never had gray in stool before. (residual Barium?) no jaundice-symptomsmos

Doc left for vacation...Nurse would only tell me I had a pancreatic cyst not the type, nor blood work
(amylase-glipase - stool stain)

ALSO she told me there was an incidental finding of 2 lung nodules....No mention of size. No other
Gastro Doc avail. to explain finding. Nurse was surprised about my extreme concern. Doctor ordered
another CT this time, chest, while he's on vacation. No further scans or blood work til my appt with
him on 12/7.

no lung symptoms like cough or breathlessness...I jog fast 5 days a week..no change in endurance
or otherwise.

I've seen on internet sites that half of lung nodules are malignant in smokers over 50
(I'm 57 M smoker)

In contrast, another seemingly reputable medical website stated:
'half of smokers over 50 have lung nodule(s)

If both were true,25% of smokers over 50 HAVE lung cancer.

I'm scared to death about both of these problems. Can't eat or sleep well.Waiting for my
Gastrologist appt will be agony!

Thank You so much
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 11 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query
Most of the pancreatitis associated with alcohol eventually do develop some pancreatic sufficiency if one continues to take alcohol (including Beer). With the possibility of pancreatic insufficiency it is very difficult to make a diagnosis of IBS as IBS is a diagnosis of exclusion.
Pancreatic insufficiency could be of endocrine functions where it manifests as diabities or as an exocrine insufficiency which manifests as bulky foul smelling stools and lack of weight gain or weight loss.
Exocrine insufficiency is diagnosed by looking at fat or elastase in the stools. Presence of structural abnormalities on imaging is a surrogate marker of insufficiency.
Stool colour is highly variable in a healthy individual and depends on the diet. Hence i wouldn't be bothered of a grey stool unless it was greasy and sticky wherein it mean excess fat loss.
The clinical significance of the pancreatic cyst and the lung nodules can me decided by looking at it's characteristics on the CT like the density, margins, contents and the surrounding structures. If there is no recent exacerbation of pancreatitis it is less likely to be a pseudocyst. Hence it is best to discuss with the radiologist.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S


Practicing since :2000

Answered : 339 Questions


The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,   ,   ,   ,  

Recent questions on  Pancreatic insufficiency

doctor1 MD

My brother has autism and GI complications (ileostomy, gastroparesis, adhesions that had to be excised from entire small intestine 15 years ago....

doctor1 MD

I have diabetes and cholesterol but my diabetes and cholesterol is normal right now I have done sonography of full abdomen but the reports are...

doctor1 MD

I am concerned about my 67 year old husband, he has no appetite, has been losing weight and has chronic diarrhea , nausea and recently vomiting...

doctor1 MD

Need help , wan to reduce excessive Flatulence . Very difficult for me to pinpoint the exact food. seems like anything causes excess gas to me

doctor1 MD

I have pancreatic insufficiency and was told it was from chronic pancreatitis . I had a EUS and am confused about what the results mean. Could...

doctor1 MD

My neighbor complains of green oily loose stool and sometimes wears a "diaper" because it leaks. She is almost eighty and in excellent health. She...

doctor1 MD

I have been having diarrhea lots after eating now it is most of the time, as well I get very dizzy when I get up or bend over,very tired, I have...

Get personalised answers from verified doctor in minutes across 80+ specialties

160 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM Blog Questions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction