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    What causes altered bowel habits?

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Posted on Mon, 17 Jul 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hello, I have been having a change in bowl movements for the past two weeks. I visited my doctor for a physical and he explained I had nothing to worry about. And that unless these change in bowl movements along stomach pain or blood are present. The stool is neither constipation or diarrhea. More of a softer stool that passes easy. Would it be possible to include a picture of the most recent bowl movement?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sunil 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Almost normal stool in picture.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Have seen the pic attached by you and have gone through your narration in details.
Firstly consistency color of stool appears to be ALMOST normal.Mild change ibn color consistency of stool can be due to food habits etc.Considering it carcinoma without any symptom just due to slight change in stool consistence does not make any sense.
Its good to be careful but golden rule of medicine is that common things first.Rare things do occur but they are rare so more comon things first.Most likely flora of your gut has been disturbed transiently.Our body has its own enviroment called gut flora.Gut flora is the complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of humans. The intestinal microflora is a complex ecosystem containing over 400 bacterial species. The flora is sparse in the stomach and upper intestine, but luxuriant in the lower bowel.Long term use of these antibiotics destroys this flora and can lead to various problems with digestive system like indigestion,belching, bloating and increased gas formation loose motion or constipation.These symptoms may vary from person to person..I would suggest you to start good quality probiotics for a few days..In LAY MANS language probiotic contain a lot of bacteria's which forms a part of normal gut floraSecondly start taking Fiber suppements daily they would add to bulk of stools.

To be on safe side a colonoscopy can be done to rule out possibility of carcinoma(symptomatically its not cancer).
Apart from medicines few other life style changes are adviced-
- Increase XXXXXXX warm water intake
-Eat lots of curd.
- Eat small meals (rich in fiber),Avoid spicy,oily and heavy meals.
- avoid beverages / alcohol/ soft drinks
- do some exercise early in the morning
- avoid carbonated drinks.
Routine blood test won't help.Initially you can go for a CT abdomen to rule out chances of carcinoma.Its non invasive and has good sensitivity.
A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks can be suggestive of early stages of cancer but Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool with Persistent abdominal discomfort,such as cramps, gas or pain are usually there.
So i don't feel its carcinoma.
Follow up after a week.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Sunil 32 minutes later
Hi Dr XXXXXXX thank you for the speedy reply. Is there a specific good quality probiotics you would recommend? BTW: I was on penicillin for a few days to fight a tooth infection which maybe didn't help... Hi Dr. XXXXXXX additionally when a sit down for awhile I feel itchy and needs to readjust - thinking maybe a small bit on hemorrhoids but wanted to get you opinion. No blood or cramps present.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sunil 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Follow up answer.

Detailed Answer:
Hi again.
Use VSL#3 twice daily its a good and OTC probiotic.
For hemorrhoids-
Treatment depends on grade of hemorrhoid as per colonoscopy-
Grade I hemorrhoids are treated with conservative medical therapy and avoidance of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and spicy or fatty foods.
Grade II or III hemorrhoids are initially treated with nonsurgical procedures
Very symptomatic grade III and grade IV hemorrhoids are best treated with surgical hemorrhoidectomy.


Options available are-

1)Rubber band ligation: Rubber band ligation (RBL) is a simple, quick, and effective means of treating first- and second-degree hemorrhoids and selected patients with third-degree hemorrhoids. Ligation of the hemorrhoidal tissue with a rubber band causes ischemic necrosis and scarring, leading to fixation of the connective tissue to the rectal wall.

In case if this is not successful then we have invasive surgical procedures like-

1)Hemorrhoidectomy: Excisional hemorrhoidectomy is the most effective treatment for hemorrhoids with the lowest rate of recurrence compared to other modalities.Success rate is more then 90%.

2)Stapled hemorrhoidopexy-A circular stapling device is used to excise a ring of redundant rectal mucosa proximal to hemorrhoids and resuspend the hemorrhoids back within the anal canal.

Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Sunil

Gastroenterologist

Practicing since :1982

Answered : 351 Questions

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