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What causes thin, pencil like stools and tender, bloated stomach inspite of having diverticulitis?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5767 Questions
I recently was diagnosed at the ER with diverticulitis in November. After two weeks of flagyl and fluoroquinolones and clear fluids I felt somewhat better but not great. Two weeks ago I was back in the doctors office with another sever attack. I was back on antibiotics and anti nausea meds along with pain meds. I went 5 days without moving my bowels, probably from clear fluids for 8days. My stool now is extremely thin like pencil thin and is a rope like string that is very long (0ver 12-15 inches). It's not mucus but rather pink veiny looking with dark oval small granules of stool psoriatic all attached like seaweed...for the lack of better explanation. My stomach is still very tender and bloated. I'm worried I don't feel well and under great stress from sitting bedside with my dying friend (cancer). What should I be concerned about and how do I treat etc... Thank you XXXX
Posted Fri, 14 Mar 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 43 minutes later
Brief Answer: Detailed below. Detailed Answer: Hello! Thank you for the query. Divertiulitis diagnosis does not make you free from other large intestine issues. That is why, after diverticulitis treatment (about 3 weeks after the end of antibiotics therapy) you should have colonoscopy. Thin, pencil like stools are very characteristic for narrowed large intestine. Such narrowing can be caused by colon cancer. String like, pink thing is most likely a blood. Blood can be also a symptom of colon cancer. Other symptoms which you can have are bloating, cramps, nausea, weakness, pale skin. Diverticulitis gives lower left abdominal pain. Please note that as you have been diagnosed with this condition, you should be aware of intestine perforation. Any fever, unusually abdominal pain (different than this with diverticulitis) should force you to visit ER. As a conclusion please note that I do not say that you have a cancer. I just want you to be sure you dont have it. It is very important to rule out the worst and than treat less serious conditions. I suggest you to do not wait with your symptoms. Please visit a doctor. Blood work, CRP, CEA, abdominal X-ray and ultrasound should be done at first. If WBC and CRP will be elevated, antibiotics are necessary. X-ray will rule out obstruction and perforation. Colonoscopy should be scheduled. Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions. Regards.
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