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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What do narrow stools and constipation indicate despite being on Dulcolax?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16318 Questions

Posted on Wed, 12 Sep 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hi. Having a hard time passing stool. There is no blood in the stool, no nausea or vomiting, no loss of appetite although today I have placed myself on a clear liquid diet (temporary until constipation subsides) I have taken Miralax (17gm) two days in a row and dulcolax (5mg) today and got about 2 OZ of narrow stool. VS are 98.1, Pulse is 90, resp are 18 and BP is 146/76. The narrow stool is my concern and no other BM for three days. The narrow stool is the only symptom so far. I have no other health issues and I have no allergies to food or medicine. Colorectal cancer does not run in my family history. My job has me at a desk most of the day, but I get up and walk during.

Also I am able to pass gas
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Consider a high fibre diet along with the fluids.

Detailed Answer:


The small size of the stool and the decreased frequency of bowel movements are a problem.

In addition to the fluids which are very important and should be at 8 glasses daily, you may want to consider using a high fibre diet.

The high level of fibre would help to promote bowel movements. In general, 5 servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended daily (with each main meal and 2 snacks), additional fibre can be added to this (whole grain foods, flax seeds).

Consider using prunes, apples, kiwi and pears as some of the fruits.

if you cannot get enough daily fibre then consider a fibre supplement such as Metamucil or Citrucel or Benefiber.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Michelle Gibson James 39 minutes later
also, bowel sounds are active in all 4 quadrants

Hi Dr,

Thank you for the response. I have increased my water intake to 1.5 gallons a day. I have tried warm prune juice. I will try the metamucil.

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 8 hours later
Brief Answer:

Use along with fruits and vegetables.

Detailed Answer:


Okay, try the Metamucil or one of the other fibre supplements.

Sugar-free Metamucil almost twice as potent as the standard Metamucil. Should start at the lowest amount and increase as needed to avoid cramping and bloating.

Because natural fibre is a lot better than synthetic, you should still use a lot of the fruits mentioned plus vegetables as well.

Please feel free to ask anything else.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Michelle Gibson James, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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