Gas and bowel movement problems
I'm a 22 year old male who started having bowel problems about 2 years ago. I used to be pretty regular, maybe once every day to day and a half. I never had any problems with gassiness, regardless of what I ate (and I ate just about anything). I'm pretty active (exercise 3-4 times a week) and I try to eat pretty healthy.
My symptoms are these:
Bowel Gas - Virtually everyday I have problems with gas. It's the kind that gurgles, makes a lot of noise and is extremely uncomfortable, but only sometimes gives the urge pass gas.
Along with the bowel gas is a relatively frequent urge to have bowel movements, which do temporarily relieve the gas.
I spoke with a doctor about it about a year ago, and he did stool samples (because I had just come back from a trip to Africa) that turned up nothing unusual.
Since then I've ignored the problem, but have recently noticed other things.
1. Sleep seems to help. On nights when I get a full eight hours of sleep, I have slightly fewer problems with gas and fewer urges to have a bowel movement. Occasionally there is a day that I get plenty of sleep and it seems to do no good, however.
2. I've cut out dairy for days at a time and still had the same problems. I haven't noticed any other foods that seem to cause more or less problems.
3. Being active seems to reduce the problems. Weekends aren't as bad as weekdays, when I'm sitting in an office. I'm not sure if this is because I produce less gas, because I can dispell it more easily, or because I get more sleep.
4. When I do have bowel movements, at the beginning of the bowel movement, the stool is normal size and towards the ends it is narrower and softer.
#4 is the main reason that I posted this. I read that having a narrow stool can signal a bowel obstruction and that the gasiness could be a sign of it as well.
My question to you guys is this: Should I be worried about these symptoms? They really worried me at first, but the doctor basically just told me I must have IBS or lactose intolerance and to see if I noticed any foods that contributed, which seemed unlikely to me, since I had had absolutely zero problems with either up until a couple of years ago. Is it worth bringing it up again? What are the next steps I should take?