Re: looking for deinitive answer on changing stool shapes
I recently learned by reading online, and through ongoing personal experience, that contractions and convulsions within the colon or rectum can cause pencil thin or flat ribbon-like stools when the stool material is soft and pliable. Thus, these signs can present themselves even when there is no colon-rectal disease present. Therefore, to answer your question, such signs can come and go, alternately with days when there are more solid, normal-like stools. However, and this is of paramount importance, all such signs demand a colonoscopy be performed, at least among adults. Otherwise there is no way of knowing for sure whatís what.
Consistent abnormal stools coupled with other signs such as bleeding and physical discomfort are more cause for concern. Even when the colonoscopy-biopsies indicates no colon-rectal disease is present further investigation may be required, such as a CT scan.
As an update to my pals in this forum, this is where I am at momentarily. Much relief when I was told, after the colonoscopy, that the biopsies were benign. Yet, the symptoms persist and I will have a CT scan soon. The doctor is not satisfied he saw all that there is to see in the cecum -- the opening into the colon from the small intestines.
As our dear friends here will tell you, try not to worry. Demand a colonoscopy and continue you online search for information. Feel free to post all your questions. These folk are wonderful. Regardless of their own pressing problems they always find the time to help others. Bless them.