does anyone with IBs have small thinner than usual stools? I have had problems w/ straining to pass small , sticky pieces and started fiber therapy 2 days ago and finally went more today but it is still thinner..is this normal? how long before I won't have to strain?
Thin ribbon-like stools can be caused by intestinal spasms...its not that uncommon for people with IBS to have this symptom. Also, the 'sticky' issue comes up quite a bit for some if not most of us..not fun to deal with to say the least! LOL
Hopefully, if the fiber is helping you out some already, you'll notice a positive change all around. Antispasmodics may help if you're having the intestinal spasms.
Constipation and thin stools can also be symptoms of more serious conditions, so if this persists and you haven't had a colonoscopy recently, it would be a good idea to touch base with your doctor.
I have a general question. In these boards I have read "thin or narrow stools" about 100 times. What constitutes small stools, and what causes stools to be thinner? When someone says ribbon size stool, is that meant literally? Also, if someone were to have Colon cancer or something that serious would fiber supplements help the volume of the stool, or would it not change anything?
In colorectal cancers, thin or flat stools are produced when there are a partial obstruction in the large bowel. Usually, only obstructions in rectum and sigmoid colon produce changes in the stool shape, due they are formed. In ascendent, transverse and almost all descendent colon, stools are still liquid. As closer to anus, more solid are.
When a tumor grows inside the colon, it grown to inner side, obstructing partially the colon. At this stage, stools can be flattened, and it's usually the first sign. As cancer grows, it does in circle around the colon so, the lumen is decressing progressively and creating pencil-thin stools.
As final step, there are a total obstruction, and nothing is able to pass.
As you can suspect, it's very difficult for fibers to "rearrange" the shape of stools if they has been deformed by a colon obstruction.
In the other hand, bowel motility or a diet poor in fiber can produce flat or thin stools, in this case, a fiber supplement can "restore" your stools to it normal size, due the problem is not produced by a obstruction.
I hope this helps you as it did myself ;-)
[This message has been edited by Juan Jose Marin (edited 01-25-2003).]
To Jose, if cancer was causing thin stools because of a partial obstruction, what other symptoms would be present? Also, in terms of definitions, how thin is thin, is it literally the size of a pencil? How thin would one start to worry?
There are no a specific size for "thin". All is relative to your normal size. So, if you pass stools that are narrower than your normal size, you can say you have "thin stools". Pencil-thin stools has a size close to a pencil size.
Over aditional symptoms: a flattened aspect may be the only sign in early stages. The blood can appear too as a "line" in the stools or in several other ways. All depends on exact site where cancer is located.
Take care that flat/narrow/thin stools and visible blood may only be present in rectum and sigmoid colon.
If cancer is in places where stools are still liquid, shapes are not changed, and the blood will be mixed with the stools.
Test as barium enema RX, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy can say what really you have. So, if you are concerned, go to a GI and get checked.
I had surgery for diviticulitis and got the temporary ostamy & reversal done in Feb this year. Every since then my stool is either thin, flat or watery. I did see a trace of blood a few times the DR said was a hemroid. Can surgery cause this? I had a barrium LOWER GI back in Jan before getting reconnected and they found NOTHING...