View Full Version : change in bowel habit

10-21-2004, 11:41 AM
I'm 43, and for most of my life I've habitually produced firm, solid stools, usually every other day or so. But for the past month or so, it's been much softer---not diarrhea, but much softer than I'm accustomed to, more strong smelling, and more frequent (at least once a day). I'm also more prone to gas.

I thought this might be lactose intolerance, but cutting out dairy hasn't changed things much. I'm wondering if this should be considered a problem. It seems that according to popular belief, the solid dry bowel movements I used to have are less healthy that what I'm producing now, but I'm troubled by the sudden unexplained change in bowel habit. Any thoughts?

10-21-2004, 08:09 PM

No change in ANY supplements? Were you taking antibiotics before the changes happened? Did you travel out of area before things changed? Do you have a cold or sinus infection?
Are you having mucous in your bms as well? Are you having more stress than usual over the past few months?

Hard to say for sure...but you might consider adding a bit more fibre to your diet plus taking a probiotic. If it continues or gets worse, then a doctor might be your best bet for getting to the "bottom" of it.

I would try changing your food intake to complex carbohydrates, mxed whole grains, salads, etc. You might also want to consider keeping a food diary. Are you having more gas during a certain time of the day? Are your bms still at the same time of the day? Are you consuming a new sugar substitute?....

Being the detective is frustrating, but writing things down could allow you to look back and possibly match the culprits.

Hope you improve soon..

10-22-2004, 07:19 AM
Thanks for your detailed response. I can actually pinpoint when this problem started. I was having cereal for breakfast one morning, and I noticed that the milk had a funny metallic taste. It was just odd, not outright sour, so I finished the bowl. That day I had a lot of gas and a single episode of diarrhea. Of course I tossed out the milk carton and bought fresh (and have recently avoided dairy altogether to see if that would improve things), but since then (about 4 weeks now) my bms have continued to be softer than usual, but not diarrhea, with somewhat more gas than usual. And the flatulence has an odd, unhealthy smell.

Do you think I could have picked up a bug from that bad milk that has persisted this long?


10-22-2004, 09:43 AM
In my opinion, it sounds like you need a round of in depth stool tests. If you noticed your problem right after that sour milk experience, it is a very good possibility you picked up something from that. Stool tests will determine. Do not wait until your problem be it bacterial or viral or whatever gets out of control and, as a result, gets harder to treat.