View Full Version : Help - need some reassurance. White 'threads' & onion peel-looking things in stool

03-08-2015, 07:46 PM
Hello -

I'm really hoping someone here can put my mind at ease. I'll provide some background info, in case there's any info there that might be related in the slighted.

Four weeks ago I had fall on ice. I got up just fine, no pain or anything. Two days later my tailbone started hurting really bad. Especially getting up from a seated position was very painful. Like 7/10 or 8/10 pain. I went to my family doctor who ordered an x-ray to rule out a fractured coccyx, and ordered blood tests. All the regular blood tests came back normal, just low on Vitamin D for which I now take 1000 iu daily. He also prescribed diclofenac (Voltaren), which helped the pain immensely, basically made it a 1/10 or 2/10. However, I shouldn't be taking that for too long, so took it for about two weeks. I have now been off the diclofenac for 6 days and the main, albeit still there, is very manageable now - like a 3/10. I'm hoping whatever that was in healing now (4 weeks after that fall, which may or may not have been related).

Then - and which brings me to my main question - six ago I started having changes in bowel movements. On the first day that I noticed a change my bowel movement was three solid chunks that seemed to be 'connected' by a 'white string' looking thing running from the middle of each chunk to the next. Same thing the next day. Then for two days my stool became looser (not diarrhea, but softer that after a few seconds in the toilet it splits apart). That was when I noticed more of this cotton string-like stuff. Length seems fairly consistent at about 1" long and about 1mm long. I've googled ringworms, tapeworms, etc., and none really seem to match. Then by day 5 of these different bowel movements, in addition to the 'string' like stuff, I noticed that there are small pieces of what look like the white part of onion. I had a Subway sandwich with a bit of (purple) onion, but never had any issues with it showing up in my stool before. Today, on day 6, I noticed there were still the onion-looking things, but there were also a couple of green leaf-like things, which looked like cilantro (and which I haven't eaten this past week). And a couple of times there were things that looked like undigested parts of peanuts, as well as what looked like short thin strips of carrot.

With all this I still have a bowel movement every morning (like I always used to), but also often a second one in the evening. The first couple of days stool was harder, now it's more on the softer side. I should also note that my period is now 8 days late, so not if there's anything hormonal that could be related. My periods aren't terribly regular, but generally within 2-3 days. In the past year, though, I've had one that was 44 days apart, and another as short at 21 days.

Apart from all this I feel fine, though I've had an immense amount of stress at work. I'd have been back to my doctor tomorrow, but I am now on vacation for a week, but this scares me. I've seen all kinds of bad health issues in my family in recent years, and googling this isn't helping me. I'm hoping that someone can please shed some light, or provide some reassurance until I can see my doctor as I just can't relax. Has anyone else had this selection of symptoms and it was something harmless?


03-19-2015, 11:38 PM
Surely someone else has some of the same symptoms? I saw my doctor today. Said it may even just be severe stress (which I've been having lots of). He ordered the following tests, so will have those done this weekend:

- C-Reactive Protein
- Celiac Disease Screen
- Estradiol
- LH
- Progesterone
- Prolactin

- Bacterial culture (C&S)
- Clostridium difficile toxin
- Full Ova & parasites

03-20-2015, 03:18 AM
Barbara, the white string like things could be pin worms and the ova and parasite test will check for that. The onion skin stuff may be mucus, which occurs in the stool when the bowel is irritated for some reason. The strings may just be strings of mucus too. This seems to have started about the time you were on Voltaren for 2 weeks, and GI irritation is common with this type of medication. The stress can also cause IBS-like symptoms, which can include cramps, softer stools, and mucus in stool. The worms usually cause anal itching, especially at night. If all your tests are ok related to the stool, and the problem continues, a stool test for occult blood should be done on 3 consecutive days to rule out any possibility of a GI tumor, but I think the Voltaren or stress may be the culprit. If you see the Dr. for test results, he should do a rectal exam and can do an occult blood smear at that time. Colonoscopies are also recommended for those 50 and over.

03-24-2015, 09:52 AM
Just got a call from my doctor's office. They said the stool sample was inadequate and would need to be repeated. What does that mean? Did they really just not manage to do the test for whatever reason, or are they saying they found something and want to investigate further? Has anyone else had this?

03-24-2015, 06:19 PM
There may have been an insufficient amount or it was all just mucus and not really stool. This happens fairly often, and I would just try to submit another sample, but make sure there is stool, not just mucus in the jar.