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  • "Thin" stools with frequency?

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    Old 01-14-2006, 09:38 PM   #1
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    "Thin" stools with frequency?

    I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, especially about anything cancer related... but with that said...

    I'm a little concerned about my mom. I noticed once (when she accidentally forgot to flush) that her stools were a little on the thin side (about the diameter of a dime). I confronted her about it because I'm well aware that thin stools are a sign of colon cancer, and she said that she has always been like that, and that she's never been a "big pooper". She is insistent that there is never any visible blood. However, I have noticed that her frequency has gone up a little... although I'm not sure if I've just noticed it because I keep bugging her about it or what. I always thought she ran more on the constipated side of things, whereas now I know she's going every day, at least once (but probably 2-3).

    She refuses a colonoscopy for whatever reason, and its a big source of conflict between us. I'm pretty certain it'd take her pooping a bowl full of blood before she'd get one- and trust me, I've tried every tactic to get her to have one.

    I talked her into taking Citrucel on a daily basis, hoping that might change her usual thin stools. That just started today. I know everyone talks about "pencil thin" stools, and they weren't quite that thin, but definitely not quarter sized. I guess I'm asking if thin stools are considered a big symptom if she has had it all her life?

    She does have diabetes, and was apparently diagnosed with colitis when she was pregnant with me (23 years ago.) I know diabetes causes GI issues, but I'm just wondering what you guys think.

    I know she should have a colonoscopy, but she is adamant against it. She had a digital rectal exam back in July after a case of food poisoning, and she has to see a doctor every three months for her diabetes. She's going to the drs on Monday for a routine checkup, and I know the only way I'll be able to get a colonoscopy out of her is if her blood tests come back with anemia.

    I'm willing to take her word that her stools have always been on the thin side, but i am concerned about the increased frequency. She did just start a new cholesterol med (pravachol), could that cause it?

    Do you think fiber will help? (she's not a huge fruit/veggie eater... so I'm guessing her fiber amounts are less than stellar.)

    Thanks in advance for any and all advice. I appreciate it.

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    Old 01-15-2006, 10:26 PM   #2
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    Re: "Thin" stools with frequency?

    To have normal stools a person needs to intake 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily. It also need to be a combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

    Soluble fiber absorbs fluid and bulks the stool making it larger in diameter. Isoluble fiber that is mostly fruits and veggies including greens & bran-- nuts and seeds makes stools thinner but regular. Isoluble fiber causes intestinal muscel contractions that moves fecal matter along.

    Citrucel & Metamucil are both soluble fiber supplements -- and will bulk her stool up and make her more regular w/ larger stools -- they both work for loose even diarrhea type stools as well as constipation -- and are safe to use several times daily as a bowel regulators.

    There is no fiber in all meats including poultry & seafood and all dairy products.

    Other sources of soluble fiber are all grains, beans, peas -- the inside but the outer husk is insoluble. Also root veggies.

    I wish your Mom well~~~Harry

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