Broken up, urgent stools?

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I have gone from having 1-2 fairly normal stools per day and having a healthy appetite to having minimal appetite and having 3+ formed but broken into several pieces stools?

I’ve been having some discomfort in my upper stomach also. They come on quite urgently and almost feel like diarrhoea but it is actually formed stool broken up into several small ‘logs’

This has happened for the past 3-4 weeks. I’m starting to get worried about it having a sinister cause. The doctor said probably ibs or anxiety

What do you think?

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    It does sound like IBS and anxiety.  What tests have you had done?  My stools are always broken up; they are rarely in one piece. This is the case even when I am not having a flare up.

     

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    • Posted

      Really? It’s just scared me a bit that I’ve gone from having 1-2 normal ones a day to 3+ smaller ones. 

      I haven’t had many tests.. I did a FOB test at home & I had a sigmoid but that was 2 years ago. Doctors just don’t seem to be concerned at all.

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    • Posted

      When you have IBS, your stools will change and anxiety alone can also do this. Pain can be felt just about anywhere on the abdomen with IBS and the pain will move about.  Some people with IBS get broken up and oddly shaped stools too.  Before I got IBS, my stools were broken up. Everyone has differently shaped stools that are individual to them even without IBS.

      Since your doctor are not concerned, this is good news for you and you should treat this a positive sign and not be worried.  If you had red flag symptoms such as bleeding, unexplained rapid weight loss and severe fatigue, your doctor would be very concerned.  If you don't have these symptoms, that is why your doctor is unconcerned.

      However, if your doctor has not diagnosed you with anything yet, you should keep going back to your doctor for more tests and a firm diagnosis.  If your doctor has confidently diagnosed you with IBS, accept the diagnosis and trust your doctor.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Pippa, it’s just seem to start suddenly one day last month and since then I’ve had more bad days than good days. I have been very anxious about it and constantly thinking about it though so maybe that hasn’t helped. I do get pain in my upper stomach but it does move about. I have lost a bit of weight but I haven’t been eating much & I’m running after a toddler. I did have bleeding previously but not since these symptoms started.

      It just scared me that when you google bowel cancer it says “any change in bowel habit”

      My doctor seemed unconcerned and pretty confident it was IBS.. can they diagnose it without doing tests to rule other things out? 

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    • Posted

      My IBS began overnight too three years ago.  One day I was fine and the next day I woke with raging stomach pain. Back then, I had more bad days than good days.  Now I have many months IBS free.  Does your doctor know you had bleeding  and were you checked for haemorrhoids and fissures?   Stress and anxiety can cause it.  Having a toddler can be all go and stressful too.

      Dr Google is not good for health anxiety because it gives very general information and doesn't take account of individual cases.  All roads lead to cancer with Dr Google!  However, it is true that any change of bowel habit should be investigated but it doesn't necessarily mean something serious.  If your doctor is confident that you have IBS, that's good news.  Sometimes doctors can diagnose IBS on the basis of your symptoms if they are confident in their disgnosis.  They usually only do tests when they are unsure what is wrong, if you have a family history of a particular condition, or if you are very worried and want tests for reassurance.   You could always ask your doctor if you need tests done.  If you go down the testing route, if everything is normal, IBS can be diagnosed.  No one knew what was wrong with me for three and a half months, so I had tests.  They were negative which confused them further and one doctor wanted to redo them.  My final doctor disagreed and said I didn't them repeated because my symptoms had stayed the same for three and half months with no new symptoms appearing.

      My brother has his IBS diagnosed based on his symptoms alone.  However, they did a standard fecal calprotectin test after his diagnosis to make sure he didn't have IBD as well.

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks pippa, that’s a really thorough answer and makes me feel a bit better.

      I always thought that doctors had to rule everything else more sinister our first before they could diagnose IBS which is why I was a bit unconfident about the fact that they had just said that straight away.

      The doctor I see now doesn’t know I’ve had bleeding as I’ve moved and changed practices since but I had a sigmoidoscopy (although he said some areas weren’t clear) and a stool test back then so I think it would be on my notes? 

      Do you get upper stomach pain? I’ve been getting it a lot since my symptoms started and that worries me a bit as it seems random.

      I’ve literally got myself into a googling dark hole and convinced myself of all sorts. 

      This all started literally the day after I found out my cousin who is a year older than me has bowel cancer.. but these are real symptoms if you know what I mean like pain and going to the toilet a lot I can’t exactly imagine that so I think it’s just coincidence.

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    • Posted

      Your new doctor will have all your notes on the computer to refer to.  You should still mention about the previous bleeding though. I haven’t had upper stomach pain wth IBS; only lower abdominal.

      I suspect the shock and stress of hearing about your cousin’s diagnosis of bowel cancer may have triggered your symptoms.  Stress can affect the gut very quickly.  It took six months of non stop stress to trigger my IBS.  However, you should tell your new doctor about your cousin so that he has as full a medical history from you as possible.  Also ask if the sigmoidoscopy needs done again since some of it was unclear.

      A lot depends on whether your doctor thinks he has enough information to diagnose IBS from what you have told him alone. Since he seems pretty confident it’s IBS, I would be satisfied with that.  Your doctor will suggest tests if he feels it is necessary.  The annoying thing with me was that most of my doctors couldn’t tell me anything and some openly told me they were confused and hadn’t got a clue. 

       

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    • Posted

      Well I went to the doctor today who said he’s referring me to a gastroenterologist as he said he can’t rule anything out :-( he said he’s sure I haven’t got cancer cos of my age but still I’m so scared I can’t stop crying 
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    • Posted

      Try to relax since your doctor has reassured you that he doesn’t think you have cancer.  You are being referred for tests because your doctor can’t decide what is wrong based on your symptoms alone.  This is what happened to me.  Tests should help him decide.
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