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Thin stools - is this an improvement or not?
      #17620 - 08/18/03 07:26 AM

Reged: 08/09/03
Posts: 7

I've been having constipation since the beginning of July. It began as soon as I started taking birth control pills (Alesse 28 - very low dosage of hormones). However, before starting them I was struggling with hemrorrids and straining during bowel movements. I've also had constipation problems as a baby and young child (I'm 17 now).

For about a month I was unable to have a bm and had no urge to go. I only went when I took a laxative, at the end of every week. Changes in diet, fiber pills, stool softners, water, etc. weren't working.

Anyways .. about a week and a half ago I started taking magnesium supplements, btwn. 400-600 mg every day and after a few days was able to have a bm without a laxative (I've totally stopped taking laxatives).

I was relieved that I was able to, but I'm concered b/c I'm going at least once to three times a day now but the stool is very thin and sometimes just pellets. It requires me to strain and it burns afterwards, and although it feels like something large is going to pass through, it's always thin stools or pellets.

Do you think that this is an improvement and my body is adjusting to the magnesium pills, and eventually the bm will increase in amount? I'm thinking that this is a definte cause of the hemrorrid..but I'm not sure what else I can do about this.

I'm also drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day and started drinking green tea.

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Re: Thin stools - is this an improvement or not? new
      #17669 - 08/18/03 02:46 PM

Reged: 06/26/03
Posts: 171
Loc: New York state

If your stools are pencil thin in nature, I would see your doctor immediately,based on medical literature I've read.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." ~ Groucho Marx

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Re: Thin stools - is this an improvement or not? new
      #17670 - 08/18/03 02:56 PM

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7799
Loc: Seattle, WA

Yes, I'd agree. Ribbon-thin stools can indicate a problem in the colon, including (not to scare you) tumors that are flattening the stool.


Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She is the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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Re: Thin stools - is this an improvement or not? new
      #17677 - 08/18/03 03:47 PM

Reged: 07/13/03
Posts: 25
Loc: South Carolina, US

I too struggle with hemorrhoids, both external and internal. When internal hemorrhoids are flared they can flatten stools or make them pretty thin... I'm guessing because there is only so much room in the colon and even less when there is an obstruction.

Those of us with constipation and hemorroids probably should drink more than the recommended 8 glasses of water a day too. I've gotten to where I can drink about 10 or 11 glasses a day and not feel like I'm floating

Laxatives can irritate the colon more so, and you say that fiber pills aren't working for you, so maybe try some fruit smoothies without dairy. They usually help get things moving for me and they're easy to make too.

As difficult as it is to not strain, don't do it. It will make things worse. Sometimes when I'm having a hard time with a bm I do deep breathing exercises. Sounds weird, but it helps calm my body and don't strain so much.

Also, stay away from foods that will worsen constipation and hemorrhoids, like dairy and caffiene.

Hope this helps.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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Re: Thin stools - is this an improvement or not? new
      #17771 - 08/19/03 04:18 PM
Jennifer Rose

Reged: 04/02/03
Posts: 3566
Loc: Fremont, CA

I also find that more than half my BMs have the thin-stool shape. I never really thought anything about it until I read this post. Thanks for all the info - I am definately going to mention this to my doctor at my next appointment.

- Jennifer

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