Gastroenterologist | Gastroenterology Questions Gastroenterologist

My bowel movements are not right?

I had a routine colonoscopy in late January that was normal. One polyp completely removed, no other issues. However, for the last three weeks, I have had very irregular bowel movements. They still come twice a day, morning and night, but they have no bulk or strength. Simply like small chicken tenders. The color is always brown. I often, at other times during the day, feel like I need to defecate. But nothing comes out. I am currently dealing with the death of my father and also two very close friends. I'm also considering this could simply be stress-related. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Male | 56 years old
Complaint duration: 3 weeks
Medications: Allegra, Norvasc
Conditions: Hypertension

4 Answers

Sorry about your loss. You should return to your GI specialist for any residual symptoms. Or maybe visit a different GI specialist.
Get your stool tested. Go see a doctor.
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It is reassuring that you have had a high quality colonoscopy within the last year. Also reassuring that there is no blood in your stool. Certainly there has been some stress, and this can affect frequency or character of bowel movements. Would consider increasing dietary fiber bulk stools more and perhaps avoid excessive caffeine or gum chewing (if you do those things) and monitor. If changes persist would review these issues with your primary care. Another consideration would be to keep a food diary, tracking what you eat and any subsequent bowel movement characteristics to look for patterns.
This is a change in bowel habits, and stress is certainly a possibility. If the stools are more runny than usual then it's ok to try a little bit of imodium to see if that helps. Things should return to normal after the stress abates.