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Is it possible to have constipation with loose stools?


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#1 ashleyg

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:36 AM

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I'm not sure if the topic is phrased correctly, as I find my symptoms really hard to describe. I rarely go to the bathroom more than every other day, often every 2 or 3 days, but each time I do, I always have loose stools, I don't think I've had a solid stool in like 2 years. From everything I've read about IBS, it seems you either have constipation with hard stools, or frequent diarrhea, but I don't really have either anymore. I was first diagnosed about 5 years ago, and at that time, I fluctuated between the two. I'm a vegan, I don't know if that has something to do with it. Could it be stress? My home life is less than perfect, so I'm usually under quite a bit of stress, and ever since I was a kid I've reacted to stress with upset stomachs. I only feel constipated about maybe 25% of the time, but even then, when I eventually do go, it's never hard stools. Is this abnormal, or do other IBS sufferers have this weird pattern?


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#2 ashleyg

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:06 AM

Upon further reading, I've found some better descriptions of the stools, loose isn't totally accurate, it's more like soft and sticky. It is often loose, closer to diarrhea, but the bit that confuses me the most is the softness and stickiness of it, the kind that sticks to the toilet. How can someone not go for several days, and have that come out? Is it from sitting in the colon for so long?

#3 Kathleen M.

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:08 AM

Well every other day is still normal range for stools so you may not be constipated on the frequency issue, either.There are two parts to constipation or diarrhea, one is frequency, the other is consistency. While they tend to go together they aren't completely linked.IBSer have all ranges of stool consistency and frequency. Often several different ones depending on the day. So it isn't frequent watery diarrhea or only having 1-2 BM's a week that are very dry and everything in between is something other than IBS. Any alteration from your normal stool frequency and consistency counts. Loose stools is probably the most common IBS description of stools overall.Since it seems to act up with stress and you don't seem to be having symptoms of other things it does sound like IBS or maybe one of the functional bowel diseases that is some portion of IBS symptoms when you don't have enough symptoms for IBS.ETA on sticky.It depends on how much fiber and water is in the stool. While stool does tend to get dryer the longer it is in there. The more fiber you eat (and most vegan diets are pretty high in fiber) the easier it is for the stool to hang onto the water. Also a lot of fruits have things like sorbitol in them that also hold water in the stool.
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#4 cherrypie09

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:10 AM

I have that as well, I take Immodium to stop me going, but always open my bowels every morning, its loose and sticky and sometimes i feel it does not all come out properly, why that is i dont know its weird.

#5 ashleyg

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:17 AM

ETA on sticky.It depends on how much fiber and water is in the stool. While stool does tend to get dryer the longer it is in there. The more fiber you eat (and most vegan diets are pretty high in fiber) the easier it is for the stool to hang onto the water. Also a lot of fruits have things like sorbitol in them that also hold water in the stool.

So it could be that I'm eating too MUCH fiber? I did wonder about that. Would upping protein help? I want to start eating more beans, which obviously can be bad on the stomach front, but still good protein. I was just reading about the stickiness, and someone mentioned liver disease, so now I'm paranoid lol. The only other real medical problems I have are anxiety, ocd, depression(generally just neurotic), and suspected ME/chronic fatigue, although my last doctor couldn't diagnose it as such, because it could all be from the amount of stress in my life.

#6 Kathleen M.

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:22 AM

Other than clean up sticky usually isn't a health issue. Usually it is better to be a bit too soft than a bit too hard and have to strain.I can't give a good formula for how to adjust the diet as it seems to vary. One thing on beans if you want to add more is cook them from dry, do an overnight soak and then drain them and rinse off the soak water before adding fresh water to cook them in. That lets most of the sugars in beans that cause gas to be dissolved out and go down the drain rather than into your colon.
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#7 ashleyg

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:29 AM

Other than clean up sticky usually isn't a health issue.

That's the WORST bit! Combine that with my ocd, and I never feel clean. I'm going to buy some flushable wipes and see if that helps at all.

#8 CatUK

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:10 AM

I'm exactly like that ashley. I now and again have normal stools but most of them are sticky like you described. I usually only go to the loo every 3 or 4 days as well (this week has been better though as I went 3 days in a row).

#9 ashleyg

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:17 AM

I'm exactly like that ashley. I now and again have normal stools but most of them are sticky like you described. I usually only go to the loo every 3 or 4 days as well (this week has been better though as I went 3 days in a row).

Isn't it awful?? I would much rather have violent diarrhea all day, at least that way it leaves you relatively clean!





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