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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if I could get some input from the group on whether or not it sounds like IBS or something more sinister.I am 37 years old and don't have the best diet in the world but only about 20 lbs overweight. I will also lead that i do not have any family history from what I know of of colon cancer but IBS type of stuff bother my grandma on my mom's side and both my parents off and on ... they just recently had no issues with the colonoscopy they had and are in their mid 60s). As a kid, I had the bad habit of trying to hold it in (#2) because I was in class and didn't want to disrupt so not sure if this caused me damage later in life.For the past 10-12 years I have had issues with diarrhea as well as pencil stools off and on when I do not intake enough fiber. When I take Citrucell and fiber cereal, usually the stools will not be pencil or real skinny but they still only reach about 3/4 of an inch wide and never are the normal size that I read they should be ... banana size around (they are a medium brown color). About every 2 months I will have some light bleeding on the toilet paper that goes with burning of the anal region and my dr. said I have a hemorrhoid. I do not have fevers, anemia, black stools or much stomach pain (unless I haven't eaten fiber or have eaten spicy good or overeaten).Does this sounds like IBS or something more sinister that I need to get checked out. My general dr. doesn't seem concerned but I am honestly not sure what is normal and the stools not reaching a normal size bothers me.Thank you.Brian
 

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If your stools are on the softer side of normal they will be thinner. That the one and only thing that makes stool thin is a tumor blocking the exit is a medical myth. It seems logical, but all the evidence points to it is just a matter of stool consistency and the original paper that suggested that it was cancer was not based on data, but it seemed logical.At 37 colon cancer is extremely rare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So what you are saying is that if my stools sometimes are pencil thin but never get larger then a slight bit wider then my middle finger (around 1/2 - 3/4"), I should not be concerned even if I take Metamucil twice daily (although only been religious about it that last week). I keep reading that people who take fiber sometimes have larger stools like an inch or more... I never do and haven't for years (I did when I was in my teens and younger though).
 

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Obsessing about exactly what width the stool is probably causes more damage than anything else.There really isn't anything to be this worried about, stool width is pretty much meaningless and fiber keeps stool soft and wet as well as providing bulk so depending on how fast your stool moves if it gets to the end just a bit soft it will be a bit thinner (which is usually healthier and better than just a bit too hard and thicker than usual)
 

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Blood, usually blood you can't see in the stools, but visible blood should be checked out even if most of the obvious blood is from hemorrhoids. So an occult blood test is one way to screen but the best way to know if you have a polyp or colon cancer is to get your routine screening colonoscopy on schedule.So at age 50 when no history of colon cancer in your family, or 10 years before the onset of cancer/polyps in your parents. So if they had a polyp removed at 55 your start date would be 45 rather than 50.One of the big problems with polyps and colon cancer is there isn't any symptoms at all until usually after it has spread. That is why screening colonoscopies are so important. However, polyps and colon cancer are not a typical disease of the young, but of the elderly. That is why the recommendation is first colonoscopy at 50 (as that catches the polyps that would cause cancer in your early 60's) rather than screen everyone from the age of 15 or 20 like they do for diseases of the young (like anemia in women of child bearing age).
 
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