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I have had NArrow Stools for about 4-5 weeks now. It started first as my stomach became very upset with Diarehha for approximately 3 days. After that passed I have loose mucussy stools for about another week and a half. The stools were thin and broken ranging in size, but never bigger in diameter then the size of a quarter. I think this might have been created by stress that was brought on by work and also going about 4 weeks all of the sudden without taking my Tricor. I am always gassy, but other then that the past 3 weeks havent had any stomach cramps and my stool has been formed, it is just it still remains narrow around the size of a quarter.Even when my stool is firm and not soft it is still that size. How long can I have these narrower stools before I should get really concerned.I am 37, through my early to mid 20's I thought I had IBS as I had issues with crampy upset stomach after eating. Took some medication and it really worked. Stopped taking the medication and I had been pretty good fro a long time with just occassional, short bouts of upset stomach (Fried foods, Dairy), but mostly dealing with constipation, due to diet most likely and also was told my Cholesterol medication could effect it the constipation also.So I recall mostly having large harder stools, so the fact that they havent been any bigger then a quarter maybe a touch bigger or smaller at times for the last 4-5 weeks has got my attention. I dont think its ever been as thin as a pencil when formed although there might have been a few pieces that thin during a 2-3 of the very loose and broken bowel movements I had during the last 4-5 weeks. When it is formed though it is as I said a quarter or so in diameter. I am now aware of it so of course I check every movement and can tell visibly that teh stools are narrower then the ones from 7,8,9 weeks ago. So what is considered narrow and how long a period of consistent narrow stools is a concern??I make a conscious effort to boost Fiber by eating Fiber one cereal and bars and other high fiber foods fro about the past 12-14 months.I have received care from a Colon Rectal Specialist for a fissure last year also. I also had an Endoscopy (STandard for taking acid reflux medicine for years) last July with no issues.Any insight is greatly appreciated.
 

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There doesn't really seem to be much concern for narrow stools even if you have them for the long term.While there are some oft repeated very scary medical myths about stool width that even get into textbooks a recent paper looked at the history of the theory that it means something scary or lethal.All evidence is that narrow stools have to do with stool consistency. If you have loose/soft stools they will typically be thinner than normal consistency stools.That they sound like they are thinner the more loose the stools are sounds like what is normal for looser stools, and people with IBS can have loose stools for decades without it being anything other than IBS.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I just became concerned as even though the stool has become firm and formed it has still remained narrow, again not anything the size of a pencil though. I guess mentally I would just like to see even one normal size stool so I can feel a little better about as like I said it has been weeks of the consistent narrow stools.
 

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I am experiencing thin stools lately, in the morning i have bm and it is not that thin like pencil though but it is broken into pieces. I am just worried i have something serious..i have mild abdominal pain here and there and diarrhea almost every week..any insights pls?
 

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I have had thin broken stool for several years. I thought it was normal. I have not been diagnosed with anything (yet) other than probably IBS with a spastic colon... I lean more toward the D but also have bouts of C. It's easy to worry and get super anxious when our bodies change out of their normal pattern. I suggest keeping a symptom diary ... the one that has you track food, meds, stools, emotions, and pain. Maybe that can help you figure out why your stool has changed. Lots of bodily functions change up a bit as we age and I wonder if our colon and stools change as we age? Regardless, it can be an anxious time.
 

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I am experiencing the same symptoms. I've been to my family dr 4 times, the ER 3 and still nothing figured out. I have now made a appointment on my own to have a colonoscopy Monday afternoon to get this figured out. The aniexty and stress isn't making this better I need some kind of answer.
 

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I am experiencing the same symptoms. I've been to my family dr 4 times, the ER 3 and still nothing figured out. I have now made a appointment on my own to have a colonoscopy Monday afternoon to get this figured out. The aniexty and stress isn't making this better I need some kind of answer.
Good for you! We are our own best advocates! I switched to a GI doc after 3 visits with my general practitioner and 1 visit with a surgeon. The GI doc is running all the tests that need to be done to rule out other things and to pinpoint the IBS. He was superb when I had the colonoscopy/endoscopy last month. He sedated me to a good sleep and I didn't feel a thing. I would ask ahead of time for the same - to be heavily sedated - for the procedure. I've been reading on here lately that some docs don't use anything heavy and the patient is under a lot of stress (understandably). Good luck and try not to stress about it. That blasted stress makes things so much worse!
 

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Thanks!
Yes we are! I actually had to switch family doctors because he thought it was unnecessary to get the scope. He says since I'm on 37 and have no family history he wouldn't recommend it. I figure either way I need to know if I have some type of colitis or ibs. This test seems to be one of the better ways to figure it out. I'm just hoping I can get this burping and digestion issue figured out soon as well. This stuffs driving me crazy. Googling symptoms and stools will make you nuts.
 
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