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I am a 42 (almost 43) year old man who is in good health other than some issues with my digestion/elimination. It's mid-October now; over the past four months I've noticed, say, every 2-3 weeks, a single incident of explosive diarrhea. So, every 2-3 weeks I'll have a "flock of screaming geese" thing happening. Not pleasant, but it never goes beyond one "session." However, often times this will be followed by a day or two of what I call "wimpy" BMs - smallish, light brown, in pieces -- a '5' on the Bristol chart but weak and wimpy looking -- 2-3 times in the day (usually I go once).

Typically I'll go for a BM once or twice, sometimes three times, in a day. Most times 1-2x a day, which is normal. But the stools are often on the loose side, sometimes stringy looking, sometimes "floaty," sometimes with bits o' stuff in there. Then I'll get a normal BM or two or three or four -- be A-1 perfect for a week -- and then it'll be back to the mushy or weak-looking or even watery stuff.

I went to a GP last week and told him what's going on (or isn't). He palpated my entire abdominal area and didn't bat an eye as he told me about how people can develop food sensitivities and/or IBS as they get older. He seemed airy and casual about it all, which was reassuring, but in the end he decided to set me up with both a parasite and a fecal occult blood test kit. I spent the next couple of days "filling" these tests (Disgusting disgusting disgusting). Disturbing thing happened on the day I collected my first fecal occult blood sample/screen: I saw bright red-tinged mucus hanging about the edges of the Bristol '6' BM. Note: This hasn't happened in the week since, and I have had this before (I remember years ago this happened once when I was wiping).

Note: I have had an EXTERNAL HEMORRHOID that of late, given the loose stools, seems to be aggravated. Sometimes it itches, often it's quite "bulgy" and I can feel it quite easily while taking a bath. I have had this hemmie for years now and haven't had too much bother with it.

My question is: What does all of this sound like? A rational, sane man spends an hour consulting Dr. Google and ends up CONVINCED he has runaway colon cancer. Do my symptoms -- loose-ish bowels, sometimes a single session of explosive watery diarrhea, sporadic bright red (not dark or black) blood, lower-left cramp once in a while, sometimes gas -- sound like anything OMINOUS to anyone? The only reason I'm concerned is that my mother's side of the family (basically everyone), who are aged between 67 and 73 now) have had polyps removed from their colons over the years. I am 42 so I realize the stats are much in my favour, but I am nonetheless worrying. Does anyone have anything similar going on, or know what this cluster of symptoms sounds like?

Believe me, I feel very well overall -- weigh a steady 197-202, eat heartily, no black/tarry stools, no outward signs of anemia, no pain to speak of, stools typically a '5' on Bristol chart (ranging from '4' to the odd '7'). I just would like to get your take on it, friend.




IBS for sure?


Colon cancer?


THANK YOU in advance and God bless us all :)

PS -- My stool sample tests are "out there" being tested as we speak. If, as I suspect from the first sample which had a few small streaks of bright red blood in some mucus, they do go positive for blood, should I be freaking or actually relieved that they will likely be setting me up for a colonoscopy? I would prefer to go into the procedure NOT freaking out and expecting the worst.

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