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Hi,i am from Holland, aged 38. I have IBS en collitis ulcerosa. The last few months I am very worried. So worried that I have trouble going to work en do my usual things. My doctor says i have nothing to worry about, but I don't believe him. The point is that I produce (sorry for the word) soft narrow stools. On the internet I read that it is a symtom of colon cancer. I already told my doctor but he still things there is nothing wrong. Now I forced him to do a colonscopy. That is in two weeks now. My dr still things he will nog find someting terrible. Maybe some sclerosus caused by the collitis. I am driving myself mad. Do any of you suffer from small stools? Will it definitly be colon cancer? Hoping to hear from you soon,kind regardsfear
 

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NO!!!!!!Soft narrow stools are not a specific symptom of colon cancer. Actually it may not even be a symptom at all, just a medical myth.The guy who proposed narrow stools mean cancer did so about 150 years ago because it sounded logical. There is NO data that indicates anyone with colon cancer ever has had their normal consistency stool forced into a narrow shape.ALL the data shows that people with soft/loose stools often have narrow stools because the stool can't hold a wide shape when it is squeezed by NORMAL colon activity to push it along.It is a very common medical myth and it sounds logical but there all the data indicates it is just an idea that got repeated so often people think it must be true and must be from research. But again, there is no data to back this myth up.
 

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I had colon cancer 11 years ago .... my only symptom was blood in my stools. My stool size, etc. was normal. I now have IBS probably resulting from pelvic radiation. In the US, I can buy fecal occult blood test kits ..... I check my stools every 3 months just to be sure there's no blood I can't see. I had 5 colonoscopies in the last 9 years and I'm all clear. I'm a caucasian male, 74 years old, in excellent health.When my IBS acts up, I have narrow, soft stools .... resulting from material passing through the colon too fast. I use hyoscyamine to slow down the gastrocolic relfex that drives the narrow, soft stools.Hope this helps a little.
 

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I have narrow stool pretty frequently. It scares the #### out of me, too. I don't think that it's inconsistent with IBS, particularly IBS-C.
 

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d4a1 So glad to hear you are a survivor and YES! what you shared was very helpful.. so thanks!
 

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Thanks for the info d4a1. That was very helpful info for MANY people on this forum. Congrats on beating that horrible disease!
 

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Hi,thank you very much for your reply's. It really helps! I just called my dr to ask him if he can explain me why stools can be narrow. I thought when some one can explain me why, it will become easier to cope with. I hope he will call me back because I think i am driving him mad. I have a psychologist as well to work on my anxiety problems. 16 years ago I had a colonscopy and they discoverd severe collitis ulcerosa. That dr acted so cruel that he scares me very much. He didn't give me a seditave or painkiller and he was verbal very cruel as well. so I am a bit afraid of colonscopy now. On may 19th I will have a colonscopy. I hope it will be over soon.kind regardsfear
 

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Hi Da41,I am very glad that you are in good health now. I have IBS as well so I think my narrow stools are form the IBS.One question about the blood symptom. Did you see it loud and clear or did you have to bring it to the lab. first?thank you,fear
 

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If i were you I wouldn't put myself through a colonoscopy for the narrow stools only...put probably it will put your mind to ease. But honestly...this narrow stools stuff is not a symptom of colon cancer. Actually besides the blood in the stool I never actually heard of any other REAL symptom for colon cancer. And I am from a family of doctors so I spent all my childhood eating dinners while listening to surgery stories...and sometimes drawings LOL...It is true constipation can also be a question mark...but no way the narrow stools. I had some myself a few times...I have no idea what causes them. They come with gas and cramps maybe twice a year. It's probably just IBS :(P.S.: if you want my opinion, you sound like a very anxious person and maybe this is something you should look into and try to control, it will help both your IBS and the colitis
 

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Here is the recent article in a medical journal explaining why narrow stools happen and why they are not a colon cancer symptom.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1868305...Pubmed_RVDocSumIt is a oft repeated medical myth. So often repeated a lot of reputable sites repeat it even though there is no evidence anyone with colon cancer ever had this as a symptom.Maybe you will believe a medical journal if you won't believe me saying I read this.
 

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Only issue with that article is how it exactly describes left sided abdominal cramps, which seems to resound in a large part of this online forum
 

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You know,....this left side abdominal pain everybody has it every now and then...there is a point where the colon turns and goes down and so many times gas gets stuck there....a simple massage helps the gas to go through. You don't even have to have IBS to get this.
 

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Yea that spot seems to be my achilles heel. I actually get gas trapped in all parts of the colon. When I have bad flare ups I get the same crampy feeling on the right. And often enough I get some gas stuck in the upper left area as well. Its not uncommon for me to get cramped spots in each of the colons turns. Just depends on the food, my mood and the day. But mostly its the left side. Odd thing is that I get in the lower quadrant one week, then the next week the upper quadrant. It moves constantly. Never one single pinpoint spot.
 

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Pain in different parts of the colon at different times seems really common for IBS. Other things tend to be more location specific where IBS can be anywhere in the colon and can be different spots at different times.If you are sensitive to gas accumulation it may depend where the colon is filled up on any given day. If it is activity related it may be what part is more active at any given time.
 

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That has been one of the consistant things I have found about my pains. If my body is relatively low with stored gas, I am fine. But if not, then Im in pain somewhere(Pain being an annoying pain, not so much hurtful pain) So if I have pain during the day, I will generally be really gassy that night. If I have a nice day with little to no pain, then I barely have any gas at night or morning. I couldnt pinpoint my pain if you paid me to. Its generally wherever it wants to be
 

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That sounds pretty consistent with IBS pain.Gas volume can be one of the factors that ramps up pain levels. It seems to be just from how the gas moves or how much it inflates the colon, not that gas directly triggers pain nerves.
 

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To Fear,I am concerned that you are so uncomfortable with that doctor. Its true that bedside manner is not all that important if the knowledge of the doctor is great, but, still, you have to trust, rely on and feel comfortable with your doctor, mostly when you are so anxious.It's funny, but the left side pain is my first indicator that I am going to be in for a rough day, like today. Driving to work I felt that uncomfortable nagging ache and then it intensified and I knew an explosion was not far behind. All day yesterday and today, alot of diaherra, loose stool and those pencil thin feces. All I know is I feel better after evacuation. I had mustard greens Friday night and apparently they cause havoc in my bowels, but I hate just eating bread, rolls, anything bland. I love greens.Katheleen, you are a blessing.
 

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I have soft, narrow stools and my doctor doesn't seem to be concerned about it at all. I'm happy when I go no matter what they look like.
 

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When I first had issues, and was talking to a GI on the phone about getting a colonoscopy or not, her thoughts were, "As long as your not constipated or having watery d, be happy with every daily BM!
 
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