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Nurse Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
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I am a fifty year old female. Around the time my best friend

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I am a fifty year old female. Around the time my best friend died, one month ago, I began having diarrhea with mustard colored thin stool. Since the neighborhood had been it with stomach virus I didn't know what was brewing in my intestines. After her funeral I suffered panic attacks. These have subsided along with my diarrhea, but my stool, although browner, is still thin. I am not sure what medical direction I should pursue. My diet has always been primarily vegetarian/fish with the inclusion of fish and occasional poultry. This stool configuration is not typical for me and I am concerned. The time lapse for this symptom is about one and a half months.
Submitted: 5 years ago via HealthBoards.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse Susan replied 5 years ago.
HelloCustomer

I understand your concern; changing shapes of stool...especially to a thinner diameter can indicate a potential problem as a growth can constrict the stools shape and size. And a growth doesnt have to be a cancer, polyps can potentially alter the shape of stool as well.

Colon cancer can cause few obvious symptoms in its early stages, but in addition to a change in stool pattern, it can also be associated with persistent abdominal discomfort, a feeling your bowel doesnt empty completely, and lethargy. Here is the link to a page on colon cancer to ease your mind: <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/colon-cancer/DS00035/DSECTION=1"

Here is more information on stool pattern: <a href="http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/what-does-shape-stool-mean.html"

The specialist who would be best here is a gasterenterologist, and most likely he or she would wish to do a colonoscopy. Its also a good idea at your age (50) to have a colonoscopy regardless as a baseline screening.

I hope I was able to help,
Sincerely,
Susan
Nurse Susan, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1086
Experience: RN, BSN, MSN-ED, Nurse Educator whose passion is helping people understand their health and wellness
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Nurse Susan
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