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Ask Dr. Chip Your Own Question
Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 28564
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I have been a long time sufferer of constipation. Recently

Customer Question

I have been a long time sufferer of constipation. Recently it was so bad that I took a course of 'macrogol' . I am 64 but very fit and well and active. I live in the Uk. Now I am have a bowel movement every time I go to the toilet. I like that I am feeling cleared out but there still seems to be more stool to go so perhaps my system is clearing a large back up. I have a healthy diet. I also checked the Bristol Stool chart and first of all the stool was coming out at number 4 on the chart and now it is more like 5 which looks like it according to the chart near normal. If so I have never had stool like this in my life as most my stools were much denser than this. It seems like its all good but just want to check that something else is not going on. I have had a thyroidectomy for cancer and I think this bad episode started because I took calcium. There is no blood in the stool. My tummy grumbles a bit but I have no wind. I try to drink a lot more fluid than I did in the past. Also I have had two kids and have had haemorrhoids and an op for them. I don't want to be naive but would like to know if this is normal after taking the macragol. Also your views on the 'Bristol Stool chart?' I would be really grateful for your opinion on all this. Thank you in advance. Mattie Silman
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.

Hi--how long ago did you take the macragol?

And have you ever had a colonoscopy?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I took it for about ten days.

no I have not had a colonoscopy

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 1 year ago.

OK Mattie

First off you need a colonoscopy if for nothing more than screening for colon cancer and polyps but now that you've had a change in bowel movements it's even more needed.

That said, you may have irritable bowel syndrome that leans more on the constipation side than the diarrhea side.

I think the macragol, taken for ten days, should have cleared your colon of almost all of the backed-up stool you had and for the time being the change in your Bristol score is likely just a consequence of that clean out. And the Bristol scale is very good as a measure of changes in bowel movements