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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2592
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Should it be a cause if during a period of 40 days, a person

Customer Question

Should it be a cause for concern if during a period of 40 days, a person only had a bowel movement 9 times? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  khagihara replied 1 year ago.

How old are you? Female or male? How tall are you? How much do you weigh? Any weight change? Any symptoms? What are meals like? Any exercise? Any change of stool shape? Any medical problem? Any surgeries? Any medications including over-the-counter pills? Any family medical history?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
45. Male. 5 feet 9 inches tall. 315 pounds. I lost 15 pounds, but I have been dieting since September 9, 2015. I've been eating Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and Weight Watchers TV dinners. I indulge no more than twice a month. I haven't started exercising yet. I have hypertension, hypothyroidism, anxiety, vertigo, and allergies. No surgeries. I take 320/12.5 mg of Diovan HCT once a day, 125 MCG of Synthroid once a day. I take 0.25 mg of Xanax only on an as needed basis. I take 25 mg of Meclizine only on an as needed basis. I take Afrin only on an as needed basis. My father had hypertension and diabetes. My mother has hypertension, high cholesterol, and hypothyroidism. My sister has hypothyroidism. My brother has hypertension. I had a colonoscopy on August 23, 2002, another colonoscopy on October 27, 2008, and another colonoscopy on December 30, 2013, and all of them came out good. Thank you.
Expert:  khagihara replied 1 year ago.

When did you start to take Synthroid? Is your hypothyroidism controlled well? Any symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting? Do you take fiber supplements and enough liquid? When did the constipation start?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I started taking Synthroid in 2006. My last lab said it was low, and my doctor increased the Synthroid to 150 MCG last month. Occasionally, I get mild abdominal pain, but it goes away quickly. My intestines make noise often, so I sometimes take Gas-X. (I forgot to mention Gas-X as a medication that I've been taking, but I've only taken it for the last 2 days) The only fiber I take is in the diet TV dinners that I eat. I think that I don't drink as much fluids that I should. I've had constipation for a very long time; that's why I've had 3 colonoscopies since 2002. I used to work in a job that required me to drive 60 miles at least once a week for meetings, and I would too often resist the urge to have a bowel movement or take Immodium AD. There have also been a lot of times when I'm in a public place and there are no public restrooms and I hold it until I arrive home, and by the time that I arrive home, it passed. Thank you.
Expert:  khagihara replied 1 year ago.

It could be due to hypothyroidism. But you should slowly begin to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Choose whole-grain breads and cereals. If you can't, take Metamucil with enough fluid. Take a walk every day. Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I read once in a Medical Guide Book that when one often resists the urge to have a bowel movement for whatever reason, that it could lead to an accumulation of hard dried stool and the loss of normal body urges. If the loss of normal body urges is suspected, how can one receive again the normal involuntary body urges to have a bowel movement? Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Or I also suspect that I might have diffuse muscular weakness of the gut that is causing delayed emptying. Thank you.
Expert:  khagihara replied 1 year ago.

You should have evaluation of how well food moves through the colon (colonic transit study). You swallow a capsule containing markers that show up on X-rays taken over several days in order to look for signs of intestinal muscle dysfunction and how well food moves through the colon.