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My husband has been having off and on loose stools for over

a year. He "goes"...
My husband has been having off and on loose stools for over a year. He "goes" as high as three x day, but often 1 or 2. This started after he went back to work where he is exposed to many chemicals. He has not lost weight, in fact has gained about five pounds recently. He had a clear colonoscopy 7 years ago. He is almost 62. No bleeding, bloating, pain. Because I myself have a colon Ca family history, this scares me. Does this sound maybe more bacterial to you? Thank you.
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Answered in 1 minute by:
5/3/2013
Anthony Bray, MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10,341
Experience: 14 years experience in the field of Family Practice
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Anthony Bray MD :

Hello!

Anthony Bray MD :

No , the pattern does not sound bacterial to me as likely >> the pattern has been very long and irregular... BUT infectious of certain types could be possible >> Do you have well water or does he go camping?? Giardia is parasitic cause that may cause a long term diarrhea pattern...

Anthony Bray MD :

I think that IBS (= irritible bowel syndrome) could be a possible reason for the pattern as well. Stress would tend to make IBS worse if this should be the case

Anthony Bray MD :

I think that seeing his GI specialist ( or start with consulting his primary care doctor is fine too) would be of potential help....

Anthony Bray MD :

His stool could be sent for culture, ova and parasitic tests and for C. diff toxin ( this bacterial cause usually would be after a course of antibiotic...)

Anthony Bray MD :

The stool studies could help to identify if he had an infectious cause of his symptoms >> this could help to direct treatment...

Anthony Bray MD :

IBS would not show up so much with findings on colonoscopy (abnormal spasms of the colon may be seen at times with IBS on such a study however..)

Anthony Bray MD :

A trial of medication for IBS such as Levbid to reduce spasms of colon or Librax could be considered. The medication trial if helpful would tend to help make the diagnosis in this case....

Anthony Bray MD :

Inflammatory conditions of the colon would be another possible cause. This possibility would be a reason for Gastoenterologist to consider a repeat colonoscopy. This cause would need a different course of treatment.

Anthony Bray MD :

A bulking type of medication such as over the counter Metamucil could be of potential help to him if his symptoms were due to IBS>> the bulk agent tends to help pull irregular BM's to the middle ( IBS can cause alternating constipation and diarrhea)

Anthony Bray MD :

He MIGHT have benefit to try a probiotic... these help to populate the lower GI tract with helpful bacteria.. this is possible help and would not cause harm...

Anthony Bray MD :

Products such as Activia, Dan active, yogurt would help populate the GI tract with good or helpful bacteria...

Anthony Bray MD :

I hope that this helps. Let me know if you have further questions and I will be happy to get back with you!

Anthony Bray MD :

If my answers have been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback. That would be very much appreciated! Thank You and Best Regards,

Anthony Bray MD :

Anthony Bray MD

Customer:

Do you feel these symptoms are consistent with Ca? This has been ongoing for over a year and he is not worse or anything....

Anthony Bray MD :

No I don't think that the situation is suspicious for cancer as he had the negative colonoscopy and this is not the more typical presentation of colon cancer either...

Anthony Bray MD :

You are right that a CHANGE in bowel habits is a potential sign of concern but I feel that his history would make this low risk...

Customer:

Thank you...I was thinking along those lines as well but I'm glad you feel that way too. He will probably have to have a GI workup, as you suggested anyway... but I feel better until those tests can be scheduled.

Anthony Bray MD :

I could not by any means guarantee that this was not a presentation of cancer but the history DOES NOT lead me to suspect this to be the case.

Anthony Bray MD :

I understand!

Anthony Bray, MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10,341
Experience: 14 years experience in the field of Family Practice
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