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DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 65310
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
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If beginning about age 19 (upon entering college) to age 24

Customer Question

If beginning about age 19 (upon entering college) to age 24 a female experiences changes in bowel habits fluctuating btwn constipation & diarrhea if the bowel movements ordinarily appear as pellets rather than logs, require lengthier time in the bathroom vs quick in/out evacuation and the diarrhea typically includes food products which appear not to have broken down i.e. beans, corn, or product has a flake like appearance, bearing in mind that the female has a balanced, daily, exercise routine alternating between some running (3-6miles), weight lifting, tennis, hiking (not excessive) and a well rounded diet of mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with little processed or sugary foods; has chronic low iron anemia & fatigue, regular monthly periods, no real abdominal distress, what might these combined symtoms suggest is the underlying cause of the bowel habits? What doctors should be consulted? What should be indicated when scheduling appointment with office?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 2 years ago.


Irritable bowel syndrome is most likely.

This can be complicated by gluten sensitivity.

That mean some grains are causing problems [wheat, barely rye].

She should see an internal medicine doctor.



Including rectal exam.

stool samples

gluten testing

all routine labs


If inflammatory bowel is suspected, GI consult.

And colonoscopy.

OK, so that is an initial answer….

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