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narrow stools

Barb5454's picture
Barb5454
Posts: 90
Joined: Feb 2013

I was diagnosed with anal cancer last Oct. I had Stage 1 possible Stage 2. I went through chemo and radiation. I finished radiation Jan 14. I had a CT scan and no cancer so far. I have to have a sigmoidoscopy done in April just to make sure. Over the last couple of weeks my stools have become very narrow. It feels like I go a lot but I don't. Has anyone else had this problem? I do have a phone call in to my radiation onc., but I wanted to post this.  Thank you for your help

LaCh
Posts: 533
Joined: Dec 2012

I have it too but don't consider it a problem.  I assume that it's due to atrophy and/or scar tissue but I don't really know.  (Finished treatments January 29th of this year).

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 3115
Joined: Jan 2010

This is probably due to stenosis (atrophy).  The radiation can have the same effect on the anal canal as it does the vaginal canal--shrinkage.  I'm glad you are going to check with your rad onc and I hope that will give you peace of mind that all is okay.

Phoebesnow
Posts: 453
Joined: Apr 2011

My anus does not even want to open to pass stool.  I can feel my colon at night filled with these hard narrow stools, feels like tumors that I can move around.  I am thin but I never could feel this before.  It feels like my colon is the size of 1 1/2 inch diameter.  Does anybody know of a tx for this?  Do they have anal/rectal dialators.  I have blood and pain every day.  I am scared that one day it just won't open.

LaCh
Posts: 533
Joined: Dec 2012

I take lots of stool softeners.

Barb5454's picture
Barb5454
Posts: 90
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you all!! My onc did a call and told me this is normal and by the sounds of your replies it is normal! You are all awesome 

LaCh
Posts: 533
Joined: Dec 2012

one more thing. In addition to the stool softeners, drink a lot of water. I drink 3 liters a day which is a herculean task but I find that if I don't, my gut slows down. In any case, you need to drink a lot of water for the stool softeners to work, but if you do both, you may get some good results.  (I take lots .... like 3 caps with each meal and water throughout the day).  As for the diameter, it sounds like you've been reasurred about that.

irishguy68
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2013

Just remember that stool softeners are toxic. It's the water, & eat your veggies!!!!

RoseC's picture
RoseC
Posts: 513
Joined: Jun 2011

Say what? Stool softeners are toxic? What kind and why?

More info please...

Annie Belle
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2013

Thank you for this information

 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I had this problem at first. What I was told was to add bulk to my diet to help stretch things back out. Some people use psyllium husks or Metamucil, etc. The dietician suggested that I add hummus to my diet. I eat about 1/4 cup a day. It really helps with diarreah and also with the narrow stools. Maybe you could give it a try.

pializ
Posts: 305
Joined: Nov 2012

Mary do you make your own hummus? I cannot abide the psyllium husks. 

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

Yes, I make my own hummus. It is not hard at all. Also, organic hummus is readily available.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

It really helps me. I was just noticing I had the narrow stools again but I was off of the Psyllium for a while. I went on a seven day fast and have been in a post fast phase and just was negligent putting the psyllium husks in my smoothie.

I love making smoothies in the morning. I put so much in my smoothie that I don't notice the psyllium husks at all. I buy unflavored organic, but the orange flavored is actually very good. It tastes like Tang (if you are old enough to remember Tang!).

My colo rectal surgeon believes there is nothing else as good as psyllium husks and now I am a believer too.

Good luck.

Sandy

Barb5454's picture
Barb5454
Posts: 90
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you! I will try this. I was afraid to try psyllium. where do you buy it?

Missgrace's picture
Missgrace
Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2012

You can buy psyllium at Wal-Mart. I usually buy Konsyl, but there are other brands. I especially recommend the stool softeners and lots of water. Also, a high fiber cereal, shuch as bran flakes or bran buds, can be helpful.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 852
Joined: May 2011

Yes those cereals are very good, but for me, that's in addition to the Psyllium Husks. My doctor said there is no fiber that works as well and I believe this from my experience that there is no substitute for Psyllium Husks. I buy mine at Whole Foods or Vitamin Shop and choose organic. I take mine first thing in the morning now, with fresh squeezed orange juice. I make the smoothie later now. This is because since I have become vegan, it was one of the ways recommended to start the day. The orange juice, oddly enough, is alkaline once it is in the body and part of becoming Vegan is about having a less acidic metabolism. I have to say, this is a wonderful benefit. The blood sugar comes up nicely before I have the smoothie, which I make with Flax milk instead of Almond Milk now. Flax Milk is really wonderful. There are so many great products on the market now.

All the best,

Sandy

 

mamaw25
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

Your situation sounds about the same as mine.  I was diagnosed in September of last year, went through 28 radiation treatments and week one and week four of continuous chemotherapy.  I went for my 12 week visit the end of February and my doctor told me it was gone.  I go back in June for another checkup with him.  I go the end of this month to my radiation doctor for a checkup and I got to my chemo doctor the end of May for a checkup.  I too still am not having normal bowel movements.  For the first month my bowels were so spastic that I could not go out in public.  I couldn't control them once they hit.  They are not like that anymore.  I occasionally have a slight spastic attack but not very often.  I do have a little bit of concern though because my bowel movements are very soft, narrow, and sometimes just mucousy.  They are normal in color though when they occur.  I usually have one a day of a normal amount, but then two or three more a day of just very small amounts.  I don't have any pain or bleeding or anything like that.  I do have stomach aches periodically but I don't know if that has anything to do with any of this.  Please post what your doctor says about your symptoms.  Might help me out too.  Thanks!  I'm glad your treatment was successful for you too.

2tuff4you
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2013

My doctor recommended Phillips laxative capsules. You can take every day and drink lots of fluids. That was my lifesaver.

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