The Thin Stool Delema

me and my cat

me and my cat

Introduction:

My name is Alex, I’m 33, living in/on(?) Long Island New York.

Some more about me:

Im a 33 year old freshman in college.

Symptoms:

Currently little/no blood.
avg 2-3 Bm a day
urgency, but I have a good idea when I’m gonna have to go, and haven’t had an accident in a while.
most concerning current symptom is thin stools!

The Thin Stool Delema

Hello again UC land. I have been using this website for nearly 2 years now.

At the time when I first found the sight I was either in, or fresh out of the hospital struggling from a “flare” that pushed me to the brink. I wont go through whole history, but at my worst (right before the hospital) I was on the toilet straining to pass blood over 30 times a day (and night). my body was shot in just about every way imaginable. I had had UC for over 5 years prior to this with minimal impact. this particular “flare” though was much different and had been getting worse for over 6 months. My last colonoscopy result was SEVERE PAN COLITIS. After “failing” treatment from a week in the hospital they let me leave, and I focused on trying to heal. along the way I have tried mmmmMANY things.

One constant has been the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) which I adhere to ardently. If you looked at my current symptoms in the introduction you can get an idea that I am feeling much better than I was 2 years ago. That being said, 2 years is a LONG time, and I have found NO miracle cure along the way. I believe I have tried the methods of just about every other person who posts such sorts of fantastic recovery stories, as well as others I have heard from other sources, each time with a renewed optimism. I believe some things have helped me get to the state I am at today, others seem to have not had much effect, and some may have even sent me backwards a bit, though it is always hard to tell with any surety, and at the very least I usually learn something. One thing I would really like to pass on about that is that I really do buy into the gut bacteria imbalance theory that is quite popular, but “probiotics” are not the guaranteed panacea. In my case, when I was very sick, I tried probiotics, and they made my symptoms worse. I was so sure that this imbalance was the answer that I decided to take stronger probiotics, and that was when I ended up in the hospital. Over the last 2 years of my recovery, I have tried incorporating numerous different probiotic pills and powders, as well as probiotic foods (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, etc……properly prepared at home). my body fluctuates at how successful it handles these “probiotics.” Ive heard it described as a bit of a war between bacteria in our “micro biome” so sending in more troops I think can sometime cause more bloodshed…..literally. I don’t mean to harp on this point, but I just want to give “the other side” of the story so maybe someone will not feel like I did when I just saw how probiotics were fixing everyone, and instead of listening to my own body, I tried to follow suit the best I could and damaged myself. This is also a bit of a gener alized life lesson u.c. has taught me, but I will get off my soap box now.

Alright, on to where I really would appreciate some of your (uc community) help and experience. Like I said my symptoms are a few trips to the bowl a day, with a bit of urgency, some crampy, stinky gas :-), and THIN STOOLS.

Now I haven’t had a normal bm in 2-3 years, but my latest and greatest discovery (2oz. of georges aloe vera 2x a day) has got me to no blood and pretty manageable habits, but im really concerned about this thin stool now. I guess its easier to focus on without the blood. On a good day, my stool is a long ropelike thing about the thickness of a carpenters pencil, or sharpie marker. has anyone else gone through a stage like this and had it get better? obviously there is some inflammation going on in my gut still, bit I am worried that it may be some scar tissue that will never go away, or worse yet, cancer. (Which by the way, I always hear about being associated with UC, but never hear about anyone’s experiences here…..anyone have any?)

P.S.
I have not had a colonoscopy in 2 yrs because I am afraid it will mess with my progress, any experience?
Also, I have not done FMT for the same reason (although I am very interested)…thoughts?
thanks for reading, I wish all of us a fast and lasting recovery!

Medications and Supplements:

ASACOL HD 3 pills 2x daily
Georges Aloe vera 2oz 2x daily

written by Alex

submitted in the colitis venting area

15 Responses to “The Thin Stool Delema”

  1. MaggieOctober 27, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Hi, Alex. Your story sounds similar to mine. I’ve tried just about everything new to me that I’ve read about on this site with not much results so I’ve decided to quit taking some such as L-glutamine because I take a lot of supplements and it all costs money! At my worst, probiotics also made me worse but just about everything I ingested did. I was about ready to go the hospital, too, but I called the clinic where my gastro was and got a prescription for Entocort, which helped a lot. For the next 8 months, I still was in a flare but not bad like the initial 1st week. I have discovered that spinach helps me the most. Metamucil used to help but I’ve developed an allergy to it.
    The reason your poop is so thin is because your colon is swelled from inflammation. At this stage, I believe is when fiber i.e. Metamucil or eating spinach, really helps. I bought some powdered spinach to have with my morning smoothie but it has no effect as far as fiber, so eating it, for me, is the best. I’ve always, luckily, loved spinach but honestly, after eating it everyday I was getting tired of it so I bought a cookbook on spinach from Amazon. Poaching eggs on top is good, putting it in soups, is great, and stir fries, and custards. I do take probiotics but I discovered from a stool sample that I had good bacteria anyway so don’t know if they really help or not but I’ve been taking them off and on for many years and mostly on for the last several years.
    Best of luck and hope you find that balance you need. Incidentally, I went off the Entocort after I got better because of side effects and do take sulfasalazine. I can’t take any other meds for my UC because of side effects so it’s more diet then anything else that works best for me.

  2. AprilOctober 27, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    Hi there Alex, it sounds like my issue as well. I come and go with symptoms and am now on nothing but Asacol. Sometimes i have great bowel movements and sometimes there is a little blood, or just lots of gas. But yes i do have very skinny poop. I dont know why either and i have had sigmoidoscopy’s and colonoscopies about 5 times just this year. My doctors were trying to find out why… the only conclusion they could come up with was that the inflammation was so bad and scar tissue from long flare ups. I had a flare up for about 3 years that wouldn’t go away or get better with multiple medications that i tried. I’m still trying to figure out a new medication. But the last one gave me pneumonia and ended up in the hospital. But yes the reason was inflammation and scar tissue. But you should get a colonoscopy ever 1-2 years, because colon cancer is more prone to happen for people with bowel issues like UC. Good luck hope this helps a bit.

  3. Wendy
    Wendy HammondOctober 27, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Hi. I go through phases of ling thin stools. It always changes though. Right now I just stopped bleeding and my poop changed from lighter brown water to dark brown almost black water with undigested chunks in it, but at least the blood is gone. Pain is much less as well. From taking vitamins and supplements including probiotics I improved to this point. I hope to keep improving. When I am in a bad flare and bleeding and losing weight I feel like I’m going to die and nothing will help.

  4. Mary S
    MaryOctober 27, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Hi Alex, you’re not alone with this issue. My stools vary day to day or hour to hour, depending what kind of day I’m having. I have thin stools but not all the time. As long as you keep up on your colonoscopies I wouldn’t worry about it being cancer. I think it’s just part of the UC experience. I’m just happy for the times when not in a flare and I don’t have blood and diarrhea and feel like crap.

  5. alexOctober 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Thanks everyone for your replies and feedback. Everything you say is immensely helpful. I wonder if there is anyone out there who has had this type of inflammation for years like I have and made a complete recovery back to normal stools?

  6. PeterNZOctober 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    Currently had a bit that thin poop. Colonoscopy tomorrow may shed some insight. Will let you know.

  7. bevOctober 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    I have normal BMs Alex!! (I had/have severe pancoltitis as well, and I am one of the people that a good probiotic DID help. You’re definitely right, though, they certainly don’t work miracles for everyone). Anyway, back to my normal BMs…I have had the thin ones over my years with UC, but I guess the inflammation has gone back to ‘normal’ and I am having solid epic craps, so yes, it is possible!

    Isn’t it funny (and perhaps a touch sad too…lol) how we UCers get so damned excited and happy over a good BM? The same with passing gas…you just don’t appreciate the little things until they are gone…

    Cheers
    :)

  8. Richele
    RicheleOctober 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Hi Alex,
    I think you’re on to something with the aloe vera…I saw my doc the other day and he was talking about a aloe vera study where they actually saw reduced inflammation with large quantities of aloe vera…he was talking like a liter a day. He said it was a small group that was tested so it’s not completely reliable, but it’s worth a shot!
    Besides, it’s not often you hear these dr’s talk about food and holistic healing, only medications.
    As far as pooping goes, my bm’s change hour to hour as well, like Mary mentioned. Sometimes I poop 100 little rabbit turds, sometimes thin ropey snakes, sometimes black or yellow water…sometimes I think I’m gonna poop like crazy and it’s just terrible gas. So weird.
    Be well. Eat clean. Live happily.
    Richele

  9. alexOctober 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Wow, thanks again for all the great feedback. I really relate to everything said.
    Might have to start uping my aloe intake.
    I use Georges because supposedly they distill the polysaccharides out which I believe are the reason why aloe is normally not part of the scd ?

  10. Katya
    KatyaOctober 28, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Hi Alex,

    I also do not have a miracle cure but follow the SCD with pretty good results most of the time. Unfortunately Aloe causes diarrhea for me.
    Anyway, I also do acupuncture which really helps me overall with energy levels, hormones, side effects when I’m taking medication, etc. My acupuncturist asks me about my stool quality, and I thought you might be interested in what thin stools mean from a Chinese medicine stand point:

    “Like loose stools, stool that is pencil thin can be caused by a condition known in traditional Chinese medicine as spleen qi deficiency.

    Other symptoms of spleen qi deficiency are: easy bruising, mental fogginess, bloating, gas, loose stools, fatigue, poor appetite, loose stools with little odor, symptoms that worsen with stress, undigested food in the stools, and difficulty ending the bowel movement. Spleen qi deficiency can be brought on by stress and overwork.

    Eating certain foods in excess is thought to worsen spleen qi deficiency. Offending foods include fried or greasy foods, dairy, raw fruits and vegetables, and cold drinks, all believed to cause “cold” and “dampness” in the body. Dietary treatment of spleen qi deficiency involves eating warm, cooked foods. Ginger tea and cinnamon tea are also warming.”

    I have been advised by different acupuncturists and naturopaths to avoid really cold food and I’ve found that helps my digestion. Anyway, it’s definitely due time for a colonoscopy. I often feel that the fasting gives my colon a chance to rest and I come out of the colonoscopy feeling fine if not better. I wouldn’t worry about it setting back your progress.
    Good luck and hope this helps!

    Katya

  11. PeterNZOctober 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    OK,
    Said I too have had skinny plops. Had colonoscopy today. Doctors report reckons I have:
    Pseudopolyps throughout.
    Extensive pancolonic ulcerative colitis.

    I am not currently experiencing what I would call a flare at all. I’m not bleeding. I’m not taking pred. The doctor said the pseudopolyps were aggregated the worst he had ever seen.

    So perhaps skinny poop is indeed an indicator for colitis? In which case perhaps a colonoscopy is required?

    Cheers

  12. VictorNovember 4, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

    Hey Alex,

    This past year was hell for me. this time last year i was flaring pretty badly (UC), losing weight and getting worse. in January i was hospitalized for 3 weeks trying to figure out what was going on- eventually it was pumping me full of steroids that got me out. i, like you was very into the whole microbiom disbiosis thing (and still am) and found that VSL#3 DS helped for the last 2 years… but not so much now. while i was failing in the hospital i was calling across the country to find a dr willing to do a FMT. i eventually found one in harrisburg PA and in march went in for the procedure.

    This dr had a near 100% success rate w it and i was psyched to do it thinking it was the cure. fast fwd to march- i was tapering off the prednisone and my symptoms were starting to come back, so we decided its a good time to do the FMT. well it completely backfired and made me worse and now not even a high dose of steroids was working. at this point i was unable to work and dedicated myself to doing research to try and figure out what would work for me.
    LOOONG story short i think it was 4 main things that helped me. pure aloe vera juice, prescript assist probiotic (its soil based- i also stopped taking VSL cuz it was making me worse, something changed in my microbiome), greatly reduced my gluten intake, and the most helpful of all cannabis. i never smoked before and how i stumbled upon this is a whole other story in itself, but it saved my life. Let me know if your curious to know more and i’ll happily go into more detail.
    vic

    • VictorNovember 4, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      Forgot to mention a few things.
      i’m currently off the steroids and this is the best i’ve felt in nearly 2 years.
      i also wonder about the thin stool thing. it could be due to inflammation in the lower part of the colon, but it can also be to pushing too hard. if thats the case, maybe look into this http://www.squattypotty.com/

      • alexNovember 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

        Victor, thanks. I have really been making a huge amount of progress with the aloe vera! My stool s are getting larger! Be well.

  13. MikeMarch 15, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    I am a 50 year old man who was diagnosed with Juv. Diabetes 40 years ago. When I was 36 I started a day after Thanksgiving with acute diarrhea. Lots of poorly digested food as well. It lasted for 8 years. It went away. Gone. I have been a meta mucil user for almost 15 years. Recommended for bulk forming. It did not work…after going away, I had a two week period of thin stool, so my doctor got me in for a colonoscopy. It came back negative, no polyps. Clean. About 48 hours after my successful test. My stools returned to normal. I believe stress is a huge culprit. The more I focus on me, the worse it seems I get. For me, The Lord has been my faithful, gracious healer… Mostly in my soul. Which was so concerned about me all the time. Mixing the proper amounts of fiber, and keeping the fats at a minimum are best for me. May we all be intentional with our seeking the face of God…..in Jesus we find so much more than we will end up with on our own behalf. Probiotics never worked for me at all. Not even a bit. God bless you all. I pray your seasons of concern will be conquered by the grace, and mercy of Jesus Himself. Have a great summer!

Leave a Reply