A rather personal question regarding colon health?

Okay, now before I ask this, please be warned that it’s pretty graphic, so skip over this question if you’re sensitive about that kind of thing.

I have had chronic constipation for the past 2 years. I’ve been to the doctor about it (about a year and 1/2 ago), and what she recommended was to up my fiber level. I’ve done that. I get between 35 and 50 grams of fiber per day. I also drink a lot of water (with that fiber level you really need to). I’m also very active, which they say aids in the relief of constipation.

Upping the fiber level has helped (If I lower it back down I cannot go at all). I used to go to the bathroom twice per week, and it wasn’t easy to do so. Now, I’m not 100% constipated. I go to the bathroom pretty much every day. However, they’re small, hard pieces that sometimes pass easily, and sometimes don’t. Occasionally I will have a normal bowel movement, but this doesn’t happen that often. According to the doctor, this still is in the constipation category.

Back in September I had two incidents of pretty significant rectal bleeding. When it first happened I was a few hundred miles from home and it was on a Sunday so I just ignored it in the hopes that it wouldn’t happen again. Well, it happened again the next day at work. I of course left and went to the doctor. She did some test where she had to… uh…explore that area. The tests came back that there was nothing wrong. She said it may have just been an internal hemorrhoid that burst. I was told to contact her if it happened again. It has not happened since.

In the months since this, I’ve had a handful of incidents where there was mucus with my stool. Sometimes it’s all white, but sometimes there’s a small amount of blood in it. Also, occasionally there’s a small amount of blood in the stool itself, but no mucus.

Today (now this is really gross, I apologize) I passed gas and a little mucus came out. It was accompanied by a bit of blood. It’s really concerning to me. Is this in any way normal?

I’m just so frustrated that the doctor can’t find anything wrong with me. According to her, I’m doing everything right in regards to relieving the constipation. So why on earth is this still an issue?? I’ve researched all sorts of other ways to relieve it, but none of them are effective. The use of laxatives can actually make my situation worse. So all I’m left with is frustration and concern that there’s something more serious going on.

I plan on contacting my doctor again, but since it’s Saturday, I can’t do that until Monday. I know it’s probably a long shot, but I was hoping maybe someone would have some idea of what could possibly be going on with me.

Oh, by the way…I’m 27 years old so it’s not as if my age is a factor in this. I know sometimes people who are getting older can run into problems with constipation.

Thank you for any advice, insight, or suggestions you might have.
It was just a rectal exam.

4 comments

  • You aren’t clear on what your doctor actually did – was it just a rectal exam? The mucus and blood in the stool is rather worrying, so if I were you I would insist upon either a colonoscopy or a barium enema. This will allow them to see inside your intestines which is probably where any problems are situated. These tests can rule out colon cancer, and also look into the possibility of you having a blockage, cysts, Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In your situation, a rectal exam is not enough, but don’t get too worried over the C word, these problems have been going on for two years so cancer does seem unlikely.

    EDIT – The people writing below me are correct in that a lot of things can be controlled by diet, however due to the mucus and the blood you really do need to seek medical attention first. Look into food options when you have ruled out any diseases or conditions as there is also a possibility you have a food intolerance which may be exacerbated by a sudden change in diet.

  • You are asking the right questions and no this is not normal. Make sure you avoid processed foods as much as possible. Try to eat at least one big salad and a bit of fruit everyday. Natural fiber is much better for your digestive system. Other things that can help is a cup of coffee in the morning (that will help you go) and some people like a glass of tomato juice or V8. This is especially good because of the extra vitamins you get. It’s all about diet and balancing your system Look up alkaline and acid foods on the internet. You don’t want to be taking in too many acidic foods.

  • Its possible that your colon is small or slightly deformed in a way that creates hard bowel movements and problems. Doctors can moss these things and they do all the time. I think the best thing you can do is drink distilled water and try drinking 1 oz of wheat grass juice everyday for 2 weeks then bump it up to 2 oz a day for the next two weeks. Read about the health benefits of wheat grass, it helped me with my health problems like a miracle. If you are taking any kind of pharmiceutical drugs or pain killers or sleep pills or whatever that may be a factor in your problem. Eating raw, healthy, oraganic foods is LITERALLY the best thing you can do for your body period!!

  • For some people (including me) adding extra fiber makes constipation worse. It might take 5 times the water intake to counter it. Small stools and passing mucus are signs of severe constipation and/or impaction. Bleeding is a concern if it keeps happening. I’d recommend talking to your doc. You might need a colonoscopy and/or a barium enema.

    If it’s nothing other than constipation I’d recommend a warm water enema about once a week. It works in a few minutes, there’s no chemicals to worry about and once it works it’s done with no surprises later.