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Colorectal Diseases

GI probs

11/24/2009

Question:

Been constipated for months, seems to be getting slowly worse over last year or two.

Last week had VERY hard time with bowel movements, needed to use mag. citrate to get anything going at all. Lots of pain and straining to accomplish BM. Since that time I`ve been using stool softener, more fiber, etc.; problem seems somewhat alleviated for now, but worried it might come back.

Had colonoscopy 8 years ago, I think they found one benign polyp, nothing serious.

Also have lost about 25lbs in last two years, but I seem healthy?

Questions: How worried should I be? I plan to follow up problem with my Dr, who will probably recommend another colonoscopy. Do you think this is clearly cancer or what possibly could it also be?

PLEASE tell me something positive?!

Forgot, I am male 57 years old. I don`t think there is any family history. I exercise lightly (golf-walk every week), don`t eat well though. Weight loss could be just a "getting old" thing (my dad was very skinny when he died at 90.)

Answer:

Any change in bowel habits that persists deserves an evaluation. A colonoscopy to evaluate your symptoms would certainly be reasonable- as would a check of your thyroid function, calcium level, kidney function....many things can cause constipation.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati