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Bowel movement q? (Don't read if queasy/easily turned?)

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I drink plenty (2-3 litres a day religiously), and eat a LOT of fresh veg (greens & white!), yet I only have a BM every 3-4 days? And when I 'go', its not 'ones' or ' two's', but lots of little 'pebble-like' bits? Surely this isn't normal? What could be causing it? I'm not in pain unless its been a long time since I've gone, and even then its more a 'heavy' feeling than pain? I don't have to strain & have no bleeding. Should I be concerned?

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Hey! are you getting enough fibre in your diet? the veg should normally be enough roughage but check it out on your food log. 25-30g of fibre is perfect, so maybe try upping it a little. i know that when i increased my fibre intake i had probs with BM's for a while, but it settled down. now, if i dont eat enough fibre i really notice the consequences lol! try switching to whole grain pasta, rice and bread, add some fruits into the mix, and see how it goes! :)

The pebble-like bits is a sign of constipation.  I agree with tigzy, try uping your fiber.  Even if you get 25-30g currently, take in a little bit more - it won't hurt you and it may make you more regular.  I had a problem like this and tried a number of things, strangely what worked for me was having 6-12 ounces of coffee in the morning.  I have no idea why it worked, but it certainly did.

hehe, its coz coffee apparently is a mild laxative! never drunk the stuff though, so i havetn experienced first hand

I know it sounds like it, but I'm not totally convinced? I'm not 100% sure of fibre amounts, but on an average day I eat: 2 weetabix (wholewheat biscuits) with 10g flaxseed, I slice wheaten bread toasted, and a cup of tea. Lunch is usually tuna & cottage cheese on toasted wheaten bread, home-made veg soup (usually brocolli)or a salad sandwich with a slice of ham/chicken and tea, and dinner is meat/fish or chicken with mixed veg, omelette (with mixture of veg) or a stir-fry. Snacks are usually crispbreads with tomato & cottage cheese or ricecakes. All washed down with 2-3 litres of water? Surely thats plenty of fibre/fluids? As I say, I'm not in pain or anything- I never have a 'blockage' (sorry if tmi! LOL!) so its not like theres a build-up of waste?
Sorry this is so gross.....Embarassed

hmmm sounds like your getting more than enough fibre... maybe you need to see a doctor as it can also be a sign of digestive tract problems (i wouldnt worry too much though - just as precautions, you understand!!)

how long has this been an issue?

Here's some info from wikipedia:  It shows what your describing as Type 1 in the Bristol Stool Chart.  It also lists lots of different causes and treatments.

I have the same problem.... But mine hurts. I eat a lot of fiber, you might want to try a fiber drink or something, sometimes this help but for me it usuaully resorts to laxative. But I have a spastic Colon. So... Yeah sucks lol... But try the METAMUCIL.... Berry Burst is good....

i used to get that too. im not perfect like my bf in that department. he used to joke that i must've been a rabbit in a previous life time with my little pebbles. but i found that some coconut oil in hot water helps to lubricate. your body needs oils just as much as fiber & water to get things moving. also eating more foods high in magnesium helps. magnesium is great for relaxing muscles, especially smooth muscles like your colon. i've also done a castor oil tummy wrap & massage (dont consume it though). get some flannel, soak in castor oil, put on on top of your lower abs with a heating pad. then after awhile do a smoothing massage following the path of your colon (right to left & there's some up & down). try to feel for any tight spots, mine is the bend just before it hits the descending part on the left side. i usually have to massage that. also keeping your friendly bacteria in your body happy & your not so friendly bacteria unhappy will help greatly, but that problem is usually associated with a lot of gas.

sorry for the lengthy details, but i studied some physiology (ok well 3 classes when i was 19) & was stuck with the colon because i was late for class. but during my findings i found a good few cases where women hold a lot of their stress in their stomach/colon. they can get pretty bent out of shape, just from the stress.

anyway what i propose is just some symptom reliefs, i think maybe you might want to see a doctor to know what exactly is causing it, could be a number of things.

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Maybe you're getting too much water and too little fibre..? I know that when stool absorbs too much water it can start to harden after awhile            

i cap-full of miralax OTC everyday.

it's. amazing. i swear!

does the miralax have a taste?  my cousin reccommended it a while ago but i never tried it.


Original Post by whapples:

Maybe you're getting too much water and too little fibre..? I know that when stool absorbs too much water it can start to harden after awhile            

 Really? I've never heard that?

Hi Tigzy, I thought I was getting enough, but you never can be sure you know? I may just mention it the next time I'm getting my bloods checked and see what my Doc says. Its been like this for as long as I can remember (a few years at least!), but I don't want to start taking laxatives/binding agents if its okay to go on as I have been?

Alle0299, thanks for that link- type 1 is what I pass, but easily? I noted that my hypo may be a reason (slow digestion)- I never knew that either!

Thanks everyone for all your help and advice. As I say, I wasn't overly worried, just curious as to whether I should be? Thanks again, and sorry for all the tmi!

Bananas do the trick for me.

Everybody's bowel system is different. I would ask your doctor about this...he or she may tell you to start taking metamucil or Miralax or Citrucel.

As long as you aren't not going for long periods of time and become impacted, then thats good.

I work at Colon and Rectal Surgeons doctor's office and believe me this is far from making me queasy.

Are you 50 or nearing 50 yet? You can always get a colonoscopy. Your insurance will usually pay for it if you have a legit reason if its earlier than 50. (i.e. rectal bleeding, family history, or in your case, change in bowel habits.)

Good luck!

I have attached a little bit about having a Fiber Diet. Hope this helps ya!


Fiber Diet


Getting enough fiber in your diet?

Dietary fiber can help your colon and is an important part of the management of your diverticulosis. It speeds the progress of food passing through your digestive tract and promotes regular bowel movements. The increased ease of stool passage keeps the intestinal muscles in good shape and prevents the sluggishness that leaves stool sitting in the colon for long periods of time. This may help lead to bowel cancer. Furthermore, fiber may bind with or dilute cancer-causing agents in some foods and help push them out of the body rather than allow them to be absorbed into the intestines.


What is fiber?

Fiber is the structural part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that your digestive system cannot digest or break down. Increasing fiber in the diet can be an important factor in improving your overall well being. For instance, bran has been found to reduce blood sugar and to lower cholesterol. Bran has become a friend to the dieter as well. Because it is effective as part of an overall weight control problem. Fibrous foods give you a sense of fullness because of the bulkiness of fiber. Fiber-rich foods require more chewing, so eating takes longer and you feel satisfied sooner. Fiber has almost no calories because your intestinal system does not digest it.


What foods contain fiber?

Cereals, fruits, and vegetables all contain some fiber. (See attached chart). Foods vary greatly in the amount of fiber they provide. Milk and its products, fats, meats, poultry, fish, and eggs contain no fiber at all. The richest sources of fiber are grains such as cereals, but the fiber content wanes depending on the milling and refining process of the product. Excellent high fiber cereals (approximately 30 grams of fiber per cup) are All-Bran, Bran Buds, 100% Bran, and Fiber One. Any of these in addition to Miller’s or unprocessed bran, may be used in cooking and added to many already prepared foods.


How much fiber do I need each day?

Aim is for 25-35 grams of fiber daily, but work up to it as your system tolerates it. If you are currently consuming little or no fiber in your diet, make the change gradually. Don’t shock your intestinal tract. Introducing large amounts of fiber too abruptly may result in cramping, increased gas, or even diarrhea. If any of these occur, cut back on the portion of cereal you are eating then gradually increase the amount until you can tolerate one cup per day, which will provide you with your fiber requirement.


Isn’t it hard to eat one cup of fiber a day?

Not really. You don’t have to eat one whole cup at one sitting. There are numerous ways to get the fiber you need enjoyably. Take a half-cup in the morning and the rest at night. Put out a cup of cereal in the morning and snack on it during the day, or use it as a topping on ice cream, custards, and other more palatable foods. Cook with recipes that use bran, baking with bran is an old and familiar culinary technique. Try using bran instead of breading on chicken and fish, breakfasting with bran cakes instead of pancakes, or making meatballs with bran fiber.


What else can I do?

Increase your fluid intake. Drink fruit juices and especially water. Try to aim for six 8 oz. glasses of water daily. Since dietary fiber is somewhat sponge-like, it absorbs water. Additional amounts of water are helpful in pushing the fiber along course.


I have never conciously tried it, im sure I have done it though w. out knowing it. but try to drink an ice cold cup of water right after you drink your tea. Its a mix between the hot and cold that will help move things along. hope that helps.

Original Post by gem86:

I have never conciously tried it, im sure I have done it though w. out knowing it. but try to drink an ice cold cup of water right after you drink your tea. Its a mix between the hot and cold that will help move things along. hope that helps.

that sounds like it might help.

irishmum, i really think your issue might be with your colon muscle if you are just 'pooing' little ones instead of a nice 'brick or log' (sorry for the description) & you get stuck for a couple of days. basically your colon has contractions a couple of times a day, it moves things around. again i think i doctor will be able to shed more light on it.

If your BM issues have been going on for longer than 2-3 weeks, you may need to do an actual bowel clean out with no more than 2 enemas in a 24 hr period.  If constipation is a chronic problem for you, start the Miralax.  You CAN NOT overdose on this stuff.  Many GI docs with start with 2 capfulls one to two times a day with the goal of having soft stools that do not require straining to pass.  Also, the only bad side effect of Miralax is that too much causes diarrhea.  If this does not work, get to your PCP ASAP.  There is always the risk of an obstruction occuring. 

If this is not the case, you may need even more than 30g of fiber a day.  Fiber one and All Bran have created some great products that make it easy to get more fiber without feeling full after just one bite (you may find some of these products on the supplement isle in your grocery along with the cereal, snack and cracker isles).  Also, there are now fiber supplements that have Calcium in it so you can get both (and they DON'T "cancel" each other out).  Supplements like Benefiber can be added to foods too (soups, drinks, baking) to give extra fiber without distorting the tast.  And yes, coffee can be a bit of a cathartic, but I wouldn't count on it, unless you just want to drink it.

I am a physician, so just know that I'm not talking out of my you know what.

Good luck!

Oh, and sometimes just getting up and moving (going for a walk or some form of exercise for 30 min) gets "things" moving.

When I changed my eating habits I had this problem too (still have sometimes). I eat a ton of fiber and drink a ton of water. I've done the coffee, licorice tea, everything.

I found out I have IBS! That could be a possibility. :o)

RNJT: I thought that may be the problem as I dont' strain to go, I can go quite easily when I have to,  it's just little 'pebbles' (this is so gross! LOL!), not 'normal' poo's, and not very often?

JJcope: Thanks for advice from a real physician! Would you recommend a bowle clean out if it could be a lazy bowel problem? Would it help? Can I get what is necessary without seeing my Doc (I don't have a problem going to him, it'd just be quicker & easier if I could do it myself!) I live in Ireland so have never heard or Miralax, but we have Lactulose which I think is the same thing? My daughters had it when she was diagnosed with a lazy bowel aged 6mths? It was designed to sofpten the stools so she could pass them easier, but was also prescribed another liquid (I forget its name) that was to 'stimulate' the bowel- maybe thats what I need? I'm afraid of becoming dependant on stuff like that though?

I don't always have poo like this, sometimes (every 3-4wks) I go the opposite way and have no problem 'going', it is very soft & 'spongy' like (sorry!), but mainly its the donkey-poo.

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