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Q. Can excessive laxative use lead to hidden blood in stools?

Answered by
Dr. Jagdish Singh
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 10, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have been having overflowing diarrhea and constipation for about four weeks now. I am under investigation and will have a colonoscopy in a few weeks. I am under investigtion for IBS. I have been under so much stress lately. Blood tests on kidneys and liver are acceptable. I also do not have celiac disease. I also have gallstones also I have a cyst in my ovaries. I have not lost any weight, or there has been no blood in the stool. I am just wondering what this could be?

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Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

It looks like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) only. So, do regular exercise, meditation, and yoga. Have a good sleep. Avoid juice and milk. I would suggest you tablet Rifagut (Rifaximin) 550 mg thrice daily after meals for ten days.

Hello doctor,

I just wanted to ask you something else. I suffered from nausea and vomiting for a night. My doctor said this could be due to long-term constipation. My doctor has also referred me to see a gynecologist to check for ovarian cancer as the symptoms are similar. I am worried now. My stools would mostly fill up the toilet. However, there can be occasional inconsistencies; my stools are primarily soft, but there are liquid and smaller stools occasionally. However, in the last couple of days, I have noticed that my constipation has reduced. I am not as constipated; however, my bowel movements have increased. Does this still fit with IBS, or could it be cancer? As mentioned, I have not lost any weight. Can there be pain when doing bowel movements with IBS, such as pushing and straining?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

It still fit into irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), so there is nothing to worry. Do regular exercise, meditation, and yoga.

Hello doctor,

My doctor got me to do another stool test; however, it showed up having some blood in it. However, I did this four days after my period had stopped. My periods are roughly eight days and can be heavy due to the perimenopausal stage. I have been advised to do this again as it could be that there is some blood still hanging around from my period, given that I am in perimenopause and hormones may be playing up. Do you think that this is anything to worry about? My doctor suggested that I leave it about five days after the period has stopped, although some places say three days. My doctor does seem to think that I have colitis or irritable bowel disease (IBD), as my white blood count is normal. I am worried about this. I am having a colonoscopy in a few weeks. My doctor suggested that I try CosmoCol, a laxative. It worked the first time around and gave me a lot of diarrhea. However, it did not work the second time around. Is this something to be concerned about? Over the last few weeks, I know I have been given several laxatives to try and get things moving, such as Dulcolax, Laxido, and CosmoCol. Maybe there has been too much in the body. Can overuse of these lead to these complications, and could they cause hidden blood? I also have gallstones; could they lead to overflow diarrhea or cause hidden blood.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

We should wait till colonoscopy. Laxatives and gallstones does not cause blood in stool. For periods, definite guidelines are there.

Hello doctor,

I suppose it is hard to say if you suspect anything sinster. Could severe constipation cause hidden blood?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I am not suspecting cancer. So, I would suggest you increase water and fiber intake. Do regular exercise, meditation and yoga. We shall discuss again after the colonoscopy reports.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your reply. Is there any chance there could be a bowel obstruction here . As I have some grulling and intermenet abnominal pain. I also have some gas. Can bowel obstruction occur even if not cancer. If it is IBS I am a bit concerned that it does not seem to be getting any better with taking idoium and fibrogel but maybe the stress is effecting it here.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

Bowel obstructions present with abdominal pain, vomiting, and constipation. It is a severe condition. So in your case, it is not obstruction, and stress is an important factor, as you mentioned.

I hope this helps.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your reply. I vomited one night only, but the doctor said that was probably due to long-term constipation. Do you think that it is still nothing serious? I suppose the pain in the stomach would be very severe, and I would feel it. Yesterday I had two large bowel movements but possibly due to stress as there is a lot of stress at home.

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

Yes, stress is the only factor for you. Otherwise, no symptoms of bowel obstructions at present. So nothing to worry about.

I hope this helps.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your reply. Why are my symptoms not improving? This makes me think it could be cancer. Possibly extra stress could be causing these symptoms to stay and, at times, worsen. My father has been drinking a lot of alcohol recently, something he never did. I hope after my colonoscopy that, I will be able to share the good news with you. I have some back pain, but it is manageable. Please help.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

No, backaches are mostly muscular pain unrelated to the colon. Sure we will discuss further regarding this after colonoscopy reports.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for your reply. Are you still confident it is nothing serious?. Also, can you recommend anything that I can do, such as heat compress on my back to ease constipation pain?

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Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

Yes, I am still confident about that. I suggest you take tablet Etoricoxib and tablet Thiocolchicoside twice daily after meals for backaches.

I hope this helps.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Ok, just one thing. I have been using laxatives on and off over the past eight weeks since this started. Could the constant use of these be causing my problems such as overflow diarrhea and big bowel movements?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, laxatives can cause a big bowel movement. But that should not be an issue.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Could I still be having laxatives with bowel movements about eight weeks on? As you have probably gathered, I am a very anxious person. So I want to cover myself, although you have said that you do not think it is cancer. However, is it a good indication that it has not spread that CA 125, CA 19.9, and CEA were within normal limits? I also had an ultrasound of the upper abdomen area, and nothing was found other than gallstones in the liver and fatty liver identified. Also, I am due for a colonoscopy next week, and what if the laxative does not work, given that a few others have not worked. Should I keep drinking water? Thank you.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, increase your water and fiber intake. Do regular exercise and meditation, and yoga.

Regards.

Hi,

Thank you for the reply.

Could I still be having laxatives with bowel movements about eight weeks on? As you have probably gathered, I am a very anxious person. I just want to cover myself, although you have said that you do not think it is cancer. However, is it a good indication that it has not spread that CA 125, CA 19.9, and CEA were within normal limits? I also had an ultrasound of the upper abdomen area, and nothing was found other than gallstones in the liver and fatty liver identified. Also, I am due for a colonoscopy next week, and what if the laxative does not work, given that a few others have not worked. Should I keep drinking water?

Regards.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, you can continue laxatives. Otherwise, you will not be able to clear your bowel. But add natural methods, so the need for laxatives will be less.

Regards.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

I realized that I posted the same question again. So you can still get big bowel movements after eight weeks of taking laxatives on and off. Given all the tests that have been done, do you still think there is nothing sinister going on? Something is going on but not sinister. Are all the tumor markers a good sign as well.

Regards.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, if you use laxatives, it can be a large bowel movement. Yes, nothing sinister. It is good that tumor markers are negative.

Regards.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Ok, just one last question, for now, can constant diarrhea and large bowel movements or even constipation cause hidden blood. As discussed, provided I have no more questions, I will inform you of the colonoscopy results next wednesday, and hopefully, they will be good.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

There is no relationship between a large bowel movement and hidden blood.

Best of luck.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Do you think that I will be ok?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Sure. Regards.


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