Hello I was on here a couple of days ago

Patient

Q: Hello I was on here a couple of days ago and asked about what is a regular bowel movement. Recap: I have been taking magnesium with a meal at 9pm in evenings to help me relax. I am normally constipated and magnesium has helped with that. I know go every morning around the same time. My bowels have been soft and easy to pass. The bowel is in pieces which I confirmed on here was normal. I was under the impression it had to be in one piece like a banana and s shaped. I am currently fluctuating between looser stool and and regular soft pieces. I want to confirm that this is normal. My main question today is, is it completely normal to be fluctuating between constipated, loose stool and dirrahea regularly? What warrants a trip to the doctor? What I'm trying to figure out is when I need to go to doctor or to be concerned? I'm assuming most bowel changes can be fixed through diet? most days I have 5 on the Bristol scale. The stool texture is not always smooth.

Symptoms:  None
Images: 
Hello I was on here a coupl...-1
Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thank you for your query at AskTheDoctor.com

I understand your concern.
No, it is not normal to alternate between constipation and diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea any day indicates a stomach bug and if not treated there will be such periods of loose stools.

Even worm infestation can cause such difference in the consistency of the stool. It does look like a little liquid like consistency in the image you posted, and that could be either due to diet or infection.

What I will advise you to do is get your stool tested for ova/ parasites. This is the best way to find out if your stool is normal. From your end, you can eat a healthy diet and if no infection is present, the stool will be normal.

Please get back to me with the stool test reports,

Hope this was helpful,
Regards

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: I heard that magnesium can cause loose stools? I have cut my dose in half from 250mg a day to 125mg and my stools thickened up a bit. Should I try taking it in the morning instead with a meal? I am using the magnesium to help me relax at night and help with occasional anxiety.
Doctor: Hello,
Yes, you can take 125 mg of magnesium in the morning.
It does cause loose stools in some, and also can induce diarrhoea.

But still stool testing will also help you in realising that there is nothin major in your reports and that your stool has also been normal till now.
Regards.

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