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Author Topic: Worried about bowl movements  (Read 3579 times)

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Offline +/-

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Worried about bowl movements
« on: April 29, 2011, 03:42:27 AM »
I have been reading a lot that HIV is no longer a death sentence and once diagnosed life is not over but a "new way of living has begun", that is eating healthy, exercise, being adherent when you are on treatment, etc.

Something I am worried about though is that for the past 2 months I have been noticing a change in my stools. Well actually I have noticed this change for years that my stools are no longer solid but tend to be more mushy.  During the past 2 months I have been waking up early morning having to go to the bathroom. As explained stools were mushy and sometimes watery. I usually have 2 bouts of bowel movements daily, the worst one being the one in the morning.

When I explained this thing to my ID doctor he told me that there's nothing to worry about as long as there's no blood in the stools.

My question is: Is this change in my stools part of the "new way of living with HIV"? By the way, I have started treatment a week ago and am sure that this have nothing to do with any side effects related to the meds since I have been noticing this change before starting treatment.


Offline +/-

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 09:54:40 AM »
Can anyone help with what I have asked above please? I see that no one is interested answering to what I have asked  :( 

Anyone ever went through my same situation? Answers will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 10:25:41 AM »
1) sometimes we must be patient and wait longer than six hours for a reply in a thread

2) if you're impatient you can also always utilize the search function

3) HIV flourishes in the small intestine so yes, it can cause a lot of changes in bowel movements -- for most people this will calm down after you are on HAART for a while

4) if it doesn't eventually calm down have a discussion with your doctor -- I've always had to use loperamide which is the prescription strength version of OTC imodium.  I don't think most people have to do this, but plenty do.

5) what you describe doesn't really sound like bad, daily diarrhea, but the texture has just changed (unless I'm reading this wrong).  It might help to just increase your fiber intake.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline HowYouDoin

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 11:02:27 AM »
I have had a similar problem, where my bowel movements feel different and not as solid as they use to. It's something your gonna have to become use to and not overanalyze. I don't have loose stools but it's not what it use to be. I also go 5 x a day to potty as oppose to 2x a day.

Offline +/-

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 01:14:16 PM »
Miss Philicia

I do apologize for being inpatient but since I am a newly diagnosed, I tend to worry much more than I should on certain issues.

Thanks for your reply and yours even HowYouDoin!

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2011, 01:01:37 AM »
Hi +/-, I have also had changes in my bowel movements since infection. I was only diagnosed in january 2011, but I'm sure I was infected sometime in 2006. For the past 4 or 5 years, I also feel that I need to go to the toilet maybe 3 or sometimes 4 times in a day, as opposed to just once or twice. Its as though passing motion once, doesn't evacuate everything completely. I've noticed that more fibre rich and a generally low fat diet stabalizes my stools a bit. I don't get recurrent diarrhea, this is genuine change in bowel movements. I am not yet on meds.I did tell this to my doc and he didn't seem too concerned. He seemed to be more concerned if I had a recurring diarrhea problem. Hope this helps.
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Raf

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2011, 01:32:33 AM »
One question, what are your meds? one of my meds (kaletra) have the side effect to affect the stools. during the last 3 years I had constantly mushy stools or sometimes watery, sorta like you describe. Since this is the only side effect I've been experimenting (as far as I know) I learned to live with it, and compared with other side effects of other meds...well, I can considerate myself as lucky.
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

Kaletra + Combivir (since 05/16/2008 - today)

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2011, 08:34:59 AM »
I highly recommend that you take probiotics and eat fiber, doing this should result in improvements. It could take 1-2 weeks.

Probiotics is in many yogurts and you can also take it in pill form.

 

Offline +/-

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2011, 02:03:54 PM »
spacebarsux: I was diagnosed in February 2011 but I believe that I might have been infected for years, at least that is what my ID doctor has told me. I have been noticing such a change in my stools for the past 2 years but recently it is occurring more often, say twice daily when before I only used to defecate once daily. I have brought this issue with my doctor however he said that there's nothing to worry unless I see blood in my stools or have around 10 bouts of bowel movements daily. Will bring again this issue on my next visit for lab tests.

Raf: I have started treatment last week and I am on Combivir and Sustiva. Although diarrhea was listed as one of their side effects, neither the doctor nor the pharmacist mentioned diarrhea as a side effect. However just before starting treatment my stools were mushy, nowadays more loose to watery. Perhaps it's one of the short side effects of the medicine?

Inchingblue:Thanks for your advice. Started natural yoghurt daily, see if this helps.

Thanks for the advices given guys!


Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2011, 06:35:34 PM »
Raf: I have started treatment last week and I am on Combivir and Sustiva. Although diarrhea was listed as one of their side effects, neither the doctor nor the pharmacist mentioned diarrhea as a side effect. However just before starting treatment my stools were mushy, nowadays more loose to watery. Perhaps it's one of the short side effects of the medicine?

Probably the AZT in teh Combivir.

MtD

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2011, 07:39:45 PM »
Thankfully, my bowl hasn't moved.   Now my bowels, that's a different story altogether...

 ;)

Sorry I couldn't resist....
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline +/-

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Re: Worried about bowel movements
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2011, 04:37:26 AM »
AlanBama: I'm sure you have figured out that it was a misprint, I hope you did  ;)

Offline Ann

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2011, 08:27:55 AM »
Thankfully, my bowl hasn't moved.   Now my bowels, that's a different story altogether...

 ;)

Sorry I couldn't resist....


Really? My bowl moves all the time; from the cupboard, to the kitchen table, to the sink, to the drying rack and back into the cupboard. I'm not sure how it does this. I've looked for little legs or feet on its bottom side, but there's nothing there. Maybe it moves like an ameba does?

+/-, we're just playing with you. ;)

I've had dodgy guts for years. My situation is worse than yours, although it started out like yours. I get extreme intestinal cramping - so bad it can have me rolling around in agony. I'm also never off the toilet. At least, that's what happens if I don't take my meds for it. But I'll get to that in a moment.

My doctor and I investigated all the usual suspects and we came up empty on everything. He eventually labelled it "hiv related diarrhea" and left it at that, saying it was somewhat common and often not fixed by going on hiv meds. (I'm not on hiv meds - yet.)

I tried Immodium (aka Loperamide) but it made me nauseous and didn't stop the cramping. At one point I was given dihydrocodeine for something else and it did the trick for both the dire-rear and the cramping. My doctor allowed me to continue using the codeine, but I have to take regular breaks so my tolerance level does not continually go up. I have to time my breaks for days when I don't have to leave the house because I need to be near a toilet.

You don't sound like you need anything as drastic as codeine, but if your diarrhea gets worse, you might consider trying Immodium. Most people can tolerate it - I can't but I'm just strange.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline +/-

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Re: Worried about bowel movements
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2011, 10:28:20 AM »
Ann: Thanks for your reply. As stated, such an irregularity in my bowel movements only takes place twice daily (so far). When I brought such an issue with my doctor he told me that I shouldn't worry. Once again I will speak matters with him again on my next appointment.

Matty the Damned: Doc excluded that it's a sign of one of the side effects of AZT in Combivir. I believe that AZT is no longer as toxic as it used to be in early days however I will make sure that I will bring this argument with the doctor on my next appointment, in 2 weeks time.



 

Offline Ann

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2011, 11:01:59 AM »
Ann: Thanks for your reply. As stated, such an irregularity in my bowel movements only takes place twice daily (so far). When I brought such an issue with my doctor he told me that I shouldn't worry. Once again I will speak matters with him again on my next appointment.

Matty the Damned: Doc excluded that it's a sign of one of the side effects of AZT in Combivir. I believe that AZT is no longer as toxic as it used to be in early days however I will make sure that I will bring this argument with the doctor on my next appointment, in 2 weeks time.


I agree with your doctor - it's probably nothing to worry about. The time to worry is if it gets worse. It's easy to let every little thing worry you when you're newly diagnosed, but it gets better in time. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

AZT is just as toxic as it ever was. The difference between now and then is that back in the early days, people were being given doses that were far too high. They've corrected that problem now. Keep in mind that most drugs will be toxic if taken in too high a dose.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline weasel

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2011, 05:56:26 PM »


    Hey Poz/neg 

                        I hope your bowl is OK !

                    Mine has been awful  :o

                There are DAYS  I am stuck in the house .  My I.D. doctor shakes her head  ???

                Thank GOD for this web site , Thank you all    :)

               I am aware it is normal for some of us . Not really happy with that .

               But other than feeling like Crap most of the time . I am doing very well ...........

                  I  hope you will find that one day you will feel normal .   Normal my be ODD ?

                   But it is a good thing .   
     
                     some people find me odd  ::)  , But I live with this 3 decades now .

                   Hopefully  three more  :D

                                                     Carl

                  P.S. nice to meat you  :-*
" Live and let Live "

LabRat

  • Guest
Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2011, 09:10:13 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

When I first started on meds, I was concerned about every side effect and always brought a list of symptoms for my doc to discuss. Thankfully my doc was very patient with me. I eventually understood that side effects were just part of my new normal.
 
If any med even mentions the remote possibility of diarrhea I will have it. For me, Immodium usually works. While I was on Kaletra I was taking immodium twice a day for years...sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Viread is now the cause of my diarrhea, but I only have to take it 3X a week and work around it.
For me high fiber and yogert help; probiotics only increase the problem.

Besides consulting with your doc, you will probably have to experiment and see what works best for you. Learning what works for your body to minimize the side effects is part of the process.

Carl: I know what you mean about being stuck in the house for an entire day. Last year the ribaviran/interferon for hep C plus Viread were murder. Leaving my apt. to go "out into the world" was always an adventure.


Offline gonzo

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Re: Worried about bowl movements
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2011, 10:36:54 AM »
I've had bad bowels since being diagnosed over 20 years ago, so bad I hardly ever left the house except to go to work.
 It's only recently that I have been able to leave the house without having to be concerned where the nearest restroom is, thanks to my being able to stick to my combo regimen.
 I find that laying off sweets & caffeine helps alot, I was a big time pepsi fiend, and having cut back drastically has helped immensely.
diagnosed in 1990, current Meds: Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir

 


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