Hi, new here and was looking for some opinions. The post will be a bit long, so don't nod off
I'm 28 and have had IBS since I was 15. On the whole, it has never really been a debilitating problem; just one-off bouts of "spastic colon" every so often. In the last couple of years I would say the bouts had been increasing slightly but nothing that required treatment. Anyway, last August I had a terrible time with 5 nasty bouts within the month (which is a lot for me). I was recommended Aloe Vera juice and Acidophilus and they have worked brilliantly in settling things down. I had one mild episode within 4 weeks of taking it but since then (over 2 months later) my bowels have been moving beautifully and regularly
Now to my problem - in Oct after having a BM I noticed some blood on the stool. Initially I wasn't too worried. I'd had similar 6yrs previous; after passing a hard stool I felt a tear and for the subsequent 3/4 months experienced intermittent blood on the stool. A fissure, I assumed, and thanks to the aid of a mirror and a sacrifice of dignity I also diagnosed myself with a small internal hemmie. Since then, after having a BM my anus can often tend to feel a bit sore and irritated. So when this latest bit of blood happened it didn't really bother me but I still kept a watchful eye on my stool. I seemed to notice blood would show up on the outside of the stool when they were particularly hard but not on the soft ones. I did my internal hemmie check and at least *one* was definitely present (a little bigger than the last time) and just to be extra vigilant, I stuck on the rubber gloves to do more of an in-depth examination after every BM to just make sure that no blood was mixed in with the stool - it wasn't.
I went for a quick check up with my doc and she said it def sounded like an internal hemmie and that it was possibly aggravated by my bouts of IBS, and to carry on with the Acidophilus and Aloe Vera. I continued to keep thoroughly checking my stools, though, just to stay on the safe side. The smearings of blood eventually reduced and after a few more BM's there was no more blood at all. So on Dec 15th, after having a BM, I decided this would be the last time I donned the gloves and dug deep. There was no blood, but what I suddenly noticed was tons and tons of tiny black bits. Like little black flecks My instant thought was "OMG! Is this blood?" You think of the words "stool" and "black" and you obviously think blood. The stool itself wasn't black but contained loads of these little black bits. The following night I had another BM and part of the stool contained black bits while the rest was fresher waste that didn't contain any.
Well, I was suddenly worried by this. All the previous times I'd done a poop check I hadn't noticed these black bits! Where they new or had they been there before but b/c I was so intent on searching for blood I didn't notice them? Where they associated with the initial blood I had seen? After a bit of panic, it suddenly occurred to me that the day before the black specky poop I'd had a big plate of broccoli - and in fact the little specks of black did look a bit like munched up broccoli. Then a couple of days later, I had a bolognese sauce which I noticed contained many little specks of parsley and basil which resembled the specks in my poop only they were dark green as opposed to black. A couple of days later when I had my BM, I noticed there were some specks again (not as many as last time) and I noticed that they did appear to be some kind of substance - not black stained bits of poop but something in the stool. I wondered if it could be the associated with parsley and basil (similar to the broccoli). Thanks to a little experiment I discovered that dark green foodstuff does seem to turn black when mixed with poop and that the little sprigs of parsley broke up exactly the same way when prodded w/ a toothpick as the unidentified poopy black bits.
So, since then, some BM's have had some flecks, some have been totally clear. But my last three BM's have contained some bigger black bits... but they ARE actually a substance. They feel like little bits of corn and brake up as if they are some kind of skin. They look a bit like a quarter of a small blueberry. I've eaten sprouts earlier this week but I don't think I would still be pooping them out today. My actual stool color is normal.
So... has anyone at all ever noticed similar? Am I the only one to do in-depth dump checks? Am I obsessing about this? Obviously, with never previously rummaging through my crap I don't know what the heck is in there or how some foods look when they've been through the system so this may be nothing new but I'm obsessing about it b/c I've just noticed it. Or, do these black bits sound odd? Feedback totally appreciated.