Ribbon shaped stool?? Again?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 10/30/2008 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
ok so last time I posted this question about having stools that look like ribbons and were pretty hard to get to pass, many people said that they had this symptom before and that it was nothing to worry about.

a month later, nothing has changed for me. maybe even worse now, trips to the bathroom with nothing bus gas and mucous...but i know i have to go? i have to sit there for a good 5 minutes before anything will happen

has this happened to anyone and for this long? should I be concerned is my real question?????

22 years old
Diagnosed with UC June 2005 at age 19
Just graduated from Virginia Tech

Have taken:
Cortifoam, Sulfasalazine, Cipro, Flagyl, Codine, Hydrocodone, Roxicodone, Canasa, Aloe Vera Juice

Asacol, Dicyclomine, Prednisone,Zoloft, Probiotics, Flintstones Vitamins with Iron

Never have had a colonoscopy just one sig flex over 3 years ago. Dont really have a GI because No insurance :(

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10407
   Posted 10/30/2008 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Sounds as if you have rectal inflammation, as these are classic symptoms. You really need rectal meds - preferably Mesalamine enemas or suppositories. If they're totally out of the question because of cost, Cortifoam mingh help. Because oral meds don't reach the rectal area, this may never improve without rectal medications.
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from Entocort.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
"My life is an ongoing medical adventure"
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 10/30/2008 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I've had those symptoms. I agree with Judy, you need rectal meds. Another cheap option (though not as strong and may not work as well) is hydrocortisone suppositories, often prescribed for hemorrhoids. These, along with Canasa (mesalamine suppositories) are helping me. They are about 50 cents each, so very affordable even without prescription insurance.
40, female
Dx ulcerative proctitis, 3-5 cm, June 2008 (after 5 weeks of blood and mucous) and still flaring
Canasa 1000 mg suppositories and 2 tsp smooth texture Metamucil nightly
25 mg hydrocortisone suppositories and 1 Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra in a.m.
Effexor 37.5, Remeron 30 mg, Clonazepam .5 mg (or more) and Trazodone 75 mg for sleep/anxiety
2.5 mg methimazole for thyroid
Trying acupuncture
Osteopenia and other assorted ailments

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 10/30/2008 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   

I have these ribbon shaped stools since almost three months. It comes from rectal inflammation and swelling, my doctor just assured me today (I was worried about that, too). Although I do use Rowasa and Cortenema alternately (started again tonight while tapering off Prednisone), the ribbon thingies stick around for quite sometime. I haven't seen a normally formed stool in a loooong looooong time either.

So don't worry about it, I am in the same boat. Once the swelling in the rectum goes FINALLY down a bit, the shape thingies will disappear.

Pancolitis since 3/1997
Worst flare of my life since 8/2008, finally showing improvement!!
Meds (as in 10/2008)
12 x Asacol a day
40 30 25 mg Prednisone
Align (just started)
Flintstones Complete Vitamins (just started - tummy doesn't like the "adult" vitamins)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 10/30/2008 10:11 PM (GMT -6)   

Silly me but I dont understand what a ribbon shaped stool is????

Can someone better explain to me - I dont care about how graphic you need to be! tongue yeah yeah yeah

Newly diagnosed August 2008
Currently on 15mg prednisone, 12 Asacol per day, Mesaline enema nightly,Multi vitamin, Omega 3 and Calcium
Realizing that disease is a real pain in the ass!
Mother of a 5 year old and 12 old trying to get through each day with a smile on my face!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 10/30/2008 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok, here it is:
A ribbon shaped stool looks - like the name implies :-) - like a ribbon. It is not round and thick as a normal stool (let's say a normal stool form resembles a cigar), but flat and thin. It is often not thicker as toothpaste in diameter (at least in my case) and just squeezed flat as if you stepped in dog poop outside on the sidewalk.
Ok, guess that was very graphic, but educational! blush
Pancolitis since 3/1997
Worst flare of my life since 8/2008, finally showing improvement!!
Meds (as in 10/2008)
12 x Asacol a day
40 30 25 mg Prednisone
Align (just started)
Flintstones Complete Vitamins (just started - tummy doesn't like the "adult" vitamins)

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 10/30/2008 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   
IBSers are also prone to ribbon shaped stools and there is no inflammation involved with IBS (Bizarre to say the least), definitely report any changes to your GI as he will hopefully be able to guide you with this.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30204
   Posted 10/31/2008 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
That's true as pb4 stated...a tight rectum (stress, IBS, hemmies or other growths) can cause a change in stool shape.

Since you're having urgency, plus mucus and increased bms...I'd lean more toward inflammation.

If you're not on rectal meds, start them.

I see in your siggie you have Canasa and cortifoam listed...were you taking them at all or completely off them before your symptoms changed?

you should see the doc since this is new for you...he could do a sig-scope to check things out.

Keep us posted as to how you're doing.
*Heather* Status..Asacol 6 (3 twice daily); enemas every 4th night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 4(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + Primadophilus Reuteri Pearls occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed
~Ranitidine,Pariet (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma)
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

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