Henry J. Hefler, MS


What Is Causing This Persistent Diarrhea?

October 01, 2008

A 52-year-old woman presented with a 12-day history of diarrhea and mild stool incontinence that began 2 to 3 hours after a routine screening colonoscopy. Six or 7 bowel movements of liquid, orange-yellow feces occurred each day for 12 days. The patient reported that associated nausea, flatulence, and severe abdominal cramping were relieved by the bowel movements. She also reported that a small amount of mucus was occasionally observed in the stool and that bright red blood streaks appeared on used toilet paper, although the stool itself was not bloody. She was able to tolerate a full diet, although food exacerbated the urgency. She was afebrile during this illness.