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Ian asked...

Is my diet affecting my bowel movements?

Tags: diet , digestion

When I go to the toilet and I wipe my backside I find that I can never get it clean, and becomes painful to continue wiping. I go for weeks, sometimes months without any bother then I get it for a few days. Is it my diet? I eat fruit and veg and have an ok diet, could certain foods not agree with me?

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The answer

There are a number of reasons why you may be unable to adequately clean the anal area after passing stools. In some cases it is the stool consistency which is too runny or sticky, which results in incomplete emptying of the rectum. A normal stool should have reasonable bulk and pass in one or more pieces. Additional dietary fibre such as oat bran will help achieve a more normal stool consistency. Haemorrhoids, fissures and anal fistulas can also cause leakage of fluids after wiping, with resulting pain on repeated cleaning of the anal area. If things do not settle or if you have noticed any blood, mucus or a change in bowel motions, then you should seek further assessment with your doctor.

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