No Butts About It
So, no matter why you’ve been referred to a gastroenterologist, you’re going to be asked about Poo. Even if you’re there for heartburn. Why? Because that’s how we (gastroenterologists) roll.
So be prepared, and go with it.
Whatever the euphemism your doctor prefers, be it bowel movement, motions, or habits, you’ll be asked how often you go and what the consistency is. Don’t let this stress you out – we just want a general idea. 1-2 times per day? 3-4 times per week? 25 times in 24 hours? That sort of thing. As far as consistency, we mean are your stools loose and watery most of the time? Or soft and formed?
Now, if you are there to talk about a change in bowel habits or bothersome bowel habits, you doctor will want you to go into some detail.
So if that’s the whole reason you’re going to the doctor, don’t come to your appointment and say “I’m here to talk about diarrhea that I have all the time” and then when you’re asked how much, say “I don’t know I don’t pay attention.”
This is something you should pay attention to in the months and weeks leading up to your appointment. You may want to keep a log (excuse the pun), and then just before your appointment, look it over and summarize it. Like, “About 3/7 days of the week I feel fine, but on the remaining 4 days I pass anywhere from 3-5 stools per day, 50-100% of which can be totally watery.”
Your GI won’t require that you get into this degree of detail, but you might find this entertaining so I’m including it. There’s actually a chart that summarizes the consistency of Poo. It’s called the Bristol Stool Chart. My brother asked me if this is where they got the expression “#2” from. (The answer: No, I don’t think so. But nice try.)