Me: How long has this been going on?
Patient: Oh, about two months now.
Me: Are you losing weight?
Patient: Well, no, I seem to be fine.
Me: How often are you having this diarrhea?
Patient: Once and sometimes twice in a day.
Me: Do you get cramps? Pain?
Patient: No, just I have to go.
Me: Is it watery?
Patient: No, not even very runny, just awfully soft.
Me: Any blood or odd colours?
Patient: … er…. it’s just a medium brown.
Me: Are you particularly gassy?
Patient: Oh, I pass the odd gas, but not terrible.
Me: So, to recap, you’re having soft, medium brown stools one to two times a day with no pain or urgency. That doesn’t sound like diarrhea.
Patient: Well, no, I suppose, but I usually have one big hard stool a week.
Me: Has your diet changed at all?
Patient: Not really.
Me: You live around here, right?
Me: You grow your own food?
Patient: Well, I garden a bit.
Me: What’s good this year?
Patient: Oh, well, the beans and the squash have been excellent. Not to mention the cabbage. And the cauliflower! And….
Me: I think we’ve discovered what’s going on…..