- Your Foul Smelling Stool May Also be Known as:
- Foul poop
- Foul stool
- Poop smells bad
- Smelly poop
- Smelly stool
- Stool smells bad
Foul Smelling Stool Symptoms
Everybody poops. And no one's poop smells what you'd call "good," if the smell of your poop is different and clearly offensive, there may be a deeper issue at work. In most instances, especially foul-smelling stools are caused by the specific foods one has been eating, an imbalance of gut bacteria, the stomach flu, a gut disease like inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) or Crohn's, malabsorption of nutrients in the intestines or an intestinal infection. However, in some cases, foul smelling stool can be a sign of a serious health problem as well.
Symptoms that may accompany foul smelling stool often include:
Sometimes, however, foul smelling stools can indicate a more serious internal issue, like colon cancer or a serious problem with the liver.
Signs that you need to see a doctor immediately include:
Foul Smelling Stool Causes Overview
Changes in diet can often affect the odor of one's stool. Pigging out on street Mexican food, for example, can overwhelm the gut bacteria and lead to foul smelling stool.
Other causes of foul smelling stool include:
- Nutrient Malabsorption: Your gut absorbs nutrients from the food you eat in the small intestines. The most common cause of foul smelling stool is when nutrients aren't being absorbed from the gut as they should be. Causes of malabsorption include gluten intolerance, food allergies, lactose intolerance, IBD, Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis.
- Infections: Eating food contaminated with trace amounts of E. coli, viruses, or parasites can cause the intestines to become inflamed and infected resulting in very foul-smelling stools.
- Medications and herbal supplements: Often, medications and herbal supplements can cause foul smelling stool or diarrhea that smells very bad. Even taking antibiotics can lead to foul smelling stool as it disrupts the gut bacteria for some time.
Top 2 Foul Smelling Stool Causes
Lactose intolerance is the inability to fully digest a sugar (lactose) in milk. This results in discomfort, gas, and maybe even stool changes shortly after ingesting a dairy product.
You can treat these symptoms yourself by trying to limiting consumption of dairy products or switching to non-dairy alternatives. You can also take a pill that has the enzyme that you are missing.
- Top Symptoms:
- fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), stomach bloating, constipation, diarrhea
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2.Intestinal Infection by Giardia Parasite
Some intestinal illnesses are caused by parasitic infection. People can become infected if they swallow or swim in contaminated water or are exposed to infected feces.
You should visit your primary care physician to evaluate your symptoms. It is likely that your physician will want to run tests on a stool sample.
- Top Symptoms:
- fatigue, nausea, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, diarrhea
- Symptoms that never occur with intestinal infection by giardia parasite:
- Primary care doctor
Foul Smelling Stool Treatments and Relief
If you are having problems with very foul-smelling stool, you may want to try some of the following courses of action.
- Probiotics: Often, imbalanced gut bacteria cause foul smelling stools. Probiotics are one easy way to rebalance the gut bacteria and get stools back to normal.
- Drinking more water: Staying fully hydrated keeps things moving through the system and aids in digestion and the absorption of nutrients from your food.
- Eat fibrous foods: Eating foods rich in fiber like fruits and vegetables helps to clean out the colon and regulate gut bacteria.
- Keep a food diary: You might just have a food allergy if you have persistent foul-smelling stools. Watch and see if the odor is most present after you eat or drink certain foods and beverages such as dairy, carb rich foods, or wheat. You may have lactose intolerance or another food allergy at work such as gluten or carbohydrate intolerance.
- Eat more naturally probiotic foods: Foods like fermented foods and yogurts can help you regulate gut bacteria and keep the system cleansed and balanced. Try eating more fun foods like kim chi, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, or adding a little apple cider vinegar to your salads.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods: Magnesium deficiency can cause foul-smelling stools. Try eating foods rich in magnesium to see if this clears up your problem. Some of the foods highest in magnesium include nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and dark, leafy greens like kale, radicchio, beet greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and spinach.
- Don't smoke or drink alcohol for a while: Tobacco and alcohol can pollute the body and cause certain foods to ferment in the gut, leading to foul smelling stools.
- Proper food preparation: Often, bacterial infections of the gut are caused by simple food mishandling. Make sure you fully seal meats in plastic zip-lock bags or containers so that it cannot contaminate all the food in your refrigerator. Make sure you cook all meat and poultry to a proper internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Many people never cook their chicken or casseroles containing meat to a proper temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, for example, which can lead to intestinal infection.
If foul smelling stools are persistent then see your physician, who can help you diagnose and treat any underlying conditions.
Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Foul Smelling Stool
- Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
- Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
- Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
- Q.Have you had any changes in your weight?
If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our foul smelling stool symptom checker.Check my symptoms
Foul Smelling Stool Symptom Checker Statistics
People who have experienced foul smelling stool have also experienced:
- 8% Diarrhea
- 8% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
- 6% Stomach Bloating
People who have experienced foul smelling stool were most often matched with:
- 7% Intestinal Infection by Giardia Parasite
- 4% Lactose Intolerance