If you latest bathroom sessions have left you feel less than fresh in a major way, then take note. The surprising things it means when your poop smells extra bad can say so much about your health. Sure, it isn't something you want to think about, well, ever, but it's part of life.
As off-putting as it may be, poop can provide serious insights into your body. In fact, medical professionals recommend you pay attention to it. No, really. "Daily attention can tell you whether you eat enough fiber or have health problems, like cancer or inflammatory bowel disease," said gastroenterologist Anish A. Sheth, MD, in Everyday Health. Although changes in appearance or color might ring the alarm bells for most people, there's also the whole issue of smell. Although it's not going to be a bouquet, a seriously rough odor can mean something is up in your gut.
Dietary sensitivities, medical issues, and even food allergies can all cause serious odors when you go number two. So if you're blowing through several bottles of Poo-Pourri a week, consider these possibilities. And as always, don't hesitate to meet with your doctor for help. It's an embarrassing condition for some people, but you deserve to be free from abdominal distress.
1. Sulfur In Diet
Although sulfur isn't something you necessarily think about eating every day, it can have a major impact on your gut. Foods such as red meat can produce mercaptans when digested, which are sulfur-containing molecules that can lead to some pretty rough odors, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Eggs, poultry, and fish can also contain large amounts of dietary sulfur, according to SF Gate.
2. Gluten Allergy
People with gluten intolerance, known in its most severe form as celiac disease, may also experience this issue. In fact, foul-smelling feces caused by insufficient nutrient absorption is a potential sign of celiac disease, according to Healthline.
3. Lactose Intolerance
Consider your dairy consumption. The symptoms of lactose intolerance can include all sorts of abdominal problems, such as diarrhea, bloating, and gas, according to the Mayo Clinic.
4. Bacterial Overgrowth In Intestines
If your gut gets out of whack, then all sorts of terrible things can happen. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can also cause foul-smelling and oily stool, according to Medicine Net.
5. Indigestible Sugars
Not everyone's stomach plays well with artificial sweeteners. "Sorbitol is not well absorbed," said Roger Clemens, DrPH, in WebMD. High amounts can cause abdominal distress and diarrhea, and the sweetener can be found in everything from chewing gum to toothpaste.
6. Trouble Digesting Fat
For some people, the problem might come from fat content in foods. "Fat makes its way into the stool and cause a terrible aroma," said gastroenterologist Dr. Anish A. Sheth in Everyday Health. "People with pancreatic or liver problems can’t digest fat appropriately." Definitely see a doc if you think this might be the issue.
7. Short Bowel Syndrome
If one part of a person's small intestine is missing, then the body might not absorb food properly. This is known as short bowel syndrome, and it can lead to super foul-smelling stools, as noted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. If this or any other issue is causing you serious health concerns, then stop by your doctor's ASAP.