Embarrassing bathroom question---

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 5/28/2008 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
sorry to kinda gross you out with my question, but I really don't understand what this could be and maybe some of you may have experienced something like this as well.
Do any of you eat foods and then when it passes, the food comes out exactly as you ate it?  Like its completely undigested and looks exactly whole?  If so, what is that?  Does that mean your body isn't absorbing the nutrients/calories?  What also causes that?
For example, if I ate string beans....then once I use the restroom, it looks like string beans in water. 
Anyways, sorry to be so blunt, but it actually worries me considering 50% of my food does this all day long.
thank you for your help and advice in advance!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 5/28/2008 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
That happens to me every so often with raw veggies. My gi did a gastric emptying study on me and everything was fine. I'm over not under weight and my bloods are all normal so I don't worry about it.

Remicade and 6MP

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 5/28/2008 4:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I think it happens to a lot of us. Most of us are amazed that it comes through as though you haven't even chewed.
Clever stuff Huh.....

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 5/28/2008 4:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I know.. but are calories and nutrients being absorbed? Does anyone know what gastric emptying is vs a term called "dumping"

thanks !

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7122
   Posted 5/28/2008 4:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Certain foods or components of some foods do not break down as easily as others. People without gastrointesinal diseases will see things like corn, the membranes of oranges, etc in their stools. I personally have seen mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc in mine. Part of the problem comes from NOT CHEWING ones food enough. Another reason food that has not been broken appears in the stool is when the contents of the stomach leave before digestion is complete. Some medications will cause the stomach to empty prematurely. Stomach surgery like gastric by-pass can also cause the stomach to empty prematurely. This is called "dumping syndrome."

Gastric emptying is simply the stomach emptying. The time it takes for the stomach to empty depends on what was eaten, the amount, and the individual.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 5/28/2008 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Just another talent that we Crohnie's have!! Few others can boast such an amazing skill! Stun and amaze your friends by showing them the results of your talent!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 5/28/2008 5:48 PM (GMT -7)   
jennca23, if you've had a resection where the terminal ileum and the cecal valve were removed, malabsorbtion can be a
problem, along with constant diarrhea. Calories are also lost....

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 5/28/2008 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
nope, no surgeries. so are you saying even because i have had no surgery that i'm not getting the calories?
i am underweight so its hard to put on weight. i do not have malabsorption. i think i was tested for that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 5/28/2008 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Could be. Try something like Boost, Ensure or Carnation Breakfast drinks in between you meals to up your calorie consumption. I would also recommend a good daily vitamin for insurance. As for me...lettuce gives a new meaning to the term "salad shooter"! Find your sense of humor and never be embarrassed about your questions here...That's why this forum exists!
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 5/28/2008 9:48 PM (GMT -7)   
This doesn't happen to me, I chew the heck out of my food.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 149
   Posted 5/29/2008 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I also chew the heck out of my food. Everyone in my house thinks it is funny because i'm the last one to leave the table from dinner LOL...
Crohns for 13 years
1 surgery so far
2 times in hospital for blockages
B12 Injections

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 5/29/2008 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
about the only thing that passes thru me like that is tomato skins. I was Dx'd w/Crohn's in mid '75, had a resection of 18" of the proximal terminal ileum in early '78 w/my distal TI and ICV still intact. I've had a high grade partial obstruction just above the anastomosis since at least '99. Dilatation above this partial obstruction has been worsening and is pretty large now but symptoms are still mild and often non-existent - except for those tomato skins passing thru intact. I don't too often eat raw veggies. Not 'cause I don't like 'em, actually I often CRAVE them like others crave chocolate, but because if I'm not careful to eat them in MODERATION I get in trouble w/the Crohn's. I also don't "do" too many nuts, am very careful w/corn on the cob, *sigh*, and cream cheese HATES me tho I don't know if that is due to the Crohn's, I rather doubt it. I have had problems w/weight at times, having to go on 3 1/2 months of TPN to gain weight a couple of years ago, but for the most part hold pretty steady in the 110 lb range (I'm 5' 4"). I do take a daily multiple vitamin (no minerals) w/iron and a scripted vitamin D supplement (50,000 IU weekly, was as high as 100,000 IU weekly) and have been on weekly vitamin B12 shots on occasion, sometimes as long as for a year. I'm on Imuran alternating 75 mg and 100 mg on odd and even days and 2 g of Pentasa 2 x daily (should be 1 g 4 x daily but ....).

Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3143
   Posted 5/29/2008 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
aaaahhh the revenge of the blueberry. I get this too. I must admit there are times I don't chew as well (Mom is giggling in heaven hearing me admit to it!) Since I am a chubby chronnie, I know I don't have an absorption problem with all things. Just those things that my guts don't like (fruits and veggies mostly).
Funny, my husband does not want to come look when I point out the whole mushroom or blueberry that shows up in the bowl. I still find it humorous...from bowl to bowel to bowl no change!
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 456
   Posted 5/29/2008 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Are you breaking down pills properly, or are they going straight through as well?  If not, you might want to check out either chewable or liquid vitamins.  Even people with normal digestive systems sometimes have trouble breaking down pills.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2739
   Posted 5/29/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh yes! Especially if I'm having a lot of D. When I first flared up this month, everything was coming out the way I ate it! Watermelon, tomatoes, veggies, even pasta! It was awful. For some reason I was stupid and ate a bunch of red stuff, so then I couldn't tell if I was bleeding or if it was just the watermelon I was seeing! Once the D got under control everything finally digested again. Whew.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Currently taking Prednisone: tapered to 30 mg, Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure).

New Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 5/30/2008 4:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Corn does this to me. Also peas. Things that are rough to digest. That would be a good clue to avoid those things. It's not a stupid question - people are just afraid to ask!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 5/30/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Oh, yes! This definitely happens to me. It's turned me off peas for life, probably--and made me very careful about chewing up mushrooms well. I've written a suite of seven poems about Crohn's--and one of them is about the reappearance of food (and sometimes medications) in their original form, as they hurtle through your system.

This is very common, I'd expect.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 5/30/2008 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
yes, this used to happen to me quite a bit. It was such a mystery to look in the toilet bowl .... whenever I ate peas or carrots, or corn, and three days later, still be seeing evidence of them in the loo.
I can usually "smell" whatever I eat, before I have to look. Makes going to the bathroom and adventure, doesn't it?\

P.s. I don't eat peas anymore , or corn....the cramping is just too bad. and carrots have to be mushed all to hell for me to be able to digest them.
51 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.,RLS, arthritis

Jason D in MN
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 6/3/2008 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
As far as my experience, and the other posts seem to reflect this, this is common if I'm having lots of diarrhea. (Which seems to be the usual for me these days) It's worst when I eat something that upsets my gut. If it "smells undigested" then it really didn't spend enough time in my gut to get digested very well. (Or so I assume... I'll have to ask my GI doc the next time I see him...)

At that point I make a mental note that either a) Crohn's flaring or b) I need to figure out what upset my gut. I also keep an eye out for other symptoms or signs of a flare up.

If everything is otherwise normal but you're seeing "whole bits" of stuff in the toilet, it might be what others have suggested and you're just not thoroughly chewing the food. By not thoroughly chewing food I've cause myself blockages requiring hospitalization ... Only when I've had massive strictures with less than a pencil width for food to move through... however.

So if only for a piece of mind make sure you're chewing everything thoroughly. And keep your GI doc posted about your concerns. The more he or she knows about your situation the better the treatment you'll get.
-- Jason

Chronic Illnesses/Conditions.
Age? 37;

Diagnoses? Crohn's in 1983; Kidney Stones in 1997; Reactive Airway Syndrome in 2002; Major Depression and GAD in 2003; Migraines in 2006; ADHD and IBS in 2007.

Procedures? 1 Appendectomy. 3 Resections; 3 ESWL; Numerous ER visits (some due to clumsiness...) + numerous other minor procedures...

Past Meds? Prednisone, Asacol, Pentasa, Remicade, Flagyl and Cipro; Q-Var; Serevent; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and current meds

Current Meds? 6MP; Adderall; Wellbutrin; Zoloft; Albuterol (emergencies only); Fexofenadine; and Epidrin or Imitrex (depends on migraine severity...etc)

Overall: Things are So-So. In other words "It could be worse. It could be raining."

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