Let's talk poop again

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 1/1/2006 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
   I'm glad I can talk about this here, without being thrown off the forum!
Have alot of you discovered that your poop can change alot?  Not only in the consistency, but the shape?   I think "normal" people would probably call the doc, if their poop changed like mine did, but I've learned to just wait it out, and it usually changes back.
I have alot of diarrhea, but when my calcium is doing it's thing, it's just all very soft.  But lately, it's been all these little pieces of soft shredded poop.  I've been wondering if my ovary cyst is causing some problems in my intestines around it, since it seems to have started up then.  My poop goes from being fairly normal, to being pencil thin, to being this shredded stuff.  YOu just wonder what the heck is going on in there!  I suppose I have to factor in my age.....56 in 2 days....and that everything is falling down in there.  But....I was wondering if this is fairly common with IBS.......to have poop that changes shape alot??  Thanks for not being grossed out!

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 1/1/2006 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
i hear that!! (not the being 56, but happy birthday!!)
what would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/1/2006 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey there,

look as far as i know poo should be anywhere from light to dark brown, in one piece and kind of an s shape because your colon is shaped like that so it comes out that way. IBS monkey's like myelf are lucky to see such a magnificent specimen once in a blue moon. There are things you could and should do to help your digestive system out particualry at your age when bowel cancer risks are increased. Now the very first thing is WATER, you need to be drinking AT LEAST 8 glasses a day. The reason is that water helps the food form into poo in your system, when there isnt enough water then its kinda like hard clay, and the problem with that is it can cause appendicitis as bits of waste get stuck because its so clay like and hard and infects the apendix. Also when your waste is moving through your system like clay instead of soft waste it can fill pockets in the bowel causing polyps (so I am told) which can cause cancer or is cancer or something but without enough water your poo is going to be shredded and pencil thin and also aggrivate hemmoroids (sp). Secondly, having a hand full of nuts a day and a hand full of blueberries and tomatoes and also upping the fibre in your diet from whole grain products (they have to be whole grain) your bowel with be in better shape than now. Even if you are an IBS monkey it does make a difference.


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 1/1/2006 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
hey! Ok so usually when my poop is shredded, it floats, is surrounded by foam/mucus in a greenish/brownish/yellowish bile looking water (sry for being gross!) smells horrible, and some times has tinges of a mix between this color and this color.  Othertimes, mine is just weird and claylike, or just nasty D. I think when I have that shredded stuff, its because ive either eaten something that im allergic to (i.e milk, preservatives, etc.) or mine might be a gallbladder problem, cuz of the bile-like junk. I havent had that in a while, since avoiding milk, preservatives, and SORIBTOL!(that stuff is the devil!)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/5/2006 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Cathy, back last summer when I developed D every day, I had all sorts of poo. I had what I called "flaky" poo because it looked like it was barely holding together and would fall apart at any minute. I also noticed a lot of partially digested food in my stools as the day went on and my poo became less formed. Funny enough, I only pooped water out twice out of two months of having problems daily. I would have solid (albeit unformed) poops until I ran out of poop and then I just had the dry heaves. I was like a dog who does his business and then turns around to analyse it! Lol. We think dogs are disgusting for sniffing their own poo, but I realized this summer that poo analysis is an important thing. If our poo isn't normal looking and normal smelling, then something's wrong with us. I don't know what dogs do when they find their poop unsatisfactory, but I start looking for medicines. The fact that your poop changes all the time is "normal" for someone with IBS and I don't think it has anything to do with your age or your cyst--except that your cyst can make your IBS symptoms worse.

Have you tried upping your calcium intake? You mention that it helps, but that you still have some problems. As far as I am aware, it won't hurt anything for you to take more than the daily recommended allowance. What your body doesn't need, it expells, and in the case of calcium, it gets expelled largely through your intestines--which is exactly what you need.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1512
   Posted 1/8/2006 5:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Keri,
I think there are times when I skip a dose or 2 of calcium, and I get into trouble. I wouldn't want to go up on it, since I've heard that it can be deposited in your eyes, blood vessels, etc.
Someone mentioned that their poop gets shredded when they eat things they are intolerant of. Maybe that's what has happened to me over the holidays. I didn't behave myself at all! I just find it so amazing that we can have so many weird stools, and not be really sick with something bad! I suppose if "normal" people would get our stools, they would think something was terribly wrong!
I think I need to be careful not to miss one single dose of my calcium, or things start to fall apart......so to speak! Thanks for your reply.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 1/8/2006 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I too had pencil like and shredded and flakey poops 9same crap different pile, ha) but I was under the impression my pencil poop AKA playdoh poop was because of inflammation in my rectom (proctitis)...I have crohns disease as well as highly suspected of IBS.

I believe floating poops are undigested fats in the poops, meaning your intestines were unable to completely break down the fat from what fat you ate, therefore making your poops float (like how oil floats ontop of water) this to I thought was only IBD related not IBS, from the impressions I've gotten at the IBD boards.

Take care!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 1/11/2006 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   

I second what pb4 said.

Pencil poop is from inflammation as far as I know.

Over all, sounds like we have the same poo.  Changes all the time. 


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/18/2006 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, I take 3 metamucils a day.  Now I go pretty good and as close to normal a 23 year old girl with IBS can get.  But it's grainy.  It looks like sand in my poop.  I'm thinking it's just the metamucil grains in it, i hope.  But before I started meta, mine was always real watery, like i had the runs all the time.  It was horrible!  Every once in a while they would be horribly hard, and I suffered re-occuring fissures because of it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 1/19/2006 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Tory :)
I agree ... fiber has always worked well for me (now and when I had C). My bm's aren't perfect and I suspect will never be :) but so much worse without my fiber therapy. Thanks for bringing up that point.
Hugs, Des
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
~My reality check bounced
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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/1/2009 11:17 AM (GMT 0)   
Good Morning all,

I have a blog that is all about what I have (kidney transplant, knee replacement, Lupus...) and also children's conditions (Autism and ADHD/ADD) however, I have not the courage to discuss things like what the heck is that in the toilet!

Thank you so much for allowing me to find out about my poo without having to either pay a co pay or feel embarrassed that I was crazy, which although TBD is not something I wish to write about on my blog.

I have Systemic Lupus with kidney failure (I recvd a transplant in 07), RA, Fibromyalgia and Restless Legs. My Mother, her mother since passed, and her brothers and sister all have Crohn's and IBS so it was just a matter of time. Through my research into Autism, which led me to Gluten Free eating really does help also. If you research Gluten(protein in wheat), you will find a connection to all Auto Immune Diseases.

When I do not eat gluten, my poo is normal. My stomach does not hurt, my joints do not hurt and I do not get headaches. I also take a calcium supplement, Fish oil and flax seed oil supplements each day and use benefiber in my coffee. As long as this is all done (which is not as hard as is may sound), I feel great and my poo is more normal. DO NOT FORGET TO DRINK ENOUGH WATER!!

That too is not as hard as it sounds. Sometimes since I am a flight attendant but more so because I can get so involved in my work and this computer but not if I just do it. When you go to the bathroom, get a drink of water. When you go into the kitchen, get a drink of water. When you reach for that soda or coffee, have a drink of water first! Here's an idea...don't drink the soda in the first place! The regular kind is full of sugar, which messes with your digestion and the fake stuff is filled with fake sugar and preservatives, which messes with everything!

Have a great day and again thank you so much!!!!!

New Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 7/5/2011 4:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone :)
I don't know how long it's been since anyone posted so I do hope by now you have all found answers! I was finally diagnosed with Crohns disease after a 9 year journey of consistent pain and strange poop. I've been through every test under the sun at this point because I also suffer from Carcinoid cancer and epilepsy. My GI thought for years I only had IBS which really means ( I don't know what's wrong with you so I'm going to call it IBS) something I've learned in my short 21 years on earth :p having a rare cancer I know that you have to push Dr's a lot to get where you need to be. I was told by my GI that I was over reacting when I had a sever small bowel impaction last February and it was a "freak" accident due to over medicating after a surgery to see if I had endometriosis. I was treated like a drug addict! I barely even took my meeds after surgery and had the impaction two months post surgery. No way I was taking that answer!!!!! I told him look I'm paying you!!! You do every test until you figure out why I'm in terrible pain all the tim and have blood, mucous, and coral reef poop. I call my sandy poops coral reef poo haha. Anyhow after doing almost every test they could and only finding colitis in my sigmoid colon they were hesitant to do a capsule Endoscopy but I made them! When the results came back my GI said he was completely shocked at how terrible my small intestine looked! ( the part an endoscopy and colonoscopy can't get to) he sent me for a blood test to see if a had crohns but it came back inconclusive. However my symptoms and from what he saw from the capsule endo are enough proof apparently to firmly say I'm a crohnie. Mind you this is after 9 agonizing years of diarreah and being diagnosed from IBS to celiac to a "drug addict". All I can say is don't give up! This is your body and your health! Don't let them push you around. You pay them they don't pay you! Be stern and if you know something's not right don't let anyone tell you you're wrong! I'm just wondering if some of you actually have more going on than IBS. If you have undigested food in your stool, grainy or sandy stools, mucous, blood, inconsistent d and or constipation with severe debilitating abdominal pain I would HIGHLY suggest looking into Crohns disease. Also remember it took the very last possible test for them to finally listen to me! Hope you all are doing better! Hope I could be any help at all. Hugs to everyone!

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/16/2012 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I myself Have a problem I go to the bathroom more than I've ever gone and every day during the same class I feel like i have to go again even I just went during lunch. when ever I go its usually in small pieces no matter what.
this all started when my class and i were taking this test and I had to go to the bathroom after i asked my teacher to go she said to wait until after class but then my stomach started rumbling and then I asked her again. after that day I came to class again and felt I had to go, no matter what I do I still feel like i have to go during that class.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/10/2012 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello ladies and gents! I believe I might have IBS but I am unsure.
My whole life I have had issues with constipation. I thought it was better for a couple years but it's seemed to have come back.
I have to work to go to the bathroom, I'm consuming as much fiber as possible. And when I do go it is very skinny and stinky poo. It takes several times of wiping because its thicker then usual. My poo never stunk before. And my gas is super smelly now, this too is not normal. I'm always a little gassy but it never has odor.
The swelling is horribly uncomfortable.
Does this sound like the constipation form of IBS at all to you?

William Smith
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 2/16/2012 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   

I'd just like to say - good on you for bringing this up!

Also, yes I too get pencil thin stools but alongside normal looking ones.. I agree with the fact that yes, your stools should be between light brown and dark brown, the colour is dependent on illnesses and/or high levesl of Bilirubin in the blood.

I too have bouts of flakey stools, sometimes my stools look fluffy and have excess fat on them. I sometimes see mucus on them and my stools are generally of a light brown or mid brown tone. I get formed stools but sometimes this follows with unformed. Unfortunately us IBS monkey's just need to realise that for us it's normal. :P

Hope this helps,
Have a question about IBS, Coeliac or Crohn's? Ask if you like!

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Irritable Bladder Syndrome (assosciated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Chronic Asthma (since birth), Eczema (Dermititis).

18 Years Old, Male.
United Kingdom.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 2/16/2012 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Pencil stools = intestinal spasms that cause constriction ...which I guess inflamation could cause. But then the big question is what is causing the inflammation? Bile salt diarrhea or something else. Mucus is in your digestive tract normally, but when it is being produced in very large amts, so much so that you can actually see it in your BMs, that means your GI tract is producing it because it feels it needs to protect your cellular layers from something 'harmful'. Could be as benign as hard, dry stool, etc. Have you discussed this with your Dr. Smelly poo (well, that's a personal judgement call I guess LOL) more so than normal, could be a bacterial imbalance. Have you been on antibiotics that could have caused the good bacteria to be decreased while ridding your system of bad bacteria? I 've run into that problem before. It's wise to be on some type of probiotic if you're on an antibiotic regimen just to try to protect that balance..some people depend on yogurt for this also.

What's normal 'poo' may be different to each one of us. For some of us, it's hard to remember what 'normal' was like! LOL Best bet is to speak to your Dr and if no tests have been done, let them have a go at a few to rule out different possibilities. Having GB out can definitely cause some changes in most people, but the majority of people straighten out within 12 months or less.

Anytime you see blood, let your doctor know. If you see yellow it is more than likely bile related. Green, could be diet, bacteria ..or even food coloring. Guess most of us just wish for the good old standard of brown, huh:)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 212
   Posted 2/16/2012 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Oops...forgot to mention, since age was brought up (Happy Birthday), hormones also do their things on the GI tract. Many women find their symptoms change right around their period (looser more frequent) etc. So if you're in perimenopause, going through menopause, or any stage within, it could be playing havoc with your BMs also. Another wonderful aspect of being female, heh? LOL Phooey.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/22/2012 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had every single problem that I have seen listen in this thread flaky poop gritty poop yellow yeah I've done it all. I encourage everyone who has consistant problems like this to have their gallbladder checked. Not just an ultrasound to look for gall stones either. ESPECIALLY if you are having these poop problems and are suffering from nausea and/or puking. I went through months of hell after my GI specialist misdiagnosed me as having IBS. It took a lot of fighting but I eventually saw a surgeon who did a HIDA scan to really see if my gallbladder was working properly. It wasn't. In fact when they took it out last month they found that it was dead. It had signs of chronic inflammation and had finally died and was infact destroying the tissues around it. Luckily for me i got it out when I did because they found it "cuddling" with my liver. So yeah my GI specialist made a huge mistake in simply relying on an ultrasound to see if my gallbladder is working.

If you have a chronic problem and it's getting in the way of living your life keep pushing, don't let the doctors blow you off. IBS is a blanket diagnosis basically saying yeah we haven't figured out what's wrong and we don't know what else to check so take more fiber.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/22/2012 12:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Also age isn't always a factor I've been through all this and I'm 27 and my problems started when I was just 17.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 3/27/2012 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had IBS for 26+ yrs. Started w/constipation (horrible), then to diarrhea (worse) Lately it has been unbearable. No other way to describe it. Can't leave the house, the pain is intolerable, can't wear pants against my bloated stomach etc. Ended up in ER - they did a CT scan, saw inflammation (colitis). followed up with Gastro Doc. Had a colonoscopy and the inflamed area looked normal - chalked it up to IBS. I have never had this kind of pain before AND it's in one spot really bad (where the inflammation WAS)

Regarding 'flaky' poop - it's like sediment is what the nurses told me. It's kind of what's left in there when that's all that will come out. It moves through the colon easier than some other things.

I've never had so much 'poop, crap, $hit talk" in my house than I have in the past few months. Everything is about consistency, color, pain, gas - oh it's just lovely. It's not a fun problem to have but I have to remind myself that everyone 'goes'. (just like we do - lucky them)

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/2/2012 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
My poop changes alot ! infact i can start of a toilet visit by having a nice normal shaped douche, then after that it can change into D... :l
Been like this for most of my life, im 19 now so i doubt age has anything to do with it !

tommy rachman
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/22/2012 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
i dont know whats wrong with me! someone help plz... this just started yesterday, every about 45 min i would get a stomach ache and i would have to poop and when i poop its just liquid or little bits of it, am i going to be okay?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 5/18/2012 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Here's a new one at least to me. Anyone ever pass an undigested fish oil pill in the evening that they took in the morning? Yikes!

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/8/2012 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Question, do any of you have itching? Besides similar stool, I have terrible itching fairly regularly.


Bran Seymour
New Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/15/2012 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   

I have been suffering with diarrhoea for quite some time now (many years) but over the last year it seems to be getting worse.

It now typically occurs shortly after I've had my lunch at work (every day) and usually means several trips to the toilet throughout the afternoon.

I have tried cutting out various foods/drinks like wheat, dairy fruit etc. (which is frustrating as i do eat very healthily)

Please can anyone offer any advise what to do next as i haven't yet been to the doctors and am slightly concerned as it has got worse.

Is this IBS? and is there anything i can do to stop or calm it down other than not eating lunch (which ive tried and suffered for it)

thanks very much
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