totally undigest fool passing as stool

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 7/22/2006 9:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Have you been concerned because when you have a bowel movement it looks the same as it you have just eaten it, totally undigested? Then this post is for you.
I realize that this is a quite lengthy post and that most of you who have had IBS a long time and have researched and learned that IBS can be regulated by a special fiber diet. But for the "newbies" or even folks like myself who was diagnosised 15 years ago and just left it at that withought doing the proper research into seeking the cause and learning to regulate my IBS this post may be of interest to you and perhaps informative.
I have been doing some research as to finding a diet that not only relieves the symptoms of IBS but prevents it for the most part. I learned that it has to do with the proper consumption of two different types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, the proper amounts, and how to introduce them into my diet
However, before this knowledge, and still in my ignorance, I would wait until a symptom, such as constipation, occurred and then eat a lot of spinach or other foods high in insoluble fiber. It would temporarily relieve the symptom but in a few days it would be right back. Then my stools would be too loose so I ate I ate an abundance of soluble fiber and so it went, back and forth,and my IBS was never regulated.
When I overdo it and eat too many foods in soluble fiber my stools come out looking just as I have eaten them. I was a bit concerned but assumed this was the problem.
Well, when I got up first thing this morning by bowel movement consisted of corn, peanuts, peas, carrots,and beans. My first reaction was that I had introduced too much soluble fiber into my diet but because of my hypochondria I was a bit concerned that I was misdiagnosing myself and my "cyberchondria" set in.
Although I know that practicing cyberchondria can be additive and cause misdiagnosed or over-looked problems that can be of a more serious or even less serious condition. I did however learn something very interesting.

If food appears in the feces looking very similar to how you it was when you ate it, this means that the food has not been digested (broken down and absorbed) by the body. Believe it or not, many foods that we eat cannot be digested by the enzymes in our digestive system. An enzyme is a type of protein that helps produce chemical reactions in the body.

Foods that cannot be digested by the human body usually contain a high amount of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is a term for chemical substances in the cells of plants that cannot be digested by the human body. Dietary fiber cannot be digested by the human body because it lacks the necessary enzymes to do so. More specifically, dietary fiber is resistant to hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is a process in which a substance is broken down by splitting its chemical bond and adding water to it. Since dietary fiber cannot be digested, it passes through the body virtually unchanged and cannot be used as an energy source. Although humans cannot digest dietary fiber, some of it is broken down by bacteria to produce gas and acids.

Examples of foods that are not digested well by the human body include corn, peanuts, peas, carrots, cereals, and beans all of which I had eaten the night before (with the exception of the ceral.). If the bacteria in the body are successful, some of the carbohydrates in these foods may be broken down. If not, however, we will see these foods in the feces. Ok, I felt relieved and was sure that my diagnosis was accurate, until I read the next paragraph which stated:

"If the above reasons are not causing food to be undigested, this could indicate a problem in the digestive system. In a healthy person, it should take between 24 and 36 hours to digest food. If the food comes out of the body faster than this, this usually means that there is a build up of debris (the remains of something broken down) that is preventing the colon from digesting food.

Well, it had not taken 24-36 hours for my food to digest; it had only been about 16 hours. So, as usual, my "cyberchondria" set in and I started researching other causes of food passing straight through my system and what could be the cause/causes that prevent the colon from digestinng food. Then it dawned on me. One of the primary symptoms of IBS is that the intestines squeeze too hard or not hard enough and will cause food to move too fast or too slowly through your system. Case solved. Now I can poop in peace!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 7/22/2006 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Thats quite interesting.  So does that mean we are not getting any of the calories or vitamins when we see the food in the same form as when it went in?  I constantly have this problem, and I'm tired all the time.  could this be why? what type of fiber should we be eating then?  thanks for the information, i've been wondering if i was getting anything out of my food.  i just seem to be getting thinner and thinner.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 7/22/2006 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   

p.s. I love peanuts and eat alot of them b/c their high in calories, is this bad?



Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 7/22/2006 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi PugsandHerPeeps- (my boyfriend loves pugs!)  Thank you for your post.  That must have taken a lot of time to type.  How nice of you to share that info.  From reading Heather VanVorous's book (she was diagnosed at the age of 9 and suffered for years before she figured out what worked for her, I too have finally been able to figure some of this mystery out.  Her book is called, 'Eating for IBS' and has been very well recieved. But check with your MD should you try it.)  I too have C and D, and so it's always a battle.  I get constipated for days and end up eating straight bran which honestly sometimes is the only thing that works.  Then I go too much and start eating bananas and yogurt, etc.  But soluble fiber is supposed to really be the big balance.  My GI MD has ordered me to ingest at least one scoop of cirtucel (soluble fiber like metamucil) daily.  OH boy!  haha.  As I like to say, 'i've really arrived now'.  Sprinkling Citrucel on my frozen yogurt.  lol.  Thanks again.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 7/22/2006 11:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Chew, chew , chew, it's really important. Maybe take a digestive enzyme to help break your food down too.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1629
   Posted 7/23/2006 3:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree pb4 - i use to eat so fast (occupational hazard!) but now I try and eat slower and chew my food more and it does make a difference.
cherish all your happy moments....they make a fine cushion for old age

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/23/2006 9:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Yes I've had that too, I always thought it was scary but i guess it's just the IBS the only thing is I get lettuce and sometimes mushrooms will do that ot me as well as some other veggies so could it be a different problem for me my doc doesn't seem to think it's to serious but it's quite painful when i'm passing the feces so i'm thinking hey this isn't normal. Anyway thanks for the info!


Lupus wouldn't be so annoying if it weren't for the advice of our friends.  ~Kin Hubbard

I drive way too fast to worry about Lupus.  ~Author Unknown

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/23/2006 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Stefanie,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)
It is quite possible that your body has a hard time digesting raw foods. Mine does. Usually when I eat a salad with all the fixings I get D. Veggies are hard on the guts.... Your body might just be trying to eliminate it because it doesn't know how else to process it.
I wouldn't worry about it too much if your doc isn't.
Co-Moderator for the IBS Forum
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