Doctor insights on:
Sudden Need To Poop
What to if I am having trouble pooping, any suggestions on how to fix, or what maybe causing this?
Time to get help?: The average bowel frequency in america varies from 3 movements daily to 1 every 3-4 days. Whether you have colon inertia, rectal dyssynergia, partial obstruction (intrinsic or extrinsic), ischemic gut, metabolic "imbalance", irritable bowel syndrome, or some other disorder you should get checked & treated. Age, co-morbidities, longevity of symptoms may alter prognosis & treatment options. ...Read more
Diarrhea: Chronic diarrhea should be evaluated as to cause especially infection. It's common after bowel resection and gall bladder surgery. Antibiotics can actually lead to bacterial overgrowth & thus diarrhea which is treated w/yet another antibiotic. But only way to figure all this out is to go see your doctor. Also, need to monitor hydration & fluid balance so you're not dehydrated. ...Read more
Color: What color do you expect it to be? Normally, it is dark because of the presence of bilirubin biproduct, stercobilin. I'd be concerned if it were "light", it then may signify a problem with your bile excretion. On the other hand, if it is liquid and black it may signal bleeding from your gastrointestinal tract that needs to be promptly evaluated. ...Read more
If constipated?: Stay well hydrated (at least 8 – 8 ounces glasses of water per day). Try to get in 5 servings of vegetables and 4 servings of fruit per day get that fiber in. Stay physically active with regular exercise. There are a number of over the counter laxatives that can be taken orally to help pass retained fecal matter. ...Read more
Blue poop: Blue food coloring is a popular food additive, and when ingested in large quantities can make stools appear blue. Blue is not a pigment typically produced by the human GI tract. Blue is however the color that a hemoccult card will turn if blood is detected in stool--is this to what you are referring? ...Read more
Bristol stool scale: Not to get too graphic, but the bristol stool scale is a 1-7 that describes the types of stool. One is hard lumps and corresponds to very slow colon transit. Seven is watery and corresponds to fast transit. What you eat affects the stool speed and caliber. ...Read more
May be warning: If your bowel movements are a tarry black color, this may be a warning that you are bleeding somewhere in your GI tract. Blood turns to a tarry black as it moves through the intestines/colon. Sometimes, iron supplements will turn bms dark brown, even green. Blackberries may cause color changes; so can beets. And many are surprised to know peptobismol makes the stool black! Check with your doctor. ...Read more
Variable: Poop or stool is quite variable from one child to the next regardless of whether they're breast fed, bottle-fed, or which formula they're on. Some babies poop with every feed, while some don't poop but for several days. As long as the stool is soft, normal, and they child is acting well and growing normally, it is probably ok. Always best to check with your pediatrician if you're not sure. ...Read more
Yellowish, very soft: Babies older than a week should have yellowish poops with the thickness of mustard or thick spaghetti sauce. Breastfeeding babies can have even looser poops. Formula-fed babies have firmer poops, but poop that holds shape would be too firm for the first 3-4 months of life. Poop gets darker, with brown/green colors blended in, and also gets firmer, as a baby gets older. ...Read more
Diet & Meds: Foods that constipate you or medication/diseases that slow emptying of your bowels are common reasons for causing intestinal contents to bulk up and result in larger stools. Discuss with your pcp about whether laxatives, stool softeners, or changes to diet would be beneficial. ...Read more
Yellow, brown, green: Poop can be a blend of yellow, brown, and green colors. Babies older than a week usually have yellowish poops. Older kids tend to have brownish poops. Worrisome colors are red (blood), black (old blood), or grey/white (lacking in bile). A doctor should evaluate a child, if his or her poop is a worrisome color. ...Read more
The Norms of Life: Floating stool after a bowel movement often is a sign of too much fat in the recent diet or an infection or irritation of the colon so that not all the food is being digested normally. Usually floating stool is temporary and normalizes quickly it is usually not a sign of disease. ...Read more
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