Skatole, a chemical found in the digestive tract, contributes to the offensive odor. But you can also credit a few additional important elements, such as:
There are a number of potential causes for a strange odor in your feces, ranging from eating something new to an underlying health condition. These six culprits are the most likely causes of a rapid change in feces odor, according to health experts.
Antibiotics assist the body in eliminating as many bacteria as possible, but they do not differentiate between “good” and “bad” bacteria.
This can often cause problems with your poop, as the so-called “good gut bacteria” aid in digestion and give your stool its normal odor and consistency.
Therefore, taking antibiotics that kill both healthy and bad bacteria might upset your digestive tract and create stinking stools and diarrhea; however, specialists are unsure as to why this occurs.
This imbalance in gut bacteria may also contribute to inflammation and intestinal permeability, according to Trista Best, a nutrition professor and registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.
Intestinal permeability research is still in its infancy, but some specialists believe gut microbes may play a role.
Additional possible antibiotic-related adverse effects include:
Eating more probiotic foods will help restore your healthy gut flora both while you are taking antibiotics and after you have completed your course.
Best states that yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, apple cider vinegar, miso, and kimchi are among the probiotic-richest foods. Also available over-the-counter are probiotic supplements.
2. Lactose intolerance
As many as 30 million Americans develop lactose intolerance by the time they reach their twenties, which is more prevalent than you may imagine.
Lactose intolerance is not a dairy allergy; it occurs when the small intestine does not produce enough lactase.
When the body cannot create enough lactase, the lactose in dairy products cannot be broken down by the digestive system.
If you are lactose intolerant, you may experience the following symptoms within two hours after consuming dairy:
sickness or vomiting
Distention Abdominal discomfort Diarrhea
Over time, you may notice more symptoms, such as a diminished appetite or unexplained weight loss.
Eliminating dairy from your diet is the quickest solution, but you can also try lactase enzyme supplements that are available over-the-counter.
However, because the symptoms of lactose intolerance may match those of other medical problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, it is always advisable to consult a medical practitioner.
In order to confirm or rule out lactose intolerance, a physician may offer a lactose-hydrogen breath test, lactose tolerance test, or stool pH test.
3. A diet heavy in sulfur
Krista Elkins, a paramedic and registered nurse who specializes in treating emergency patients with bowel disorders, asserts that a diet high in sulfur is often the cause of foul-smelling feces and excessive gas.
Note that sulfur compounds produce the characteristic flatulence odor that may accompany your stool.
These foods are high in sulfur:
What should be done: Sulfur-containing foods are vital to a healthy diet because they protect cells by lowering inflammation.
While it is not advisable to completely eliminate sulfur from your diet, you can consider reducing your intake of sulfur-rich foods prior to an event to prevent excess gas. A dietitian or gastroenterologist can also provide more detailed advice on determining the optimal sulfuric consumption for your diet.
4. Nutrient malabsorption
Malabsorption, which occurs when the body is unable to absorb nutrients from the foods it consumes, can result in foul-smelling stool and other health issues.
If your body lacks essential nutrients, you may experience:
What to do: Malabsorption can indicate a variety of health problems, ranging from lactose intolerance to parasite infections, so it’s a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible to receive the correct diagnosis and discuss treatment options.
They may offer tests or refer you to a specialist who can assist in identifying underlying problems such as food intolerances. A professional can also suggest medications or management measures for your problems.
5. Celiac disease
If you have celiac disease, consuming even minute amounts of gluten can cause your immune system to attack your gut lining.
In addition to foul-smelling stools, exhaustion, and accidental weight loss, this illness can induce the following digestive symptoms:
Bloating and stomach pain
sickness and vomiting
Untreated celiac disease may potentially result in:
Permanently eliminating gluten from one’s diet is the only known treatment for celiac disease. You should also check your prescriptions and anything you could potentially eat, such as lipstick, for gluten-containing substances.
If you have noticed any symptoms of celiac disease in addition to foul-smelling stools, you may choose to consult a gastroenterologist. They may suggest procedures, such as an endoscopy and a blood test, to assist determine the origin of your symptoms.
6. Blood in the digestive system
Blood in the feces, which can originate from the stomach, rectum, or other areas of the gastrointestinal tract, can also alter the odor of feces.
The color and consistency of the blood can provide clues as to its origin:
Bright crimson or pink may indicate gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
Blood in the upper colon or small intestine may appear as a deep red or brown color.
Bleeding in the upper digestive tract, such as the stomach or esophagus, may be indicated by black or tarry stools.
In extreme instances, bloody stool can indicate a serious illness, internal organ hemorrhage, or even malignancy. Therefore, if you observe blood in your feces, you should schedule an appointment with a medical expert or attend the emergency department immediately.
To determine the cause of blood in the stool, a physician may collect a stool sample or recommend additional testing, such as an endoscopy or colonoscopy.
When to contact your physician
If you observe a sudden change in the odor of your feces followed by severe abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, or blood in your stool, Elkins advises you to see a healthcare expert immediately.
According to Elkins, sudden alterations in feces might be caused by an infection, intestinal blockage, or cancer, and these illnesses frequently require prompt treatment.
Chronic illnesses causing a peculiar feces odor, such as food intolerances and celiac disease, may also necessitate routine check-ins with your care team.
You can also keep a food journal to help you and your doctor identify any correlations between your feces and nutrition. This journal may include food descriptions and a Bristol Stool Chart for tracking stool consistency, as well as notes on symptoms, discomfort levels, and odors.
Elkins notes that everything from dietary changes to underlying health concerns might make feces smell considerably worse than usual.
The safest course of action is to seek emergency medical attention if you develop significant discomfort, diarrhea, and a new, foul-smelling stool odor.
The treatment of any underlying medical disorders, together with a few dietary modifications, can help restore your gut health, which will result in normal bowel movements.
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