August 8th, 2018: Understanding and Remembrance Day for Severe ME
Have you heard of our Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Day of Understanding and Remembrance? Please join Jody Smith in observing this day and honoring the 25% of those with ME/CFS who are most severely ill.
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Let's Talk About Stool... If You Can Bear :P

Discussion in 'Gastrointestinal and Urinary' started by Changexpert, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Changexpert

    Changexpert Senior Member

    This topic may be TMI for some people, but I promise it will help us diagnose the common problem! I wanted to discuss the shape, density, texture, smell, and color of the stool. About five years ago before severe stress (I was 21), I had very regular bowel movement, at least once a day. I never paid attention to the shape and density, but the texture was not smooth because I was overeating, a lot of junk food, and spicy/sweet food.

    In the last two years, I had two big surgeries with general anesthesia and antibiotics. Since then, my bowel movement has not been very regular. Stool rarely sinks, indicating that I am not absorbing all the nutrition from the food. Color is usually brown and texture is rough and bumpy. One strange fact is that my stool's odor has been consistently horrible, which is another indicator for malfunctioning gut. This becomes worse on the day I eat fermented foods.

    Three details of my stool really concern me: 1. Floating 2. Bumpy/rough texture 3. Horrendous odor

    Supplements/Protocls I've Tried
    1. Soil-based probiotics
    (Prescript Assist) - SBO actually worsened my health by introducing new digestive symptoms that I never had before.
    2. Fermented foods - same result as 1 due to high histamine content.
    3. L-glutamine - also did not agree with me; I was very cranky while I was on glutamine and hair loss accelerated due to high ammonia.
    4. HCL - because of thiol content.
    5. Wormwood/black walnut hull tincture - worked great and I felt energized for five days, but eventually it put severe burden on my kidney and liver.
    6. Digestive enzymes - worked great to actually absorb nutrition, but it's a band-aid, not a solution.
    7. H. pylori protocol - took a lot of antimicrobial like raw garlic (high thiol), broccoli (high thiol), mastic gum (didn't do anything), triphala (made my stomach upset).
    8. Extra virgin olive oil - no improvement.
    9. ACV (diluted and straight shot) - straight shot definitely burned my throat, which I think is the root cause of dysphagia.

    Honorable mention - slippery elm, DGL, zinc carnosine

    I am trying to heal my gut to have "clean" stool. Only few protocols I am currently on are resistant starch and histamine degrading probiotics. If you've had success with conquering this issue, please share your knowledge. I am so tired of stinky stool and fart :oops:
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2015
    Crux and oceiv like this.
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I thought fat content is what causes a sink or swim :p but I see from looking that up that bacterial or viral infections can do it too.

    bumpy stools can be caused by constipation...

    We were taught in Naturopathic college that the bowel flora can take 12months to get back to how it was after anti-biotics with using probotics to help it do so
    Toxed and oceiv like this.
  3. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    I thought fat content is what causes a sink or swim :p but I see from looking that up that bacterial or viral infections can do it too.

    bumpy stools can be caused by constipation...

    We were taught in Naturopathic college that the bowel flora can take 12months to get back to how it was after anti-biotics with using probiotics to help it do so
  4. rosamary

    rosamary Senior Member

  5. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

    My gastroenterologist put me on pantoprazole and domperidone for GERD which was a real setback for someone with so many +/+MTHFR SNPs like me. It worsened my condition by alkalinazing my stomach and impairing mineral and B12 absorption. Other gastroenterologists I saw just skipped the domperidone. But at the end what I actually had was low stomach acid :bang-head:

    A patient-to-patient forum is the best place to learn how to fix the gut based on experience exchanges IMO.
    maryb, South, Sidereal and 2 others like this.
  6. rosamary

    rosamary Senior Member


    The gastroenterologist I see is pretty good and seems to be keeping me alive. (We discuss my stools in a very uninhibited way) But, yes, I think a patient to patient forum could be useful.
  7. Crux

    Crux Senior Member

    Recently, I learned that floating stool could also mean that excess gases are the cause. Foul smell, and lumpy texture could mean that there are still too many microbes or the wrong types, or both.

    With my own bacterial overgrowth, I tried many natural remedies. I believe they can help milder cases. I finally had to resort to antibiotics to 'thin the herd'.

    Antibiotics are strong, have side effects, and can take out too many commensals, but there can be benefits. I think that the dosages can be too high, and the course can be too long for some, such as myself. I had too pulse dose too, because I could only tolerate them for 5 days. Some abx's are more specific to certain microbes.

    I really know very little about them....avoided for decades.

    If you can find a GI or GP or ND who can find the particular overgrowth and nail it with the correct abx, that would be great. That's really difficult, and if the overgrowth is from beneficial microbes, then it's more difficult to diagnose.

    I did try several kinds, and found that erythromycin, a macrolide, seemed to work best. It has stronger side effects than some of the newer macrolides. ( from what I've read) It is also used as a 'prokinetic'. ( stimulates peristalsis)
    I started with a standard dosage, but found that I had to reduce it. ( I have nerve damage, and all abx give me temporary neuritis.)

    I believe diet is critical to the treatment. I've had to reduce carbohydrates to discourage the overgrowth.

    Gondwanaland likes this.
  8. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

    I have given up on finding a good one here where I live...
  9. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

    poo poo, wonderful poo! :balloons:
    I'd like to address the mechanics of the digestion tract. This has helped me get good stool and good digestive uptake. Here's a nice site about it.

    1. The stomach
    sends packets of food into the duodenum. These packets are about the size of marbles. Morsels of protein and fat need to be reduces to 1mm before they can board a packet. As long as they are bigger, the stomach sphincter tosses them back to be grinded smaller. Here's a wordy document about stomach motility, it has some nice pictures like this one:
    upload_2015-4-19_8-42-0.png From this I learn: chewing is important. Stomach acid is important. Stomach motility is important, this is governed by hormones and the Nervus Vagus so no stress and a relaxed nervous system are important.

    2. the duodenum
    is where all the major nutrient uptake takes place. Liver and pancreas excrete hun enzymes to facilitate this. The base bile is only triggered when the food packets contain enough (stomach) acid. Bile is a major way to expell hormonal waste from the body.
    The cells of the lining should not have cracks between them where molecules can enter.
    The wall is covered with little hairs, called villi, taking up molecules of food.
    Villi are not really hairs, they are a small high hills next to deep steep vallies. What amazes me most is they transport the nutrient molecules not solely to the liver for detox but as much into the lymphe system, where the immune system resides and handles toxins. It's the yellow vein in this picture: upload_2015-4-19_9-20-43.png

    from this I learn: we are talking molecule sized food now. Scale is important.
    all co-factors need to be here to assist with uptake.
    Use bile to get rid of heavy duty/hormonal waste.
    Weird protein molecules get handled by lymf system, gotta aid this system with gentle stretching and yawning. And by eating the fats it covets: full animal fats.

    3. small intestine
    should have no bacteria. The packets truck along via motility. I know not much more about this part. Should read up on it.

    From this I just focus on motility. I have found my motility only works when I lay flat, on my back. It probably has to do with blood pressure, acetylcholines, adrenals and overall homeostasis. Only when I lay flat on my back, twice a day, will my intestines work properly, will my food be absorbed and will my stool look marvellous. I have no choice, this is what I do. I am healthier for it.

    4. large intestine
    is where bacteria munch on the food packets. Via fermentation? Water is extracted. The packets truck along via motility. Large intestine only accept packets that have been broken down enough, otherwise it keeps it's sphincter closed or parks it in the appendix until it's "rotten" enough (?).

    My belly takes a long time to travel through the large intestine. I can often feel hard "poo-bananas" sit in the lower right or lower left side of my belly. Sometime I massage it a bit, to help.

    5. Stool
    looks good when I'm all right healthwise.
    They look like small marbles, squashed together a bit, like a pile up of soft little clay marbles. They are the consistency of sculpting clay. They are fairly dark in colour. Smell is not scary.

    I feed mainly on chicken broth with cellery, butter, chocolate, egg yokes and a bit of lettuce. My stool is consistent in colour and texture throughout the marbles. Sometime there are the little "threads" from cellery stalk.

    I don't eat much fiber (it is very hard on the digestive tract) so my stool has not the consistency of mashed bananas you often hear touted.
    I think fiber is just needed to "mow the lawn" i.e. sand down the villi-hairs on the walls of the intestines. They are cancer prone because they are so reactive and deal with such a variety of molecules. They renew often but for this the old ones need to be removed every now and then.

    Other uses of fibres and vegetables I have not. I do not need their vitamins because I eat foods that do not require them as co-factors. (most carbohydrate foods do need them). Obviously your milage and your ideas will vary, I'm just talking about me me, wonderful me ;)

    My stool has a dark brown colour, thanks to the stomach acidifier I take with most meals (HCL) that triggers bile. Sometimes it's very dark.
    It's also sometimes coated with delicate mucus, like a bit of nose slime. The intestines add this to facilitate movement. It's a healthy thing.
    Sometimes only this slime comes out, smelling awfully sweet. I think it's from the large intestine and it's often after I eat carbohydrate foods.

    When I'm not doing so well my stool shows it.
    - If I have waited too long and marbles have been sitting in the last chamber of the large intestine, extra water will have been extracted from them and they come out looking like dry prunes, with the ridges of my inner plumbing impressed upon them.
    - If I'm under stress my bile will not flow, no matter how much HCL I take. My stool will be grey or beige and it will float. It will take days for things to settle again. I have to abandon high fat high protein foods. Gelatines are excellent now.
    - If I eat too much vegetables, especially raw foods, I will have grinded the walls of the intestines too much. My belly hurts, uptake is compromised and stool is smelly, foul, wet. Will have to wait for the villi to grow again.
    - If I eat things my intestine cannot handle I will know. Boiled egg whites will produce stench (Dutch Oven!). Corn and nuts will come out undigested and identifiable. The same with tomato skins. Other things will outright make me very tired: bacon, processed meats, too much food

    Attached Files:

    Sundancer, Toxed, helen1 and 2 others like this.
  10. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

    conditions under which stool is formed are as important as the ingredients your diet consists of. Aiding the digestive tract deserves as much attention as dietary protocols do.

    Digestion requires so much energy! especially of the tired ME-body.

    I only eat small bits of dense superfoods (egg yokes, butter, broth, gelatine).
    I take acid with my food (HCL)
    I lie down for digestion in the duodenum every day.

    I have more energy now and nutrient uptake has soared.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  11. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

    I've experienced this with many different prebiotics. It means it was working to kill gram negative pathogens in the gut but since our guts are leaky, the cell wall debris ended up outside of the gut where it precipitated an unpleasant immune response. LPS is extremely taxing on the liver and kidneys. When you take a strong prebiotic like wormwood, the immune response can take a few days to build up so you can get a honeymoon period before severe inflammation hits.

    The key is to pulse prebiotics (taking them every day is usually not tolerable for ME/CFS patients) and find a small dose you can tolerate. This can mean a ridiculously tiny dose at first (a few drops of tincture) every few days. Ignore dosing recommendations on supplements. They are not written with ME/CFS population in mind.
    Thomas, maryb, adreno and 1 other person like this.
  12. adreno

    adreno PR activist

    Talking about poo...

    Toxed, Scarecrow, maryb and 3 others like this.
  13. dentalcfs


    Looking at the thread title I was expecting something gross being posted. Unfortunately I was dissapointed.

    I've taken all my stool pictures in the toilet since February, with 35mm lens on an APS-C camera. Started doing it just prior the candida diagnosis.

    And no, candida are microscopic so can't be seen. Mucus can be seen, though.

    Some stuff that could have any meaning:
    - yellowish bean-shaped object which are fat, suggests malabsorption
    - oily fatty mushy stool after taking red meat, worse fat malabsorption, happened couple of times during worst period
    - lots of small bubbles around unformed stool are SIBO
    - floating stool suggests undigested fiber intake, from vegetables. However, if it happens persistently, then it's malabsorption
    - immediately sunken stool means low fiber intake, happens persistently could mean constipation
    - 3-5 seconds prior to sunking stool are the healthy ones

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  14. South

    South Senior Member

    Southeastern United States
    @WoolPippi For how long each time do you lie flat on your back? (how many minutes)?
  15. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

    Brisbane, Australia
    I have exceptionally foul-smelling bowel motions and found that taking clostridium butyricum (CB) significantly improved the odour with that, as well as with passing wind. The 2 healthy adult males in my household also had a major improvement in their bowel odours within a week of starting CB.
    JPV likes this.
  16. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

    I had an orthodontic splint fitted a couple of weeks ago, I have to wear it for 6 months........I can hardly bear to type that:(
    Problem is I can't eat solid food, I am pureeing it all either in my nutribullet or a hand machine for mushing food for babies (yes at least my husband and I can laugh about it)

    So.......I have problems with chronic constipation, each day is a battle of the bowel...
    Some days its suppositories, other days its senna, so I keep going in a stop start way.

    What kind of bowel movement would you think I should have now on this mushed diet?

    I'm obviously missing out the chewing/saliva bit which I know is important but I have no choice.

    Only 5 and 1/2 months to do :)
  17. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

    Northcoast NSW, Australia
    maryb likes this.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page