Have you ever looked in the toilet and thought to yourself, “Oh my gosh, what in the world made it look like that?”
I know I have.
And one of the most common reasons for that question is what’s known as stringy poop.
Whether it’s solid, liquid or flat, what makes it fall into the category of stringy is a thin or narrow appearance, unlike normal poop which is usually a couple of inches in diameter.
Now, no one really likes to talk about what their poop looks like, especially face to face with your doctor — or even your bestie.
That’s why you’ve got me! You may have noticed I’m not afraid to talk about anything health related.
And, like it or not, your bowel movements (and what they look like) are a good indicator of your overall health. So, as uncomfortable as the subject is, it’s important to pay attention to poop and understand the signs you see in your toilet bowl… and what they mean.
With that in mind, here are three causes behind that stringy poop you should be aware of…
#1 — Nutrition
Getting enough fiber plays a big role in the health of your gastrointestinal tract. When there’s not enough fiber in your diet, it can lead to constipation that partially blocks the passage of stool. But where there’s a will, there’s a way… and that’s one way you end up with stringy-looking poop. It finds a narrow passage and works its way out.
To prevent constipation and that stringy poop that comes with it, you want to up fiber. The golden number is 25 grams of fiber per day. You can do this by eating more whole grains, almonds, fruits, veggies and lentils.
I also like to add in a daily scoop of powdered greens with an organic fiber blend of inulin, flaxseed fiber and gum acacia to encourage and support digestive and intestinal health and help keep your gut in healthy pH balance.
Beside avoiding stringy poop, not getting enough fiber can lead to health problems, the least of which is not colon cancer. You can thank that stringy poop for letting you know you need to do something about the lack of fiber in your diet.
#2 — Infection
If it’s not a lack of fiber and constipation causing your stringy poop, it’s possible that you could have an intestinal infection, either from a bacteria or a parasite. If this is the case, you’ll need to see your doctor to get the antibiotics or anti-parasitic medications needed to clear it up.
Signs that an infection could be the culprit behind your stringy poop include:
If you have any of these symptoms see your doctor right away.
#3 — IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is another possible cause of stringy poop.
IBS symptoms include cramping, bloating, and alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation.
Unfortunately, it’s not a condition that is very well understood right now, even in the medical community. They’re not really sure what the cause is or how to treat it. So, if it turns out that IBS is causing your stringy poop, the Mayo Clinic advises that you:
Eat more fiber — Like with constipation, increasing your fiber through diet and supplementation can help in cases of IBS.
Exercise — Moving more can stimulate the bowels to help relieve your IBS symptoms
Avoid triggers — Certain foods tend to make IBS worse.
Drink fluids — It’s important to stay hydrated to keep your bowels healthy when you’re suffering from IBS.
All of these can help you better manage your condition and are good ways to improve the health of your bowels whether or not IBS is suspected.
What should your poop look like?
While stringy poop usually isn’t typically a sign of a serious condition, it’s a good idea to get checked if it goes on for a week or more, especially if you’ve worked hard to give your colon the proper TLC, including fiber, that it needs.
But what should a healthy bowel movement look like?
It should be medium to dark brown, soft to firm in texture (but not hard and painful to pass) and should consistently look the same from day to day.
What? You’re not going every day? My friend, that in itself is a scream for help from your colon.
But don’t stress as that can make it all worse. Make it easy, like I do, and take a colon health supplement for healthier digestion and elimination, naturally. You’ll feel better about what you see in the commode too!