Fecal matter is composed of water and the digestive waste. It comes out smelly because of the many processes that happen in the digestive tract. In some instances, people may observe stool that is smellier than normal, or poop that smells different. These changes may be caused by the presence of a disease or of an autoimmune condition.
Stinky Poop Causes
The normal smell of fecal matter is caused by the following:
- Bacterial Growth. Bacteria found in the large intestines produce compounds that result in the characteristic smell of fecal matter.
- Sulfur Compounds. These can be sourced from sulfur-rich foods (e.g. eggs, broccoli).
- Bile. This gives the yellow/brown color. Although normally green, bile turns yellow as it gets digested in the colon. It also adds to the normal smell of fecal matter.
Sometimes, changes in the way fecal matter smells can be due to pathologic issues. Some of the common pathologic causes of changes in the appearance and smell of fecal matter include:
- Blood in Stool or Melena. This occurs when there is bleeding in the GI tract.
- Steatorrhea. This refers to the presence of greater than normal amounts of fat in the stool. It is often associated with digestive issues as well as with problems with the biliary system.
Other possible causes of changes in the smell of fecal matter include allergic reactions, bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, yeast overgrowth, and digestive dysfunctions.
How to Get Rid of Stinky Poop
Identifying the exact cause of the smell is the key in determining the treatment method. If it is caused by the presence of a disease process, the proper medication may be prescribed. Diet changes may also help to get rid of the excessively foul smell.
Some ways to get rid of stinky poop may include:
- Antimicrobial Medication. This is given to patients who have a bacterial, viral, fungal (yeast) infections of the bowel. Antihilmentic or anti-parasitic medication may also be given to patients with a corresponding problem.
- Dietary Changes. Foods that have a high sulfur-content are likely to cause smellier fecal matter. Some foods to avoid include broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits, etc.
- High-Fiber Diet. This encourages regular bowel movements, which reduces the time that the stool stays in the colon, making it less concentrated.
If changes in the smell and in the composition of fecal matter are observed without any explanation and they last for more than 5 to 7 days, medical attention may become necessary. Patients will need to be able to inform their healthcare provider of the duration and severity of the observed symptoms.