stinkier poop
August 1, 2004 11:14 AM   Subscribe

My poop stinks more than it used to. What does this mean?
posted by swift to Health & Fitness (23 answers total)
Any major dietary changes? I noticed the same thing when I went back to eating meat.
posted by ferociouskitty at 11:19 AM on August 1, 2004

Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. What does your diet entail?
posted by pissfactory at 11:20 AM on August 1, 2004

Response by poster: My diet is pretty random.

Pasta a couple of times a week, meat 3-4 times a week, vegetables almost every day. I don't drink very much, or take any medicine. I rarely eat fruit. I drink water for refreshment and sometimes milk at dinner. If my diet has changed, it certainly hasn't been intentional.

I've also put on about 10 pounds in the last year or so. I quit smoking.
posted by swift at 11:27 AM on August 1, 2004


Yes. Feces will vary in smell depending on the type of foods and drinks that you consume. Generally speaking, feces will smell worse if you consume foods or liquids with many artificial flavors or chemicals in them. The bad smell of feces will usually be reduced by eating more natural foods that do not contain any artificial flavors or chemicals. Remember, however, that these are general guidelines that vary from person. The only way to know for sure is to monitor the smell of feces depending on the types of foods in the diet and to see if the smell changes when certain foods are removed or added.

Also some useful info on wikipedia:feces

And perhaps ferociouskitty has a point as well, eat less meat and see if it improves.
posted by milovoo at 11:29 AM on August 1, 2004

more red meat?
posted by Hackworth at 11:29 AM on August 1, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the great feces links, milovoo.
posted by swift at 11:42 AM on August 1, 2004

hahaha! this is teh funny! imagine your own poop actually stinking!
posted by quonsar at 11:48 AM on August 1, 2004

Medication can affect the smell.
posted by dobbs at 11:52 AM on August 1, 2004

Teh quonsar smells! Imagine that!
posted by jmd82 at 11:57 AM on August 1, 2004

Go to the vitamin shoppe and get fibersol powder. 12 g of fiber per serving.

Just keep stiring the concoction while you're drinking it. It gels up pretty easy.
posted by adampsyche at 11:57 AM on August 1, 2004

what a tagline:

"AskMeFi -- Thanks for the great feces links"
posted by matteo at 12:04 PM on August 1, 2004

Response by poster: Anyone ever used a colon cleanser?
posted by swift at 12:06 PM on August 1, 2004

If you quit smoking, quite possibly your sense of smell has improved - so you're just noticing at last.

However, how long did this take? And how old are you? Because unexplained changes in your bowel habits are a very good reason to see a doctor. Possible explanations range from parasitic infections to colon cancer.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:32 PM on August 1, 2004

Response by poster: I've been noticing it over the course of a few months, roughly coinciding with the time I quit smoking (for the second time in 2 years). I'm not sure which came first. I don't recall noticing such strong odors the first time I quit smoking.

I'm 31. My metabolism has been changing. I've always been a pretty skinny guy but now I have a bit of a gut. In the last 3 years I've gained 25-30 pounds. Probably part of this is from being involved in a steady live-in relationship, quitting smoking, and just being older. Maybe this is totally unrelated to my question. I don't know.

It's not a big deal, you don't have to wait 20 minutes to use the toilet after me or anything, it's just something I've noticed that wasn't there before. Then again, maybe it's worth visiting a doctor over.

If only I had insurance. Rah rah USA.
posted by swift at 12:52 PM on August 1, 2004

When I quit smoking last time, I used Jolly Rancher Fire Candy as a cigarette substitute, for about a week. HAHAHA. Apparently large amounts of cinimon can have a nasty effect.
posted by Goofyy at 12:55 PM on August 1, 2004

poo poo should stink. that's how we know not to re-eat it. move on- nothing to see (smell) here!
posted by pissfactory at 1:15 PM on August 1, 2004

If you're living with someone, your diet's probably changed — I know mine is different from what it was when I was living alone. There's a different collection of stuff in the fridge; meals we eat together aren't necessarily what we'd eat apart; etc., etc.
posted by hattifattener at 1:36 PM on August 1, 2004

Just wanted to ask about any colour/consistency changes too. Uhm, regularity? It could be a bunch of environmental changes (see above), but looser and/or shifting towards the yellowey-orangey end of the poop spectrum *could* be a bowel infection. How's the pee, too? It shouldn't be too dark.

Nicotine is a relaxant; maybe quitting it means stuff gets lodged in there longer. If so a nice strong cup of coffee first thing in the morning could help stimulate peristalsis.
posted by carter at 3:10 PM on August 1, 2004

I don't recall noticing such strong odors the first time I quit smoking.

maybe that's because your olfactory ability is back to normal. and back when you smoked the poop stank just like it does now but you just couldn't smell it?
posted by matteo at 3:18 PM on August 1, 2004

Response by poster: I don't think it's olfactory. The first time I quit smoking, which was a couple years ago, I remember discovering a whole world of new smells and tastes, but no change in the bathroom. It's possible, though.

Pee hasn't been weird or dark, and hasn't had much of an odor.

I'm pretty regular, also. I think I go almost every morning, and sometimes once again during the day.

Color has been on the lighter side of the spectrum, sometimes more orange than brown. Consistency? Um, sort of on the soft side. Not that I poke it with a stick or anything.

Feel free to file this under "more than I needed to know."
posted by swift at 3:38 PM on August 1, 2004

A nice, natural, vegetarian diet may be better for you, but it doesn't necessarily make your poop smell great. Smelly poop is normal and natural. The smell has a lot to do with the bacteria in your gut. Changes in your health and diet can affect the type, quantity, and metabolism of those bacteria, which can cause stinky shits and farts, or relatively harmless ones. I don't know of the magical dietary formula (nor do I think it really exists). But don't believe anyone who tells you that you just have to eat healthier. It's not that simple.
posted by scarabic at 7:26 PM on August 1, 2004

Best answer: swift, first off, I'm not a doctor. If you're worried (rather than curious) go and see one. I can't make a call either way from what you've said; you're not perfect, but not obviously ill.

Colour and consistency are not perfect, but then again are not necessarily signs of infection either. Other signs of an infection might things like an upsurge in gurgling noises etc. soon after eating, and the feeling of stuff squirting through. Also bad smelling gas emitting from either end (it's normal to burp/fart but excessive pongy production is not normal). On the other hand you say you're regular; which argues that you're probably okay; in my experience infections almost usually include having to go quite urgently when you don't expect it ...

I'd be loathe to get you to invest in a poop test if you don't have the money; on the other hand, if you're worried, and not just curious, for peace of mind, you might want to consider it. Don't know too much about tests or how much they cost, but you'd probably need a walk-up place where you can just bring the sample; otherwise you'd need to get a referral I think. I've been in the US for a few years and in the beginning had limited coverage and no dental, and just bit the financial bullet and paid when things went wrong. I've no regrets from that.

[I'm only going into this because during years of travelling Asia I've had giardia, amoebas/dysentery, jaundice, and various undiagnosed tummy nasties. But if it's just smell and no other serious symptoms, you sound like you're probably okay. HTH!]
posted by carter at 7:36 PM on August 1, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks. I'm less worried than I was.

posted by swift at 7:56 PM on August 1, 2004

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