Why Does Poop Smell

It is normal for poop to smell. As your diet changes, you should expect the odor to also change. However, you should be worried when your poop has an unusual and extremely bad odor. The reason is that it may be as a result of certain health conditions which you might or might not be aware of.

Causes of Bad-smelling Poop

Celiac Disease

This the health condition where the lining of the small intestine has been damaged, thus preventing it from doing the absorption of the parts of food which are important for a healthy life. Eating gluten, found in barley, wheat, rye, and oats, is one of the causes of the damage

Crohn’s disease

This is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) where the intestines are affected, but may as well be experienced anywhere from the mouth to the end of the anus (rectum). Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder when the immune system of the body mistakenly is attacking and destroying the healthy tissues of the body. The disease is a chronic and ongoing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Cystic Fibrosis

This disease is hereditary, and it is a condition where sticky and thick mucus builds up in places like the lungs, the digestive tract. It is a life-threatening disorder affecting both children and young adults, as the mucus also builds up in the pancreas, an important organ which helps in breaking down and absorbing food. Therefore, the poop of the sufferer smells more than usual.


This is a condition where the body is not able to absorb nutrients from food, and that buildup of food leads to bad-smelling poop. Some of the causes of this disease include:

-          Biliary atresia

-          AIDS and HIV

-          Celiac disease

-          Certain types of cancer (pancreatic cancer, lymphoma and gastrinomas)

-          Certain medications (like cholestyramine, some antacids, tetracycline, acarbose, colchicine, phenytoin and certain drugs used in treating obesity)

-          Certain types of surgery (such as gastrectomy with gastrojejunostomy, partial or complete removal of the ileum, and surgical treatments for obesity)

-          Chronic liver disease

-          Cholestasis

-          Cow’s milk protein intolerance

-          Damage from radiation treatments

-          Crohn’s disease

-          Parasite infection

-          Whipple’s disease

-          Soy milk protein intolerance

Short bowel syndrome

This also causes a bad-smelling poop, as it is a condition in which the body does not absorb nutrients properly. This happens when a large part of the small intestine has been removed during surgery or as a result of birth defect (congenital defect).

How the Smell of Your Poop Can be Improved

The smell of poop is usually related to digestive health. Therefore, you should let your life contain the following to improve the smell:

-          Phenolic compounds – bioactive compound which destroy harmful bacteria through the powerful antioxidant properties

-          Prebiotics – natural occurring fibers that stimulate and strengthen the growth of good bacteria.

-          Soluble fiber – this speeds up bowels movements, thus preventing hard, dry smelly poop.

Stress should also be taken care of if you want to improve the health of your digestive system. A good system makes waste matter to move easily through the digestive tract, making the colon to be free of bad bacteria.

Oct 26th, 2012 | Posted in poop

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