The appearance and nature of the fecal matter you pass out can be used to learn the overall health of your body. Additionally, it may be used to understand the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract or determine the infections and diseases affecting the system, such as colon cancer and digestive complications. Basically, fecal matter is comprised of dead cells from the digestive system, bacteria, bile, waste products from the system and fiber. Due to various factors, the fecal matter comes out in varying consistency, color, sizes and shapes. As such, certain characteristics of the stool may be used as signs of a certain condition. So, what are the causes and how to deal with it?
What Are the Causes of Sticky Poop?
Bilirubin is secreted by the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. It is then passed to the intestines, along with bile, where they are acted upon by bacteria. This changes the chemical composition as well as the color of the stool.
If more than the required amount of fats is consumed, the excess fats, especially bad cholesterol, will be passed out along with the fecal matter. The recommended amount of fat intake per day is between 20%-35% of the total calories taken in a day. Some of the foods that contain good cholesterol include eggs, meat and dairy products. Taking other foods that are high in fats, such as cheese fries, potato fries and chips will introduce more fat than is required in the body. The excess fats will be passed along with the stool, hence making it sticky.
After consuming proteins, they are acted upon by enzymes and hydrochloric acid to form amino acids. If the level of hydrochloric acid remains high after the food has been digested, it may corrode stomach walls, causing ulcers. When these ulcers bleed, the blood is digested to form a dark and sticky poop. Some of the healthy protein sources that will lead to a healthy poo include lean meat, milk products and egg whites.
Some people are intolerant or even allergic to certain foods, such as gluten, found in wheat, rye and barley or lactose. Gluten may also found in a number of packaged foods. Lactose, on the other hand, is a milk sugar, commonly found in milk and milk products, such as cheese and yogurt. Intolerance to both lactose and gluten will lead to a sticky stool.
Bleeding in the Digestive System
If bleeding occurs in the stomach or the upper part of the intestines, the blood will be acted upon by the various digestive enzymes. This will lead to poop becoming dark and sticky which has a foul smell. This type of stool is referred to as the black, tarry stool or melena.
How to Deal With Sticky Poop
It is important that you deal with this problem as soon as you notice it, because it may be a sign of an underlying condition. The following points can help you deal with this condition.
Increase intake of fruits and vegetables
Drinking more water per day to enhance the digestion process
Exercise on a daily basis
Avoid overdosing laxatives and drugs
Steer away from stressful situations
Avoid the foods you are allergic to
To prevent and heal this condition, it is imperative that you make certain changes in your lifestyle. Some of the ways in which you may cure or prevent this condition are:
Include more plant material containing resistant starch and soluble fiber as well as plenty of fluids in your diet. This will enhance the growth of good bacteria, hence preventing the growth of bad bacteria in the colon as well as promote the formation of healthy poo.
Evacuate the stool properly. Using the squatting posture when passing stool will make the process easy and allow you to use minimal strain to pass the stool. Having to strain the body while passing stool will make the body suffer from the exerted pressure and should be avoided.
Other Poop Facts You Should Know
Healthy Poo and Transit Time
The perfect poo should be the size of a banana, neither too soft nor too hard. The color should be between mission brown and burnished bronze. The frequency of passing stool will vary from one person to the other. However, the normal frequency is from three times a day to three times a week. The majority of people are comfortable with a frequency of two times a day.
Undigested Food in the Stool
Traces of undigested food particles in the stool should be a point of concern as it might indicate that you did not chew the food properly or the digestive system is not functioning properly. However, there are certain foods that should not worry you if they are undigested, such as tomato skin and the kernel of corn. Such foods are difficult to digest. Chewing your food thoroughly before swallowing can greatly improve the condition.
This is a stool that is similar to that of a goat or sheep. This implies that you are applying too much stress on the bowel. To solve the problem, you should learn how to breathe deeply into the belly in a bid to relax the bowel wall muscles. To aid in relaxing the muscles, you may also take magnesium supplements every day. You may also use certain herbs, like the zizyphus, St John’s wort and passionflower to solve the issue.
Floating and Sinking Stool
Apart from sticky poop, you may also have floating or sinking poop. But it is better to have a stool that floats in water than one that sinks. A floating stool is an indicator that you are having too much fiber. Bacteria act on this fiber producing gas, which makes the fecal matter float. If your fecal matter sinks in water, it is advisable to change your diet and include more whole grains, such as brown rice and rolled oats, fruits and vegetables and legumes, like baked beans, lentils and chickpeas.
Traces of Mucus on Fecal Matter
Availability of traces of mucus on your poo may be an indicator of an inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the bowel. The inflammation may be a result of an infection, such as the ulcerative colitis or sensitivity to gluten. To reduce this inflammation, you may use a gentle demulcent fiber. If this condition persists, you should seek medical attention.
Gray or Clay-Colored Stool
If the feces contain small amounts or no bile, it may be a sign of the biliary obstruction disease. This condition prevents the flow of bile to the intestines. This change in color of stool to gray happens gradually. This is because the condition happens slowly.
The green appearance of stool may appear because it passes through the intestines rapidly. This rapid movement of the stool does not allow enough time for bilirubin to transform chemically, hence the green appearance.