Typically these loose stools are associated with abdominal pain that improves with bowel movements, diarrhea urgency, and, at its worst, bathroom accidents fecal incontinence.
With these symptoms, knowing how to make your stool firmer and avoiding loose stools can improve your quality of life. The advice here is only for those with a diagnosis of IBS.
There are many health conditions that can cause loose stools, such as bile acid diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. In a nutshell, the food that we eat is first broken down in our stomachs, then sent to our small intestines, where nutrients are absorbed. As of now, it is not known exactly why people with IBS experience a change in the speed and appearance of their bowel movements. What is known is that loose stools are the result of either bowel movements that are too fast, intestines that are secreting too much liquid, or food components who trigger a process of osmosis drawing too much water into the stool.
As you work with your doctor to devise a management plan for your IBS symptoms, there are some self-care tweaks that you can try. The following foods have a reputation for softening stool. Since none of them are essential for health, feel free to delete them from your diet. However, they also contain fructose and our bodies have a limited ability to absorb too much fructose at the same time. Too much fruit, too soon, means that excess fructose makes its way into the large intestine where it can draw excessive water into itself contributing to the looseness of your stools.
Magnesium has a well-established reputation for acting as a laxative. Be careful that you are not taking in higher amounts of stool-loosening magnesium from an over-the-counter product without knowing. The following may include magnesium so read labels carefully:. Probiotics are bacterial strains that are thought to be beneficial to our digestive tracts.
There is evidence that they promote a more favorable balance of your gut bacteria. You can increase your intake of probiotics through probiotic supplement formulations. You may also find eating a diet rich in fiberfruits, and vegetables, as well as fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, and kombucha can help you avoid purchasing expensive over-the-counter probiotic formulations. Stress has long been known to speed up intestinal movement due to the body's natural stress response.
Whenever possible, try to reduce the amount of stress in your life by avoiding demanding situations or individuals. When this is not possible, be sure to engage in activities that offset the effect that stress has on your body. Here are a few to consider:. If you haven't been diagnosed with IBSthere can be many other causes of loose stools. As you try to figure out what might be going wrong, and to make sure that you give your doctor information that will be helpful for a correct diagnosis, ask yourself the following questions:.
There are a wide variety of health conditions that have loose stools as a symptom. Below you will find some of the more common diseases and disorders that your doctor will be considering as they try to figure out why you are experiencing a change in your bowel habits.
Although the following conditions are very different in terms of causation, they share the symptom of loose stools:. As you can see, the causes of loose stool can range from a mild reaction to the food eaten to a more serious acute or chronic illness. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms alongside your loose stools, it is imperative that you contact a medical professional immediately:. It can be challenging to live with chronic diarrhea.Watery or excessive stool may be a sign of a condition that needs to be diagnosed by a medical doctor.
Diarrhea and loose stools may be a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome, a food allergy or food intolerance. There are certain foods you can eat that will help you get more-solid stools. Only implement dietary changes under the direction of your doctor, and do not attempt to self-diagnose your condition.Controlling Bowel Incontinence
Firm-stool diets are designed to treat loose stools or diarrhea. Diarrhea is a symptom and is not a medical condition. Excessive diarrhea can lead to dehydration and malnourishment.
If you develop symptoms, such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, extreme thirst or dry skin, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse recommends that you call your doctor. Loose stools may be the result of eating too much fiber, fat or spicy foods. According to FamilyDoctor. There are four primary foods that are considered binding: applesauce, bananas, toast and rice. They are low in fiber, help to congeal the stool and are easy on your digestive system.
These foods need to be consumed plain, without any added butter, condiments or dressing. You can also eat boiled carrots, potatoes, crackers, skinless chicken and yogurt. Some foods can irritate the lining of your intestines, causing your stools to pass too quickly, resulting in loose stool or diarrhea.
When attempting to firm your stool, you need to avoid foods that are high in fat or highly seasoned, dairy products, high-fiber foods and greasy foods. You should also avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Probiotics are primarily found in yogurt, but you can purchase them over the counter in supplement form.
Good bacteria that are found naturally in your gut, probiotics help to maintain proper digestion. During sickness or if you have a digestive disorder, the amount of good bacteria can become depleted. Talk with your doctor before taking any supplement. Increase your liquid intake with clear, non-carbonated beverages. Excessive loose stools can lead to dehydration, causing diarrhea to worsen.
Drink fruit juices, sports beverages, herbal tea, chicken broth and water to keep your body hydrated. Diane Marks. Diane Marks started her writing career in and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years.
She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Bananas are highly recommended for binding in the digestive system. Avoid foods and beverages high in caffeine such as coffee.
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To reduce the risk of spreading COVID infections, it is best to call your doctor before leaving the house if you are experiencing a high fever, shortness of breath or another, more serious symptom. Share this article.In this post, we expand those lists.
Perhaps most important in respect to regularity is that last factor — restoring and maintaining healthy intestinal flora. In fact, everything you ingest impacts your gut. In fact, any bland, low-fat, low-fiber diet is likely to help alleviate diarrhea. Yes, we said fluffy! You may also be advised to take a fiber supplement, such as psyllium, the main ingredient in Citrucel and Metamucil.
Following are lists of foods high in fiber, often with a high water content, which can also help with constipation. These foods deserve some special attention. Probiotic foods contain live cultures of bacteria and yeasts that are gut-friendly. The following foods contain probiotics:.
Consider it fertilizer for your gut flora. The following foods are considered good prebiotics:. You can also take supplements to help restore and maintain healthy intestinal flora. It contains all natural ingredients and organic herbs and is suitable for both raw and vegan diets. Post a comment here to share your solution. You might just put another person on the road to health and happiness. Disclaimer : This blog post on foods that bind vs.
The words and other content provided in this post, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, consult with an appropriately licensed physician or other health care professional immediately and do not rely on the information presented in this post. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog post or in any linked materials.At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date.
Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data. The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider.
Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made. There are many reasons why one can experience loose stools. Diarrhea is the common term for soft, watery and frequent stool, and becomes chronic if it persists for more than four weeks 1 2. Most treatment for loose stool should be tailored to the specific cause, which can sometimes be ascertained by the nature of the stool itself.
Chronic diarrhea can be a symptom of a more serious condition and should be checked by a medical professional 1 2. Identify cause of loose stool if possible. Ideal human stool is similar in color to cardboard and has the consistency of toothpaste. If stool is soft and floats, sticks to the side of the bowl or is difficult to flush, it is likely the result of excess levels of fat your diet.
Stress and poor diet can also lead to loose stool that is softer than normal. Stool that is completely watery can be caused by a variety of conditions ranging from food poisoning to colitis. Avoid risky foods. If you're experiencing loose stools, avoid the types of foods you might eat if you were constipated. This means stay away from coffee, raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, oleic fat, and greasy fried foods.
Also don't drink milk, caffeine, alcohol or prune juice. Eat absorbing, calming food. Rice or dry toast can help firm up loose stool by absorbing excess water in the digestive tract. Bananas can help calm an overactive stomach. Use probiotics. Consuming cultures of good bacteria, like the kinds contained in some yogurts and supplements, can help return your digestion to normal and firm up loose stool. Take medication carefully. Over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication like Immodium or Pepto Bismol can firm up stool and reduce frequency 2.
But, these should not be relied upon for extended periods of time or in the event of food poisoning. Diarrhea is a natural defense against food poisoning and treating it instead of the underlying cause can lead to complications 2. Increasing your total consumption of dietary fiber is sometimes recommended for firming up stool. The idea is that increasing the solid bulk in the intestine will produce firmer stools.
There was a problem adding your email Try again. All rights reserved. Do not copy or redistribute in any form! Subscribe To Bowel Disorders. Yes you can do this yourself. Firstly go easy on the Alcohol. If you look up Fibre Rich Foods you will see what you should include in your diet. Fibre is what will bulk up loose stools. You may have to adjust the amount as it can have the opposite effect, but it does work.
Good Luck. I agree you need to eat foods that absorb fluids the soluble Fiber type -- like psyllium seed husk. Insoluble Fiber produces thinner and paste stools. And of course alcohol should be reduced as Solofelix said-- Your transit time is too short making your stools too pasty. I have the same problem and take Fiber ervery day. The bottle does not mention if it is insoluble or soluble fiber.
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The Ultimate List of Foods that Bind vs. Those Foods that Loosen Stools
I actually suffered from very watery stool before I took the Fiber, it helps, but my stool is still way to soft.It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community.
Really no big deal but he always has issues wiping his butt. Due to the soft stools he wipes and wipes and wipes and still cannot get clean. Can we firm up his stools so when he is done going hopefully his butt will be fairly clean.
How about getting him some of those flushable wipes? Does he drink too much juice or eat too much fruit? So I still keep a package of flushable wipes on the back of the stool and use those.
They also make individual packets, which I keep in my purse or pocket, when we're out of town or out and about with DS 'cuz toilet paper in public restrooms is the worst -- too thin. Re: how to firm up stools. Thank you.
I know the question was not written in a politically appropiate way however it was written in the simplist terms. Thank you for the advice.If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or immediately. Doctors Lounge www. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use ' carefully before using this site.
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What to Do About Loose Stools From IBS
Alright, my last post was an apparent dud, so let me try another approach. I think one factor contributing to my frequent and urgent bowel movements is the consistency of my stool. When it's soft or wet or loose, urgency and frequency increase. When it's firm and hard and dry, the urgency and frequency decrease. What can I do to get firm and hard and dry stools? Lifestyle changes? Suggestions wanted, Jordan. Tamer Fouad - Sat Aug 28, pm.
Hello, I think your problem is not in making your stools firm but the fact that you have frequencyurgency and soft stools points possibly to infective diarrhea. I think the best thing is to get a stool analysis. Thank you, Dr. Fouad, for responding. I've had a stool analysis done twice, both times for parasites now it could've been for more than just parasites, but my doctors didn't mention anything else. Results: negative. Is there some stool analysis I can run besides the one that checks for parasites?
Tamer Fouad - Sun Aug 29, pm. A standard stool analysis would also check for white blood cells and pus cells bacterial infection and blood cells that result from bleeding. They will also show if there are high levels of fat in the stools indicating malabsorption. Check to see if your analysis reports these issues. Did you get a blood picture done recently? It's been a long time, but I thought I'd update. I had all the tests that Dr Fouad suggested before he suggested them, and all of them came back negative.
I was discouraged that he recommended what I'd already tried, and sort of quick while I was ahead. Not long after my post to this forum, I read up on how vegetarians sometimes lack omega 3 fatty acids in their diets.
I'm a vegetarian, so I figured I should remedy that. I was told flaxseed would had high percentage of omega 3, so I bought flax seeds, ground them up, and added several table spoons of it to each meal.