Sticky Poop Causes And Treatment

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It is important that we all keep an eye on what goes in and out of our body. When it comes to our stool, it is crucial we are all on the same page when knowing what is healthy stool and what is unhealthy stool.

Depending on your diet and general lifestyle and health, your stool’s consistency may be different day by day. Sticky poop or poop that you’ve noticed stays on the toilet bowl can be due to various things. 

We’re going to examine what the potential causes for sticky poop are and if there are any ways to treat it. 

Causes Of Sticky Poop

The consistency and overall quality of your stool is normally your body’s response to your diet. If you are fond of a high fat diet, you’ll likely notice your poop is sticking to the toilet. 

This is because of the excess fat in the stool. Anything that your body does not absorb potentially ends up in your poop – and then stuck to the bowl! 

This can be temporary due to your dietary choices. If this is the case, simply changing your diet and consuming less fat should help get your poop back to normal and prevent a poop covered toilet bowl.

However, it could be a sign of something more serious – especially if this is regular.

Blood in the stool from conditions like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or stomach ulcers can be a cause of sticky stool.  Blood can bind fluid in the digestive system creating a heavier and more tarry stool. 

Another cause can be an intolerance of gluten or Celiac disease. Gluten is a produced protein found in grained foods such as wheat.  Those who cannot process gluten properly can have sticky poop. 

Speaking of intolerance, those who are lactose intolerant – a naturally produced sugar normally found in dairy products – can also produce stickier bowel movements. 

Can I Treat Sticky Stool?

Generally there are easy ways to treat sticky bowel movements from the comfort of your home.

There are plenty of home remedies and drug store over the counter medications you can try. Let’s take a look. 

Over The Counter Medications 

It’s important to get your gut’s balance back to normal and help the enzymes of your digestive system break down foods correctly. 

One way to do this is by using digestive enzyme supplements which can be found in many health stores or drug stores. After some use, they should help you regulate your digestion again. 

Probiotics can be a good choice too. Probiotics promote your gut’s health by introducing good bacteria.

You can buy probiotic supplements or you can look for foods such as yogurt that contain live probiotics.

Be aware though that not all yogurts have this effect and some can be extremely high in fat or sugar – which can potentially exacerbate your symptoms! 

If your sticky stool occurs with diarrhea, you could benefit from Pepto-bismol or Imodium but you should first know what has caused your diarrhea.

Check with your doctor if you have chronic diarrhea or notice red, maroon or black stool, as further testing may be needed.  

Home Remedies To Try 

Improving your overall health is probably the best thing to do to help develop and assist your guts if there’s nothing serious to treat. Regular exercise is the first step.

Depending on your age will determine what sort of exercise program is recommended. Speak with your doctor before you decide to dramatically increase your fitness regime. 

Younger people should be looking for at least 30 minutes of exercise day, which will alter as you age. Much older people will still benefit from basic fitness, such as walking in the park, water aerobics, or simple yoga. 

Water intake is also crucial. We should be drinking around 8 glasses of water a day, which can improve alertness, kidney and liver function and digestive health.

However, this will differ from person to person – please seek guidance before making any drastic changes to your diet and fluid intake. 

Dietary Changes – What To Eat And Skip 

Along with exercise and water, it is important to know what foods are good for a healthy poop and what foods can make it stickier. 

Good Food For Your Bowel Movements

  • Carrots 
  • Potatoes (baked/sweet)
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus 
  • Beans  

Foods To Stay Away From 

  • High fat foods (fried foods, fatty cuts of meat, potato chips) 
  • Wheat grains (for gluten intolerance) 
  • Dairy (for lactose intolerance) 

When To Seek Medical Advice 

You should always seek medical advice for anything you’re concerned about, particularly if you’ve noticed something new and consistent.

You should also seek medical advice if you’re planning to adjust your diet and fitness routine that differs from your normal behavior. 

Doctors will be able to give you expert advice regarding the best steps to a new, healthy diet and fitness plan.

If you’ve noticed blood in your stool or a sudden change in your bowel movements, you’ll need to see a doctor immediately. 

You’ll also need to seek medical advice if you’ve been experiencing abdominal cramps, bloating, vomiting or unexplained weight loss. 

What To Take Away 

Sticky bowel movements can be really annoying and sometimes concerning. Generally, with basic dietary and lifestyle changes – you can get your stool back to its normal consistency.

Sometimes it can be a response to something far more serious. Although it isn’t exactly a fun pastime – you need to keep a close eye on your stool. 

Always speak with your doctor about any concerns you may have. Identifying a problem early is always better than leaving it to get worse!

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Written and Medically Reviewed By

  • Sheila Jennings

    Sheila Jennings is a 4th-year medical student and also freelances as a content writer on gut health, nutrition, and food. She lives with IBS and has learned how to keep her symptoms at bay through a healthy diet and exercise. She wants to educate others on what they can do to take back control of their gut health and live like they used to.

  • Julie Guider, M.D.

    Dr. Julie Guider earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia. She completed her general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy fellowships at University of Texas-Houston. She is a member of several national GI societies including the AGA, ACG, and ASGE as well as state and local medical societies.