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Reasons behind foul-smelling poop


Poop are expected to smell as they are waste from the body. However, extreme smelling poop may not be normal. Many times people’s poop are foul-smelling because of the type of food they eat. The odour of your feces can vary for several reasons, often tied to your diet, lifestyle, and overall health, such as colon health.

However, experts believe that if one’s poop routinely smells bad, such a person may be having an imbalance in his or her microbiome or a disease like inflammatory bowel disease.

Sometimes foul-smelling stool may not require any treatment. Nonetheless, when this happens with other symptoms such as runny stool, nausea, vomiting and/or stomach pain, you have to seek medical advice.

Here are some reasons why your poop might have an unpleasant smell:


The foods you consume play a significant role in the aroma of your feces. Certain foods, like garlic, onions, and spicy dishes, contain sulfur compounds that can lead to foul-smelling gases. High-protein diets may also result in strong-smelling waste.

Besides, eating food that does not agree with your system such as dairy if you are lactose intolerant can lead to foul-smelling poo.

However, according to Shria Kumar, a medical doctor, “Just because your stool smells really bad after eating particular foods does not mean you have to cut those foods.

As long as you’re not having other symptoms with it, foul smelling stools on their own are not a problem.”

Bacterial Activity:

Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that aid in digestion. Some bacteria produce gases and metabolites during the digestion process, contributing to the odour.

Gastrointestinal infections (GI) have many causes such as bacteria, viruses and parasites, among others. If the reason for the smell is infections, there will usually be other symptoms that follow it, such as diarrhea or abdominal pain.

Read also: What the colour of your poop says about your health

In this case, you need to see your doctor, who will do tests to identify what caused the infection.

If it is a bacterial infection, the medical staff will likely prescribe antibiotics. If it is parasites, they may prescribe an anti-parasitic medication. But if it is viral, there is nothing to cure such illness. Treatment will basically focus on staying hydrated and resting.

Imbalances in gut flora, caused by factors such as antibiotics or illnesses, can also affect the smell.


Dehydration can lead to concentrated waste, which tends to be more pungent. Staying well-hydrated especially during scorching hot weather helps maintain healthy bowel movements and less odorous stools.

Medical Conditions:

Certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, or infections, can cause changes in stool odor. Gastrointestinal infections, for instance, may lead to particularly foul-smelling feces.

Antibiotics can change the balance of your gut microbiome. This can cause changes in the odour of your stool and its consistency.

Nevertheless, the side-effects of antibiotics are usually temporary. They either stop after you completed your medication or within four weeks. Hence, it should not be a cause of concern.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

Some symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease are foul-smelling poo, fever, fatigue,and weight loss, among others.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an inflammation of the digestive tract. Basically, there are two types of IBD; crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

These are caused by several factors, including genetics. If you have parents or family ancestry with IBD, you have a higher risk of developing it as well, according to research.

Lifestyle plays a role too in this, for instance, people that smoke are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease.

Celiac Disease:

Some symptoms of celiac disease are fatigue, nausea, stomach bloating, chronic diarrhea, and oily, foul-smelling poo, among others.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract. In people with celiac disease, eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley triggers the immune system to respond. The inflammation damages the lining of the small intestine.