Sticky Poop - Causes, What does it mean?

Sticky Poop – What does it mean?

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Knowing and understanding the characteristics of fecal features explains a lot about overall health, functioning of gastrointestinal tract, as well as severe diseases that could be occurring, for instance; intestinal infections, digestive problems, and colon cancer. Poop comes in different colors and is made up mainly of water, fibre, bacteria, bile and dead cells from the inside of intestinal tract. Generally people find discussing bowel habits embarrassing, but studying these movements can give the right guidance to our wellbeing. A healthy digestive system is a determinant of good health.

Although there are variations in stool colors, textures and forms that are termed as “normal,” on the other hand there are differences that, when experienced, call for immediate medical concern. Therefore it is important to know about what’s not normal.

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Sticky stool can be mainly of two kinds; black tarry stool and greasy floating stool. Tarry stools are a consequence of internal bleeding, and can also occur due to stomach ulcers, while on the other hand greasy stools are a sign of lack of proper absorption, pancreatitis and even food intolerance.

Causes of sticky stool


Bilirubin is produced by the liver and then transported out of it through the bile ducts into the gallbladder. It is stored in the bladder until it is further released into the intestines. As and when the bile and bilirubin passes through the intestines, they are exposed to bacteria present in the intestines. Such bacteria is capable of changing the chemical nature and color of the stool.

Fatty Foods

Consuming too much dietary fat can be a hindrance in storing it which can make the poop sticky and greasy. The daily intake of fats and calories should therefore be very specific. The recommended intake for the average adult should be around 20 to 35 percent of total daily calories. Foods high in fats such as oil and butter are full of bad cholesterol and contains fat that is difficult to convert into energy, on the other hand the amount of calories obtained from fat in foods such as meat, eggs and dairy products contribute towards good cholesterol. Fries such as potato fries, cheese fries and chips should be avoided as much as possible since they contain the maximum amount of bad cholesterol.

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Protein Food

The hydrochloric acid helps break proteins and converts them in the form of amino acids, once it is digested. If the amount of acid in the stomach gets elevated it can cause ulcers in the stomach and probably bleed. This blood gets digested and forms dark, sticky stool. The suggested amount of protein in the diet should at least be one fourth of the daily total calories. A good protein diet should have lean meat (preferably white), egg whites, and milk products in the right amount. Although if exceeded it can cause mild to severe harm to the stomach causing sticky stool.

Food Intolerance

Some people could be allergic or intolerant to certain foods. Such as the ones that consist of gluten or lactose which further contributes to dark and tarry stool. Gluten is a protein most commonly found in barley, wheat and to an extent in rye. Also, these days a lot of packaged foods contain gluten, so one must read the labels cautiously. Lactose is a kind of milk sugar that is found in milk as well as in yogurt and cheese, but in a lesser amount.

Normal stool

In order to understand and identify pathological stool one has to know what normal is. If stool travels from the intestines at a normal speed, its color would most likely be normal brown. Whereas stool traveling at a more rapid speed will result in chemical changes that may turn the color of stool to green. However green stool can only be a sign of a change of the speed with which stool is traveling and not necessarily a sign of disease. On the other hand, if the traveling of bile to the intestines gets interrupted by a tumor in the bile ducts or even pancreatic cancer, the stool becomes clay-colored and is a sign of a critical condition.

Stool (feces) is mostly brown in color. However the change in color could be a sign of concern for a lot of people. Mostly this change in color and consistency has very little meaning; however, some changes, if consistent can be important.

Coping up with sticky stool

It becomes extremely important to deal with such a problem since it is a part of not only the daily routine but the overall well being. One can easily follow the points below to deal with this problem:

1. Increase more fruits and vegetables to your diet.

2. Exercising everyday.

3. Drinking the required amount of water to enhance the functioning of digestive system.

4. Avoiding stressful activities.

5. Carefully eliminating food allergies from the diet.

6. Avoiding overuse of drugs and laxatives.

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Comments (1)

  1. Tasha Weaver

    I am a mother to a two year old little boy. For almost a month my son has been pooping out brown light or dark sticky poop. It has come to a concern that every pamper he wears will come back the same way. I’m irritated because that’s more pampers and wipes to buy but I am very concerned about my little one. I have called around and it seems that no one wants to help me or feeding me information that is a waste of time. Please someone can you help me and my son.

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