ZocdocAnswersWhat causes thin stool?

Question

What causes thin stool?

What causes a person's stool to get really thin? This condition comes and goes for me, so I've never known whether to think of it as a serious problem, but when it gets bad, I'm really debilitated by it entirely because I need to stay close to a toilet.

Answer

There can be several causes of thin stool, or diarrhea. Most of them should be checked out, especially in your case as it seems to be a chronic issue. The most common possibilities include: Irritable bowel syndrome. This is a condition characterized by pain and abdominal cramping that comes and goes and can be associated with both constipation and diarrhea. It tends to be made worse in times of stress. Lactose intolerance. This is caused by inability to digest the lactose sugars found in dairy product. It causes abdominal pain and cramping and loose stools when dairy is ingested in higher quantities. Celiac disease. This is a common condition caused by a reaction to gluten and similar proteins found in wheat and related grains. It can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, joint pain, and skin rashes and it is treated by avoiding gluten containing products. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor as soon as possible is strongly advised.

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