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"What causes small stools?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat causes small stools?


I'm 22 and I know this is a weird question but what causes you to have really small pices of poop? I feel like I eat a normal diet, and I get some exercise - but I definitely have poop that's like in lots of really small pieces. This just doesn't seem normal to me. Is there something wrong?


The size and shape of stools are occasionally of importance to physicians when trying to diagnose certain bowel diseases. Small pieces of stool is a very non-specific finding and is not associated with any particular illness. The more important question is not the size of the individual pieces of stool but rather the total amount of stool. Stool volume that in total is too small can be a sign of constipation. A very common syndrome associated with small, but sometimes frequent bowel movements known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS for short). Symptoms include abdominal pain and bloating that is relieved by defecation. Sometimes stools can be very small. Some people also report feeling of incomplete evacuation when they are done (a sensation known as tenesmus). If this does not sound like you, then you probably do not have irritable bowel syndrome. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a detailed history and perform a thorough physical exam. You may be found to be constipated and require some stool softeners. Your doctor may also recommend that you include more fiber in your diet to increase your stool volume. Good luck.

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