Strange Stool Shape

Posted , 7 users are following.

Alright, this is fairly embarrassing to discuss but I'm a new member and am in a state of panic until my GI appointment on the 17th.

I just had a bowel mocement, and part of the stool looked like a string of pearls! I'm sorry to be graphic, but it was balls of stool connected by a thin string. I have never seen this before and am beyond worried. Has anyone else experienced this??

I'm a 29 year old female who was diagnosed with IBS by my family doctor when I was 17. In the past 5 years, I was essentially in remission with minimal flare-ups until a couple of months ago when the alternating diarrhea and constipation started. I'm honestly worried out of my mind that this is something worse since I do have a family history of colon cancer (my father was diagnosed with a stage 1 tubular adenoma and cured via a resection when he was 70). 

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  • Posted

    hey kat, don't get panic, you are too young to get colon cancer with your dad having history of tubular adenoma         (there are other type of heredetary colon polyps which may present in adults)....And the stool shape, don't worry i am sure your GI doc, will look in to that and will offer proper tests for that....Just stay positivebiggrin

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  • Posted

    Sounds like mucus which is very common with IBS.  Do not worry!
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  • Posted

    Found this article in Steadyhealth

    Bowel movement that results in something that looks like little balls of feces on a string is a common symptom of constipation and/or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It's a symptom that has been recognized for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese physicians wrote entire books on "string of pearls" diseases. It's a problem that occur whenever someone is:


    Colicky (there are muscle spasms or straining and bowel movement is difficult), and

    Eating the right foods to treat those problems but usually not getting enough water.

    What you need when you are constipated is water and fiber, in that order. Just eating more fiber won't relax your bowels. In fact, insoluble fiber like the fiber in wheat products can make constipation (and acid reflux) worse. 

    Fiber works by absorbing water and making feces lighter and easier to expel. If you get the fiber without the water, you can wind up with little balls of fiber that your bowel has to work hard to expel. Their ends may have trailing fiber that leads to the next plug of stool that you strain to eliminate.

    People who have this symptom often have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), with or without diarrhea. Of course, when someone who has IBS has diarrhea, they won't have stringy poop. In IBS, the gut presses so hard that even "tough" stool gets eliminated, usually with considerable pain. However, when bowel movement is mild enough that it doesn't hurt, this oddity can occur.

    How can you tell whether stringy poop is just an odd phenomenon or a symptom of IBS? If you have irritable bowel syndrome, you will also:

    Tend to have belly bloat, especially after you eat.

    Tend to get constipation that doesn't respond to laxatives.

    Get mild to severe abdominal pain after meals, especially after meals followed by exercise. This pain is usually "all over" the abdomen, not just on one side. It doesn't usually spread outside the abdomen, unless you have gas. Then it can be perceived as chest pain. If you have severe gas, then you may have worse pain on the left side of your abdomen.

    Defecation can be accompanied by profuse sweating and feeling faint.

    In North America, these symptoms are more common among women. In Asia, they are more likely to occur in men. They often start in childhood and stay with a person throughout life, but they don't get treated for decades because people just don't want to talk with their doctors about this sort of thing.

    If you have the "string of pearls poop" and any of these symptoms, your best bet is to let your doctor diagnose and treat you. If that's not possible, then it also usually helps to:

    Avoid laxatives that contain psyllium husks, like Metamucil. Polycarbophil laxatives such as Citrucel and Fibercon cause less gas and less stringy poop.

    Drink at least 2 liters (8 cups) of water every day. You don't need to slosh when you walk, but you have to avoid dehydration.

    Dietary changes may or may not help. Some people benefit from probiotics, but others don't. Some people benefit from avoiding wheat products, but others don't. Some people actually need less fiber, but others need more. You may need to experiment with diet to discover what works. It nearly always helps to eat smaller meals, and, if you have a lot of belly fat, to lose weight to take pressure off your bowel.

    Another remedy that sometimes works wonders is peppermint. Peppermint tea, peppermint candies (such as Altoids), and peppermint remedies can relieve symptoms, including the stringy poop problem. Just don't neglect fiber and fluid.

    I had this experience but just once. I found some good peppermint tea in casa de sante. Try searching and trying that would work for you  

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  • Posted

    I always believe IBS is a huge umbrella that covers a 'multitude of sins!'  We are all so different.  I was told by the gastroenterologist that I was suffering from fructose malabsorbtion as I was eating too much fruit.  She recommended no more than three pieces a day..  As taniiee states sometimes fibre affects some people I find I get constipated when I eat wheat products and some cereals.  Vegetables are better for me.  I also read that we can drink too much water (as taniiee says don't slosh!) that the bowel can only absorb so much.

    Try not to worry as that can make things worse.

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  • Posted


    Please do not worry. I had all these and more (blood and mucus) finally had my colonoscopy and endoscopy together last Saturday. All came clean... 70 age doesnt mean risk for you since not a young age. However best to do a colonoscopy every 5 years to get risk of small polips and in case of early signals. My both uncles had colon cancer be age of 50s.


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