Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Significance of Passing Out Stools

The body removes the solid waste from the body through a process called as defecation. It is essential to remove unwanted substances and toxins from the body so that the body can maintain its wellbeing. The main toxic compound in the stool is bilirubin and it is necessary to remove it from the body, along with the bunch of other toxic compounds produced in the body. Bilirubin is the compound that gives the characteristic brown color to the stool.

Due to the interruption in the bowel movement, if the toxins are not removed from the body, it can lead to build up of toxin levels in the body and may result in death of the subject. The unhealthy bowel activity can cause abdominal bloating, headache, weight, tiredness, puffy body, weight gain or flatulence.

What is the Threshold Limit for Labeling a Bowel Frequency as Excessive Stools?

There is no specific amount which tells us that exceeding it would be considered as excessive stools. It varies from person to person. If the frequency of stools is greater than the person's normal routine, then it is considered as excessive stools. The change in frequency of bowel movement and passing out can be due to an underlying disease for which changes in the stool frequency is a symptom of it.

9 Reasons for Passing Out Excessive Stools & Its Treatment

9 Reasons for Passing Out Excessive Stools & Its Treatment

There are many causes that can increase the frequency of stools that a person passes in a day. Following are some of the reasons that can end up in increasing the stool frequency of a person on daily basis:-

#1. Dietary Habits

The changes in the diet of a person can affect the frequency of bowel greatly. Increase in the intake of dietary fiber increases the frequency of stools. When a person eats more whole grains, fruits and vegetable, the bulk of the stool increases as the plants residues don't get digested in the human digestive tract and are passed out in stool as it is. It is obvious that when there is an increased intake of food there will be an increased output of the waste products as well. The amount of fiber taken should be monitored as sudden increase in the intake quantity shall lead to increase in the frequency to up to 4 to 5 times a day.

Treatment

Eating fibrous food only becomes a problem when a person starts taking a lot of fiber suddenly and the body cannot cope up with it and thus results in excessive stool. The fiber intake needs to be gradually increased so that metabolic system can accommodate the fibrous food efficiently.

#2. Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a problem in which a person is unable to digest milk and dairy products. The natural sugar present in the dairy product is lactose. A person suffering from the lactose intolerance may experience an increase in the stool frequency, excessive stools, flatulence and bloating. It usually starts 30 minutes to 2 hours after the intake of products that contain lactose. Lactose intolerance can also lead to vitamin D and calcium deficiency.

The undigested lactose present in the large intestine gets attacked by bacteria which lead to flatulence and excessive stools. Celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease can also lead to a decrease in lactose levels.

Treatment

There is currently no treatment for this problem. The only way to escape from getting in trouble of excessive stools due to lactose intolerance is to avoid lactose in the diet.

There are lactose free products available in the market which should be consumed to avoid the problem. If you cannot find such products in the market, then over the counter tablet or capsule of the lactase enzyme shall be taken just before consuming a dairy product that has lactose in it. It is advised to consult your physician once, before taking the medication, even though it is an OTC medication.

#3. Celiac Disease

Gluten is a protein generally found in barley, wheat and rye. When a person's body recognizes gluten as a foreign object in the body, it activates the immune system and this in turn causes an allergic reaction so that gluten could be removed from the body and thus leads to excessive stools.

A reaction occurs on the lining of the small intestine and the villi are damaged when the gluten is recognized as a foreign object by the body. Due to the immune response, the body excretes the gluten food and thereby leads to an increase in the frequency of stools with a peculiar foul smell.

Treatment

Gluten free diet is the most effective treatment for this condition. If the gluten free diet doesn't help, it’s always advised to consult a physician as there may be more than one reason leading to excessive stools.

#4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It is a problem in which a person’s large intestine gets affected and thus results in abdominal cramps, gas, bloating and diarrhea. It can cause weight loss, anemia, unexplained vomiting, persistent stomach pain that doesn’t go away even after defecation.

There are multiple reasons that cause Irritable Bowel Syndrome that leads to an increase in the frequency of stools or excessive stools. Stomach infection, changes in gut flora, stress, inflammation in the gut etc. can cause irritable bowel syndrome. The frequency of the gastrointestinal contraction that make the passage of the food down the digestive tract increases, which leads to passing out of excessive stools.

Treatment

Lifestyle modifications are required along with diet management. High fiber diet is advised along with plenty of fluid. Regular exercise is also advised. Eluxadoline is given to decrease the muscles contraction thus in turn reducing the frequency of stools however it is always advised to consult your physician before taking any medication.

#5. Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the intestinal tract because of an infection. Norovirus and Campylobacter Jejuni are most common causative organisms of gastroenteritis.

Poor hygienic condition is one of the main causes of the transfer of organism causing infection. Human waste, if not disposed properly and gets mixed with the water lines; causes the spread of organism and thus affects the individuals who consume the contaminated water.

Treatment

Proper hygiene should be maintained to avoid contamination of food and water. Waste should be disposed off properly. As such there is no specific medication for the treatment of gastroenteritis. Rather it’s the symptomatic treatment that is followed to treat the symptoms of gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis can cause severe dehydration and therefore hydration is required to maintain the body fluid and nutrient levels. Oral rehydration solution is the best way to replenish the loss of fluids and nutrients. In severe cases, where the subject is not in a conscious state, IV saline is the best substitute to ORS.

Loperamide is usually given for reducing the motility in the gut to control the frequency of stools. If uncontrolled, macrolides are preferred choice of antibiotics rather than fluoroquinolones.

#6. Malabsorption Syndrome

When the small intestine cannot absorb nutrients from the food then it is characterized as malabsorption syndrome. It can be due to a number of problems. It leads to chronic diarrhea, irregular bowel movement, excessive stools, muscle wasting or weight loss, all depending on what type of nutrient got wasted without getting being absorbed in the body.

There are a wide number of causes that can lead to malabsorption syndrome like intestinal damage, parasitology disease, radiotherapy and use of tetracyclines that might destroy the layer of intestine.

Treatment

A symptomatic treatment plan is deployed to treat malabsorption syndrome. Loperamide is administered as the first line of treatment to the gut motility so that the intestines get more time for the absorption of nutrients.

For replenishing the lost body nutrients, enzymes and vitamin supplements are advised.

Alterations in the diet plan like decreasing the fatty food consumption is advised to increase the absorption of nutrients in the body.

#7. Drugs

Medications not taken as per doctor's recommendation can cause more harm than benefit. Many drugs can cause increased bowel movements when taken in excess. Antibiotics are used to kill the bad bacteria present in the human body. Sometimes, the overconsumption of antibiotic can lead to the loss of good bacteria and upset the natural flora the intestine. This disturbance in the balance of the good bacteria in the gut leads to the excessive stools.

Excessive use of laxatives can also cause excessive stools or increased bowel movements. Drugs for heartburn may also cause excessive stools.

Treatment

If the problem is encountered due to particular drug, then it is advised to consult a doctor so that the prescription can be modified accordingly.

#8. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces excessive quantity of thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone controls the metabolism, breathing, heart rate and several other involuntary actions of the body. When produced in excess, it speeds up all these processes. It is also accompanied by weight loss due to an increase in the bowel movement. Thyroid hormone causes hypersecretory state of the intestinal mucosa due to which the gastrointestinal motor functions are increased and hence results out into excessive stools.

Treatment

Management of the excessive stool can be done by treating the root cause i.e. hyperthyroidism with the use of beta adrenergic blockade as it is the first line of treatment for hyperthyroidism. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to control excessive stools.

#9. Crohn's Disease:

It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, right from the mouth till anus. Fecal frequency can range up to 20 times a day in some cases. Sodium and water cannot be absorbed via the inflamed intestinal mucosa and thus the body excretes it in the stool. The frequency of the stools shall vary depending upon which area has got inflamed from mouth to anus.

Treatment

Anti-inflammatory drugs are used for treatment of the excessive bowel movements along with some corticosteroids and antibiotics. Intake of bulk forming foods is advised to the patients.

Conclusion

There are several reasons for an individual to pass excessive stools. It is always better to check out for a probable reason for passing excessive stools before you visit a physician as it makes the prognosis accurate and thereby the root cause can be identified easily.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 13, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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