It`s important to note that a flat poop is just a symptom of something else going on in your body, it is not a disease in itself! That being said, this is a sign a lot of people tend to ignore (not ignore per say, but not a lot of people stare at their poop).
The good news is that there are not a lot of conditions related to the way your stool looks like, so we will be covering most, if not all, in today’s article.
We’start off with Irritable bowel syndrome since this is the most common cause of a flat stool.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
As the name suggests, IBS „attacks“ your large intestine and causes some changes its movement. Luckily, this disease does not leave any permanent damage behind – it does not alter the tissue of the intestine and does not lead to cancer!
The bad thing about IBS is that it is usually chronic, and treating it will require alterations in your diet, cutting back on certain drinks, foods, and general lifestyle. Treating IBS is certainly a marathon, rather than a sprint, so be prepared for a long fight.
IBS currently affects more than 30 million adults in the USA and is more prevalent in women, though is certainly not uncommon in men. One of the biggest problems with this disease is that we don’t have a test we can use to diagnose it. All the doctor can do is rule out all other possible causes until they are left with IBS.
As with the test, there is no one specific cause of this condition. What happens is the communication between your brain and your digestive system gets impaired due to your poor daily habits. There are, of course, some other factor which can contribute to the development of this disease, those are:
- Bacteria overgrowth
- Genetic factors
- Eating unhealthy food
The symptoms may vary from person to person, but you should note that they will not go away on their own, you need to do something about it.
The most noticeable symptom is the abdominal pain that gets worse after eating, especially if you eat unhealthy food. The pain might be mild and bearable in the early stages of the disease (which is why most people ignore it), but it will get worse as the illness progresses. And this is why you must visit a doctor.
Other common symptoms of IBS are:
- Bloating and stomach swelling
- White mucus
These are some of the most common symptoms, but they are related to some different conditions and can be benign in nature. This is why they often get ignored, but should you notice the following symptoms you should see your doctor as soon as possible:
- Pain during sex
- Rectal Bleeding
- Loss of weight
The treatment will depend on your symptoms, but it will require some significant changes in your lifestyle, avoid foods that trigger your symptoms, exercise more, sleep more, and drink more water.
IBS treatment will require ():
Changes in your diet:
- Eliminate gluten – though the research is not conclusive in this regard, some patients reported alleviation of symptoms related to diarrhea. You can try avoiding wheat, rye, and barley and report back to us to share your results
- Eliminating gas producing foods – eating high-gas foods is contraindicated if you are experiencing bloating, gas and stomach swelling
- Restricting certain carbs – some patients might be sensitive to certain types of carbohydrates. This is something your doctor will help you with, but if you want to do it yourself, you can try eliminating all the carbs, then introduce them one by one to see which triggers your symptoms
A colon polyp is a growth in the inner lining of your colon. The polyp itself is benign but, unlike IBS, it can become cancerous, life-threatening, and even fatal if not dealt with in time!
The good thing about this condition is that it can be quickly diagnosed and eliminated, but if it goes unnoticed for several years, it can become a serious health threat.
Here are some of the risk for a malignant colon polyp:
- Age – this disease almost never „hits“ kids, it is prevalent in adults over 45 years old
- Genetic factors – colon polyp can „run in the family,“ so if it appeared in your family history you are at risk of developing it as well
- Eating unhealthy foods
- Drinking alcohol
We already said that diagnosing this condition is relatively easy, but there are a few different types of polyps, based on their appearance, location and its probability of becoming malignant. Here are the most common types:
Adenomatous– adenomatous polyp is one of the more common types of polyp found in the large intestine. They can become cancerous, in fact, the most common type of colon cancer develops from this particular polyp class.
Serrated – serrated polyps are commonly small (though they may vary in size) and are found in the lower section of the colon. Most common types of serrated polyps are hyperplastic, traditional serrated adenoma, and sessile serrated polyp. Though they are rarely malignant, they can lead to colon cancer.
Inflammatory – this is the third type of polyps, and they are not an immediate threat to your health. Though they do not lead to cancer, they can be an indication of another disease present, such as Chron’s disease or ulcerative colitis, in some cases.
One more thing, though these polyps can lead to colon cancer, it is very rarely that they do. We did not list them here to freak you out; we just wanted to let you know that you should not ignore the signals your body is sending you… even though this signal is something as insignificant as a flat poop.
Here is the problem with polyps – it is not easy to spot that there is something wrong. This is why you should be extra careful and try to detect them before it’s too late. These subtle symptoms you know already, we’ve listed them above, as for the more severe symptoms, these are:
- Blood in your stool (it can be on surface)
- Some patients have dark stool (dark brown or black)
- Lethargy and body weakness
- Sometimes polyp can cause headaches
The colonoscopy is the easiest way to diagnose and remove malignant tissue. The only problem is the masses needs to be small in diameter; larger affected tissue will require surgery.
You should note that, even after you’ve removed the cancerous polyp, there is a chance it will grow back. This is a concern your doctor will share with you and advise you to act accordingly, test regularly and change your diet.
Anxiety And Constipation
Constipation is relatively common even in healthy individuals. The problem is when constipation appears along with other symptoms – bloating, abdominal pain and swelling.
Of course, a lot of people get scared when faced with such symptoms and immediately jump to cancer. Having thought like these is not at all healthy since anxiety and stress, not only affect our mental and physical health but can affect your bowel movement as well. In addition to affecting your bowel movement, it can make your muscles tight and tense and lead to constipation.
The important thing here is not to panic; chances are you don’t have cancer. What you should do is get yourself checked out by a medical professional, do a colonoscopy (if necessary), check your family history for digestive problems (diseases) and let your doctor know about anything in your life that might be adding to your stress levels (problems ar work, home, etc.).