If Your Shit Smells Bad, Run to the Doctor

Feces get their odor from bacteria, what you eat, and skatole, a compound in your digestive tract. Antibiotics, sulfur-rich foods, and foods that are difficult to digest can all cause stool to smell bad. Apart from these, some diseases that you are not aware of can also cause bad smell of stool. If you have stomach pain, diarrhea or blood in your stool, you should contact your doctor immediately.

The stool inevitably smells bad. Skatole, a compound found in your digestive tract, plays a role in pungent odor. However, other factors can also cause stool to smell incredibly bad.

  • Your natural gut bacteria
  • Bacteria moving through your digestive tract
  • Foods that are difficult to digest that directly affect stool odor.


A new and unusual odor in your stool can occur for a variety of reasons, from eating something new to an underlying health condition. Health experts point to these six culprits as the most likely causes of a sudden change in stool odor.


Antibiotics help your body kill as many bacteria as possible, but they don’t distinguish between “good” and “bad” varieties. It can cause problems when it comes to stool. That’s because it’s the good gut bacteria that help you digest food and give your stool its usual smell and consistency. Taking antibiotics that kill both good and bad bacteria can wreak havoc on your digestive tract and cause foul-smelling stools and diarrhea. But experts have yet to determine exactly why this happens.


The problem of digesting dairy products is more common than you might think. Lactose intolerance is not a milk allergy. It happens when your small intestine doesn’t produce enough of an enzyme called lactase. When your body cannot produce enough lactase, your digestive system cannot break down the lactose in dairy products. This can directly lead to bad stool texture and odor.


Sulfur-containing foods form an important part of a balanced diet, as they protect your cells by reducing inflammation. However, it also causes your stool to smell bad. While it’s not a good idea to cut sulfur completely out of your diet, if you want to avoid excessive gas, you can try cutting out sulfur-rich foods before an event. Among the foods rich in sulfur; It includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, and vegetables such as onions, potatoes and carrots.


Malabsorption, which happens when your body isn’t able to effectively absorb nutrients from the foods you eat, can cause foul-smelling stools and other health problems. Malabsorption can lead to a range of health problems, from lactose intolerance to parasitic infections, so it’s a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible to get the right diagnosis and explore possible treatments.


If you have celiac disease, eating even very small amounts of gluten can trigger a severe immune response in which your immune system attacks your intestinal lining. Along with foul-smelling stools, fatigue, and unintentional weight loss, this can cause many problems. The only known cure for celiac disease is to permanently remove gluten from your diet. You also have to control your medications for gluten-containing compounds and anything you can potentially eat, such as lipstick.


Blood in your stool, which may come from your stomach, rectum, or other parts of your intestinal tract, can also cause changes in stool odor. In some cases, bloody stools may suggest a serious infection, bleeding in major organs, or even cancer. Therefore, if you notice blood in your stool, it is recommended that you make an appointment with a healthcare professional or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Ece Nagihan

Hi, I'm Ece. I am a writer for Expat Guide Turkey and I strive to create the best content for you. To contact me, you can send an e-mail to Happy reading!

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