Let’s face it, nobody’s poop smells great, but if you’ve noticed that yours is even more pungent than normal, it might be a sign that something’s going on in your body.
“The odor of BMs always depends on two things: what you eat and the bacteria in the intestinal tract,” explains explains Larry Good, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist affiliated with Concierge Choice Physicians.
There are 10 trillion microorganisms living in the human GI tract. The odor of stool is created by the gases that are produced in the intestine when non-absorbable carbs (fiber) gets fermented. So if your stool seems extra smelly for a day or two, relax: It’s probably just something you ate.
But what if the smell isn’t going away? Then it’s worth talking to your doctor, especially if the consistency of your movements has changed as well. It could be a sign of any number of issues, ranging from a food allergy/intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to a nutrient malabsorption issue, bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract, or a severe bacterial infection.
While you probably don’t relish the idea of talking to your doc about your bathroom habits, don’t be shy: Physicians have heard it all before, and you just might get some info that could save your life (or at least improve your health and comfort dramatically).