The normal shape and size of your poop should be 1 or 2 inches in diameter, but don’t be alarmed if your poop isn’t the ideal shape. Everyone has different bowel movements, which are governed by your diet and your lifestyle. If you’re pooping narrow or pencil thin poop regularly, it could be a symptom of an underlying health condition that requires urgent medical attention.
So, what are pencil thin poops? The ideal poop should be a thick liquid, which is solid when it enters the colon, but when it gets towards the lower colon, the salt becomes solid and the water is absorbed. Therefore, when the waste is excreted, the poop should be solid, not necessarily pencil thin. If you are experiencing pencil thin poop, which are almost ribbon-like in shape, then you should go see a doctor.
What causes pencil thin poop?
The reason you could be producing pencil thin poop is because of a change in your diet, which could result in inconsistent bowel movements. There are also instances where health conditions may cause you to produce pencil thin poop. Here are some of the major causes of pencil thin poop:
- Anorectal Stricture
- Bowel Obstruction
- Colon Polyps
- Diarrheal Illness
- Fecal Impaction
- Foreign Object
Symptoms of Pencil Thin Poop
We have already discussed the causes of pencil thin poop, but the important question is what are the warning signs associated with it. Most people may get scared with pencil thin poops, but you don’t need to worry. Sometimes you only produce them for a few days and your poop goes back to its normal shape and size. If the symptoms of pencil thin poop keep persisting, then you should be concerned and see a doctor about this problem.
Here are the common symptoms:
- Unexplained weight loss
- The prolonged passing of thin poop
- Dizziness and confusion
- Bloody stools
- Abdominal pain
While there is nothing to be concerned about when you are producing pencil thin poop, if the problem persists and you start noticing blood in your stools you should be concerned. There shouldn’t be any blood in your poop, because that is an indicator of a serious health problem. Apart from that, if you have unexplained weight loss, persistent vomiting, confusion, dizziness, and diarrhea then it could be a serious bowl illness.
Most people also start producing pencil thin poop because of dehydration, which causes changes like reduced tear production, signs of shock, dry mouth, and skin turgor. You should pay close attention to these signs, as you will require immediate treatment in most cases.
If you are experiencing a prolonged case of passing out pencil thin poop, it indicates a serious underlying cause that requires immediate medical attention. Delaying treatment and diagnosis of pencil thin poop isn’t recommended, because it can lead to serious complications that can be life-threatening.
You shouldn’t take laxatives to treat pencil thin poop because it can lead to further complications.