Foul-smelling stools are stools with a very bad odor. They usually have to do with what you eat, but may be a sign of a medical condition.
Stools normally have an unpleasant odor, but one that is recognized as fairly common. Stools that have an extremely bad, unusual odor may be due to certain medical conditions. Foul-smelling stools also have normal causes, such as diet changes.
Home care depends on the diagnosis. Follow your health care provider's instructions closely, and stick to any prescribed diets. If you have diarrhea, drink more fluids to avoid dehydration.
Call your health care provider if you have:
Your health care provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your medical history. Questions may include:
The doctor may take a stool sample. Other tests may be needed.
Mcquaid K. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 134.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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