poop is flat

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Tim asks:

Hi, I am 30 years old and lately my poop has been comming out a little flat.
Last month my poop was round and I was going on a regular basis. What's the
deal?






Dear Tim,

Thanks for asking this question!

I have received a few questions about flat poo of late. Wonder if something is going on....Conspiracy, or coincidence....Lets talk about poo, shall we?

Just like people, poop comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Any similarity between people and stools should end there, however.

The interior of the colon is round, so the shape of poop is usual round, too. A change in stool shape or caliber can be the result of a mass that is affecting the lumen of the bowel. Though many different stool appearances are considered normal, any change from your "usual" bowel habits should be considered abnormal.

Get yourself checked out. This will likely involve a colonoscopy, which is a really fun procedure that involves a 4 foot long "snake" being inserted up your ass, drugs, and a day off work. (Not unlike the ol' college days, eh Tim?)

In all likelihood every thing is ok, but it never hurts (ok, it hurts sometimes) to get a clean bill of health for the old bunghole.

Good luck!

Please be advised that I am only a Poonurse. I am NOT a medical doctor. Any advice I give should be taken moderate skepticism. Please consult a REAL medical doctor if you feel you have a serious medical condition.

-- Poonurse

Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility.

Got a question for her?












174 Comments on "poop is flat"

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points
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If you can't find authentic gyros at your local Greek restaurant then just follow Alton Brown's instructions and make your own. I use an inexpensive convection oven with a small (one chicken size) rotisserie that works well and set me back only $100. I have had it two years and it has probably payed for itself through reduced electric bills.


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

Thunderbox's picture
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Make sure you never eat a kebab in Russia!

Russian human kebab

The voice of sanity

Bob The Builder's picture
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I find that cucumber is an amazing binder! try it, stools will be staggeringly compact and will win awards at shows! just work on your technique for delivery! phooot!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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there's a groove in my stool and it's been there for several months. ironically it appearaed at a time when my BM's began becoming more "normal" in appearance due to a healthier diet. any insight or advice would be appreciated.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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started having pencil thin stools. Colonoscopy showed melanosis coli, severe from laxative over use. Pending biopsy, no polyps seen, MD has not yet explained if there is no blockage why do I have such thin stools, Says I have an almost atonic bowel at this point, would this cause the thin stools? Any one know

Dougiequick's picture
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OK here's the deal. I am normally rather constipated many round hard toilet clogging turds are my norm. BUT, all the sudden things relaxed I am thinking more normal until yesterday when the ribbon poo started. Well really it's BIG ribbon! Flat poo! The good thing is all comes out quickly and flushes nicely but now I alarmed about the risks. Really though I am not too worried. I believe we are just a little over a year away from Judgement Day and that is no joke at all. May 21, 2011 in fact and the information leading to that is both abundant and ONLY from the Bible! So my main hope is that I am ready to meet Christ (as in salvation) Secondary is any fear of flat poo being colon cancer and even then my worry is about pain not death. If I am saved I go at once to be with Christ forever more (at least in my soul existance till He returns and gives His elect brand new eternal bodies!) If I die unsaved that is so sad for me to think about but at least it will be an end to all pain and worry..no more existence period. I just don't know if I ought to bother with the gastroenterologist sp? aka poo doc.

joeybears ca-ca's picture
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I initially came to this site with a concern about the "flat poop" of my 12 yr old son with autism. I am leaving the site today, only for a brief time" because I am "shitting myself" laughing. I know the questions on here are in many cases, serious in nature, but I must applaud the creative writing talents of many of the contributors herein. I have not had such a good laugh in ages. I will return....after I go poop. Carry on poopers!

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
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joeybears ca-ca.......Laughter is indeed the best medicine, those who laugh with great frequency live longer lives so it stands to reason that those who laugh until they shit their pants enjoy the longest lives of all.


_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

painful poop's picture
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I've had chrons for many years and cant make it to the bathroom. not for three motnhs I have to dog it out and is vry painful. not flat but round. the dr. give me something to take by mouth twive a day and its not helping. very painful. the stuff is called lactulose. please any help out there...thanks

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Those with flat poop: Yes, see your doctor; but the flatness may simply be due to the poop being too soft to maintain its round shape as it emerbes. The anus is not a round hole on the outside, but a slit that opens. A normal firm turd will open it right up to a round shape, but a fairly soft mass of poop may open it up only partway, leaving a slit-like, flatter opening; hence, flat poop. Still, get it checked out.

Nomoreflatpoop's picture
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Flat Poop - I noticed that lately my poop has gone back to round from flat (what a delight) after I cut out for a while all probiotics and bacteria related/friendly foods such as kimchi, cheese, green tea, yogurt... There's also less gas in my tummy. I try to eat a lot of organic vegetables now, and do my own cooking.

Cutiepoop's picture
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Poop makes me giggle. Flat poop makes me laugh hysterically until I poop my pants. Flatly.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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About 15 years ago I went to Jamaica. Got the poops. When I came home I got back into my minimal exercise routine which included sit-ups (I suck at exercise). I heard a "pop". For a good few years I had flat poop like bacon strips. I went to the doc thinking I picked up a parasite from Jamaica. Had the colonoscopy. Ouch! Felt like the victim of a prison gang rape. A year or so later it cleared up.
Every now and then (like the last couple weeks) when I start trying to get in shape, which includes sit-ups, it appears that sit-ups must flatten my intestines or something, cuz the flat poop always comes back. So, I suppose I have to have a fat gut if I don't want weak flat poops. Lame!!!!

prarie doggin's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorg 4000+ points
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Uh, just one more question sir. Is your boyfriends dick shaped like a letter opener?

Columbo

not-so-Ickypoo's picture
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Fiber, Fiber, Fiber guys! Not enough can be said. Anyone ever tried Fiber One bars? Wow. Lots of fiber, no one could doubt that! They keep you regular but the #1 complaint I hear about them as I read online...? Farting. They make you fart like crazy. I gotta say, they taste amazing. But watch out. Don't have more than one. :)

help...'s picture
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For the last year I've been having really hard stools. I couldn't help it one day and I pushed and spread out my anus surroundings with my fingers. Now i dig out my poop with my fingers almost every BM. I'm worried, and I hate it, it's so embarrassing. I'm scared my body will get used to it and will rely on me having to take it out, also I always bleed, but I think its because I always scratch my insides with my finger nails. I don't know what to do. Is it just all in my head?

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I have been taking bowel cleansers for at least 2 years,just to have a B.M.in the morning.When it comes out it is either flat or round and very thin bigger then a pencil though.I am getting very concerned about this,it is also very light in color.should I be concerned about this?

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points
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Help . . .: Drink water--lots of it--and eat foods high in fiber, especially whole grain bread and cereal and green veggies like spinach and broccoli.

AC: In my innocence I thought a cleanse was a one-time solution for a temporary problem, and you are not supposed to rely on it for regular bowel movements. Check with your doctor, and be prepared for advice including drinking lots of water, getting good exercise, and eating fiber, whole grains & veggies. They're good for you and help you, too.

Mommy's picture
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About taking colon cleanse on a regular basis: It will turn the insides of your colon black. (Go Google "Balck Colon".) I had been taking one cleanse pill every morning for about 2 years so that I could go at least once a day. When I had a colonoscopy to see if there was something wrong, the doctor said that my colon was black, and assumed that I was a bolemic using laxatives to stay thin! I got no answers as to the condition of my colon other than that it was black, and no discussion as to why it might be or what else might be wrong. (There's more to that story, but I sued the doctor, and he was fired, but now I get to go back and start all over to see why my poo is flat.)

P.S. I have trained my body to go every morning with out the cleanse pills! I just need to get up in time to allow myself about an hour to wake up my colon and go! I also drink a whole bottle of water, and sometimes a cup of coffee. If I don't give myself time, I lose my window and have to wait until the next morning. What a weird body, huh?

Mommy's picture
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Okay, put on your "big boy and girl" hats and stick with me here:
Chronic laxative use induces melanosis coli and possibly increases colorectal cancer risk. Colorectal adenomas are more frequently found in patients with melanosis coli.The anthranoid laxatives pass through the bowel unabsorbed till they reach the large intestine, where they are changed into their active forms. These anthranoid laxatives exert their laxative effect by damaging epithelial cells, which leads directly and indirectly to changes in absorption, secretion and motility. The resulting activation causes injury to the cells in the lining of the intestine and leads to apoptosis (a form of cell death). The apoptotic cells appear as darkly pigmented bodies that are taken up by macrophages. When sufficient cells have been damaged, the distinctive pigmentation of the bowel wall develops.

Mommy's picture
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For those with blood and persistent diarrhea (more than say 7 days), with a discusting smell (maybe even a weird plastic or metalic smell) and possibly even a little green, please go get a test done for a bug called C-Dif (clostridium difficile). This can mimic symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. The doctor might balk, but demand the test. It is expensive, so insurance discourages doctors from asking for it. If this is ruled out, then have them go ahead and check for UC. UC instances have increased in the last several years among younger people, and they have found a link to the use of Isotretinoin (Brand names: Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret). Please don't wait until you face anemia or a blood transfusion. Go to the doctor now. The treatment for C-Dif is antibiotics - but a warning on this - be sure that you have the typical "three clear tests" before your doctor says you are absolutely free of the bug, or it can come back with a vengance and you could be mis-diagnosed with having Ulcerative Colitis. Ironically, C-Dif can be caused by taking too much of other kinds of anti-biotics. If you have been prescribed several bouts of antibiotics, whether the same or different, and have these symptoms, this may also be a sign that you could have C-Dif and not UC.

Go get checked! It's so worth it! Don't wait. It won't go away by itself.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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well, i was on hydrocodone for a few months and then had to quit my job because of back pain, the pain meds and inactivity combined gave me a bad case of constipation. stool softeners and one enema later my bowel movements have not been the same. that was 2 weeks ago. the constipation and then diahrrea really messed up my internal hemrhoids.

now my poop is pencil thin sometimes and flat others, and sometimes it is round like normal , but it is lacking the girth that i am used to.

i have to strain to get out soft poop and my internal hemmroids are raging. i dont know if its a fecal impaction or my swollen hemmoroids that are causing the shape but if it persists i will get to the doctor. i am 27 years old and have recently changed to a diet that is higher in fiber and water sinc ei neve want to feel this way again and hopefully it gets resolved soon.

another flat pooper's picture
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wow! i typed "skimpy flat stools "in my search engine and found this amazing place....with all you other flat poopers and more ! one thing i noticed we all have in common , besides our anal issues ,is a wicked sense of humour ! any one else noticed that ? i have laughed my way down to this comment box.....so thanx all of you ! as for the skimpy flat poop , i have experienced it for approx. 4 years now...(i'm 52 /female)....i had the colonoscopy about 2.5 years ago , and all was apparently well....Dr. said not to worry re: flat shape....but now they're also coming in shorter sections...3 -4 inches long.......maybe 5 -6 pieces per "visit"....and i never feel completely "relieved"....if you know what i mean....i feel as if i would be able to slim down if i could get emptied....i eat healthily...etc. no junk...so...what is going on, i wonder....and why so many of us out there have this same condition ????i have taken psyillium and bentonite ( which absorbs toxins in the intestines and bowels.) these things are good , and do help, but the thing comes back as soon as one stops it. but for any one who'd like to try the above, you just mix about 3-4 tablespoons of liquid bentonite clay ( found @ healthfood stores) in a glass of water and add 2-3 tablespoons of psyillium husks (healthfood store ), stir well and down -the- hatch. follow with another glass or two of water , since psyillium can cause constipation only if not enough water accompanies it. good luck to all of you ! i know what you're going through. thanx for praying for us....(above writer ?) i have done so too....but still suffer flatness.but will not give up. the person who feels suicidal ( above writer?) don't give up.... stay hopeful... we haven't met , i know....but you are valuable , no matter what .
one last thing , the person who mentioned something about bananas being connected to this may be on to something....i got hooked on eating frozen bananas just before this all went wrong , anally for me , and i was replacing the frozen bananas in place of cigarettes , which i was quitting. so for awhile there i was eating a frozen banana everytime i wanted to have a smoke....up to close to 15 bananas a day ! i know that sounds nuts....but it helped me to quit. before that i had no bowel problems....but now i don't "do" bananas....and everything is still weird "down there".
maybe i've just swapped lung cancer for bowel cancer ....?

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Hi,
never thought I would talk about my poop problems to total strangers, but hey maybe it will work. It all started several weeks ago. I am on a medication that causes severe constipation and I really just got used to going once a week and it bein big and rock hard. Then I got severe stomach pain aroung my belly button and it started bleeding!! Went to er and was told it was probably an abcess in there and then said ct scan showed I was wayyyy backed up. Since then I have been taking colace, prune juice, miralax, and was going some. Then 2 days ago the pain got severe on my side(which had been hurting some for 2 weeks), I had another ct scan and it showed my intestine was swollen really bad in one spot(where the pain is) now I'm going to the bathroom a lot but it is flat long poop and the pain in my side is worse not better??? Anyone have any suggestions and I am seeing a doctor for this, but he said more miralax then mag. hydroxide if that doesn't work. I'm scared and in agony, please help!!!!!!!!!!

DIAREAHASHIT's picture
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my poop is like small bouncy ball round.. whats with that?

Winding Way's picture
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Wow! It is wonderful to find I am not alone. My stool is pencil thin when round, but this morning it was flat - like a tapeworm! It is usually long-long-long, like 12 inches or more. For the past two weeks I have been experiencing pain right in the middle of my pelvic area. Thought it was a UTI and went to Aftercare where blood and billiruben were detected in the urine. Ugh! Took antibiotics and by the 3rd day still pain - so took AZO to alleviate. No relief, so back to the Dr. Had an inter-vaginal ultrascope (strange)the next day (day 10) three days ago. No results yet. However, the intermittent pain is incredible. Sometimes more severe than others - right in the middle - like the bladder or ovaries. Why am I writing this? I am 57 postmenopause and scared! I have taken Smooth Move tea for constipaton and it really helps. Anyone with similar experiences? It was not UTI! My ovaries were tender during the scope, but it is sore all down there like something crawled up there and just squeezed the mess out of my innards. I am cognizant that they are in there at all times, and it hurts anytime they are jostled -- like when I walk. Ouch! Any ideas?

prarie doggin's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorg 4000+ points
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I usually find my poops are real skinny after a night of watching those "locked up" prison shows. I wonder why.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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I'm 32 male and I've had flat poop and periodic blood in my stool/bowl for the last 3 years.....Not exactly sure how long the flat stool has been going on, possibly longer than the 3 years.... The blood started after I began to drink fairly often (hoping for an ulcer or hemroids??)......I don't have insurance.....Any suggestions?

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points
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SEE A DOCTOR. Just like the original answer from the trained physician said.


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

JoeyO's picture
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Drink probiotics and/or eat yogurt to introduce healthy bacteria to the colon and bowel, eat fiber in the form of raw fruits and vegetables or ground flax seed, and drink at least 64 oz. of water a day -- not coffee, tea, soda -- water. Try that for a couple of weeks and see what happens. If you cut out processed (fast foods) at the same time, it will revolutionize your elimination process.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points
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To the AC that posted 5.24.2011, Take Daphne's
suggestion and see a doctor. You will be amazed by the number of doctors that don't insist on insurance but will accept cash.


_______
How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

oh yes's picture
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i love poopoo im so glad i found this site people seriously i sometimes have dastardly farts that send waves of paranoia through me but also sometimes i hgave perfectly round rabbit like shits and i dont have to wipe aferwards and if my husband says it stinks oh well! power to the puss! other times i have savage fluffy soft shits that just launch out my anus not when im eatingbut sometimes thanks you!

Anonymous's picture
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In Chinese medicine, poo balls is a sign of Qi stagnation. Long ribbons are a sign of liver deficiencies. I can't imagine what flat poo looks like... only when stepped in.

Anonymous's picture
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I have the curse of flat shit too. I had a bad back and the doctor put me on Oxycontin. Ever since I've had flat shit. I'm writing it off as constipation, at least I hope so.