Stools - foul smelling

Definition

Foul-smelling stools are stools with a very bad odor. They very often have to do with what you eat, but may be a sign of a medical condition.

Considerations

Stools normally have an unpleasant odor. Most of the time, the odor is familiar. Stools that have an extremely bad, abnormal odor may be due to certain medical conditions. Foul-smelling stools also have normal causes, such as diet changes.

Causes

Causes may include:

Home Care

Home care depends on what is causing the problem. Things you can do include:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you have:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Questions may include:

The provider may take a stool sample. Other tests may be needed.


Review Date: 6/21/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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