Nobody expects poop to smell good, but sometimes it smells so bad you expect to hear about it on the six o’clock news. It’s worse if it’s your own, but even worse when you drop the stink bomb in a public restroom or at a friend’s party when people are lining up to use the restroom. Oh, the shame!
The good news is that you can make your poop less stinky and have more satisfying eliminations along the way. Eating healthier, getting your gut checked, and using a toilet stool to unkink your colon are easy ways you can help quell the smell.
We’ve done some research to reveal the reasons your poop stinks and how you can make the stench of your waste go from woeful to wonderful. Let us help you make and take more pleasant smelling poops.
The science is in—the most effective and efficient way to poop is to position yourself in a natural squatting position. Pooping with your feet flat on the floor can lead to a kink in your intestines, which can cause major blockages. Clogs from kinks can result in the buildup of bacteria in the digestive tract. This bacteria is often the culprit of nasty odors in your waste.
Using a specially designed toilet stool, helps undo the kink in your digestive system without any extra effort on your end, so you can take healthier smelling poops. Not sure which toilet stool is right for you? Use our guide to find the best stool for you.
Remember, what goes in must come out. The more you eat in excess of what your body needs, the uglier it gets on the other end. If you commonly feel bloated after eating, you may be consuming more food than your body can comfortably digest.
Here are a few suggestions on how to cut back:
- Eat 10 percent less across the board.
- Serve yourself smaller portions, and don’t come back for seconds.
- Eat more, smaller meals throughout the day.
Stop eating two hours before bedtime.
Consume Less Sulfur-Rich Food
Sulfur is an essential mineral, so you don’t want to eliminate it from your diet, but if you eat a lot of sulfur-rich foods, the excess sulfur may be making your stool more odoriferous than normal.
Here’s a list of sulfur-rich foods to try and avoid:
- Coconut milk, juice, and oil
- Cruciferous vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard leaves, radish, turnips, watercress)
- Dairy (except butter)
- Dried fruits
- Legumes (beans)
Cut Back on Processed Foods
Processed foods contain synthetic ingredients, some of which your body may be ill-equipped to digest. Switching to a whole-food diet is the easiest, most complete solution. Otherwise, read food labels and choose only those packaged foods that use all-natural ingredients.
Sticking to an all-natural diet won’t be as easy as propping your feet up on a toilet stool, but it can have a significant impact on the stench of your stool.
Trim the Fat
Excessive dietary fat can lead to undigested fat in the stool — a condition referred to as steatorrhea. If your body doesn’t produce enough lipase (a fat-digesting enzyme), the undigested fat putrefies as it makes its way through the colon, producing a foul-smelling odor.
Of course, your body needs fat in order to function, but try to eliminate trans fats and scale back your consumption of saturated fat. Trans fats (also referred to as hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated fats and oils) are common in fried foods, bakery items, chips, crackers, and other yummy treats that are bad for you. You get saturated fat primarily from animal products, including red meat, pork, poultry skin, full-fat dairy products, mayonnaise, and eggs.
Just like using a toilet stool, cutting back on fat can help eliminate bad bacteria that leads to foul-smelling fecal matter.
Get Checked for Lactose Intolerance
If you experience diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, bloating, or gas 30 minutes to a couple of hours after consuming dairy (milk or ice cream, for example), you may have lactose intolerance, which is also contributing to your smellier-than-normal poops.
With lactose intolerance, your body doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of the lactase enzyme to break down the lactose (a sugar in milk), so the undigested lactose lands in your large intestine where it is fermented by bacteria, a process which produces stinky gas and poop.
If you have lactose intolerance, you have three options for dealing with it:
- Avoid dairy
- Switch to lactose-free dairy products
- Take lactase enzyme supplements, such as Lactaid, before consuming dairy
Check Your Meds and Supplements
Medications may increase levels of sulfur and other chemicals in your body that produce stinky stools. Sulfur drugs, such as Bactrim, are used to treat bacterial infections, and all diuretics except spironolactone can increase sulfur levels in your system.
Here’s a short list of supplements that may also increase sulfur levels:
- Alpha lipoic acid
- Chondroitin sulfate
- Epsom salts
- Glucosamine sulfate
- Magnesium sulfate
- Milk thistle
- N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
Review all medications and supplements you take with your healthcare provider to identify any substances that may be causing problems.
Spray Before You Squat
If you have only the occasional stinky poo, don’t be alarmed. Temporary changes in diet and how you feel overall can have a short-term impact on the odors you emanate. Just be prepared. Along with their collection of toilet stools, Squatty Potty offers several Pootanical Sprays that can help turn foul into fragrant.
A few puffs of an aromatic pre-potty spray can trap bathroom odors beneath your toilet's water line. Just spray before you go, and no one has to know. Keeping one in every bathroom can help leave your home smelling fresh.
Get Your Gut Checked
If nothing you’ve tried to normalize your digestion has worked, consider having your gut health evaluated by a qualified medical professional. What you consider to be a problem with overly odoriferous stools may be a symptom of a more serious underlying health condition, such as:
- Food intolerance
- Insufficient production of stomach acid
- Insufficient levels of digestive enzymes
- Imbalanced intestinal flora — the bacteria and other microbes that inhabit your gut and aid in digestion (see “Restoring Intestinal Flora Leads to a Healthy Gut and Happy Poop“)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
The takeaway lesson here is that stinky poo is no laughing matter. Don’t dismiss what may be a valuable warning sign of a serious underlying condition. Have your issues checked out by a medical professional who can identify and treat the underlying cause.
The Final Turd
Poop will always have a smell, but using these simple tips and tricks to take your waste from nasty to normal in a flush. Watching your diet, checking your medications, and assuming a squatting position with a Squatty Potty are all effective ways to keep your poop smelling pleasant.
Disclaimer: This blog post on odors associated with feces of the human digestive system, provides general information and discussion about medical issues and health-related subject matter. The words and other content provided in this post, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, consult with an appropriately licensed physician or other health care professional immediately and do not rely on the information presented in this post. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog post or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.