Sticky Poop Causes, Meaning & Treatment

Your stool is likely to have a different consistency based on the medications that you could be taking, current health status, and the type of diet that you have been maintaining. From time to time, you will notice that your poop will stick to the sides of the bowls when you are flushing. This is known as sticky poop.

It can indicate that you have either a temporary or permanent digestive disorder. It could also mean that your current diet has too many fats. The sticky poop can appear in different colors ranging from tarry, dark, greasy or slimy. It is advisable to speak with a doctor if you notice that this poop is accompanied by other symptoms, e.g., abdominal cramps or gas.

Why is my poop Sticky-What does it mean?

The food that you are currently eating as part of your diet normally has a very big influence on the color and texture of your poop. Stool that is hard to wipe is described as sticky stool. When you have this kind of stool, it becomes easy for you to suffer from symptoms such as constipation.

sticky poop causes meaning how to treat, remedies & prevention

Additional symptoms that are likely to accompany this kind of stool include a color change from brown to green or black. When the stool happens to have some dark specs in it, this is an indication that the problem lies in the food that you are eating.

How does it feel and look like?

Sticky like peanut butter

This kind of sticky tool has a number of causes with the common one being an allergic reaction to wheat or milk products. It can also occur when you have a liver problem. It is recommended that you first start by removing milk and wheat products from your diet.

Replace them with plenty of water and natural fruit based juices. You could also try out some enzyme supplements as they have also been found to be quite helpful in aiding digestion and removing any toxins that could be present in your body.

Hard to wipe

Sticky poop that is hard to wipe can come about due to a diet that is rich in fats, or if you happen to be glucose intolerant. You need to consider changing your diet and reducing the fat content that is in it. You can also eliminate all lactose products from the diet.

Won’t flush

Sticky poop in the toilet that won’t flush is normally caused by poor food absorption, food intolerance or by pancreatitis. There are people who are either allergic or intolerant to certain types of foods, e.g., lactose, barley or gluten. Such foods have been known to cause this kind of sticky poop which sticks to the side of the toilet bowl.

Sticky Poop Causes- Babies & Adults

When a baby starts to consume solid food, you will normally be able to see the remnants of the meal they had the previous day in their diapers. This is because baby poop cannot be compared to adult stool in terms of firmness or shape.

There is a reason why you could find yourself with stool that is fairly loose. In babies the causes include:

1.    Meconium

This refers to the very first stool that is produced by a baby. Normally, this stool comprises of debris, amniotic fluids, and hair, and is formed while the child is still in the mother’s womb. The stool tends to be sticky, and dark green in color, and is usually very difficult to wipe from the baby’s bottom.

According to pediatricians, fifteen percent of all babies pass this stool when they are still in the womb. If this is the case with your baby, then it means that you will not see much of it in the baby’s diaper.

An average baby will normally pass meconium on the first few days after they have been born. This is before they are able to start eating food to enable them produce poop from this food. The meconium is a good indication that the digestive tract is working as required.

2.    Baby foods and breastfeeding

Babies who are being breastfed will normally tend to have a stool that is way loose as compared to babies that are being fed by the bottle. Such babies will have stool that is pastier and much stickier.

A baby that is taking the iron fortified formula also has a higher chance of producing stool that is pasty and dark green in color. If you notice that the baby’s stool has changed suddenly, or the consistency has changed as well, then it may be a good idea to consider changing the food before taking the baby to the doctor.

3.    Digestive disorders

It is uncommon for babies to have blood in their stool, but it can occur when your child has an infection in their gastrointestinal tract. This would cause blood to start mixing with the stool leading to formation of stool that is dark and tarry.

A severe infection of this tract could cause your baby to experience gastrointestinal bleeding.

What causes sticky poop in adults?

4.    Lack of bilirubin

Bilirubin is primarily secreted by your liver and gets stored in your gallbladder. From here, it is then passed to your intestines with bile where the bacteria get to work on it.

  • This causes the color and chemical composition of your stool to change. Its main role is to assist in digesting fat.
  • If your body is not releasing enough bilirubin, it means that all fat in the body will be passed out together with the feces. It is one of the reasons why your stool is sticky and dark brown in color.
  • Additional symptoms that you are likely to experience include stomach pain and anxiety

Bilirubin will normally be stored in your bladder until it is finally released into your intestines. When it passes in your intestines together with bile, it gets exposed to the bacteria that is present here. It is this bacterium that is responsible for changing its chemical composition as well as its color.

5.    Bleeding in your digestive tract

If you are bleeding in your stomach or in the upper part of your intestines, then it means that this blood will be acted upon by your digestive enzymes.

Digestive track bleeding and sticky poop
Digestive track

This can lead to sticky poop that is accompanied by a very bad smell. This is the kind of poop that is referred to as melena or black, tarry stool.

What does it indicate if;

Baby poop is thick sticky and green

This kind of poop is common in babies that are being bottle fed. A baby that has recently started using iron-fortified baby formula will most likely start to produce stool that is thick, sticky and green in color. You may notice it a few hours after changing the baby’s food.

If the sticky stool is black

There are a number of medical related reasons why one may be producing black poop. But, you will find that the black stool often comes about when one is taking iron supplements or when they change their diet.

However, you should note that this poop can also be caused by bleeding. The dark color would be an indication that the blood is emanating from the upper section of the gastrointestinal tract.

Dark brown sticky poop

Irritable bowel syndrome is one of the leading causes of dark brown sticky poop. IBS occurs as a way of the body telling you that the bowel has become irritated.

Even though its medical cause is not known, it is believed that it is normally caused by the kinds of foods that one is consuming as well as when the body is stressed out.

Soft and sticky

This is also known as skid mark poo. It is the kind of poo that leaves a skid mark on the toilet bowl and is often very difficult to flush away. It occurs when there is too much fat in your poor. This skid mark be brown in color.

When this occurs, it means that your gall bladder or liver may be in trouble. You need to take lots of lemon juice combined with hot water each morning. Be sure to avoid taking any alcohol as well.

Sticky stinky poop

This kind of poop is mainly brought about by dampness of your colon. Colon dampness is a term used to refer to the waste that has built up inside your digestive system. The buildup of this waste is mainly attributed to having bad dietary habits.

A person who is eating food that is known to assist in the formation of mucus, e.g., alcohol, dairy, sugar, and gluten will most likely end up forming a lot of gunk in their system. This dampness will lead to the presence of mucus in the poop thereby making it sticky.

Sticky yellow poop

This comes about when there is excess fat in your stool as a result of having a malabsorption disorder. For example, when you are suffering from celiac disease.

Sticky slimy poop

Food intolerance is one of the leading causes of sticky slimy poop. There are people who cannot be able to digest foods, e.g., rye, fructose and gluten.

This is because their bodies do not have enough enzymes to assist them in digesting the food. In the end, this food ends up being secreted as sticky, slimy poop.

Some of the signs that goes with this condition include stuffy noses, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating.

Treatment & Remedies

Having looked at the causes of this condition, it is essential to make sure that one does not ignore sticky poop. It may be caused by a change in your dietary habits, or it could mean that there is a serious underlying condition. This condition can be treated by:

  • Reducing your intake of fats
  • Eliminate foods that you may have introduced into your diet recently to determine whether they are behind this change
  • Ensure that you include more fruits and veggies in your diet
  • Avoid foods that causes you to have an allergic reaction
  • Ensure you take at least eight glasses of water each day
  • Reduce colon dampness by eliminating alcohol and fatty foods from your diet

How to prevent

It is possible to prevent getting sticky poop by:

  • Managing your stress levels—stress is one of the factors that are known to trigger IBS. You can do this by engaging relaxation activities such as mediation.
  • Stay away from all fried foods—try and minimize your daily intake of fatty foods, fried foods, and any foods that contain high amounts of oil. Such foods will cause your colon to contract violently leading to abdominal pain and diarrhea.
  • Eat lots of fiber—taking soluble fiber will ensure that the liquids currently held up in your intestines are soaked up. This will in turn reduce your chances of getting diarrhea.
  • Eat enough amounts of protein—protein gets digested in your stomach, as this is where the hydrochloric acid is found. Once digested, it is further broken down into amino acids. Eating too much protein will cause the HCL levels to become elevated, and this may lead to your stomach lining being damaged by the acid. It would then cause an ulcer, which would start bleeding leading to tarry stool.

Further reading



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