Q:

What causes ribbon-like stool?

A:

Ribbon-like stools are caused by irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and benign issues, such as a change in diet, according to About.com and Dr. Mercola. About.com notes that isolated instances of ribbon-like stools normally don't signal a health problem, but chronic ribbon-like stools need evaluation. In evaluating ribbon-like stools as a possible symptom of disease, a doctor generally needs to know what is a normal stool for the individual.

In the case of colon cancer, the stool becomes ribbon-like because the tumor that's growing in the colon creates an obstruction that only thin stools can bypass, according to Dr. Mercola. Non-cancerous ribbon-like stools can be treated by increasing fiber intake, taking probiotics, reducing stress and avoiding artificial sweeteners.

A healthy stool is normally sausage shaped, smooth and soft, according to Dr. Mercola. Healthy stool contains 75 percent water and 25 percent fiber, bacteria, cells and mucus. The human body normally takes 18 to 72 hours to convert food into stool and pass it. When the time for passing stool is less than normal, diarrhea results because the body has not had sufficient time to absorb the stool's water. If the time to pass stool is longer than normal, the body absorbs too much of the stool's water, resulting in dry stools and constipation.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What causes mucus in the stool?

    A:

    Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, bowel obstructions and ulcerative colitis are causes of mucus in the stool, according to About.com. Mucus in the feces is only healthy if there are trace amounts.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What causes excessive bowel movements?

    A:

    According to the Mayo Clinic, excessive bowel movements have many causes, including celiac disease, Crohn's disease, hyperthyroidism, irritable bowel syndrome, side effects of drugs and ulcerative colitis. What constitutes excessive bowel movements varies among individuals, with some healthy individuals having up to three bowel movements per day. Changes in lifestyle such as increased exercise or a diet higher in fiber will harmlessly cause more frequent bowel movements.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are the causes of malabsorption?

    A:

    Malabsorption syndrome occurs when a problem, usually caused by inflammation, disease or injury, prevents the bowel from properly absorbing nutrients and fluids, according to Healthline. The condition also sometimes results from the body's failure to produce necessary enzymes for digesting certain foods.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What causes a distended gallbladder?

    A:

    According to WebMD, a distended gallbladder is most commonly caused by the blockage of the cystic duct, an outlet for the gallbladder fluids, by a gallstone. Swelling of the gallbladder can also occur without a gallstone, but this is rare and mostly occurs in people who are very sick from other conditions. If left untreated, chronic gallbladder swelling can lead to a thickening and hardening of the gallbladder walls.

    Full Answer >

Explore