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.Know More
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.Learn More
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 >
The exact cause of a spastic colon, more commonly known as irritable bowel syndrome, is not known, according to WebMD. Faulty communication between the intestinal tract and the brain that results in muscle spasms, contractions and cramping pain is believed to be one cause of IBS.Full Answer >
According to WebMD, flat ribbon stools are a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome. This condition not only causes abdominal discomfort and altered bowel habits, but it can also alter stool form.Full Answer >
A perforated viscus is caused by perforated peptic ulcers, colon ischamia, colon diverticulitis, colon cancer, stomach perforations and possibly injuries beneath the nipples, states Dr. Jason Smith, who is a colorectal surgeon. Perforations are holes that appear in the digestive tract and can be deadly due to internal bleeding or peritonitis infections that can develop, according to WebMD.Full Answer >