Answered by: Dr Sri Viknarajan
I’m 35, just finished my covid isolation for 17 days now, all healthy and fine apart from some stress. My stool is like one firm shape as usual, but with additional softer broken pieces. What is that about?
Good morning and thank you for this question,
We understand your concern and we would love to help.
From this question we understand that you have noticed a change in your stool consistency.
When the consistency of your stool changes significantly, you’re either experiencing diarrhea or constipation.
Diarrhea is when your stool is watery, or very loose, and lacking clear shape. In addition, it can be when you find yourself having to use the bathroom more than three times per day, even if your stool isn’t completely watery each time.
Constipation is when your stool has a hard, lumpy or pebble-like consistency. Often times, the stool is so hard that it’s difficult or painful to pass. Constipation is also characterized by passing stool less than three times per week.
It’s always worth noting changes in your bowel habits, but the occasional diarrhea and constipation aren’t always a cause for concern.
For instance, stool consistency and frequency can be temporarily affected by:
Importantly, if you’re experiencing diarrhea accompanied by a fever or blood in your stool, visit your nearest emergency room. This can be a sign of infection, which can quickly become serious. Severe diarrhea can also lead to dehydration faster than you’d probably think.
Your stool is the end result of the many things you eat and drink, as well as the chemical reactions these foods undergo as they are metabolized and travel through your body. This is why your stool can vary in color and consistency from time to time.
The only two colors you need to worry about are:
Talk to your doctor if you notice either of these color changes occurring in your stool.
Stool that floats can be a sign of malabsorption — in which your body is not adequately digesting and/or absorbing nutrients from the food you’re eating and drinking. If you notice that your stool is floating more often than not, it’s important to be evaluated by your doctor. In this situation, you may also notice that your stool is oily.
You may use our online consultation service to get in touch with a doctor.
Hope we have answered your question satisfactorily. Thank you