Digestive system

Narrow stools: 8 Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Warning signs

Narrow stools can make you worried as you begin to think of many serious ailments. So, let’s find out what exactly causes it and how to treat it.

You might have heard everyone saying the common sentence about how health comes first! It is true that you should put your health as the priority. When you feel that something is wrong with your health, your first and foremost action should be to call the doctor.

We have heard many people talking about narrow stools. In the majority of the cases, narrow stools are not harmful but in case it persists, consulting a doctor may be necessary.

When you see narrow stools inside the pot, your mind instantly thinks that it is not healthy. You would know your bowel habits, and any change makes you panic!

When there is a change in the colour and shape of the stool, you instantly think about the deadly diseases! Before concluding, you need to research and take an expert opinion. Panicking will not help the situation!

The anal canal, colon and rectum are responsible for the thickness of the stool. Although the odd shape of your stool is not a cause of major concern, you should always be watchful!

You have come to this page for a reason! You wish to know about the causes of narrow stools and the common symptoms. We have listed some treatments for you which may help in giving relief from the symptoms related to narrow stools.

You are probably finding your stools odd and too thin! Do note that extremely thin stools may be caused by a serious health issue. You cannot judge your stools! You have to think deep and find out the true cause of the health issue.

This post covers everything that you need to know about the health condition. It is best to read about the condition before you conclude. Reading misleading information is not going to help you, and this post aims to give you the correct information.

We care about your health!

Read more to find out the causes, symptoms and treatments of narrow stools.

Causes of Narrow Stools:

narrow stools
Narrow stools
Image source: medicinenet.com

We have listed the cause of narrow stools which is going to help you understand the problem. It could be something serious or a small issue. As we can see it, you do not have to worry too much about narrow stools.

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Here are some of the causes:

Colon Cancer:

Our aim is not to scare you! However, you must know that thin stool could be caused due to colon cancer. Majority of the people fear that they have this disease. Pencil thin stool is not healthy, and you could get other symptoms such as sudden loss of appetite and weight, anal bleeding and pain.

If you experience the serious symptoms, you must consult with a doctor.

Faecal Impaction:

This is a type of obstruction when your stool becomes hard and dry in the lower bowel. You would notice pencil thin stool passing through your anus.

Change of diet:

Notice the change in your diet like that could be the cause of the thickness and shape of your stool. Thin poop could be the cause of something that you ate last night or in the morning.


In case of severe diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramps, you must visit your doctor as this could be an infection. Gastroenteritis could be the cause, and it requires medical attention. In severe cases, you would see blood in your stool.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

When the patient has irritable bowel syndrome, they would see a change in their bowel habit. This includes narrow stools and abdominal pain. The cause of IBS or irritable bowel syndrome is not known. You would not find any blood in the stool, and you must not be worried about this condition because it is not related to any disease.

Obstruction caused by Foreign Objects:

If the patient ingests a foreign object which is not edible, it obstructs the bowel. You may find that gallstones could also be the cause of bowel obstruction and narrow stools.


Volvulus is a condition where the bowel gets twisted. This causes obstruction, and you might witness symptoms such as vomiting, narrow stools, bloody stools, constipation and abdominal pain.


There are times when a person is under extreme pressure and has a lot of stress to deal with. When stress is the cause, individuals might find a change in their stool.

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You must pay attention to what your bowel is trying to say to you! It could be serious or something which may get resolved in few days.

These were some of the causes of narrow stools. Now comes the scary part! Yes, it is scary for some people because nobody wishes to get a disease like cancer.

Read the symptoms, and accordingly, you must take an appointment with the doctor.

The Common Symptoms:

Other than passing narrow stools, there are other symptoms which would help you to understand the condition.

Here are the symptoms of narrow stools:

  • Mucus in the stool
  • Thin stool
  • Blood in stool (serious concern)
  • Sudden and unexplained weight loss (needs immediate attention)
  • Dehydration
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Change in the shape of your stool
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

If you find that you are getting continuous nausea, you must take this as a serious concern.

Majority of the people do not consider it as a serious problem. Do note that blood is an alarm for you! Your body is telling you to get it diagnosed. It is best to visit the doctor soonest because the condition gets worse.

It may not be something serious, but your doctor’s advice is the best! They have dealt with many patients, and once you tell them about all the symptoms, they would be able to help you treat the condition.

Most people feel that thin stool means colon cancer, but it is not true!

Check out the treatments for narrow stools. This would help you to get relief from the symptoms.

The Best Treatments for Narrow Stools:

Now comes the good part! We talked about narrow stools and how they could be deadly! However, there is a fix for the minor health issues. If you do not have cancer or a twisted bowel, you can treat it with some home remedies.

Some remedies will help in giving relief from the abdominal pain and the dizziness.

Do note that these remedies will only help to ease the symptoms. This will not cure the colon cancer. In case of serious illness and diseases, you must consult with your doctor.

  1. Include foods such as cabbage, kale, cranberry juice, strawberries and pomegranate in your diet. These chosen ingredients are good for your health, and they can give relief from the symptoms related to narrow stools.
  2. Eliminate spicy foods from your diet as that could worsen the condition of narrow stools. You must include bland food in your diet.
  3. Keep your body hydrated. Drink lots of water and cranberry juice. This will help to improve the health condition.
  4. Sour foods should be avoided. It aggravates the condition of narrow stools.
  5. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help ease the symptoms. It changes the number of bacteria in your intestines.
  6. Eat fibre rich foods to treat the problem of narrow stools. You will notice some improvement in your stools.
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What are the warning signs?

The question is – When should you see your doctor?

When you find bloody stools, it is a type of alert or sign for you that you must call up the doctor. The doctor will run many tests to check whether you have a deadly disease such as cancer or not.

Narrow stools accompanied with blood, mucus, confusion, dizziness, sudden weight loss and continuous vomiting is a sign of concern, and you must check with a doctor.

A sign of dehydration with a dry mouth is also a sign of concern, and you must visit the doctor without fail. You must never ignore that you are getting narrow stools for a prolonged period.

Visit the doctor, and they would be able to judge the situation. Give it few days but in case it persists, you must take an appointment and check the underlying cause. Even if it is cancer, it would be detected at an early stage.

Takeaway Advice for Concerned Readers:

Sometimes we feel that the health issue is small and will get resolved in few days. Taking note of the changes in your stool is important. This will help you to keep track of the sudden changes in the shape, size and length of the stool.

Whenever you visit the doctor, tell them about the symptoms and the usual bowel habits. Your doctor would ask you questions about your normal bowel habits, and they can compare the change and run the apt tests.

You must take this seriously and visit the doctor soon! If there is any sign of blood, thin stool, dizziness, sudden weight loss and extreme vomiting, it is time to give a ring to the doctor.

Take care!

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/narrow-stools/expert-answers/faq-20057781
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/stringy-poop


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