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While it might not be the most pleasant topic to discuss, undigested food in stool can often be a concern of many people. Is it normal? Should you worry? We’ll answer all of that and more in this post about what does undigested food in stool mean and what you can do about it.

What Does Undigested Food in Your Stool Mean?

Is it normal to have undigested food in stool?

Is it normal to poop out food you just ate?

Yes. It can be totally normal to poop out food you just ate. If you are not digesting food properly food in stool or see partially digested food in stool, it can be concerning. The truth, however, is that not digesting food in stool is a common occurrence for many people. In most cases, it just means that you are pooping out the undigested food in stomach, which is now showing up in your stool.

Is it possible to poop out the food you just ate?

You may wonder if it is even possible to poop out the food you just ate. In actuality, poop is simply the remnant of food you just ate after it has been broken down by the small intestine. These remnants were the undigested portions of what you just ate. And for this reason, if you see whole or partial pieces of food in your stool, it simply means that these pieces weren’t completely digested by your body, and as a result, were pushed out as “waste”.

Why Is My Food Not Digesting Properly?

Why is my food coming out undigested?

Undigested food and diarrhea are common occurrences that usually aren’t cause for alarm. In most cases, food not digesting coming out whole is completely normal. As mentioned before, this simply means that your food wasn’t completely used up, or digested by your body, and this could occur for several reasons. All in all, this is a relatively common occurrence.

Why is there undigested food in my stool?

Although undigested food in diarrhea and regular bowel movements aren’t typically cause for alarm, there are some cases when situations like these will need to be addressed by a healthcare professional.

In some instances, undigested food in stool can be due to underlying health issues, especially those involving the gut such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, otherwise known as IBS, Crohn’s Disease and other concerning health conditions.

Why does my poop have undigested food?

Moreover, your inability to digest food could be linked to a number of food intolerances or an inability of your gut to actually breakdown certain foods due to damage to the gut or a lack of certain enzymes needed to process the food properly. More details on that, later!

What Are the Symptoms of Not Digesting Food Properly?

Other than seeing food not digested in poop, there are several other symptoms of undigested food that may tip you off that something is wrong from within. These include:

  • Potent Gas That Is Silent
  • Strong Gas, With Bloating, That Is Loud
  • Bloating, In General
  • Pain on Right Side of Abdomen
  • Frequent Burping or Belching
  • Heartburn
  • Feeling Sleepy After Eating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Using A Lot of Toilet Paper

If you have many of these signs and also see pieces of food in stool, you probably will need to go to your local health practitioner and discuss your symptoms to see if there are any specific concerns with how your body currently processes food.

What Causes Undigested Food in Stool?

Undigested food can be brought on by many causes.

Like previously mentioned, food not digesting in stool can be a completely normal occurrence that happens to everyone. However, sometimes, food not digesting completely can be linked to underlying health issues or can even be linked to bad habits while eating. Habits like not completely chewing your food, eating too fast, lying down or having bad posture while you eat can all point to reasons why you may be passing undigested food.

Undigested Food in Stool Baby

What does it mean when my baby poops undigested food?

It isn’t uncommon to see undigested food being pooped out by a baby. This is because babies don’t often have enough teeth to chew their food properly, and as a result, you’ll likely see whole pieces of their food in their stool more often.

Even if your baby does have teeth, remember that he or she is likely still getting the hang of using them. Plus, there aren’t that many of them. And because chewing is a very important part of your body’s way of digesting food, it is likely that you’ll see pieces of food in your baby’s poop undigested, more often than not.

Undigested food in stool toddler

The aforementioned reasons for seeing undigested food in baby poop is also true for toddlers. In fact, many toddlers see a bout of pasty, foul-smelling or loose poop that is usually no cause for concern and does not necessarily mean that your toddler isn’t absorbing nutrients.

Having said that, however, there are times when frequent undigested food particles that show up in tandem with gas, bloating and other digestive issues may be linked to something more. To know for sure, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns in order to rule out health conditions like Celiac Disease, IBS and other digestive ailments.

Common Undigested Food

Undigested corn in stool

Because your body contains certain enzymes that break down food, there are certain foods, or portions of food, that your body doesn’t have the enzyme to properly break down.

Corn is a great example of this. Oftentimes, people will find that the corn they’ve eaten ends up in their poo. This is because the shell that surrounds the corn contains cellulose which actually cannot be broken down by the body. Thus, the corn you see is likely just the shell, and not the entire piece of corn.

Undigested potato in stool

Though potatoes are typically somewhat easy to digest, if you are finding them leftover in your stool, you may wish to consider chewing more slowly and potentially mashing the potatoes to stop this annoying trend of showing up in your stool.

Undigested vegetables in poop

Though fiber is often recommended to help keep the bowels and gut functioning properly, it is worth noting that too much fiber can lead to issues.

Fiber found in whole grain breads, fruit and vegetables are undeniably good for you, but way too much of it may cause issues, especially if consuming more fiber in your diet is new to you.

Adding more fiber to a person’s diet adds weight to stools and causes them to flow more speedily through the intestines than normal. For those with constipation this could be a very good thing. However, if you are finding large amounts of undigested food in your stools, or if you are experiencing diarrhea, you may wish to gradually add fiber to your diet or to scale back slightly to keep this from recurring.

Reasons For Undigested Food in Stool: What Could It Be?

Undigested food in stool constipation

Remember that constipation can be one of the ways your body signals that something is wrong from within. If you experience frequent constipation along with undigested food in your stool, you may need to speak with your doctor to ensure that there isn’t something else going on.

Undigested food in stool IBS

Unfortunately for those with IBS, there are many foods that can cause discomfort and make IBS-related constipation and poor digestion even worse. These foods include anything processed, carbonated drinks, coffee, dairy products, high protein diets and refined bread. When consuming these things, you may notice the presence of more abdominal discomfort and bowel issues than normal, and may see more undigested food in your stool than usual.

Undigested food in stool and gas

Strong gas and bloating can occur when food isn’t digested properly in the gut. Whether it be due to a lack of enzymes, not chewing your food properly or other causes, undigested food and gas, especially when happening frequently, may be a sign that there are underlying causes that may need to be checked out.

Food not digesting diarrhea

Sometimes, when food doesn’t digest properly, it can lead to diarrhea. In fact, the reason that watery and loose stools like diarrhea occur is because the intestines push water through the bowels before the water in the bowels can be reabsorbed by the body. Thus, it is easy to see how undigested food particles could end up in this kind of waste as well.

Undigested food Crohn’s

Because Crohn’s disease refers to inflammation within someone’s digestive tract, it can often lead to undigested food particles in the feces. Those with Crohn’s disease may experience abdominal pain, frequent diarrhea and yes, pieces of food in their stool. This is due to the inability to digest food properly, thus making it come out whole or partially digested on the other end.

How Do I Get Rid of Undigested Food in My Intestines?

Tips for better digestion

In order to digest food more properly, you may consider the following tips:

  • Get More Exercise
  • Eat More Fiber
  • Eat “Real” Food (Avoid Processed Foods)
  • Get Tested For Food Allergies You Suspect You Have
  • Avoid Foods That Trigger Negative Response
  • Drink More Water
  • Chew Slowly
  • Sit Up Straight While Eating

How do I get rid of undigested food?

If not fully digesting food in stool really bothers you, consider chewing more slowly and thoughtfully while you eat. Moreover, you may avoid eating certain foods you know won’t be digested well, such as corn and nuts. However, this tactic may be extreme if there aren’t underlying health issues. Instead, follow the tips above and maintain a healthful diet to ensure that your food is properly digested throughout the day.

Undigested Food in Stool: There’s Likely No Need to Worry

Typically, undigested food in stool is no need to worry. If your undigested food is accompanied by pain, frequent bloating and gas or other digestive discomfort, be sure to speak with your healthcare professional to rule out other possible causes. If you’re still worried about food coming out in your stool, check out these medical articles: What Causes Undigested Food to Appear in Stool and Undigested Food in Stool?

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