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Anon asked...

I have recently started to pass only very small little round stools...

I have recently started to pass only very small little round stools. It has slightly improved with fybogel. I eat healthy, drink lots of water and do some exercise. Is this anything to worry about?

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The answer

Thank you for your question and we're sorry you are experiencing this kind of difficulties with passing stool. Whilst embarrassing it is a natural part of our vital functions and it can tell us quite a lot about our body.

Stools are the product of our digestion. They contain all the things that are not absorbed by our bowels. Below this answer you can find a link to a leaflet by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust where you can find the Bristol Stool Chart.

If you look at it you will see that the type of stool you describe are consistent with Type 1 stools OR Type 5. Considering that Fybogel has helped the Type 1 stool is the more likely. These are characteristically caused by a lack of Fiber in diet and poor fluid intake leading to the stool spending longer in the bowel. Since this is not the case it might be worth having a look at other options. Fybogel is a laxative that acts as a bulking agent, considering the type of stools you are passing it might be worth checking other types of laxatives such as Osmotic laxatives; your local pharmacist should be able to advise you with this.

Prolonged constipation might cause problems on the long run so it is advisable that if you continue to experience these symptoms you contact your GP so that further investigations can be made.

Please check these links for further information about bowel management:

Constipation - NHS Factsheet

Healthy Bowel Patient Information - NHS Factsheet

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses