What causes half hard half normal stool

Soft bowel movements: It's not always a cause for concern!

When is your bowel movement too soft?

A diagnostic tool for determining the shape and texture of your stool is the Bristol Stool Shape Scale. A total of seven chair shapes are distinguished according to this scale. The passage time that the stool covers in the intestine decreases from type 1 to type 7. The best consistency is represented by type 4 on the scale. Your stool has a particularly good texture if it is both soft and well-formed and resembles a sausage. When using the toilet paper, ideally no feces should stick to it. However, it is also possible that your chair is soft but has a cracked surface instead of a smooth one. Here, too, the consistency is still within the ideal range. This quality corresponds to type 3 of the Bristol scale.

From type 5 onwards, however, the stool is said to be too soft, as your stool no longer has the ideal shape, but rather is excreted in the form of individual, soft, smooth-edged lumps. As long as you can easily and regularly remove this stool, there are usually no signs of illness. If the edges are no longer smooth but irregular and the consistency is rather mushy, this is the first preliminary stage of diarrhea. If this lasts longer and if you also suffer from flatulence or a feeling of fullness, there is a need for action.

The last step on the Bristol scale is Type 7: a liquid or watery stool. This is called diarrhea or diarrhea. The intestinal transit time is considerably too short and your loss of fluids is particularly high. If the diarrhea lasts longer than three days, you should see your doctor. If necessary, they can refer you to a specialist in digestive diseases, a so-called gastroenterologist.

Important: Whether you have soft or hard stools - whenever you notice blood in your stool, you should see a doctor immediately. Blood in the stool can look very different and have different reasons that should definitely be clarified.

Sticky stool: why you should get checked in

The importance of color in defecation

Not only the shape but also the color gives clues as to why your bowel movements may be too soft. We list the colors and possible problems once. Food consumption is also critical to color:

  • Brown: The color is caused by the brownish digestive juices. So, with normal bowel movements, everything is fine.
  • Black-brown to black: Such a dark stool color can have various causes, such as a) Food, e.g. dark chocolate or spinach. b) Medicines such as charcoal or iron tablets. c) If neither is the case, then you should consult a doctor, because then it could also be bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
  • Green: People who eat a lot of vegetables often have greenish stools - which are also usually softer. If not, the color could indicate an intestinal infection.
  • Yellow: If you haven't just eaten a lot of carrots, yellow stools can also be an indication of an intestinal infection. Be careful if the poop smells and floats up in the water: this could be an indication of a pancreatic problem. Off to the doctor!
  • Red: Either red vegetables or fruits were eaten. Or there may be blood in the stool - please be sure to have it checked!
  • Greyish: There could be a problem with the digestive juices here, it is better to ask your doctor for advice here as well.

Digestive problems? The 7 most important questions about digestion

What is the normal amount of stool?

The amount of stool can vary greatly from person to person, it is usually also very dependent on the diet. In the normal range, 100 to 500 grams per day is assumed. For example, if you eat a low-fiber diet, you will excrete less stool than someone who goes on a vegetarian diet. Fiber is therefore important to keep your digestion and intestines on their toes! Stool frequency can also vary widely, from three times a day to three times a week. So if you don't have to go to the toilet every day, you won't be constipated straight away.

Causes of too loose stools

The causes of loose stools and diarrhea are diverse. A distinction should be made as to whether the stool is permanently too soft and therefore chronic diseases are present, or whether the soft stool is an acute problem. If your stool is chronically too soft, this can often be attributed to irritable bowel syndrome. What causes this is not yet sufficiently known. However, doctors assume a damaged intestinal barrier. Other causes of loose stools can also include:

  • Food intolerance (e.g. lactose or fructose intolerance)
  • bacterial overgrowth in the intestine
  • an overactive thyroid
  • chronic inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Cystic fibrosis (congenital metabolic disease)
  • Colon cancer
  • Disorders of bowel motility
  • Taking certain medications

In acute problems with too loose stools, gastrointestinal infections are often the cause, which can be caused by pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa or intestinal parasites. These infections are highly contagious.

But not only an infection, but also stress and strain can cause a chair that is too soft, along with symptoms such as abdominal pain. Have the shape, color and smell also changed? This can have an impact on your health! The body reacts too classically with gastrointestinal complaints when we are under too much stress. If you are also very excited or particularly nervous, for example before an exam, it may activate your bowel and try to pass the bowel movements quickly. This leads to short passage times and the stool is softer than usual, leading to diarrhea. Before you focus solely on stress, however, physical causes should really be ruled out. In addition to symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, the ingestion of spoiled food can also trigger a too soft bowel movement. In addition, a general lack of vitamin B12 can be a cause.Important: A healthy intestinal flora can be messed up and even destroyed by taking antibiotics, for example. This could also be a cause of loose stools.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms

"Irritable bowel syndrome" is a very common diagnosis that women are twice as likely to experience as men. Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include nausea, abdominal pain, gas, pressure and bloating, and diarrhea or constipation. As already described above, there are often no known triggers or reasons for irritable bowel syndrome - so one can say that one speaks of irritable bowel syndrome if there are no physical causes or are recognized or known. In this case, you should play a detective and keep a food diary in order to track down any food intolerances. Irritable bowel syndrome can also be triggered by stress, but physical complaints or intolerances should first be completely ruled out.

Soft Stools: What Can You Do About It?

There are a number of foods that you can use to "thicken" your bowel movements if they are too soft. These include above all wheat bran and baked goods made from white flour such as white bread, crackers or pancakes. Noodles and rice are particularly suitable as nutrients, while ice cream and pudding, on the other hand, lead to a thickening of the stool as stimulants.

Apples, grated without peel, dried blueberries, bananas, aubergines and carob flour are particularly suitable as fruit or vegetables. There are also additives from the pharmacy, such as flea seeds, apple pectin or karaya, which can also help you to improve your stool consistency. These funds also do not require a prescription.

Soft stools: Better to avoid these foods!

There are also some foods that should be consciously avoided if the stool is too soft, or these foods can cause loose stools. These are:

  • Mineral water with magnesium
  • fatty foods
  • spicy and spicy dishes
  • Sugar substitutes (e.g. sorbitol)
  • coffee
  • Dairy products
  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • alcohol
  • chili
  • Cabbage vegetables, such as sauerkraut, cauliflower, or white cabbage

If you have an infection, a carrot soup can help, as the smallest sugar molecules are created when the carrots are cooked. These are confusingly similar to the intestinal receptors and ensure that the bacteria do not attach to the intestinal wall, but to them and are thus excreted. However, if these remedies do not work for you, it is advisable to consult a doctor to get to the bottom of the exact cause.

How should you eat for optimal bowel movements?

In order for your chair to be "perfect", you should above all eat a balanced and varied diet. This includes sufficient carbohydrates and fiber (grain products, fruit, vegetables, legumes) and sufficient protein (meat, fish, dairy products, legumes). Vegetarians and vegans use appropriate substitute products. Drinking is also a very important factor - drinking enough fluids is often underestimated. We recommend at least 1.5 liters of water a day. To do this, you should exercise regularly, this also keeps the intestine on its toes.

Also read:
Home remedies for constipation
Tips for a healthy intestinal flora
Irritable bowel syndrome: what to do when digestion is going crazy
The irritable bowel diet
Surviving gastrointestinal infections: How to get well quickly
Does Leaky Gut Syndrome Really Exist?
Quick help: drive out stomach germs with yeast
Healthy intestinal bacteria: small, important helpers