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7 Causes of Undigested Food Appearing in Feces and Is It Normal?

7 Causes of Undigested Food Appearing in Feces and Is It Normal? – 7 Causes of Undigested Food Appearing in Feces and Is It Normal?. Normally, stools are brown in color with a soft texture because the food you eat has been digested. However, sometimes you may see whole food fragments appear in the stool. This is more common with high-fiber plant foods. This is because the body cannot completely break down foods high in fiber or foods with hard shells.

Undigested food in the stool is not really something to worry about, unless it is accompanied by persistent diarrhea, weight loss, or other changes in bowel habits. Because, if accompanied by these symptoms, this can be a sign of a problem with the digestive organs.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the causes of food not being digested in the stool and when you should be on the alert.

1. Eat too fast

A common cause of undigested food in the stool is eating too quickly, according to the Medical News Today page. When you eat too quickly and swallow the food without fully chewing it, it is more likely for food to pass through the digestive tract without being properly broken down.

Eating too fast can force the digestive process to go too fast resulting in more food not being completely broken down. To avoid this, you need to chew food slowly until it’s soft.

2. Certain foods are not broken down properly

Bacteria in the body are responsible for breaking down food properly. However, sometimes foods that contain high fiber are very difficult to digest. Corn, carrots, cereals, seeds, and nuts are some of the foods that are difficult to digest. Sad again, because this food is not digested properly, so the nutrients are not absorbed optimally.

According to the Prevention page, to ensure that the nutrients in these foods are completely absorbed, try steaming vegetables. This will soften it and allow more nutrients to be absorbed.

3. Food has a hard outer shell

Some nuts and seeds have tough outer shells that make it difficult for the body to access the fat stored inside. Likewise with corn, even though it does not have a hard shell, each corn grain is covered by an outer sheath consisting of cellulose, which cannot be broken down by human enzymes.

The inner part of the kernel is digested by the body, but the cellulose sheath remains visible in the stool. According to the Prevention page, even though corn looks intact when it comes out with feces, its nutrients are still absorbed by the body.

4. Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. Sometimes, this causes undigested food to appear in the stool.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), symptoms include:

  • Severe diarrhea.
  • Nauseous.
  • Abdominal pain and cramps.
  • Weight loss and appetite.
  • Anemia.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Red or sore eyes.
  • Joint pain.
  • Soft lump under the skin.

5. The digestive process is too fast

Normally, it takes 24 to 72 hours for food to pass through the digestive tract. If your body has a high level of motility, it is possible that food particles that have not had time to be broken down completely will pass out during bowel movements.

The level of motility is influenced by the health of the colonic muscles and the composition of the diet. The digestive tract is divided into four distinct sections: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Each of these organs has a unique role in digestion and motility can vary.

6. Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that affects the large intestine. According to the NIDDK page, symptoms include:

  • Bloating and pain.
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or both.
  • Haven’t felt relieved after having a bowel movement.
  • Presence of white mucus in the stool.
  • Undigested food in feces.

7. Pancreatic insufficiency

People with pancreatic insufficiency lack enzymes in the pancreas, making it difficult to break down food. This can cause undigested food to appear in the stool.

Described on the National Library of Medicine page, other symptoms that appear include:

  • Abdominal discomfort and bloating.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatty stools.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, which are characterized by muscle spasms, bone disease, and cardiovascular problems.

Most cases of undigested food in the stool are nothing to worry about. This is often caused by eating high-fiber foods or eating too quickly. However, if this is accompanied by other symptoms, see a doctor immediately to find out if this is caused by an underlying medical condition.

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