Ribbon-like stools are caused by irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and benign issues, such as a change in diet, according to About.com and Dr. Mercola. About.com notes that isolated instances of ribbon-like stools normally don't signal a health problem, but chronic ribbon-like stools need evaluation. In evaluating ribbon-like stools as a possible symptom of disease, a doctor generally needs to know what is a normal stool for the individual.Continue Reading
In the case of colon cancer, the stool becomes ribbon-like because the tumor that's growing in the colon creates an obstruction that only thin stools can bypass, according to Dr. Mercola. Non-cancerous ribbon-like stools can be treated by increasing fiber intake, taking probiotics, reducing stress and avoiding artificial sweeteners.
A healthy stool is normally sausage shaped, smooth and soft, according to Dr. Mercola. Healthy stool contains 75 percent water and 25 percent fiber, bacteria, cells and mucus. The human body normally takes 18 to 72 hours to convert food into stool and pass it. When the time for passing stool is less than normal, diarrhea results because the body has not had sufficient time to absorb the stool's water. If the time to pass stool is longer than normal, the body absorbs too much of the stool's water, resulting in dry stools and constipation.Learn more about Gastrointestinal Issues
The typical symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include changes in bowel movement patterns, bloating and feelings of excess gas, pain in the lower abdominal area and mucus in the stool, explains WebMD. Because doctors are uncertain about what causes IBS, treatment usually involves symptom management, says Mayo Clinic. This includes dietary changes to avoid trigger foods, sufficient hydration, adequate sleep and stress management.Full Answer >
The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, in women varies because each individual has different symptoms, but the main symptoms include abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, a bloated stomach, diarrhea, constipation, mucus present in the stool and gas, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some women and men will have a few of these symptoms or all of them, including alternating periods of both diarrhea and constipation.Full Answer >
A good diet to relieve diarrhea, or loose stools, involves drinking eight to 10 glasses of water daily; drinking at least 1 cup of water after each loose bowel movement; and eating small, frequent meals instead of large meals, according to MedlinePlus. Salty foods may also help those experiencing diarrhea feel better.Full Answer >
According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of colon cancer include rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal discomfort, unexplained weight loss, weakness or fatigue, the feeling that one's bowels do not completely empty and notable changes in bowel habits, including diarrhea or a change in consistency of stools. Many people in the early stages of colon cancer experience no symptoms.Full Answer >