Narrowing of Stool
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Reviewed By:

Samantha Nazareth, MD

Samantha Nazareth, MD (Gastroenterology)

Board-certified gastroenterologist. Experience managing gastrointestinal conditions (GERD, IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, celiac disease, NASH) within healthcare organizations (three ambulatory surgical centers, single-specialty practice, multi-specialty practice and solo practice).

Aiko Yoshioka, MD

Aiko Yoshioka, MD (Gastroenterology)

Dr. Yoshioka graduated from the Niigata University School of Medicine. He worked as a gastroenterologist at Saiseikai Niigata Hospital and Niigata University Medical & Dental Hospital before serving as the Deputy Chief of Gastroenterology at Tsubame Rosai Hospital and Nagaoka Red Cross Hospital. Dr. Yoshioka joined Saitama Saiseikai Kawaguchi General Hospital as Chief of Gastroenterology in April 2018.

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  • Narrowing of stool

  • Smaller caliber poo

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Content updated on Nov 26, 2023

About the symptom

Decrease in poop size or shape causing your poop to look narrow or pencil-like.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Thin narrow stool

Possible causes

  • Rectal cancer

    Rectal cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the rectum. Malignant, or cancerous cells, form in the rectal tissue and can spread to other parts of the body.

  • Colon cancer

    Cancer of the large intestine which is the final part of the digestive tumors. It often grows from non-cancerous polyps in the intestine. Both polyps and colon cancers can be found during colonoscopy (camera test of colon). Symptoms can include blood in stool, diarrhea or constipation or both, or abdominal pain but many times there are no symptoms and the cancer is found on colonoscopy. It can be easily treated in early stages, so the general population is encouraged to get screened with colonoscopy and sometimes stool tests. Risk factors include a family history of colon cancer or polyps, or a personal history of abnormal polyps, low-fiber high-fat diets, some inflammatory bowel diseases, diabetes, obesity, and lack of exercise.

  • Sigmoid colon cancer

    The sigmoid colon is the final part of the large intestine before reaching the rectum. The exact cause of sigmoid colon cancer is unknown, but it begins when healthy cells in the colon develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. Risk factors include family history, certain hereditary cancer syndromes, diet, smoking, and alcohol use.

  • GIST

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Is your stool thin and narrow like a pencil?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you have blood in your stool?

  • Have you had hard stools or constipation lately?

  • Are you feeling nauseous or have you been vomiting?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

References

  • Mayo Clinic

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/narrow-stools/expert-answers/faq-20057781#:~:text=Narrow%20stools%20that%20occur%20infrequently,colon%20due%20to%20colon%20cancer.

Reviewed By:

Samantha Nazareth, MD

Samantha Nazareth, MD (Gastroenterology)

Board-certified gastroenterologist. Experience managing gastrointestinal conditions (GERD, IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, celiac disease, NASH) within healthcare organizations (three ambulatory surgical centers, single-specialty practice, multi-specialty practice and solo practice).

Aiko Yoshioka, MD

Aiko Yoshioka, MD (Gastroenterology)

Dr. Yoshioka graduated from the Niigata University School of Medicine. He worked as a gastroenterologist at Saiseikai Niigata Hospital and Niigata University Medical & Dental Hospital before serving as the Deputy Chief of Gastroenterology at Tsubame Rosai Hospital and Nagaoka Red Cross Hospital. Dr. Yoshioka joined Saitama Saiseikai Kawaguchi General Hospital as Chief of Gastroenterology in April 2018.

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