Passing undigested food in stool once in a while is usually nothing to worry about. When undigested food in the stool is attended with some other signs and symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, blood in stool, loss of bowel control, it may indicate a medical issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated.
Homeopathy can be very helpful in managing cases of undigested food in stool arising from medical conditions. Without any side effects, homeopathic medicines give excellent results by targeting the cause behind it. Homeopathic medicines for managing it are prescribed on an individual basis based on the signs and symptoms. It is advised to take any homeopathic medicine for managing it under supervision of a homeopathic doctor, who can give suitable medicine and dose after detailed case evaluation. In cases where severe signs and symptoms accompany like excessive weight loss, excessive blood in stool, severe nutritional deficiency due to malabsorption, severe anaemia, independent use of these medicines should be avoided. However, in such cases, these may be taken as supportive help for symptom management along with conventional mode of treatment.
Homeopathic Medicines For Undigested Food In Stool
1. China – For Undigested Food In Stool, Frequent Stool, Gas
It is a natural medicine prepared from dried bark of a plant Cinchona Officinalis, also known as ‘peruvian bark’. It is a very effective medicine for cases having undigested food in stool and frequent stool. Along with this, there is excessive gas and abdominal bloating. Stool is profuse, loose in cases needing it. Stool can be frothy too. It is attended with passage of much gas. Stool has an offensive, putrid smell. Excessive weakness can occur along with the above symptoms.
2. Arsenic Album – For Cases Of Stomach Infection
It is a prominent medicine for managing cases of stomach infection. It is useful when there is watery stool mixed with undigested food particles. The stool has an offensive, rotten smell. Green mucus may sometimes be present in it. Burning sensation can be felt around the navel. Weakness may be felt along with these symptoms. Lastly, vomiting can occur with above symptoms.
3. Phosphorus – For Long-Term Diarrhea With Undigested Food
This medicine is well-indicated for cases having long term diarrhea (loose stool) with undigested food in the stool. Those needing it may have yellowish, greenish, brownish or greyish stool. It may have green or white mucus in it in some of the cases. Stool has a sour smell, sometimes blood is also present in the stool. Before stool gets passed out, rumbling and colic may be felt. Diarrhea may alternate with constipation sometimes in cases that require it. In few cases, stool passes involuntarily.
4. Lycopodium – When Gas And Abdominal Bloating Are Marked
It is prepared from a plant Lycopodium Clavatum, commonly known as ‘club moss’. Persons who need it complain of undigested food particles in the stool and marked abdominal gas and bloating. Stool is yellow, watery with fetid odour. Sometimes stool is pale or brown and mixed with hard lumps.
5. Colocynth – When Attended With Abdomen Cramps
This natural medicine is prepared from pulp of fruit Citrullus colocynthis, also called cucumis colocynthis and ‘bitter apple’. This plant belongs to family cucurbitaceae. This medicine works well when stool has undigested food and there is marked abdomen pain and cramping. Stool is copious and accompanied with passage of excessive gas. Stool is thin, frothy, yellow or greenish yellow. It has a musty odour. Sometimes it is slimy and blood-stained also. The abdomen pain worsens by eating or drinking. Bending double (bending upper part of body forward and downward), pressing or lying on the abdomen bring relief in pain.
6. Podophyllum – For Profuse Gushing Diarrhea With Undigested Food Bits In Stool
It is prepared from root of a plant Podophyllum peltatum, having common name ‘may apple’. It is a very beneficial medicine for those suffering from profuse gushing diarrhea with undigested food in stool. They have frequent, profuse, watery, greenish or yellow, pasty and foul-smelling stool. Abdominal soreness may attend it. Weight loss can be present with the above symptoms.
7. Merc Sol – When Stool Is Loose With Mucus And Blood
Use of this medicine can be done when the stool is loose along with mucus and blood. Undigested food particles are present in it. Stool can be yellowish or greenish. It is sour smelling. The intestines can be inflamed where it is required.
8. Calcarea Carb – For Undigested Food In Stool With Either Hard Or Thin Stool
It is a useful medicine when undigested food passes in stool and the stool is either hard or thin. In some cases, the first part of stool is hard, then pasty followed by liquid. It can have an offensive fetid smell or sour smell.
What Are The Reasons Behind It?
It can simply be arising from eating fast without chewing food properly. Properly chewed food is easy to break by gastric enzymes and easy to be digested. If food is not chewed properly, the digestive enzymes have to work hard to break it down and digest it, and the chances of food passing undigested increase. The food eaten fast increases the speed at which food passes down the gastric tract resulting in incomplete breaking of food and passing it partially digested.
Next reason is taking high-fiber diet or food having hard external shells (like seeds, corn) that are difficult to digest. The digestive enzymes are unable to break down such food completely which is not absorbed in the digestive tract. As a result, it passes as such in the stool. Additionally, fiber diet leads to increase in speed of bowel movements and the time period for which the food remains in the digestive tract is shortened that increases the chance of some food to pass undigested. Some examples of food that are partially digested by the gastric enzymes and have high chance to pass as such in stool are beans, peas, skin of tomato, grains like quinoa, seeds and nuts.
Other than this, eating overcooked food can be a reason. This is because chemical composition of food changes by overcooking which makes it difficult to digest.
Apart from these reasons, there may be some medical reasons behind it that need to be diagnosed and treated.
1. Crohn’s disease: It is one of the two inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) of autoimmune origin in which inflammation in any part of the gastrointestinal tract can occur from mouth to anus. It can result in undigested food in the stool along with other symptoms like diarrhea, abdomen cramps, weakness, blood in stool, weight loss and malnutrition.
2. Celiac disease: It is also of autoimmune origin in which eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye) triggers an immune reaction in the small intestine resulting in damage to its lining. This damage prevents proper absorption of nutrients from the diet. Its signs and symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, gas, bloating, foul-smelling stool, undigested food in the stool, weight loss and anaemia.
3. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): It is a very chronic disorder affecting the large intestine. Its main signs and symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, or alternation between diarrhea and constipation, abdomen cramp or pain, gas and abdominal bloating.
4. Lactose intolerance: It is a condition in which the sufferer is not able to digest the sugar (lactose) in the milk completely due to deficiency of an enzyme called lactase. It can cause symptoms including diarrhea, gas and bloating after consuming dairy products.
5. It may also happen in case of acute gastroenteritis in which there is irritation and inflammation of the stomach and the intestines from a bacterial or viral infection. It can cause undigested food to pass in the stool along with diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain/cramp and fever.
6. Next reason can be small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This condition arises from an abnormal rise in the overall bacterial growth in the small intestine. Diarrhea, abdomen pain, loss of appetite, bloating, malnutrition and unintentional weight loss are some of its signs and symptoms.
7. Lastly, it may arise in cases of pancreatic insufficiency. The pancreas doesn’t make enough enzymes that help in breaking food and absorption of its nutrients.
What Other Signs And Symptoms Can Attend it?
It can be attended with other signs and symptoms depending on the cause behind it. Some of these include diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, offensive smell from stool, abdominal cramps, greasy stool, light-coloured stool, blood in the stool, weight loss and fever. Undigested food in the stool may also indicate that the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are not getting absorbed properly in the digestive tract. In case of malnutrition, there may occur tiredness, weakness, weight loss, irritability and depression.