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Strange odor with bowel movements

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Old 10-14-2011, 07:09 PM   #1
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Strange odor with bowel movements

This is kind of strange, but I'm hoping someone can at least point me in the right direction to find out what this is.
For quite a number of months now, I've noticed a very odd odor that accompanies my bowel movements if I sit on the toilet long enough (ie: I don't notice when it's a quick in and out). I know it's not my stool, as it smells exactly the same every single time, and I notice it when I spread my legs apart in front. It seems like the smell is coming from my vaginal area, but I'm not sure. I always have discharge when I stool, it's like I push it out when I bear down. So I've tried smelling that, but it's not exactly the discharge itself. The odor is kind of musty and odd, not fishy like an infection. And it only happens when I have a bowel movement.
I went to my gyno for it a number of months ago, complaining about the odd musty smell, and she sampled my discharge, said she didn't smell anything, and essentially told me there wasn't one. But there is. My husband can smell it when I leave the restroom - that's how strong it is. It's really embarrassing and odd. And I know it's not gas or stool - it's something else going on, but I can't figure it out.
Any ideas on what this could be? Or where it's coming from? I know the odor itself is not described well - odors are really hard to describe. It's just musty and dirty smelling, but not foul, or fishy, or gassy.
Sorry if this is TMI! Gotta have the background to help with the problem, right

Thank you in advance!!

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Old 10-18-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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Re: Strange odor with bowel movements

I have experienced something similar to that. If I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement, my vaginal odor would intensify, and after the bowel movement there would be discharge also. I have IBS. What helped me is taking probiotics, particularly ones that are suggested for women such as Fem-Dophilus and RepHresh Pro-B and that helps a lot. So, I think this issue has to do with a bacterial imbalance.

Don't be suprised if your symptoms get worse depending on what you eat that day. I eat a diet consisting of whole foods, with very little processed foods. Sugars, refined carbohydrates, and junk foods usually upset the digestive tracts microflora because they break down into sugars which can cause an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and that also affects the bacteria in the colon aswell.

If you watch what you eat (and drink) while taking a good probiotic and notice a positive change, then the issue resides in your intestinal flora and pelvic flora being out of synch.

Old 10-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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Leelee28 HB UserLeelee28 HB User
Re: Strange odor with bowel movements

Thanks for the insight! I also have IBS, so maybe that does have something to do with it.

I might just be grasping at nothing here, but here's a thought I just had. For years I've had BM issues, swinging from too many/day to 1-2x/week. Within the last few years I started having abdominal pain. In February or so, my Dr. told me to take Fiber to see if GI issues were causing my pain (turns out it was a hernia, but that's besides the point). I have been taking fiber pills daily since then, and have pretty regular BMs. I also started noticing it (odor) since the beginning of the year or so. Maybe a relationship there?
Prior to the pills, I was on a constipation cycle, so I doubt I'd have noticed something if I'm going 1-2x/wk. Meh, an idea I guess.

Thanks again! I'll talk to my Dr. about it!

Old 10-19-2011, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Strange odor with bowel movements

Your symptoms seem to be very similar to mine. I would have a strong urge to have a bowel movement throughout the day. Only later did I start paying more attention and I realized when I ate certain things it would make the urge to go even worse. The abdominal pain that would be associated with the urge was very uncomfortable, enough to even stop me dead in my tracks until it passed.

From personal experience, consulting with doctors wasn't that much of a help figuring out the source of the vaginal odor. But I sure know it has to do with an imbalance mainly depending on what I eat and the fact that it gets better with probiotics makes it even more obvious that it is an imbalance.

The fiber pills could be making your symptoms worse. I've read from numerous medical reports that although fiber is very healthy and important for proper nutrition, in people with IBS, it can make their symptoms worse. It has to do with the fact that fiber can cause excessive gas. It also has a lot to do with how fiber is broken down and digested that causes the problems.

I'm currently looking out for FODMAPS in foods. FODMAPS stand for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. These are basically sugars. Sugars ferment during the digestive process. This is big trouble for people with digestive disorders because the sugar causes muscle contractions in the intestines, gas, bloating and abdominal pain. People who watch out for FODMAPS notice a huge improvement in the way they feel. The tricky thing about the FODMAPs is they can be found in huge quantities in certain foods such as tomatoes, avocadoes, apples, peaches ... basically many fruit and some vegetables. The fruits that have the lowest FODMAPS are citrus fruits such as lemons and grapefruit. I think berries also count. Meat is okay so long as it isn't breaded. Vegetables are okay so long as they aren't high in sulfur, like onions, garlic, and scallions. Some vegetables still have a high fructose content. Processed foods are kind of out of the question unless everything on the label is "safe" to eat.

There are some people who have metabolic disorders such as Fructose Malabsorption and when they eat things high in fructose in causes digestive upsets. Not only that but some Fructose Malabsorbers also develop an odor that emits from their body aswell as the digestive upset hat does not go away until the fructose has passed through their body. This might be something to consider. Not everyone with Fructo-Mal has an odor, but some do.

I hope all goes well at your next appointment.

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