Pebble Poo

Published: March 31, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I poo like a rabbit, meaning like pebbles. First I thought that it was normal but then I started to worry that I might be some kind of health problem. I also have some difficulties when pooping but only happens once in a while. Rabbit pooping is so often. Note that I don't poop everyday. Does my diet effect this? I stopped having lunch in early December because I wanted to save up some money and lunch at my school isn't free. However, I still have breakfast and dinner daily but I think I sort of lost my appetite for food since I don't feel like I need to eat but the reason I eat is because I don't want to upset my mom. I regularly eat vegeables and I have no problem with it but I don't eat fruit.

Dear Pebble Poo,

It sounds like you may have constipation, which is when one has infrequent stools or difficulty with passing a stool, typically because it is hard and dry. Oftentimes, people may have to strain to pass stool, which is painful and could be associated with blood when wiping. You are correct in that the pebble-like stools you are experiencing could be due to your diet, especially inadequate fluid and fiber intake. In addition, skipping meals can cause irregular digestion and constipation as well. It is recommended that you see your doctor regarding your stooling, as well as decreased appetite. It is not a good idea that you skip meals. This may lead to poor nutrition and growth. In the meantime, please consider the following signs of constipation:

  • Infrequent passing of stools (less than three times in a week)
  • Straining to pass stool (often with pain)
  • Having blood when wiping after a hard stool
  • Hard, dry misshapen stools
  • Passing small volume “pebble” stools
  • Abdominal pains prior to passing stool
  • Decreased appetite due to abdominal fullness

Common causes of chronic constipation:

  • Lack of dietary fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains)
  • Lack of adequate fluid intake (at least 8 glasses of water daily)
  • Unbalanced diet (too much dairy or junk food)
  • Lack of regular physical activity
  • Medical condition such as low thyroid function
  • Use of medications (such as pain medications)

For more information check out How Many Days Does Constipation Last? or Constipated - How Can I Safely Regulate? 

To reiterate, FX strongly recommends that you visit your medical doctor to find out more about the cause of your irregular stools and decreased appetite. Your doctor can also education you about proper nutrition or recommend a nutritionist who can work with you to develop healthy eating habits that meet your needs.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.



Signed: TeenHealthFX