My Stool Are Like Pebbles And I Strain When I Go

Published: December 16, 2013
Dear My Stool Are Like Pebbles And I Strain When I Go,
I am a 15 girl and have when I defecate I my stool is either formed like pebbles or hard pebbles conjoined. I only defecate about 3 or 4 times a week and I strain to defecate each time. I have tried drinking water I drink at least 1.2 liters a day and have a daily fiber vitamin. Is there anything else I can do to have regular stool?

Dear My Stool Are Like Pebbles And I Strain When I Go,

You may be dealing with an issue of constipation. Constipation is usually defined as having a bowel movement less than 3x per week and is often associated with hard stools and/or difficulty passing stools. Since you have increased your fluid intake and fiber intake, but are continuing to have this problem, TeenHealthFX recommends you check in with your doctor about it.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

You likely have constipation, however, if you've had at least two of the following signs and symptoms for at least three of the past six months:

  • Pass fewer than three stools a week
  • Experience hard stools
  • Strain excessively during bowel movements
  • Experience a sense of rectal blockage
  • Have a feeling of incomplete evacuation after having a bowel movement
  • Need to use manual maneuvers to have a bowel movement, such as finger evacuation or manipulation of your lower abdomen

The Mayo Clinic also states the most cases of constipation are not serious and do not require a visit to the doctor. However, chronic constipation may lead to complications or be a sign of a serious underlying disorder.

See your doctor if you experience an unexplained onset of constipation or change in bowel habits, or if symptoms are severe and last longer than three weeks. Also seek medical care if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, which might indicate a more serious health problem:

  • Bowel movements occurring more than three days apart, despite corrective changes in diet or exercise
  • Intense abdominal pain
  • Blood in your stool
  • Constipation that alternates with diarrhea
  • Rectal pain
  • Thin, pencil-like stools
  • Unexplained weight loss

As for diet and lifestyle changes that can reduce constipation, consider the following:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t rush yourself when you have to go
  • Don’t ignore urges to have bowel movements

Also consider the following from the Maya Clinic:

  • Limit the amount of low-fiber foods you eat, such as ice cream, cheese and processed foods
  • Check with your doctor to see if fiber supplements (i.e., Metamucil or Citrucel) would be right for you
  • Check with your doctor before using any type of laxatives and do not use laxatives as an ongoing treatment or preventative measure

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.