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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19321
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Last couple of days I've noticed some very hard

Customer Question

Hi - for the last couple of days I've noticed some very hard stool (almost pebble like) mixed in with my normal stool. What could be causing this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.

This would most often be due to a response to the diet or to an alteration in hydration status. The most often dietary stimulus would be a change in the amount of fiber in the diet. Hydration status affects stool consistency because the colon will absorb more water when the hydration level is lower, which will make the stools harder. It is also possible that pebbles in the stool could represent gallstones that have passed from the gallbladder into and through the intestines, but this would be less common than a response to the diet or hydration status.

If you are not having any other symptoms, then the usual intervention would be to increase the amount of fiber in the diet to 25-35 grams per day, and to increase the water/fluid intake to about 2 liters per day.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks doctor - I've been having intermittent mushy stool but I've been for a flexi sigmoid which came back all clear. I will try to increase my fiber. As I mentioned the tiny pebbles are hard - I removed one and cut it in half and was poo like.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
If you cut it in half and it appeared to be stool, that would support that it is not gallstones, so it is more likely that it will be helped by an increase in fiber and water.