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Pellet Stool and Constipation

How Does Constipation Affect Your Poop?


Updated June 21, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Pellet stool is stool that comes out in small, round balls. It is often due to a lack of dietary, as fiber forms a gel in the intestines when it is fermented by colon bacteria and combined with water. 

Pellet stool may also be indicative of certain imbalances according to alternative medicine. In traditional Chinese medicine, pellet stool is caused by liver qi stagnation. It's often brought on by stress. Lack of exercise worsens the problem.

Signs of liver qi stagnation include:

  • stress-related symptoms
  • symptoms improve with exercise
  • feeling bloated all the time
  • copious amounts of gas
  • symptoms are worse before or during menstrual periods

Excessive intake of red meat, wheat, sugar, and alcohol are believed to cause congestion and heat in the body and worsen liver qi stagnation. Reducing intake of these foods can help. Some alternative practitioners recommend a detox diet plan:

According to some herbalists, herbs that reduce stress and help digestion by easing intestinal bloating and cramping are chamomile and lemon balm. Both can be found as teas or taken as capsules or liquid extracts.

Stress reduction techniques such as yoga, breathing, massage therapy, shiatsu, and aromatherapy, can help.

Other tips:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Do not suppress the urge to have a bowel movement.
  • Exercise.

In Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, pellet stools may indicate a Vata imbalance (take the Ayurvedic type quiz here). Stools may be less frequent, darker and be accompanied by excess gas or flatulence.  Key to balancing Vata is to stay hydrated, relaxed, and to eat regular meals. The herb triphala supports the digestive system. Slippery elm tea may also be recommended. 

When there is a lack of both dietary fiber and water, stool can become hard and firm and difficult to pass. I've written about natural remedies for constipation here.

SEE ALSO: Loose Stool | Floating Stool | Dark or Bright Red Stool | Mucus in Stool | Green Stool | More Poop Colors Explained

Address any change or abnormality in bowel movement with your physician, as it can be a sign of a medical condition.

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