Pencil Thin Stools, How to resolve?: Hi All... - IBS Network

IBS Network

33,238 members11,342 posts

Pencil Thin Stools, How to resolve?


Hi All,

Apologies in advance if my post contains tmi

I'm hoping somebody can help me or give me some tips on what i'm doing wrong, for a considerable amount of time i've been having issues with my bowel movements, i pay a visit the toilet each morning but my stools are quite small, pencil thin and poorly formed, have the appearance of clay and stick to the toilet bowl quite a lot of the time, my diet is fairly healthy and consists of muesli for breakfast, wholemeal sandwiches/ a salad for lunch and meat with vegetables for my evening meal (broccoli,carrots etc)

I suffer with a little bit of bloating but this isn't very often, more an uncomfortable feeling throughout my body.

Don't know if this has any relevance to my case but from blood tests i don't seem to be absorbing my vitamins b12, d etc.

I've tried psyllium husk in the form of Lepicol and the American version called Metamucil and these help massively but can just stop working with no notice until i have a few days break and resume taking it.

Has anybody had any success with probiotics, other products or foods that could help?

Thank You for looking!

7 Replies

If you’re in the USA, have you tried Citrucel? my version of all this includes similar signs to yours and a LOFFLEX- type diet woth low residue/fibre + low dairy + low fat diet helped me a lot when my small intestines began to struggle when digesting fibre/residue + fat + dairy....

🍀🍀🍀🍀 Coco

Hi Coco,

Thank you for your response, i'm from the uk but do have some citrucel in my cupboard ready to try, bought it as i was wondering if it worked any differently to psyllium but have not tried it yet

I'll definitely take a look at the LOFLEX diet, sorry to ask tmi, did this help you with your stool formation etc?

Thank You!

I’m afraid my gastro issues are way past the stage when LOFFLEX can help them, but in the latter stages of my GI tract debilitation i was on a v reduced version of LOFFLEX (reduced in that i had finally had to go ULTRA low residue/fibre after 60 years of relying mainly on fibre & hydration to keep my dysmotility from obstipation). Now i wish i’d been introduced to LOFFLEX & methylcellulose when i was in my 30s! (You probably know that methylcellulose is the key ingredient in Citrucel & Celevac (the UK equivalent of citrucel) & methylcellulose is the only insoluble nonfermentable bulking agent...depending on how much water you drink, it can help manage both diarrhea & constipation)

pencil-like stools (i think of mine as more like short bits of cut up landline telephone cord, or flex) are part of my repetoire, but when my intestinal stuff is at its worst these versions of stool occur along with other versions (soft irregular blobs of various smallish sizes mainly). Right now i’m in one of those bad phases, cause i hyper-reacted to a preMRE bowel cleansing agent drink, so your post struck a chord!

What NHS consultants have had to resort to in my case is EEN (prescription Exclusive Enteral Nutrition: predigested amino acids reducing my chronic maladsorption by requiring no digestive function from my debilitated small intestine) which give the small bowel complete R&R...i haven’t been able to tolerate food by mouth for 5 months now, ongoing indefinitely. Celevac had been preventing EEN-related obstipation, but UK supply has been unobtainable all summer, so i had citrucel brought over from the USA. i have systemic lupus, and my daily steroids + immunosuppression meds also help keep flex/pencil-like stools etc at bay & GI tract as functional as poss. I don’t miss real food much cause i’ve just had 4 years of hell under gastro nutrition & dietetics proving i simply can’t tolerate any type of food at all (the only thing i can have a bit of alongside these EEN Nutricia Elemental 028 Extra cartons are those plain styrofoam rice cakes)

Apologies for the long reply, but i haven’t mastered the art of explaining this concisely!

Wishing you all the best!

Barnclown in reply to Barnclown

PS here is the best official up to date doc i’ve found on fibre & functional gastro disorders (methylcellulose is in its big table no1 re fibre types/sources/benefits):

NB this is a big doc...takes a bit of time to download, but it’s worth it

Apologies for the late response and thank you for your detailed response (no trouble with long replies here :D),

I'm sorry that you've had so much trouble with your digestive health and that hopefully one day you'll be fully sorted,

I've browsed though the citation that you linked me too which is really useful Thank You, i'll give citrucel a go and let you know how i get on.

All the best too

You’re welcome....& Thanks!

Whenever I use Miramax I have pencil thin stool. I started Citracel and it worked well but still have to use Miralax to soften my stools. The combination has worked for me for awhile now.

You may also like...