The question ” why does my poop smell like metal?” may sound weird and uncomfortable to some people. Poop is one subject many people avoid talking about, maybe because it sounds weird or it may make other people uncomfortable. The truth is that poop is a natural process of every living thing, if you do not poop, then there is something wrong with your body system which needs medical attention.
Checking your poop is very important as the color and smell tells a lot about your health. Everything you eat, your lifestyle and general health is shown in your poop. Your poop may smell metallic, sweet, burnt, or even pungent. In this article, we will answer the question of why your poop smell like metal.
REASONS WHY YOUR POOP SMELL LIKE METAL
If you notice your poop smell like metal, it means you have a high concentration of iron in your poop There are many reasons why your poop smell like metal, some may be caused by harmless causes and can dissolve on their own while others call for medical attention.
Some of the reasons why your poop smell like metal are:
The food you eat plays a huge role on how you poop smells. If your food or diet contains more of iron in high amounts, then your poop may have a metal smell. The small intestine in the digestive tract is responsible for absorbing iron. So when you eat food with high iron, the excess iron in the digestive tract gotten from the food is not absorbed by the gut. The result is that the free iron binds and the by-products of digestion is passed out of the body as faeces. So, it is safe to say that eating foods with high iron content can cause your poop to smell like metal.
Also, consuming excess processed foods and drinks which are high in metal content can cause your poop to still have the metal smell. Diary products will also cause your poop to smell like metal. When you eat diary products, the lactose content in the food breaks down and produces hydrogen sulfide, this gas gives your poop a metallic smell as well.
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The side effects of some medications is your poop having another smell which can be metallic. Antibiotics like Metronidazole can cause the mouth to have a metallic taste, this can also affect the smell of your poop. Iron supplements that are commonly prescribed to pregnant women, or for anemia or as part of an oral contraceptive may increase the level of iron in the body. Excess of this iron is excreted thereby causing your poop to smell like metal.
Medications used in treating diabetes, high blood pressure and heart conditions can cause your stool to smell like metal. These medications may have metals like potassium, magnesium and aluminum. As the body absorbs them, the poop can change smell to metallic.
Some diseases like inflammatory bowel syndrome, bacterial infections, malabsorption syndromes and other gastrointestinal tract like Crohn’s disease can cause the poop to smell like metal. These disease does not only affect the smell of the poop but the color, amount and frequency of bowel movements as well.
Some of the diseases that can cause your poop to have metallic smell are:
Kidney and Liver Disease: The kidney and liver are responsible for breaking down and removing metals consumed. If there is any disease affecting any of them especially if the condition is chronic, it can lead to the metal not being digested but accumulate in the faeces. Also, liver disease can develop and damage the liver as time goes on. This disease causes your poop to produce metals like copper and iron thereby causing your poop to smell like metal.
Metal Allergy: This is a condition whereby the body sees metal as harmful substances. When metal comes in contact with your body, your immune system reacts negatively to it. If there is even a small amount of metal in your foods and drinks can cause your poop to smell like metal. Some foods and drinks that are high in metal are tuna, swordfish, bone broth, brown rice, unfiltered water and others.
Iron Deficiency: This is when the body has too little iron. When you are iron deficient, your body starts to break down molecules with iron in order to get the needed iron. Iron is an important mineral needed to make red blood cells. If you do not eat foods that are rich in iron, or you have an illness that makes your body to lose lots blood, your body will start to produce a chemical known as ferritin. Ferritin makes your poop to smell like metal.
Ulcers: Ulcers or sores can form in the stomach and intestines or on the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. These ulcers and sores can cause the the walls of the gastrointestinal tract to bleed and results to blood in the stool. The blood in the stool can make your poop to smell like metal.
Gastroenteritis: This is an inflammation that affects the stomach and the intestines. It can be as a result of infections from bacteria or viruses, taking in irritants or other illnesses. One of the symptoms of this disease is bloody diarrhea which results to your poop having metallic smell.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Examples of inflammatory bowel diseases are Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This disease ulcers and inflammation to develop in the colon and rectum. The sores from the ulcers and inflammation causes pain in the abdomen, bleeding and bloody diarrhea. The blood gives your poop a metallic smell.
Intestinal Polyps: Intestinal polyps are harmless, non-cancerous growths that develops inside the intestines. They are a lump of tissue with the size of a finger that projects into the lumen of the colon They may be harmless but they causes bleeding and blood in your poop. However, these growths can be cancerous and harmful sometimes. The blood in your stool gives your poop a metallic smell.
Diverticula: These are small pockets that forms on the walls of the colon. They are quite harmless but can be a breeding sire for infections. Infections in these pockets can cause bleeding, inflammations and ulcerations which leads to blood in your stool.
Anal Fissures: Anal fissures develops when there is an injury in the inner lining of the anus, this injury causes blood vessels to rupture and bleeding start. Fresh and bright blood can be seen in your poop with a metallic smell.
Hemorrhoids: These is a condition whereby the veins in the walls of the anus ad lower rectum are swollen and enlarged. This can develop inside the walls of the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin near the opening of the anus (external hemorrhoids). One of the symptoms of this disease is bleeding from the bus and rectum while you excrete causing your poop to smell like metal.
Tumors: Tumors can cause sores, injury and weakness of the walls of the intestines. Some common tumors and cancer that affect the walls of the intestines are Carcinoma of the stomach, and colorectal cancer, they cause bleeding and bloody diarrhea leading to your poop having smell like metal.
WHY DOES MY POOP SMELL LIKE METAL AFTER COVID
After Covid-19, the challenge most people have is loss of their sense. So, when they complain about their poop smelling like metal, the question is if the smell is from your poop or your nose. One of the common side effects of Covid-19 is the long-term effects of Anosmia and parosmia, which affect your sense of smell.
Everything smells different and absurd to you. Your food may smell weird, metallic or rotten to you. Some reported that their poop smell like metal, egg or cat’s food. However, if you noticed your poop smell like metal, you should see a doctor as it will be best if the doctor can check if it is from your poop or nose.
WHY DOES MY POOP SMELL LIKE METAL DURING PREGNANCY
Pregnancy comes with many changes including your smell, nothing smells like normal including your poop. This is because your body is going through lots of major changes, so there is no need for alarm. If your poop smell like metal while you are pregnant, it may be as a result of food intolerance like lactose.
The smell may also be you being more sensitive to smell and what does not smell so bad can be so aggressive on your nose. The sensitivity is because of your pregnancy and body changes. However, it is important to see a doctor if your poop smell like metal as it can be caused by a disease or other factor other than your sensitivity.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Diagnosis will help you to find out the exact reason why your poop smell like metal and how to treat it as well. If you notice your poop smell like metal with other symptoms like blood in your stool, pain while passing out stool, acid reflux, and nausea, you should see a doctor immediately. Some of the diagnosis will be your doctor asking for your health history, food and alcohol consumption, and medications you may are taking.
Other diagnosis may include:
- Endoscopy: This is a non-surgical procedure that involves using an equipment to examine the digestive tract.
- Colonoscopy: A procedure that involves examining the entire large bowel to look for changes.
- Barium X-ray: This is a special type of x-ray that involves examining the gastrointestinal tract.
- Nasogastric lavage
- CT scan and other imaging tests
Treatment for your poop smelling like metal can depend on the cause. Some treatment can be invasive or non-invasive.
Treatment methods include:
- Medications like antacids, or proton pump inhibitors
- Surgery to remove tumors, growths or polyps.
Your poop can smell like metal and there are many reasons for this. It can be caused by diseases, medications, food, pregnancy or after effect of covid. You should see your doctor if the smell does not go away or have other symptoms like bloody stool, pain in your abdomen, nausea and others.