Don't underestimate foamy defecation, because this can be a sign of a particular health disorder. This condition can occur in anyone including infants and children. Then, what are the causes of foamy bowel movements? See the explanation below.
Causes of foamy defecation
The following are various health conditions that can cause foaming defects, namely:
Bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections that attack the digestive system can cause gas bubbles to form. This gas bubble will make foaming feces later.
Usually, the most common source of infection that causes foamy stool is the Giardia parasite. Usually these parasites infect people who consume contaminated drinks and food. In addition, these parasites can also enter the body when you accidentally drink or swim in water that has been contaminated by Giardia parasites.
Not only feces are foamy, usually the infection is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Abdominal cramps
- Weight drops suddenly
This condition usually lasts 2 to 6 weeks until the symptoms subside.
2. Celiac disease
Celiac disease is a disorder of the immune system that occurs as a response to the body when someone consumes gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat.
During celiac disease, the body's immune system reacts negatively to gluten and damages the lining of the small intestine which can cause impaired absorption of fat to cause foaming feces.
If you have celiac disease, not only stool has changed. However, you will experience various other symptoms including:
- Loss of appetite
- Joint pain
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is the inability of the colon to function properly. In people with IBS, the intestines usually experience irregular contractions that can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation.
In addition, people who experience IBS also usually have slimy stools and make it look foaming. Other symptoms that indicate IBS include:
- Cramps and abdominal pain
- Frequent belching
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreatic gland which is divided into acute and chronic conditions. This one health problem hinders a person's ability to digest fat.
This condition can cause pain in the upper abdomen to spread to the back of the stomach. Alcoholic drinkers who are quite heavy, gallstones, pancreatic cancer, and genetic disorders can be the cause of pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis can cause foamy stool accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heart rate faster than usual
- Stomach swells
Aside from health problems, the abdominal surgery procedure can also cause feces to become foamy. Usually this operation will cause short bowel syndrome which can cause a person to experience chronic diarrhea and foam in the stool. However, this condition is temporary and will disappear by itself once the body's condition has recovered.
The cause of foaming in infants
Not only adults can experience stool problems. However, babies also often experience foaming feces. Usually, babies who have foam on their fists are a sign of the body's excess lactose, the sugar contained in breast milk.
ASI consists of two parts, namely foremilk and hindmilk. Foremilk is breast milk that comes out when your baby starts sucking on your mother's breasts. While hindmilk is breast milk that comes out after the foremilk. Hindmilk tends to be thicker and contains more calories and fat.
Foremilk has less nutrition than hindmilk. Well, if the baby gets too much foremilk while breastfeeding, the body is unable to digest lactose so that the excretion it contains contains foam.
If your baby often has foamy stools, try to suckle them for 20 minutes on one side before switching to the other breast. This is done to ensure that the baby receives enough hindmilk to reduce the presence of foam in the stool.
Moving the baby from one breast to the other too quickly will make the little one suck too much foremilk.
When to go to the doctor?
If your stool continues to foam more than twice, then this is a warning sign your body gives you to realize. Especially if this condition is accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Fever that exceeds 38.6 degrees Celsius.
- There is blood in the stool.
- Abdominal pain that is quite severe and unbearable.
If you experience any of the symptoms above, you don't need to procrastinate to go to the doctor. Immediately see a doctor to get the right diagnosis and treatment according to conditions.
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