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 [fe´sēz] (L.)
body waste discharged from the intestine; called also stool, excrement, and excreta. The feces are formed in the colon and pass down into the rectum by the process of peristalsis. When the rectum is sufficiently distended, nerve endings in its wall signal a need for evacuation, which is made possible by a voluntary relaxation of the sphincter muscles around the outer part of the anus.

The frequency of bowel movements varies according to the individual body make-up, type of intestine, eating habits, physical activity, and custom. Although one bowel movement a day is the average, a movement every 2 or 3 days may be considered normal. A balanced diet and an established routine can promote regular bowel movements.
Characteristics. Normally feces are soft and formed and brownish in color. An abnormality in color, odor, or consistency usually indicates a disorder of the intestinal tract or of the accessory organs of the digestive system. Black, tarry feces may indicate intestinal bleeding, especially in the upper portion of the tract. Some drugs, such as those containing iron or bismuth, can produce tarry feces. Bright red blood in the feces can indicate a wide variety of disorders ranging from hemorrhoids to a malignancy of the rectum. Clay-colored feces result from an absence or deficiency of bile in the intestinal tract, indicating obstruction of the biliary tract or decreased production of bile by the liver. Greenish-colored feces often accompany diarrhea, especially in infants, and may be caused by growth of certain bacteria.

Bulky, fatty feces with a foul odor are characteristic of cystic fibrosis. Other causes of fatty feces include gallbladder disease, pancreatic disorders, sprue, and excessive intake of fat in the diet. Feces containing large amounts of mucus often occur in colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

The feces of a newborn, full-term infant is called meconium. It is a dark greenish brown color, smooth and semisolid in consistency.
Disinfection. In many types of communicable diseases it is necessary to decontaminate the feces before they are flushed into the sewage system. Chlorinated lime, Lysol, or formalin may be used for this purpose. The contents of the bedpan used by the patient should be thoroughly covered with the disinfectant and allowed to stand for several hours. The contents are then disposed of in a hopper or commode, and the bedpan is rinsed and sterilized, preferably with live steam or by autoclave.
Observations. Because the characteristics of the feces can be of help in the diagnosis of various diseases, it is important to inspect the stool for color, consistency, odor, and number of stools per day. Abnormalities should be noted on the patient's chart or reported to the physician.
Specimens. A sample of feces (stool specimen) may be required as a diagnostic aid. The specimen should be collected in a bedpan and transferred into a sterile container, using a wooden spatula or tongue blade for this purpose. In order for certain types of intestinal parasites to be discovered in the feces, the specimen must be fresh and kept warm until examined in the laboratory. Microorganisms that may be detected include the typhoid and paratyphoid bacilli, the anthrax bacilli, and Entamoeba histolytica, which causes amebic dysentery. Specimens of the feces may be examined for occult (hidden) blood. This test is indicated when intestinal bleeding is suspected but the stools do not appear to contain blood when examined by gross inspection.


(fē'sēz), This word is grammatically plural.
The matter discharged from the bowel during defecation, consisting of the undigested residue of food, epithelium, intestinal mucus, bacteria, and waste material.
Synonym(s): stercus
[L., pl. of faex (faec-), dregs]


pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
Waste matter eliminated from the bowels; excrement.


Doo-doo, poop, stool Gastroenterology The semisolid material–composed of undigested food residue, bacteria, secretions–which is discharged from the anal sphincter by defecation


The matter discharged from the bowel during defecation, consisting of the undigested residue of food, epithelium, intestinal mucus, bacteria, and waste material from the food.
Synonym(s): stercus, faeces.
[L., pl. of faex (faec-), dregs]


(Also called stool.) The solid waste that is left after food is digested. Feces form in the intestines and pass out of the body through the anus.


(fē'sēz) This word is grammatically plural.
Matter discharged from the bowel during defecation, consisting of the undigested residue of food, epithelium, intestinal mucus, bacteria, and waste material.
[L., pl. of faex (faec-), dregs]

Patient discussion about Feces

Q. baby has worm in stool 6 monthold

A. There are many treatments, but as far as I know they require prescription, so consulting a pediatrician may be necessary.

However, you may read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intestinal_parasite

Q. what does it mean when u have blood in your stool?

A. Blood in the stool can be bright red, maroon in color, black and tarry, or occult (not visible to the naked eye). Causes of blood in stool range from harmless, annoying conditions of the gastrointestinal tract such as hemorrhoids to serious conditions such as cancer. Blood in the stool should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.Rectal bleeding (known medically as hematochezia) refers to passage of bright red blood from the anus, often mixed with stool and/or blood clots. Most rectal bleeding comes from the colon, rectum, or anus. The color of the blood during rectal bleeding often depends on the location of the bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Generally, the closer the bleeding site is to the anus, the blood will be a brighter red. For the rest of this you can go to http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/forum.asp?articlekey=24701
Hope this helps.

Q. Blood in stools before and after polyp removel, Avms of the deodenel loop, inside hems, and 3cin tubuo adenoma Hi, On Nov of 06 I had a colonoscopy done and they didnt find any thing that could be mking me bleed and go to the rest room often. Then in Nov of 07 did a EDg and found I have AVMs of the deodenel loop.She Burned them and I didnt have any more bleeding till June of thei yr.On 6/6/08 i had another EDg done she burned more AVMs and on Mon I started bleeding again. This time she did a colonoscopy and found I had inside hems and a 3cin tubuolvillous adenoma inflamed.She cut, burned, and took it out in peices.She saye she will go back in Nov of this yr and look again. Two weeks after I had this done I had started to bleed again and had bad such bad pain in my hip I had to hold on to walk. that same day i started to bleed again. I bled out big clots and a bowl full of blood! A few days later the pain went away but was still bleeding ever time I had bowl movement!I can bleed up to 4 days at a times sometimes. I have been taking HC supp. and it seems to have stoped the bleeding and pain!

A. It is normal that after a polyp removal you will continue bleeding some more. However, if you feel like there is a lot of bleeding, and/or you are not feeling well, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to stop the bleeding or look for the source of bleeding.

More discussions about Feces
References in periodicals archive ?
Both crop residues and animal waste can be used as animal feed.
Some farmers are familiar with animal waste management, but other people with animals often are content to allow manure to go unmanaged, according to Mr.
Ireland's champion Flat trainer claimed the closure of the animal waste processing plant at the end of 2003 had led to a dramatic improvement in conditions for his string.
To maintain access to safe drinking water, animal waste should remain classified as a hazardous substance under federal rules, according to APHA.
Animal agriculture and the environment; National Center for Manure & Animal Waste Management white papers.
Cluttons Agricultural Ltd from Marchwiel in Wrexham, and director Paul Thomas Clutton, have been prosecuted by Wrexham County Borough Council for an alleged delay in transporting carcasses from the site, and improper storage of animal waste, last year.
Kessel will outline Environmental Power Corporation's business model and the potential of Microgy Inc., which partners with dairy farms, cattle feed lots, and meat processing facilities to convert their animal waste into biogas that can be cleaned, compressed, and sold as commercial-grade natural gas.
The antibiotics end up in human and animal waste and can reach the environment, where resistance can also develop in soil- and water-dwelling bacteria.
A biogas digester can function well on human and animal waste. A quantity of liquid also is necessary; usually water is used, but urine works, too.
AMERICAN meat and dairy producers who pollute the air and water with animal waste will be let off paying fines of up to US$27,500-a-day in exchange for information to try to lessen future pollution.
The 550-person town will start using animal waste to create alternative energy as part of the state's Bio Town, USA project.