Metal Smelling Poop: Causes and Issues

Metal Smelling Poop

Human stool may differ in colour, texture, and smell, reflecting the complex processes happening within our digestive system. Even though diet is the primary cause of most stool odours, some unusual smells can be unsettling. The smell of metal is a strange odor that might occasionally cause worry. This article examines the potential causes of metal smelling poop, its symptoms, and the circumstances under which it can indicate a more serious underlying problem.

Understanding Metal Smelling Poop

 It’s important to comprehend common stool odours before examining the world of metallic-smelling stools. The odour of healthy stool is usually attributed to the decomposition of food by gut bacteria. Generally, it doesn’t resemble the smell of metal or any other distinctive, peculiar scent, although it can range from mildly spicy to somewhat unpleasant.

Causes of The Mysterious Metallic Odour

If you’ve observed that a pungent metallic smell has accompanied your bowel movements, it’s only natural to question what might be causing it. Here are some potential causes of the metallic odour:


A change in diet, especially the addition of certain foods or drinks, can affect how your stool smells. Red meat and iron supplements, such as pills, have the potential to produce a metallic odour. Additionally, sulphur-rich foods like cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower) may also give off an odd odour. 

Supplements and medications

Some vitamins, minerals, and prescription drugs can affect the odour of your stool. Particularly iron supplements are known for making your stool smell metallic. Supplements like bismuth subsalicylate (found in certain antidiarrheal medicines) or antibiotics might have similar effects.

Gastrointestinal Bleeding 

Stomach bleeding is one of the more important reasons the stool has a metallic odour. Blood can flow through the digestive system during upper digestive tract haemorrhage, giving stool a metallic odour. Numerous conditions, such as ulcers, gastritis, haemorrhoids, or colon cancer, can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding.

Bacterial Infections

Some bacteria, such as Salmonella or Campylobacter, might alter the smell of your stool. The metallic smell can occasionally be part of the overall picture, even though these infections frequently show other symptoms like diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and fever.

Iron overload

Excessive iron levels inside the body, known as hemochromatosis, may result in a metallic odour in the stool. Hemochromatosis is a genetic condition that leads the body to absorb excessive iron from food, leading to its buildup in various organs. Medical supervision and care are required for this disorder.

Heavy metal toxicity

Changes in stool odour can occasionally occur after exposure to heavy metals, including lead, mercury, or cadmium. These harmful chemicals can enter the body through contaminated food or water, certain vocations, or environmental circumstances. Heavy metal toxicity necessitates a medical assessment and the proper course of therapy to avoid further difficulties.

Copper deficiency

Copper is a vital mineral needed for several physiological processes. However, copper toxicity, or excessive quantities of copper in the body, can result in a metallic odour in the stool. Wilson’s disease, other hereditary illnesses, and some drugs can cause copper toxicity.

When to Seek Medical Attention?

Even though a passing metallic odour in the stool may not be of immediate concern, it is crucial to speak with a doctor if you suffer any of the following:

Odour persistence or worsening

If the metallic odour lasts or worsens over time, getting medical help is crucial. A medical professional can suggest the best course of action and assist in identifying the underlying reason.

Additional symptoms

It’s important to visit a doctor if you experience additional symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, changes in bowel habits (such as chronic diarrhoea or constipation), unexplained weight loss, or fatigue. These signs and symptoms could point to a digestive issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated.

Diagnostic Procedures

Your healthcare practitioner might suggest the following tests to identify the cause of metal-smelling stools:

Blood tests

These examinations can help determine iron levels, look for indicators of inflammation or infection, and assess liver and kidney function.

Stool analysis: A stool sample can be examined for blood, parasites, or bacterial illnesses.

Imaging testing

To inspect the digestive tract and spot abnormalities, your doctor may prescribe imaging tests such as endoscopy, colonoscopy, or abdominal ultrasound.


The smell of stool may offer valuable insights into our digestive system, but it is essential to approach unusual odours cautiously. Remembering the likelihood of underlying disorders such as gastrointestinal bleeding or bacterial infections is important, even though a metallic odour in stool can frequently be linked to dietary factors or drugs. 

If you are worried about metal smelling poop related symptoms, speaking with a healthcare provider is always advisable. They can diagnose properly and direct you toward the right treatment if required.

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