Why Does My Poop Smell Burnt

Why does my poop smell burnt?

Have you ever noticed your poop smelling burnt? It may sound weird to others or you may be scared knowing that your poop smell burnt which is not the normal smell of poop. It is very important to know the reason why your poop smell burnt as its entails and gives description to your health status.

There are many things to think about other than the color and smell of your poop. However, the bottom line is that your poop is also an important way to diagnose your health. In this article, we will explain why your poop smell like burnt hair, burnt rubber, burnt popcorn and other smells.

Why Should You Take Note of Your Poop

In the digestive system, the last phase or process is the bowel movement. Every substance taken into the body go through this last process unless you have constipation or any other bad condition that prevents this process. Every day, about 2 quarts of liquid and solid water pass through the body, the solid waste is known as poop or stool. A healthy stool should have some fluid or liquid, undigested food in fiber form, and dead cells that have shed from the linings of the intestines.

They should be well formed and brown in color although the color may change from person to person and also what you consumed. Changes in the color, smell, consistency and frequency of your poop can tell a lot about your digestive system but they can easily raise false alarm as they may change die to what we eat. There is no cause for concern if the changes occur once or maybe twice in a week.

But if it continues for longer than a week and there is no good explanation to the changes, you should see a doctor.

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Why Does My Poop Smell Burnt Rubber

Bacteria and the products from their actions cause the poop to have different smell. They can cause your body to have high concentration of a compound known as mercaptans. This compound is responsible for the pungent smell of your poop including the smell like burnt rubber. 

Why Does My Poop Smell Burnt

According to Healthline, there are some reasons for the smell your poop has, some of them are:

1. Infection: Some infections can affect the intestines thereby causing the foul smell and burnt smell your poop has. Example of this infection is gastroenteritis, it occurs after you have taken in food that is contaminated with E. coli and Salmonella or other bacteria, viruses or parasites. Some of the symptoms of this infection can be abdominal cramps, runny stomach and foul smelling poop.

2. Supplements and other medications: Some medications can cause discomfort to the gastrointestinal tract or even diarrhea. If you are allergic to any ingredients in the supplements or medications, you may also notice your poop having burnt or foul smell. Antibiotics are also medications that can change the smell of your poop till your body’s normal bacterial flora is restored.

Having burnt or foul smelling poop can be a side effect of taking more medications than your daily recommendations.

3. Malabsorption: This is a condition where the body is not able to absorb the proper amount of nutrients from the food you eat. This can be caused by an intestinal infection or disease of the intestines that prevents your intestines from absorbing nutrients from food. 

Other common causes of malabsorption are:

  • Carbohydrate intolerance – Inability of the body to process and absorb sugars and starches completely.
  • Celiac disease – Intolerance to gluten that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevent processing and absorbing of food.
  • Allergies to food like diary products
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Why Does My Poop Smell Burnt Match

The burnt match smell you perceive from your poop is from a chemical element known as sulfur. This chemical element is found in our diet and there are foods that are high in sulfates increase sulfur gas. Sulfur-containing foods are necessary part of our diet but they make your poop smell burnt and bad. Examples of sulfur-rich foods are kale, broccoli, cauliflower, diary products, meat and egg. Sulfur has a distinctive smell.

Why Does Your Poop Smell Like Burnt Popcorn

It may be sweet to have your poop smelling like burnt popcorn, at least you do not have to perceive the bad smell associated with poop. However, it can be a sign of hormonal change, diabetes and eating food that is high in protein. Some causes of your poop smelling like popcorn are:

1. Pregnancy: Pregnancy is one phase that comes with major changes including body mass, facial appearance and heightened senses. Your sense of smell will change especially during the first trimesters unpleasant smells will become more intense and smells you hated may become sweet to you while sweet smells become repulsive. Having poop that smells like popcorn may just be your pregnancy hormones playing with your nose. It can also be as it is a sign of diabetes.

If you notice both your poop and urine smelling like popcorn, you should see a doctor immediately as it can be a sign of preeclampsia (increase in blood pressure of a pregnant woman).

2. Diabetes: Diabetes causes the body to have a very high level of ketones in the bloodstream. As you pass out solid or liquid waste material, these ketones can be excreted as well giving your urine or poop a smell like burnt popcorn. Ketones is produced when your body does not have enough sugar or glucose for fuel, this can happen during fasting or overnight. It is normal to have a small number of ketones in the bloodstream especially if you exercise a lot or burn fats.

However, if you have diabetes and cannot control or manage the condition, a very high level of ketones can start to build in your blood. The more your body build higher levels of ketones, you enter into a stage know as ketoacidosis (Medical News Today, 2021). Ketoacidosis is a chronic and complicated condition that needs immediate medical attention. In most cases, people with this condition notice their poop and urine have a strong and sweet smell like burnt popcorn.

3. Diet with high protein: Eating foods with high level of protein can cause your body to enter ketosis. When you eat more of protein than carbohydrates, your body uses the protein and stores fats for energy instead of using the normal carbohydrates to make energy. As a result of the ketosis, your blood will also have high level of ketones. These ketones are removed from the body through urine and poop, they result to your urine or poop having sweet smell like burnt popcorn.

Why Does Your Poop Smell Like Burnt Hair

This is common in babies, in fact it is the first thing you notice about your baby’s poop. This may not be a cause for concern or alarm most times. Some common causes of your baby’s poop or yours having smell like burnt hair can be:

1. Sensitivity to a new meal: This is common in babies as introducing them to a new food may not sit well to their digestive system and the reaction can be seen in the color and smell of their poop. If it continues, you can see a doctor.

2. Food allergy: Food allergy can affect both babies and adults. Examples of foods that commonly cause allergies or intolerance are diary and lactose products. If you notice this, you can stop taking the food as it may cause other reactions.

3. Infection: Infections from virus or bacteria that affect the gastrointestinal tract can cause your poop to have smell like burnt hair. In cases where infection is the fuse of the change in smell, you will notice the change for few days. You should see a doctor if the smell does not go away after a day or two and continues longer than a week.

4. Moderate dehydration: Dehydration can lead to many effects. It can cause your mouth to produce a bad smell, it can also cause your poop or urine to have another smell like burnt hair. This is why you should take enough water or give your baby water from time to time to keep the body hydrated always. Some common causes like introduction to new food may go away on their own or transform into something else.

Look out for other symptoms like your baby having black or green poop, blood in the poop, vomiting as they could all be signs of a bacterial or viral infection.

Why Does Your Poop Smell Like Burnt Coffee

Does your poop smell like burnt coffee, the smell can be caused by some causes. The first explanation to your poop smelling like burnt coffee is that the coffee bean used in making the product contains certain compounds. So, when these coffee beans are digested, the compounds are released into the poop giving it the burnt coffee smell. Coffee changes the way your body processes and digests other food, coffee can speed up the digestive process making foods and substances to spend shorter time in the intestines.

So, after you take coffee, your body takes it our immediately resulting to your poop having some traces of the coffee. However, if the smell becomes sickeningly sweet, it may be caused by a bacterial infection known as Clostridioides. 


The question of why your poop smell burnt has been answered with different causes, you should know that some may go away on their own after some days while others can continue for longer periods. If the smell continues longer than a week, you should see a doctor for medical attention.

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