This is What The Color and Smell of Your Poop Is Telling You About Your Health

This topic is not the most pleasing thing to talk about, but it is actually something that can say a lot about what’s going on inside your body and your overall health.

There’s a saying that we need to take care of our body because it is the only place we have to live in. Our body is a complex organism that can be affected by many diseases and health issues. The smell, color and shape of our poop can give us early warnings if something isn’t right with our body. But do you know how to read the signs?

Know Your Poop (Stool)

The size, color, consistency and smell of your stool are all tell-tale signs of some aspects of your internal health. In this article we’ll use the “Bristol Stool Chart” – It is a chart used by researchers at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in the UK. This chart will help us categorize different types of poop and give explanation of each type.

poop chart

The Perfect Poop

Who would have thought that there is such a thing as the perfect poop? This type of poop is a sign that everything is ok with your health. This is what the average stool consists of:

  • Water (approx 75%)
  • Solid matter (approx 25%)

The so-called solid matter can be broken down into:

  • Cholesterol
  • Dead bacteria
  • Indigestible food matter (cellulose and fiber)
  • Other fatty substances

Of course,  the appearance of the stool varies depending on what you eat and drink. It usually takes between 18 and 72 hours for the food to be properly digested and poop to be created. Ideally and according to the chart above, the closer your stool is to types 3, 4, and 5,the better.

When your stools have been processed too quickly and your intestines haven’t had time to extract as much water as they normally should, diarrhea happens. In contrary, if you haven’t gone to Number two within 72 hours, it is considered as constipation.

Stool type # 1 – Small, hard lumpy stools

This type of stool can imply having acute disbacteriosis or in other words inflammation of the small intestine. Because certain bacteria are missing, there is little to be able to retain the water in the stool. These lumps of poop are solid, small and abrasive and their size is normally between 1 to 2 cm in diameter. This type of stool can cause anal bleeding because they are solid and scratchy. It is typical to have this type of stool if you take antibiotics or if your diet is low on fiber.

Stool type # 2 – Sausage shaped stools with lumps

This type of stool often happens through constipation remaining in the intestinal tract for several weeks. It can also cause anal bleeding because of their size that exceeds the size of the anal aperture. They have diameter between 3 and 4 cm.This type of stool is typical for someone suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).

Stool type # 3 – Sausage shaped stools with a cracked surface

This type of stool is processed faster than stool number 2 although is very similar. It also indicates constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

Stool type # 4 – Sausage shaped stools, soft and smooth

It is almost close to perfect. It is typical for someone who defecates once per day. It size is between 1 to 2 cm in diameter.

Stool type 5 – Soft blobs of poop with well defined edges

People who defecate 2 to 3 times per day after a big meal have this type of poop. With a diameter of between 1 and 1.5 centimeters is also close to perfect type.

Stool Type # 6 – Fluffy stools that have ragged, torn, edges

It can cause problems as it usually comes by surprise. It is very soft in texture and it indicates stress and high blood pressure.

Stool type # 7 – Diarrhea type – loose

It is similar to ordinary diarrhea but in this case it is something called paradoxical diarrhea because it happens in conjunction with constipation, accompanying stool type 1.  Children and elderly people often experience it.

Stool Color

The color of the stool can also be very symptomatic and indicate various conditions. The medium/light brown color stool is considered to be a healthy and normal stool that doesn’t indicate any health issues.

  • Black, tar, or bright red colored stools:

If your stool has one of  these colors, you need to consult your doctor as it may indicate bleeding in the GI or anal tract. However, black poop can result from various health supplements, medications or after consuming black licorice.

  • Very pale brown, gray, or white stools: These types of discolored stools may be a sign of health problems such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and pancreatic illness. White stools can be also caused by result of taking antacids. However, you need to visit your doctor for a regular check-up.
  • Yellow colored stools: Yellow colored stools can indicate a problem with your gallbladder, a giardia infection, or something known as Gilbert’s syndrome. In this case also you need to visit your doctor.

Smelly Stools

Poop don’t smell nice but there is a case of nasty smelling poop. This can indicate:

  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • A problem with absorption

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