THE SCOOP ON POOP
The Bristol Stool Scale classifies poop into seven categories from severe constipation to severe diarrhea. See below:
- Type 1. If your poop looks like separate hard lumps or pellets, it means you are constipated and/or dehydrated. The poo has sat in the large intestine for some time and it can be hard to pass. Think about what you have eaten that may have caused it. Dairy products, red meat, breads and fried foods are known to cause constipation, which is your body telling you it doesn’t like the fuel you’re feeding it. Try drinking a good amount of water to loosen things up.
- Type 2. If your poop looks like a lumpy sausage or a nut-filled candy bar, it means you are constipated and/or dehydrated. The poo has dried in the large intestine, but not enough to break into pieces like the Type 1 poo. We heard that taking magnesium increases water in the colon and can help.
- Type 3. If your poop looks like a log with cracks on the surface, you may have a poor diet or lack of exercise or movement. It can be strenuous to pass, but the Bristol Stool Chart states it is normal.
- Type 4. If your poop is smooth and snake-like or similar to soft-served ice cream, you are normal and have good digestion. This kind of poo remains intact when flushed and shows a good water/nutrient balance. It should be soft and easy to pass.
- Type 5. If your poop is coming out like soft blobs with clear cut edges, you may be fiber deficient, you may have imbalanced gut bacteria or you may have a gastrointestinal disorder.
- Type 6. If your poop is mushy with ragged edges, similar to pudding, you may have intestinal inflammation. It means the poo has passed through the intestines too quickly due to stress, diet change or extreme activity. Foods high in fiber, electrolytes and that are rich in bacteria can help.
- Type 7. If your poop is liquid and has no solid pieces, you have severe diarrhea and dehydration. Food poisoning, lack of fiber, food allergies and bacteria imbalance can irritate the small intestine and cause this. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and eat fibrous foods to thicken things up.
What Color Is Your Poo?
The color of our poo is a very good indicator of health. A medium brown color (like that of a milk chocolate bar) is the ideal color, but it is good to know what the other colors mean. See below:
- Brown Poo: Bile turns poop brown, which is the desired poo color.
- Black Poo: It means you could have internal bleeding from an ulcer or cancer. Black poo is a bad sign.
- Green Poo: When we eat a lot of leafy greens, our poo can turn green, but green poo can also mean it moved through the intestines too quickly and never had a chance to turn brown.
- Yellow Poo: Eating greasy and fatty foods can turn poo yellow. It can mean fat malabsorption or liver or gallbladder stress.
- Blue Poo: Artifical colors and dyes, when ingested in large amounts, can turn poo blue.
- Red Poo: Beware of red poo. It can mean there is bleeding in the lower intestine. It can be a sign of a serious medical issue.
- White Chalky Poo: This occurs when the liver doesn’t produce enough bile salts into the poo. It can be a sign of a serious medical issue.
So next time you do the do, take a note of the texture, firmness and color of your poo. We can all live healthier lives by taking notice of the way our bodies are functioning.
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