What Your Poop Says About Your Body
Poop is really really really important! Do you even know what normal poop is? You have to have at least an idea of what your poop means or what your poop says about you. In the United States and around the world, many people’s poop is just not good.
Adding to the problem is the fact that we live in a day and age where it’s not generally acceptable to mention your bowel activity in polite company. Strangely, even in the doctor/ patient relationship, this subject may be skimmed over with discomfort on everyone’s part in exploring what is really going on.
Thus, many people suffer in silence about their bad digestion. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Everyone deserves to understand that there are visual cues that we can see for ourselves saying that our intestinal health may, or may not, be at risk in some way.
Bristol Stool Chart
The Bristol Royal Infirmary in Bristol, England, has come up with a graphic, yet discreet way for physicians and patients to discuss the truth about their bowel patterns. Through the use of a chart that gives visuals of 7 various appearances of a stool with an adjacent description, not only of the stool itself but of the patient’s experience in passing it, patients can now know more about whether their poop appears to be normal or not.
In this way, reporting to your doctor that number 6 (or whatever) fits you, you have been spared the embarrassment of describing the details, and the doctor, hearing the number 6 mentioned, will know precisely what those details are. You also get to have an idea of what is normal poop or not. Sharing with you below is the Bristol Stools Chart/ Types of Stool Meaning:
Type 1 poop can indicate that the normal healthy bacteria in the stool are missing. The lumps are hard and painful to pass. This can often happen with people after taking antibiotics or for people who don’t eat enough fiber.
Type 2 is indicative of constipation and is dangerous because the bowel movement is near or exceeds the size of the anal canal. This usual indicates that the stool has been in the colon for a long period of time.
This is a less severe form of constipation where the stool isn’t quite as large as in Type 2 but straining still happens.
Type 4 is normal for someone that goes once per day.
Type 5 is considered ideal and usually indicates that someone goes two to three times per day, typically after meals.
Type 6 is subnormal. These can be a bit messy and is often accompanied by an increase in urgency. This can suggest several disorders, or it can be normal sometimes.
Type 7 is Diarrhea and is not normal. It should be borne in mind, however, that diarrhea (#7) is also a signal of a problem, sometimes as minor as a 24 hour intestinal flu, but may also be liquid stool developing and passing around a blockage due to tumor, impaction, or latent constipation.
Some General Poop Tips:
*Is Your Poop Normal?
In a healthy intestine, bowel movements would be a non-event in terms of the person’s experience. Pain or straining signal more than simple discomfort but may also be an indication of impacted stool that has remained in the colon for weeks or may even be an indication of a colo-rectal tumor or other serious condition.
If you experience conscious awareness of straining, pain, pressure, and of course bleeding, you should contact a physician at once.
According to GutSense.org (Also see GutSense for a more in depth analysis of the subject of your bowel movements and for more complete information about diagnosis and treatment):
- Abnormal stools are any stools that require straining and/or you feel pressure from stools passing through the anal canal.
- Abnormal stools may be small or large size-wise, depending on fiber consumption, and frequency of defecation.
- Normal stools can be loose or slightly formed (such as BSF Type 5).
- Normal stools (between BSF Type 4 and 6) aren’t perfectly round.
- Normal stools for one person may be abnormal for another. The degree of normality is determined by the anatomy of the anal canal.
- Normal stools require zero effort and zero straining for elimination.
- Normal stools pass through the anal canal without any perception of pressure.
Experts also advise against liberal use of various harsh laxatives and in some instances, where over-sized stools are already occurring, the fiber-based laxatives designed to create better bulk may exaggerate and aggravate an already present problem with very unfortunate outcomes. Thus, it is encouraged to seek improvement through nutrition, drinking greater quantities of water, and through sufficient medical advisement.
Knowing any changes in the color, smell, size, and shape of poop you experience everyday could be a good indicator of your current health.