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Bristol Stool Chart: What Does Your Poop Color Mean?

Bristol Stool Chart: What Does Your Poop Color Mean?

The Bristol stool chart is a chart that gives you complete details about the types of poop that you are likely to have during your daily bowel movements. It might be weird and embarrassing to think about the shape, size, and color of your poop, but your poop gives an insight into your health. Let’s take a look at the Bristol stool chart and various other facts related to poop.

Understanding normal poop

Poop can be different each day. And no matter how unique it looks, what matters is that your body is functioning healthily. Below are the factors that are important in your poop.

Shape

Most commonly, your poop will be in a sausage shape. It is because of the formation within the intestines. However, your poop shape changes for numerous reasons.

Keep in mind, if your poop doesn’t look like a sausage, it might be an indication of something.

Size

Ensure your poop doesn’t come out in small pellets. It should be long and a couple of inches in length. As said, it should be like a sausage that passes out easily.

Duration

Your daily pooping should take around 10-15 minutes. A healthy poop passes out easily, within no time. If you are spending more than 10-15 minutes in the toilet, this might be an indication of a health issue.

Color

Ideally, your poop color is the same as the brown poop emoji on your mobile. If there is a change in color, it might be due to numerous reasons ranging from food color to health issues.

Frequency of poop

On average, an individual excretes waste once to thrice a day. That is normal. A frequency that is lower than once or higher than thrice may be an indication of bowel issues. In that case, you should consult with a doctor.

Consistency

Your poop being between soft and firm in consistency is pretty normal. If it is too firm or too soft, there could be digestion issues.

Understanding the Bristol stool chart

After broad research, doctors broke down poop into seven categories or the types of poop, in terms of visibility and shape.

Below is the Bristol stool chart.

Bristol Stool Chart Poop Type 1: Hard and separated lumps that look like nuts

  • Indication: Constipation. These little pellets mean your bowel activities aren’t healthy.

Bristol Stool Chart Poop Type 2: Sausage-like but lumpy

  • Indication: Mild constipation. Ensure you drink plenty of fluid to treat constipation-like situations.

Bristol Stool Chart Poop Type 3: Long-shaped with some cracks on the surface

  • Indication: Normal. It will pass out easily and is somewhat soft.

Bristol Stool Chart Poop Type 4: Smooth and snake-like

  • Indication: Somewhat normal. You may see once or thrice a week.

Bristol Stool Chart Poop Type 5: Soft blobs and clear-cut edges

  • Indication: Lack of fiber. Ensure your diet contains sufficient fiber through vegetables and cereal.

Bristol Stool Chart Poop Type 6: Mushy and fluffy with ragged edges

  • Indication: Sign of mild diarrhea. Ensure you are drinking sufficient fluids to improve your poop appearance.

Bristol Stool Chart Poop Type 7: Watery with no solid pieces

  • Indication: Diarrhea. Consult with your doctor for how to treat diarrhea.

Now you know all about the Bristol stool chart. Moving ahead, the following section talks about the different poop colors that you are likely to see at least once in your lifetime.

Understanding poop color

Know that brown color is considered normal poop color. Sometimes greenish-brown feces may also be fine.

Other poop colors that you must know and what they indicate are as follows:

Yellow

If you excrete the waste in the color yellow, it indicates that your poop contains excess fat. This may be due to issues with producing bile or enzymes.

Most people will experience yellow poop at some point in time. Usually, it is because of your diet or a minor health condition. However, if this lasts for 2 or more weeks, you should visit the doctor’s clinic.

Orange

Food items get their orange color due to a pigment called beta-carotene. Consuming excess orange-colored food items causes orange stool. However, factors like blocked bile ducts and medicines can also cause your poop color to turn orange.

Black

You are likely to excrete black stools that appear like coffee beans when there is internal bleeding in the body. Substances like bismuth, black licorice, black stool medications, and iron supplements can cause black poop.

Red

Red-colored poop indicates gastrointestinal bleeding. Small amounts of blood in the poop can indicate hemorrhoids or piles.

Also, eating or drinking red-colored food items can turn your poop color to red. Once these food items are passed through your bowel movements, your poop color should be brown in color again. If not, visit the doctor’s clinic and get it checked.

Green

Eating food items that are green in color causes green poop. However, green poop may be an indication of no bile or not enough bilirubin in the poop.

White

If you excrete white, grey, or pale poop, it may be an indication of a gallbladder or liver issue. Pale poop color suggests a lack of bile. Also, anti-diarrhea medicines causes white poop.

However, apart from stool appearance and color, have you ever wondered why your poop floats even after flushing so many times? Find out why below.

Why does your poop float even after flushing more than once?

At least once in your life, you might have noticed your poop floating around the toilet bowl even after flushing more than once.

Some parts of your poop float while others sink because that floating stool is less dense than others.

According to a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine, one potential reason for the lack of density in stool can be due to increased water and gas.

Talk to your doctor if you find your poop floating more often.

When should you visit the doctor’s clinic?

If you find abnormal bowel movements more often, in terms of appearance and color, then you should meet a doctor.

It is okay to occasionally find a poop color other than brown or poop shape that doesn’t appear like a sausage. But if it happens frequently, talk to your doctor.

Also, if you are suffering from chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea, seek your doctor’s help and take proper medicines.

Other than that, if you have any problems relating to your poop, Bristol stool chart, or overall digestive system, you can always discuss it with your doctor.

Learn about Other Digestive Health Issues here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Bristol stool chart/https://www.continence.org.au/pages/bristol-stool-chart.html/Accessed on 11/05/2020

Bristol Stool Chart/https://www.bladderandbowel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/BBC002_Bristol-Stool-Chart-Jan-2016.pdf/Accessed on 11/05/2020

[Bristol Stool Chart: Prospective and monocentric study of “stools introspection” in healthy subjects]./https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25214452/Accessed on 11/05/2020

Bristol Stool Form Scale Reliability and Agreement Decreases When Determining Rome III Stool Form Designations/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4760857/Accessed on 11/05/2020

Bristol Stool Form Scale/http://pediatricsurgery.stanford.edu/Conditions/BowelManagement/bristol-stool-form-scale.html/Accessed on 11/05/2020

Bristol stool chart/https://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/resources/bristol-stool-chart/Accessed on 11/05/2020

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated Jun 18
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel