Have you ever wondered if your poop is normal? Do you care? … You should!
Your poop can reflect your physical, and sometimes even emotional, health.
For example, you may get constipation or diarrhea when you eat something that “doesn’t agree with you,” or when you’re super-nervous about something.
Or, maybe you haven’t taken the time to notice these symptoms. It’s not uncommon for many people to ignore these types of messages that the body is sending. Especially if you don’t have any clue what you would do about it anyway!
If this is you, or you’re just curious (and aren’t we all just a little bit?), read on for what normal poop should look like, factors that you should consider and what to do if your poop isn’t perfect.
The Bristol Stool Chart
Did you know there is an “official” standard for poop? I mean a university-created chart! One that is used to help diagnose conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
The Bristol Stool Scale was created at the University of Bristol in the UK back in 1997. You can read more about the chart here.
The scale breaks down type of poop into seven different categories ranging from type 1 which is very constipated, to type 7 which is diarrhea:
- Separate hard lumps (very constipated).
- Lumpy and sausage-like (slightly constipated).
- Sausage shaped with cracks in the surface (normal)
- Smooth, soft sausage (normal).
- Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (lacking fiber).
- Mushy consistency with ragged edges (inflammation).
- Liquid consistency with no solid pieces (inflammation).
Other Factors to Consider
You probably guessed that the shapes described in the Bristol Stool Scale are not the only thing to consider for poop health.
- Think about how often you go. At least once per day, up to 3 times per day is pretty good. Less than one, or more than three can mean there is something going on.
- What about how hard you have to try to go? You want this to be as effortless as possible.
- And the colour? It should be brown from the bilirubin and bile that you need to break down the fats you ingest.
- Grey/yellow may mean your liver or gallbladder are not functioning well.
- But if it’s green after a day of massive dark leafy veggies, or red after that large glass of beet juice, you’re just fine.
- If you see an abnormal colour, like red or even black, that you can’t explain based on what you ate or drank in the last day or two, you probably want to get that checked out.
What do you do when you have “imperfect” poo?
Well, the first thing to consider is how imperfect it is, and how often it is like that? Once in a while, things may not be perfect, but if it’s happening on a regular basis, here are some things that can help.
- First, eat a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, including a lot of fruits & veggies (and their “fibrous” skins, wherever possible). The fiber in these is not only helpful for pushing food through your gut, but they also feed those millions of friendly gut microbes that you want to reside there. Find some fiber-rich recipes in this meal plan here.
- The second piece of advice is to eat slowly, and mindfully, chewing thoroughly. And if you’re super-stressed, then try deep breathing, meditating, or having a warm bath.
These are good habits for anyone and everyone, even when you have perfect poop!
Of course, long-term issues might require a more thorough review with a qualified healthcare practitioner. Don’t suffer from poop issues for too long before seeking help. If you would like a free call with Bonnie to discuss your poop further, book it here.