Finally we can now tell what is wrong with us from the shape of our poop and it isn’t rocket science, it’s just gastroenterology.
Researchers at the University of Bristol devised a visual reference called the Bristol Stool Scale that ranks your poop from 1-7, each of which says something different about the state of your digestive system.
According to these researchers, the shape of your poop can mean many things. For instance, if your poop is long and snake-like, then you’ve got one healthy piece of dung.
Continue reading below
Type 1 (Separate hard lumps)
Hard little individual lumps mean you could be dehydrated or constipated. Dr. Anish Sheth, “short-lived stool changes” can be due to “diet and stress,” so managing those two factors can help relieve discomfort. Drinking more water and eating food high in both soluble and insoluble fiber (like broccoli, artichokes, berries, and whole grains) can also help.
Type 2 (Lumpy and sausage like)
Solid, lumpy pieces also signal dehydration and constipation. “Drink more water, check thyroid, and take magnesium every night,” says Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. “Magnesium increases water in the colon, making stools softer and easier to pass. It also relaxes the walls of the intestine which helps with motility.”
Type 3 (banana shape with surface cracks)
A big log with few cracks on the surface is a healthy poop. You should be producing one of these per day. “Once a day is recommended as poop is essentially garbage.
Type 4 (Smooth like a banana)
A long, smooth poo situation, like a snake, also signals good digestion. “Should be easy to pass with minimal straining/pushing,” says Dr. Malkoff-Cohen.
Type 5 (soft and lacking definite shape but with clear cut edges)
Small, soft stools with clear edges could signal low soluble fiber consumption, imbalanced gut bacteria, or a gastrointestinal disorder. See a doctor if symptoms persist longer than a day or two.
Type 6 (consistent with ragged edges)
Mushy poop consistent with ragged edges is another telltale sign of diarrhea or intestinal inflammation. Dr. Malkoff-Cohen says, “foods like Bananas, Rice, can help firm up the poo.”
Type 7 (Liquid, No solid particle)
Watery poop is a nightmare. Another signal of a lack of fiber, food poisoning, bacteria imbalance, gastroenteritis, food allergy or intolerance. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Again, if you’re not back to solid stuff within 48 hours, consult your physician
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