Before you flush, it’s a good idea for you to take a quick look at the content of the toilet bowl. Did you know that the shape of your stool can reveal something about the health of your gut? By reading on, you will get to know some of the most common stool shapes known to man, and also what they mean.
There is actually a science behind the identification of various stool shapes and their respective meanings, and experts refer to what’s called the Bristol stool chart. This chart for identifying different poop shapes got its name from the Bristol Royal Infirmary, a medical facility in Bristol, England where it came from originally.
Let’s now take a quick look at some of the most common stool shapes and what they reveal:
Stool that falls under this category consists of hard lumps that are separate from each other, and they are like nuts. These lumps are generally painful to pass because they are hard and rough, a sign that they are lacking in water and there was no bacteria that have acted upon them. Type 1 stool is commonly seen in people that are taking antibiotics, as well as those whose diets are completely devoid of fiber.
Does your stool look like a sausage but it’s lumpy? Then it’s type 2 in the Bristol stool chart. Actually, this stool shape is attained when hard lumps of feces adhere to one another. Such happens because there is some fiber present, and also bacteria have kind of acted upon the stool.
Just like the above, type 3 stool is something that comes in a sausage-like shape. But instead of looking lumpy, it has cracks all over it. Experts say that this type of stool shape is associated with constipation that is about to strike, so make sure that you consume more fluids and foods that are rich in fiber. By the way, type 3 stool is commonly seen in people who are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.
Stool belonging to this category of the Bristol stool chart is shaped like a sausage, but it is smooth. Sometimes, experts refer to it as stool having snake-like properties. Type 4 stool is typical among individuals who defecate once a day. You may give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done if your stool is like this!
Another stool shape that is regarded as normal is the kind that falls under type 5, which is characterized by soft blobs with identifiable edges. According to experts, this shape of stool is very common in people who rush to the toilet twice or thrice a day, most especially after having a major meal.
Mushy is the word that best describes stool that is regarded as type 6 in the Bristol stool chart. Many experts say that type 6 stool is bordering on the normal. The problem with having mushy stool is it is oftentimes extremely challenging to control the urge to use the toilet. You may have this type of stool if you are under stress, drinking water that’s high in minerals, or consuming spicy foods.
Stool that falls under this category has no shape. So in other words, the stool is watery. Although it is clearly not normal, it’s actually a common issue. Sometimes it happens because of what’s called paradoxical diarrhea, something that is experienced by people who are severely constipated but also have diarrhea all at the same time.