Everybody poops, even the Queen poops though it's probably in an awesome gold toilet. Pooping is natural, normal, and essential, just like breathing. Yet nobody likes to talk about it or looks at it, and not doing so could lead us to miss some very important clues about our health like that we need to drink more water or eat more fiber. Pull up a chair, it’s time to talk sh*t.
Getting to Know Our Poop
When was the last time you really looked at your poop aka your toilet masterpiece? Probably not recently or ever.
Thankfully researchers have thought a lot about our poop so we don’t have to. They even created a poop checklist of sorts:
- Color. All shades of brown are normal and sometimes green. This is due to bilirubin, a pigment in your bile that forms when the red blood cells break down. #themoreyouknow
- Scent. Poops don’t smell that pleasant because of the bacteria in our body.
- Flow. This means that you don’t feel pain or strain when you go number two. Ideally, there is a smooth stream from the body to the toilet.
- Form. One-whole soft piece and/or a few shorter pieces of waste is considered normal. That long, sausage-like shaped poop is due to the shape of the intestines.
- Frequency: It varies from person to person but typically going daily to three times a week is a healthy number. Less and you may be constipated.
Bonus: What about if your poop is a sinker or a floater? Well, most poop sinks but if it floats, it's likely because of excess gas from eating certain foods likebeans, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Be aware of floating stools that are extra unpleasant in odor, that may signal an underlying medical condition. When in doubt, consult your doctor.
When it comes to consistency, one should monitor any changes in smell, firmness, frequency, or color of poop as it can indicate there is a problem. In short, look at your poop!
The Different Shapes of Poop
Interestingly, the shape of our poop can give us important clues about our health. No, our poop’s form isn’t just coincidental.
The Bristol Stool Chart is the guide designed to classify the form of human waste into seven types:
Type 1: Nut-Like Hard Lumps
These toilet treasures consist of small and round poops that look like pellets or raisins. They are hard to pass even with their small size.
Type 1 poop means you are constipated. Chances are these poop pellets have been in your gut for a couple of extra days. (The normal journey of food in our gut is usually just three days.)
Type 2: Lumpy and Sausage Like
Instead of separate pellets, this is a solid poop log with indents. It is also hard to pass.
Type 2 poop means you also have mild constipation and could be caused by diet, blockage, or hormonal changes.
Type 3: Sausage Shape With Cracks
These poops are sausage-looking with cracks on the surface. They smoothly pass out of the body with little to no strain or effort.
Type 3 poop means your poop is normal and your digestive system is fine. Go you! You want a type 3 (or 4) poop.
Type 4: Smooth Sausage or Snake
The distinguishing factor of this toilet treasure is that it has a smooth surface and is easy to push out of the body.
Type 4 poop means that your digestive system is working as it should and that your poop is normal. High five!
Type 5: Soft Blobs with Clear-Cut Edges
Although soft, these are blobs with defined edges. They are similar to type 1 poops but unlike type 1, this type is easier to push out of the body.
Type 5 poop means you do not have enough fiber in your body or that food you ate just got into your digestive system earlier than usual.
Type 6: Mushy Consistency with Ragged Edges
This type of poop is soft, mushy, with ragged edges, and can sometimes look like porridge.
Type 6 poop means you have mild diarrhea and could be related to something you ate, an illness, or a medical condition. If you have diarrhea regularly, this can be difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
Type 7: Liquid Consistency with No Solid Pieces
This type of toilet waste is pure liquid with absolutely no solid pieces.
Type 7 poop means you have full diarrhea possibly caused by an illness or food poisoning. This could also be by a medical condition or food intolerances to lactose or gluten.
Among the seven types listed above, types 3 and 4 are normal.
So the next time a doctor asks you about your poop now you know! You can just say the type number in the Bristol Stool Chart and the doctor should be impressed with your knowledge of the poop code.
How to Have Healthy Poops
So now you are asking, how do I get a 3 or 4 on the chart? There are some lifestyle changes that help:
- Drink water! Keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration is one of the causes of constipation. When we don’t have enough water in the body, the large intestine soaks up water from our food waste which creates hard stools that are difficult to pass like type 1 and 2.
- Move your body. Regular exercise helps with constipation by slowing down the time it takes to move digested food through the large intestine and limiting the amount of water the body absorbs from the poop. Exercises also stimulate the natural squeezing of muscles in our intestines making it easier to poop.
- Check with your doctor. There are some symptoms that last longer and might need medical attention. Such symptoms are recurrent constipation, recurrent diarrhea, severe abdominal pain and indigestion, floating poop, unexplained weight loss, and red or black-colored stools that are not related to diet. If you are 45 years of age or older, it is recommended to get screened for colorectal cancer.
- Eat colon-friendly foods. To keep our digestive system in tiptop shape, reach for colon-friendly foods that aregood for digestion like yogurt, apple, beans, whole grains, chia seeds, and broccoli.
Another way to help you have those glorious Type 3 and Type 4 poops? Increase your fiber intake.
TheUSDA recommends women have 25 grams of fiber per day and men 38 grams.We have a whole list of fiber-rich food that you can add to your diet here.However, we know that takes time and energy to focus on getting enough fiber daily. The easiest way to start adding more fiber immediately to your diet is a fiber supplement like Bonny.
Bonny: The Source of Pleasant Poops
Bonny isan all-natural, plant-based fiber that tastes amazing and makes you go poop. Our fiber also contains adaptogens to help you battle life's stressors.
Available in four amazing flavors like Amplified Apple Pie, Berry Beauty, Matcha Magic, and Strawberry Serenity.
As always, we wish you a pleasant 3 and 4 type of poops!