What Your Stool Reveals About Your Overall Health

What Your Stool Reveals About Your Overall Health
September 26, 2017

Is My Poop Normal?

Yes, this is serious stuff!

You probably know that your poop can reflect your physical, and sometimes even emotional, health.

You may get constipation or have diarrhea when you eat something that “doesn’t agree with you,” or when you’re super-nervous or stressed about a situation.

What about fiber and water? If you’re not getting enough, it’ll probably show in your poop.

And what about those pesky but so important gut microbes? If they’re not happy, it’ll probably show in your poop.

Here’s a question for you:

Did you know there is an “official” standard for poop? I mean a chart that’s university-created? One that is used to help diagnose conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Meet the Bristol Stool Scale

The Bristol Stool Scale was created at the prestigious University of Bristol in the UK back in 1997.

You can see 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:

  1. Separate hard lumps (very constipated).
  2. Lumpy and sausage-like (slightly constipated).
  3. Sausage shaped with cracks in the surface (normal)
  4. Smooth, soft sausage (normal).
  5. Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (lacking fiber).
  6. Mushy consistency with ragged edges (inflammation).
  7. 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 intestinal health.

Think about how often you go. One per day should be the minimum and up to 3 times per day ideal. Less than one, or more than three can mean there is something going on.

What about how hard you have to push? You want it to be as effortless as possible.

And the color? It should be brown from the bile that you need to break down the fats you ingest. If it’s green after a day of massive veggies, or red after that large glass of beet juice, you’re just fine.

But if you see an abnormal colour, like blood red or 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” poop?

The first thing to consider is how imperfect it is, and how often it is like that? Once in a while, things aren’t going to be perfect, and that’s A-OK.

If you know you need to get more fiber or water, then try increasing that.

If you haven’t had enough probiotic foods, then try getting more of them.

If you’re super-stressed, then try deep breathing, meditating, or having a warm bath.

Oh, and don’t forget the two most basic pieces of nutrition advice:

  • First, eat a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, including a lot of fruits & veggies. The fiber in these is not only helpful for pushing food through your gut, but they also feed those millions of amazing helpful critters that live there (your friendly gut microbes.)
  • The second piece of advice is to eat slowly, and mindfully, chewing thoroughly.

These are good habits to harness even when you have perfect poop!

Of course, long-term issues might require a more thorough review with a qualified healthcare practitioner.

My heartfelt recommendation: Do not wait and suffer from poop issues for too long before seeking help.

Super-Simple Coconut Milk YogurtRecipe (dairy-free probiotic): Super-Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt

Serves 6

2 cans full-fat coconut milk
2 probiotic capsules,

1. Open the probiotic capsules and empty contents into the blender. Blend with coconut milk.
2. Transfer to a sanitized glass jar (make sure it’s not still hot – you don’t want those probiotics to die).
3. Store it in a warm place for 24-48 hours. If it’s not thick enough for you, you can let it ferment for another 24 hours.
4. Add your favorite yogurt toppings, and store the rest for up to a week in the fridge.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Fermenting food is not an exact science. If this doesn’t work out as you’d like it to, try different brands of coconut milk and/or probiotics.

Facebook Comments
Please follow and like us:
Posted in Health/Fitness, Recipes by Mari Pizarro | Tags: ,