You can call it any name you want, stool, feces, waste, or poop. There is no denying that it is a natural human process and everyone does it. That is because it is a natural part of digestion. Poop is basically your undigested food consisting of bacteria, salts, proteins, and substances that the body releases through the intestines. There is an entire science around all different types of poop, and it comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells!
You could have healthy poop or unhealthy poop which is abnormal. To help you differentiate between the two, we will look at the common characteristics of the different types of poop:
Poop is naturally brown in color because of bilirubin, a pigment that is caused by the breakdown of red blood cells in the body.
Poop has an odorous and unpleasant smell due to bacteria, which emits strong-smelling gasses.
Normally a personal may poop from three times a day to every other day, generally after a heavy meal, and most people have a fixed time to poop every day.
Poop is generally firm to soft in appearance, and is shaped by the intestines, which give it a log-like appearance. However, not everyone has the same shape when they poop.
As people age, they experience more irritable bowel movements and constipation, because with less physical activity the bowels slow down. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain a fit and active lifestyle to ensure your bowel movements remain regular.
The Bristol Stool Scale
There are 7 different types of poop and the Bristol Stool Scale charts them all. It defines the types of poop through its presentation, which is used by doctors to recognize potential underlying diseases. Here are the seven different types of poop:
Type 1 – The poop is shaped in separate hard lumps and is an indicator of severe constipation.
Type 2 – The poop is shaped like a sausage and is lumpy and is an indicator of mild constipation.
Type 3 – The poop is shaped like a sausage with cracks in the surface and is an indicator that everything is normal.
Type 4 – The poop is shaped like a snake or soft sausage and is smooth, and is an indicator that everything is normal.
Type 5 – The poop is shaped like soft blobs with clear-cut edges and is an indicator of a lack of fiber in the body.
Type 6 – The poop has a mushy consistency with ragged edges and is an indicator of mild diarrhea.
Type 7 – The poop has a liquid consistency and is an indicator of severe diarrhea.
The Bristol Stool Scale is used to determine the shape and consistency of the poop, to help figure out if a person is pooping normally.
Even though poop should be brown in color, it comes in different shades of colors which can indicate the overall health of the person. Some people can be greenish-brown in color because of the bile salts. Poop can also change color due to the medications, drinks, or food you have consumed. Here are the different color changes of poop and what they might mean for your health:
Sign of potential bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Sign of poop moving quickly through the digestive tract.
Pale, white, or clay-colored
Signs of a lack of bile in poop, and a possible gallbladder or liver problem.
Signs of a gastrointestinal bleed.
Caused by beta carotene, a compound found in carrots and sweet potatoes. Signs of blocked bile ducts.
Yellow, greasy, or foul-smelling
Signs of too much fat in the poop and an indicator of a food disorder like celiac disease.