When you are suffering from a digestive issue, your faeces is often one of the main things your doctor will be concerned with. As it can be difficult to describe how it looks, your doctor will typically work from the Bristol stool chart.
According to the stool chart, there are seven types of poop ranging from healthy to watery. So, what is normal and when, if ever, should you worry?
The different types of stools
The seven different types of stools according to the Bristol chart include:
Type 1: Hard, separate lumps – This type of faeces tends to develop when you are constipated. It can be difficult to pass and has spent a long time in the bowel.
Type 2: Lumpy and sausage-shaped – If your faeces present as this type, it is another sign you may be constipated. Increasing your fibre intake can help to get it back to normal.
Type 3: Sausage shaped with surface cracks – When your stools are sausage-shaped with surface cracks, they are classed as normal. You’ll find them easy to pass and the poop will be soft.
Type 4: Smooth, soft, and snake or sausage-shaped – This type of faeces is considered the healthiest type. It is easy to pass, coming out in long soft pieces.
Type 5: Easy to pass soft blobs – If your faeces appears like small soft blobs, it could be an indication you have mild diarrhoea. You should notice they clear up over a period of a few days.
Type 6: Mushy, fluffy pieces – If you are going to the toilet several times a day with this type of faeces, you most certainly have diarrhoea. Drink fruit juices and soup to help replace any lost electrolytes.
Type 7: Watery with no solid pieces – If your stools are watery and there are no solid pieces, it typically means they passed through your bowel too quickly. If you experience this type of stool for more than 2 days, it is worth seeking advice from your doctor.
These are the main types of stools you will experience and what they mean for your digestive health. Any changes in your stools should be looked into if they last for more than a week.
What impacts the colour of your faeces?
We covered the different shapes and consistency of your faeces, but what about its colour? Brown is the natural colour to watch out for. However, you may experience red, green, and even black coloured stools.
As shocking as it might be, green poop can be completely normal depending upon your diet. It is often the foods we eat that cause our poop to change colour. If your stools are red and they don’t change colour, it could be a sign of bleeding. This can be a symptom of haemorrhoids, but it can also be a sign of something more serious so it is important to get this checked out.
Haemorrhoids are the most common cause of rectal bleeding, and they may clear up by themselves, but sometimes it is best to have them removed. The Rafaelo procedure is considered one of the best treatments to remove piles, and Mr Woodward offers this procedure.
Black stools can also be a concern, but typically they appear that way after eating certain foods. If foods can’t explain the change in colour, it too could be a sign there is bleeding in the digestive tract. If bleeding is suspected, it is important to get it checked out by a doctor to rule out anything serious. Book an appointment with Mr Woodward to find out more.