It may be a taboo topic that no one wants to talk about publicly, but your poop can actually tell you a lot about your health.
There are three factors to remember when it comes to poop/bowel movements and they are frequency, color and shape/size.
Believe it or not there is no “normal” when it comes to frequency of bowel movements, only averages. It’s average to go once or twice a day but some people go more and some go less. As long as you feel comfortable, there’s no reason to be concerned about your frequency.
Unlike frequency, the color of your stool can be a health indicator. A drastic change in color can be a warning sign to your health.
Black: if your stool is black it can mean that you’re bleeding internally possibly from an ulcer or cancer. These stools are often sticky and smell bad (sorry for the gross imagery). However it is possible to have black stools that are not a red flag to major problems. They can be common when taking a vitamin that contains iron or other medications that contain certain chemicals.
Light grey: This very light-colored stool can indicate a block in the flow of bile, produced in the liver, and can signal liver disease.
Green: This color can be caused by eating a lot of leafy green vegetables, green food coloring or iron supplements. You’ll also see this color when your large intestines moves food through it too quickly, as a result it doesn’t have time to break down completely.
Odd Coloring: If you’re experiencing some odd stool coloring be sure to ask your doctor.
Shape and Size
The shape of your stool can tell you different things going on with your body. We’ll explain using the Bristol Stool Chart.
Type 1 and 2: Uh oh. This means you’re constipated! The little pellets or lumpy stools you have to struggle to push out can mean you’re dealing with a bout of constipation which can be very painful.
Type 3 and 4: Way to go! You’re having healthy poops.
Type 5, 6 and 7: As you might have guessed, as your stool gets more watery it can be a sign of diarrhea. You can get diarrhea from a lot of different things including sickness, bad food and more. Be sure to stay hydrated as you’re at a greater risk of dehydration and contact your doctor.
A lot of different mechanism in your body go into moving your bowels and it’s important to note if at any point in digestions you experience pain or discomfort. If you do you should contact your physician.