Looking at pictures of poop might not be highest on your list of priorities. However, understanding the types of poop and how they relate to our health is important. Everyone should have a basic idea of what each type of poop stool signifies.
Why does the colour, shape, and texture of stools change?
There are several factors:
1. The time that the stool spends in the colon
2. Diseases related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
3. Foods ingested. Use digestive enzymes to maximise nutrient absorption from food.
The perfect poop
The ideal stool is easy to pass while not being too watery.
Hard stools indicate constipation. A squatty potty will help bowel movements if you're suffering from constipation
Mushy stools indicate diarrhoea
Normal stools are 3/4 water and are smooth or soft. They don’t smell too offensive and have no irregular colours such as orange, black, or yellow.
Normal poop colour is brown.
Yellow stools are often a sign that your stomach has problems digesting fats. The undigested fats are what give the stool the yellowish colour.
White stools (or pale coloured poops) can indicate serious issues. Lack of bile, one of the main causes of white poop can be a sign of blocked bile ducts, hepatitis, or cirrhosis.
Red stools. Haemorrhoids are a common problem among adults in the western world. Stools with bright red streaks or spots are often the result of bleeding from haemorrhoids. Our use of the modern toilet bowl is one of the main causes of haemorrhoids and the use of a squatty potty is one preventative measure.
Black poop can indicate large volumes of blood originating in the gastrointestinal tract. As the blood passes through your digestive system it will turn black and leave the body on the stool as a tarry black substance. The causes of black stools are often very serious and should be looked at by a medical professional immediately.
Orange poop. Many people worry about orange coloured stools but in most cases, the colour is produced by foods ingested. Other causes can be the malabsorption of bile or lack of bile. The fact that the colour is still present in the stool as it is passed indicates that food is not being properly digested. This is also a sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Helen Padarin’s excellent chart will help you understand the types of stool and what each one indicates. The pictures of poop are not overly graphic and safe for work. The important thing is to learn when the faeces colour, texture, and appearance, are the results of gut problems and how to deal with them.
The Bristol Stool scale or the Myers Scale chart are other medical aids designed to describe and clarify stools.