What does your poop say about your health? This may sound like a joke, but you can learn a lot about your health from your daily doo. In this post I’ll give you the full scoop on what is and isn’t a good poop, plus show you a poop chart that can help eliminate any confusion.
Has Your Doctor Ever Asked About Your Poop?
Didn’t think so.
Did your parents tell you what to look for? Nope.
But Mama Natural is going there!
What Does Healthy Poop Look Like?
There are three main things to look for:
What Your Poop Says About You Video
Healthy Poop #1. Frequency
It’s best to have at least one complete bowel movement a day. You should feel like your bowels have emptied, rather than just partially eliminated. Some people have bowel movements 2-3 times a day, because they have faster metabolisms, more robust good bacteria, or eat more food.
If you are eliminating more than 3 times a day, you are entering into the world of diarrhea (more on that below!). On the other hand, some people will say a bowel movement every couple of days is fine, but I disagree. This one of our body’s greatest ways to eliminate toxins, acids, and other stuff.
Heathy Poop #2. Form
This is important, and it isn’t talked about often. A healthy poop is well formed. Well-formed poop ensures we’ve digested and assimilated the nutrients from our food, and are eliminating acids and toxins properly. Here’s a handy poop chart called the Bristol stool chart to help you determine if you have healthy poop.
Bristol Stool Chart Type 1
Separate hard lumps, like little balls (hard to pass).
Bristol Stool Chart Type 2
Sausage-shaped, but lumpy.
Bristol Stool Chart Type 3
Like a sausage, but with cracks on its surface.
Bristol Stool Chart Type 4
Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft.
Bristol Stool Chart Type 5
Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily).
Bristol Stool Chart Type 6
Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool.
Bristol Stool Chart Type 7
Watery, no solid pieces. Entirely liquid.
Poop Chart Explanation: Where Should You Fall?
If you said it’s best to be No. 4 on the poop chart, you’re right! A healthy poop has a nice tubular shape. Think long bananas that don’t break apart when you flush. Good poop comes out with ease, smells more like super-ripe fruit than something terrible, and you barely need to wipe.
It’s better to be a 3 than a 5 or 6 on the poop chart…
Diarrhea is harder to control and typically stems from issues that are harder to fix. With diarrhea, you may also have a level of malabsorption going on, which means you aren’t getting the nutrients you need.
If you’re a 6 or a 7 on the poop chart…
If you find that your stool is soft, mushy, liquidy, or too frequent, there are several things you can do. First, talk to your doctor to see what he/she says and do some testing, like a comprehensive stool analysis. In the meantime, to firm up your stool:
- Consume more foods on the BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Apples/apple sauce, Toast or tea): These foods have qualities like tannins that can actually help firm up stool for better bowel movements.
- Consume a teaspoon or two of food-grade bentonite clay. This helps to bind and absorb toxins, and will often firm up loose stool.
- Take some good probiotics: This company makes the purest, most highly rated ones, but they are pricey!
- Eliminate irritants: Refrain from eating gluten, wheat, or too many grains, nuts, and seeds until your gut is healed.
If you’re a 1 or a 2 on the poop chart…
If you find your stool is too hard or infrequent, you can also talk to your doctor about testing. Consider doing a full thyroid panel. In the meantime, to soften up your stool:
Healthy Poop #3. Color
Believe it or not, color matters! A healthy poop is a nice medium- to dark-brown color. Think milk chocolate.
If you have black poop…
This could be a sign of blood in your upper GI tract.
If you have yellow poop or green poop…
This could be from fat malabsorption or liver or gallbladder stress. Drink beet kvass, Swedish bitters, or take HCL/Pepsin or other digestive enzymes to help your body break down the fat.
Remember: The color of your stool may change depending on what you eat. For example, if you eat lots of beets, your stool can take on a reddish hue. Likewise, eating tons of leafy greens may account for green poop.
What Does It Mean When Your Poop Floats?
Should poop float? This is the million dollar question, and I’ve seen mixed opinions from a whole host of healthcare professionals.
- Some say floating is better and indicates enough fiber in the diet.
- Others say it indicates fat malabsorption.
Overall, the consensus seems to be poop that sinks is better. The key is to notice which type YOU feel best on.
Want to Learn More About Healthy Poop?
See my companion post: How to have a GREAT poop.
How About You?
Where do your poops fall on the Bristol Stool Chart? Do you do anything to optimize your daily doo?