This is What The Color and Smell of Your Poop Is Telling You About Your Health

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Creating your own pooposcope

Reading the tea leaves or the coffee grounds might give you some insight into what’s in store for you; but then again it might not. Reading your poop however, will. So let’s get down to business and set about telling you how you can read your own pooposcope.

Know Your Poop

The color of your stools (posh word), their consistency, their size, and their smell are all tell-tale signs of certain aspects of your internal health. As we go through the motions (little hidden pun there) of teaching you what to look for when you examine your poop, we’ll make use of something called the “Bristol Stool Chart”.  It’s something that researchers at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in the UK came up with. I always thought the Brits talked a load of ****, but they do it with such a cute accent! No, in all seriousness, it will help us to categorize the different types of poop and explain what each means.


The Perfect Poop

Who would have thought that finding the perfect poop could make you happy; but it should. It’s a sign that all is well on the inside. This is what the average stool consists of:

  • Water (approx 75%)
  • Solid matter (approx 25%)

The so-called solid matter can be broken down into:

  • Dead bacteria
  • Indigestible food matter (fiber and cellulose)
  • Cholesterol
  • Other fatty substances

The exact make-up and appearance of your stools will vary to a certain degree, according to what you have eaten and drunk. It normally takes somewhere between 18 and 72 hours to digest food and create poop. In an ideal world, (and now referring to the Bristol Stool Chart), the closer your stools are to types 3, 4, and 5, (4 & 5 being the ppp – the pinnacle of poop perfection), the better. When you have diarrhea, it’s because you’re stools have been processed to quickly and your intestines haven’t had time to extract as much water as they normally should. At the other end of the scale, failure to produce within 72 hours, is indicative of constipation, which may be linked to other problems.

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