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What Your Stool Can Tell You About Your Health

Did you know your bowel movements can tell you a lot about your health? If you’re not talking about your stool with your doctor, you may be missing a key piece of your health puzzle.

You may have already heard of the Bristol Stool Chart above is the chart doctor’s use to identify how long it takes for food to pass through your digestive system. Check out the different things your stool can tell you about your health below. 


Constipation

If your stool is small, hard balls or lumpy, like Type One or Type Two, it’s likely you’re constipated. 

Healthy 

Normal, or healthy stool looks similar to Type Three or Type Four. A smooth, or slightly cracked sausage shape is the goal. 

Lacking Fiber 

If your stool looks like soft blobs, like Type Five, it’s likely your diet is lacking fiber. 

Diarrhea

Mushy or liquid stool like Type Six and Type Seven may mean you have diarrhea.

Other Things To Note

  • Color: If your stool changes color, it’s likely due to food you add or additives in food. However, if your stool comes out black or bloody, you should call your doctor immediately. 
  • Texture: Oily or greasy stool can signal that your body is not digesting fat correctly.
  • Shape: If you sometimes have pencil thin stool, it is likely due to muscle contractions in the colon. However, if your stool suddenly and consistently looks thin, you may have a blockage in your colon and should call your doctor. 

How To Maintain Healthy Stool

Be sure to continue to monitor your stool for any sudden changes. This can be the first identifier that something is not right internally. Also if you are 45 or older, be sure you are getting regular colonoscopies. 

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