The Bristol Stool Chart will tell you that your poo doesn’t lie.
Your stool consistency, color and transit timing reflects the richness, diversity and health of your gut microbiota, bacterial growth rates, GI motility, and activity going on inside.
The Bristol Stool Chart or Bristol Stool Scale is a standard poo scale used to assess differences in water content and activity in the colon; colon transit time; and determine whether your gut bacteria are “off” or not.
Low scores on the chart are identified by firm and slow transit time (constipation). High scores are indicated by loose stool and fast transit (like diarrhea, IBS).
“Normal poo” scores fall somewhere in the middle. Normal “poo” is well-formed, sausage-like with a feeling complete elimination (nothing’s left in there). If your poo is anything different, it is your body’s way of telling you “somethings up” .
What does your poo say about you? Check out the Bristol Stool Chart to see.
The Bristol Stool Chart Makeover
Medium brown. Solidly formed in the shape of an S or C. Passing 1-3 times per day.
Can you see those Brussels sprouts, sweet potato or mushrooms you ate—and still not completely broken down? This is not ideal. Shows it did not pass through the entire process of digestion. Consider your food chewing practices.
Watery stools usually mean you ate something that your body yells, “May day, May day! I don’t like this.” A higher incidence of increased “bad” bacteria is indicated and it is good to add an extra dose of probiotic power post poop to reinoculate your gut with some good bacteria.
Aside from green veggies that sometimes make your poop greenish, green poop may indicate your gallbladder is not thoroughly breaking down bile salts to move your poop to that brown color. Green poop often happens when we eat processed, fatty foods that are more inflammatory—like vegetable oils (canola, Crisco, processed olive oil) from restaurants, processed or greasy foods (think Chinese takeout, a fast food burger or greasy slice of pizza).
Dark, Foul &/or Sinking.
Something’s toxic (i.e. not right): Processed and refined foods. High amounts of non-organic, non-fresh foods; General toxicity overload; Additives and chemicals; Poor lifestyle habits (smoking, sedentary, fast food); Use of plastics. All of these play a big role in how your poop looks, smells and floats—or not. Eliminate as many toxins as possible to lighten the toxic load.
Hard & Solid.
Difficult to pass or rock-like. You still get it out—but a little straining was included. Drink more water, eat healthy fats with each meal, and make sure you’re eating your veggies— (Note: cooked, steamed and roasted veggies often digest easier than lots of raw veggies).
Come out in bits and pieces—in one setting, or throughout the day. Hard to pass and generally darker in color. Stress, low water intake, eating on the go, low fiber intake, low stomach acid and bacteria imbalance (low “good bacteria”) all make for pellet poop. To fix, try: apple cider vinegar in water before meals, pre-biotic and pro-biotic foods, some starchy veggies and plenty of greens, chewing your food and slowing down to breathe at meals, yoga and meditation—just to name a few.