The Bristol Stool Chart – All The Things You Need to Know

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Woman Toucing Making Heart Shape On Her Belly Bristol Stool Chart

Your poo is your daily report card—an insider’s look at what’s going on inside your gut microbiome and how well your body is digesting and absorbing your food. 

How healthy is your poo? The Bristol Stool Chart can tell you. 

The Bristol Stool Chart 101

The Bristol Stool Chart is a medical poop assessment scale, used to determine the “gold standards” for whether or not you have normal, healthy poo. There are seven different types of stools according to the Bristol Stool Chart—all of which help determine the overall health of your gut microbiome and digestion.

The Golden Poo, Bristol Stool Chart

What the Bristol Stool Chart Tells You

The Bristol Stool Chart gives you tons of insights about your digestion including: 

  • Hydration status (loose vs. hard stool?)
  • How well you’re digesting your food (do you see any leftovers in the toilet?)
  • Bowel transit time (how fast or slow it takes you to go #2); 
  • Gut microbiota balance (the “healthier” your poo, the more likely you have more balanced gut bacteria). 

What the Bristol Stool Chart Scores Mean

Low Scores

Low scores on the Bristol Stool Chart (Types 1 and 2) on the chart are identified by loose stool and fast transit (like diarrhea, IBS).  

Watery stools usually mean you ate something that your body yells, “May day, May day! I don’t like this.” Additionally, you may have a higher incidence of increased “dysbiotic” bacteria, yeast or bacterial overgrowth in your gut. 

Generally, if you have Type 1 or 2 stools, it is good to add an extra dose of probiotics and prebiotic fiber to reinoculate your gut with some good bacteria.

Recommendation to Improve Loose Stools: 


High Scores

Higher scores on the Bristol Stool Chart (Types 6 and 7) are identified firm and slow transit time (constipation).  

If your poo is difficult to pass or rock-like it may mean: you’re dehydrated, not moving enough (or overtraining), and/or lacking enough fiber in your diet. Additionally, stress is often a big elephant in the room and both mental and physiological stress (from working long hours to under sleeping) can wreak havoc on your brain-gut connection and GI motility. 

Recommendation to Improve Your Stool: 


Normal) Scores

“Normal poo” scores fall somewhere in the middle (Types 3, 4 & 5)—I call this the “Golden Poo.”


The Golden Poo

The Golden Poo, Bristol Stool Chart

Ideally, the “Golden Poo” is the gold standard you should strive for daily. It includes:

  • Well Formed Poo. Well-formed, sausage-like
  • Ahhhh (Sigh). You should get a feeling of complete elimination (nothing’s left in there)
  • 1-2x Per Day. Daily—at least one to two times. 
  • No Coffee or Smooth Move Tea Required. You can go #2 without a stimulant. 
  • No Straining. Poo should pass relatively easy. 


To help you achieve the “Golden Poo” on a daily basis, I created a newer and improved spin off version of the Bristol Stool Chart called the “Golden Poo Chart”. 

Download your free Golden Poo Chart copy today to find out key insights for what your poo says about you (and how to change it). 

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