We all poop. If you don't, well then that's an issue with you and not me. Pooping is a natural occurrence, and although we may find it gross, it can actually be an important indicator for your health.
Of course, this doesn't mean pooping is necessarily pleasant to talk about. It's considered a taboo (or tapoo, if you will) subject to many people, but it's important to know what your bowel movements are trying to tell you.
Color and consistency are the two main factors to pay attention to when you poop.
Light to Dark Brown
There's a process that goes into the coloration of your poop, and if all goes well, the color should be similar to that of a bar of milk chocolate.
Bilirubin is what causes the color of your poop, and it's formed when hemoglobin breaks down in your liver. It enters the small intestine and will turn your poop brown if everything is moving properly.
Brown poop signifies a healthy digestive system.
Green poop can be alarming, but it's more common than you may think. The green color comes from bile produced in the liver, which can be found inside your intestines. As your poop moves through your intestines, the bilirubin and iron usually mix and process, which is what will cause a naturally brown color.
However, if your poop is moving too quickly through your intestines, this process can't happen properly and you are left with green poop.
Black poop occurs when too much dried blood is present. This, obviously, is not good. This usually signifies there was internal bleeding higher up in your intestinal tract. You will want to ge this checked out if black poop is a constant occurrence for you.
Yellow-colored poop is the result of fat not being absorbed properly. The excess fat ends up in your poop, which isn't really a good thing.
When your body is not absorbing fat, it is usually the result of a health issue. Parasites, pancreatic problems, or congenital disease can all be causes of yellow poop.
If you have yellow stool for more than two days in a row, you should speak to your doctor.
White or Clay
Often times, clay-colored or white stool are often mistaken for yellow stool. An indicator that it is not yellow is the grayish tint, and it will appear less slimy.
White poop happens when there is not enough bile present in your intestines. This can be the result of gallstones, bile duct blockages, or liver issues.
If your stool is white or clay-colored for more than a day, seek medical attention.
Blue stool happens, even if it sounds crazy. There are some blue food dyes that can turn your poop blue if you consume too much of them, but it takes a lot for that to happen.
Just be sure the poop is actually blue, not blue-green.
Red stool is a clear indicator that you likely have internal bleeding in the lower intestine. More often than not, this bleeding is the result of hemorrhoids, but you should still seek medical attention if you have red stool.
Poop that is pebbly and hard is a sign of constipation. It is usually painful to pass, requiring a lot of strain.
This type of poop has been sitting in your large intestine and colon for a long time, generally weeks instead of the normal three days. As it sits there, all the water and nutrients are absorbed, which causes the stool to harden.
Lumpy Sausage-Shaped Poop
Just because the poop is still connected doesn't mean the lumps are a good sign. Lumpy, sausage-shaped poop is generally the most painful to pass because of its size and composition.
This type of stool is still a sign of constipation, as it has been sitting in the large intestine and colon for a couple of weeks. Water is absorbed out of it, but not enough to break the stool apart.
Stool that is even and round with cracks on the surface generally signifies a poor diet and lack of exercise. This is called "organic constipation."
This type of stool has been sitting in your colon for a week, but it's not as painful to pass as lumpy or pebbly stool.
This is what we should all strive for: healthy poop. It should be round in shape and the diameter of a banana. You should be passing this kind of stool every one to three days, and it should not require strain or be painful.
The consistency of this stool will be similar to soft-serve ice cream (sorry to ruin that for you) because it has the proper amount of water and nutrients.
Soft Blob Poop
There really is not other way to say it. If you have two to three bowel movements per day, expect to see this stool with more defined edges. You'll notice this type of bowel movement follows large meals during the day, and it is not painful to pass.
Mushy stool involves soft poop with feathery-like pieces that run between it. It's an extremely soft consistency, similar to that of yogurt. This type of poop is often uncontrollable, as it's the early stages of diarrhea.
A change in diet, activity level, or increased stress can cause the poop to move quickly through your colon.
Also known as diarrhea, liquid poop passes without control. When your small intestine is irritated, it forces liquid to flush without being processed correctly. When this happens, most of the liquid pools in the rectum and causes explosive diarrhea.
If your diarrhea lasts for more than 24 hours, you should contact a doctor.
How much did you know about poop before reading this?
[H/T: Unity Point]