Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Scoop on Poop!

You might think it's funny or gross or not something to be discussed in polite company, but what comes out of your body is serious business and can say a lot about your overall health as well as alert you to potential signs of disease. So, let's talk about it!

The chart above is called the Bristol Stool Chart, and it was developed as a quick and handy reference tool. Its creator, Dr. Ken Heaton of the University of Bristol, believes that the form of a person's stool is a useful surrogate measure for the amount of time the stool has traveled through the colon. Types 1-3 indicate that the stool has spent too much time in the colon, and types 6 and 7 point to the stool having passed too quickly through the colon. Types 4 and 5 are considered ideal.

But, while this chart is a great visual representation of the consistency of healthy or unhealthy stool, it doesn't address the other aspects of solid waste.

And, on that count, I'm here to help.

Although there's a pretty wide range for what is considered normal, in general there are signs that you're doing A-OK in this department, and others that may be cause for concern.

If you have children, it's a good idea to share this information with them. Open up a dialogue, let them know that they should tell you if there's a problem in this area. Will they be embarrassed or think it's funny? Probably. Then, they'll get over it. I printed the Bristol Stool Chart and pinned it to the bulletin board in my kids' playroom. Hey, whatever works. I want them to have this important information. 

And that brings this blog post to an end. I hope that you and your loved ones keep a watchful eye on what you're leaving in the toilet bowl, and catch any problems as soon as they arise!

- Tamera

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