Types of poop: Appearance, color, and what is normal

Poop, also known to be stool or feces in some countries, is an important part of the digestion process. Poop is a waste product that the body eliminates. It can contain undigested food particles, bacteria and other substances.

Sometimes, poop may have a different color, texture, amount, or odor. These differences can be alarming but are usually not significant and will resolve within a few days. Sometimes, however, poop changes can indicate a more serious condition.

Continue reading to learn about the various types of poop and what is and isn’t typical.

The Bristol stool chart, which was created by doctors at Bristol Royal Infirmary, England, is based upon the bowel movements and nearly 2,000 people. as shown above.

Types 1 and 2 indicate constipation, types 3 and 4 are healthy stool, while types 5–7 suggest diarrhea and urgency.

Poop is generally:

  • Medium to dark brownIt is made up of a pigment called bilirubin. This pigment forms when red blood cell are destroyed.
  • Strong-smelling: Excretin from bacteria emits gases that have the unpleasant odor of poop.
  • It’s painless to pass:Healthy bowel movements should be painless and require little strain.
  • Firm to soft textureDoctors consider poop that is passed in one or more pieces to be healthy bowels. The shape of the intestinal intestines determines the length and sausage-like appearance that poop takes.
  • Passed one or twice daily: Most people poop once a day. Others may poop twice a day or more often. A person should urinate at least three times per day.
  • Consistent with its characteristicsHealthy poop is different from one person to the next. It is important to monitor any changes in the odor, firmness, frequency, color, or smell of poop. These can be indicators of a problem.

How long should a poop last?

It should take 10–15 minutes to pass the stool.

People who take more than this amount of time may experience constipation, hemorhoids or another condition.

While brown poop is considered the “usual” color of poop, some greenish-brown hues may also be acceptable.

Poop can come in many other colors as well, such a:


Black stool, especially if it looks like tar or has a swollen appearance, can indicate gastrointestinal bleeding. Other substances can also cause black poop.


Persons who have stools that are pale, white, gray or pale may have a problem in their liver or gallbladder. Palestools indicate a deficiency of bile. White stool can be caused by antidiarrhea medication.


Green poop can be caused by spinach, kale, and other green foods. A green stool could indicate too much bile or not enough bilirubin.


Lower gastrointestinal bleeding may cause reddish colored poo. Hemorrhoids may be indicated by small amounts in stool.

Poop can also turn red from eating red berries, beets, or tomato juice. After these foods have passed through the digestive system, poop should turn brown again.


Orange stool is caused by orange-colored foods rich in beta-carotene.

This pigment is found in many foods, including sweet potatoes, winter squash, and carrots.

Orange poop can result from blocked bile passages or certain medications (including some antacids as well as the antibiotic rifampin).


If stool looks yellowish or greasy, it could be a sign that the poop is too fat. This could be due either to absorption issues, or difficulty producing enzymes/bile.

Most people will experience changes in stool color at one point or another. This is usually due to diet or another minor cause.

If you notice changes in bowel color or red or black stool, consult your doctor.

If parents or caregivers notice any changes in their baby’s poop, it is usually not a cause for concern, but they can consult a pediatrician for further advice.

Read on about the baby’s poop color.

These situations could indicate a digestive problem:

  • pooping too often — more than three times daily
  • not pooping often enough — less than three times a week
  • Excessive strain when pooping
  • Poop that is red or black, green, yellow or white
  • Stools that are greasy and fatty
  • Pain when you poo
  • There is blood in the stool
  • Bleeding when you pass stool
  • watery poop — diarrhea
  • Very dry, hard poop that is difficult for you to pass
  • floating poop

Any of these types should be reported to a doctor.

There are many reasons why someone might experience poop that is different than usual.


Stress can cause or exacerbate digestive conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). It can have a profound effect on how you feel. quicklySome people may experience constipation or diarrhea as food moves through their bodies.

Find out which remedies can relieve stress.


Constipation can result from not drinking enough water and other fluids. Stool requires moisture to move better. easilyThrough the digestive system. Dehydration can be caused by too much caffeine or alcohol.

Learn how much water a person needs to drink.

Low intake of dietary fibre

Fiber acts as a binding agent to give stool its shape. It helps poop move easily through the digestive tract. Bowel problems can be caused by a diet low in fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and pulses.

Learn more about fiber-rich ropes

Allergies and intolerances to certain foods

People with intolerances or allergies to certain foods may experience diarrhea, constipation, and other symptoms of abnormal bowel movements when they eat the problematic food.

For example, people with lactose intolerance will often experience diarrhea if they consume dairy products. However, celiac disease sufferers will experience adverse reactions to gluten.

Learn more about common food allergies.

Medical conditions

Constipation, diarrhea, and other poop abnormalities can be caused by certain conditions. These conditions include:


If a person:

  • You have difficulty emptying your large bowel.
  • Are you straining while pooping
  • Are you passing less stool than normal?
  • The stool is hard, lumpy or dry.

Constipation can also be caused by lifestyle or routine changes, such as inactivity or excessive use of laxatives.

Learn more about constipation.

If poop changes persist for more than 2 weeks, a person should consult a doctor.

If the stool is reddish, black or tarry, you should immediately seek medical treatment. These symptoms could indicate blood loss and should be treated immediately.

How to keep your bowels healthy

These tips will help you ensure a healthy bowel function as well as healthy poops.

  • Get enough fiber: Try to achieve the minimum recommended. daily amountThe daily intake of fiber is 25 grams (g), for women, and 38 grams for men under 50. Women over 50 should aim to consume 21 grams daily, while men over 50 should consume 30, whereas women over 50 should consume 31 grams daily.
  • Get plenty of water: A reasonable amount is approximately 8 glasses (64 ounces) per day. When you consume more fiber, it is important to stay hydrated.
  • Probiotics are a good choiceProbiotics may be a good option. restoreThe natural balance of bacteria within the gut. Probiotics can be found in some yogurts and other beverages, but these beneficial bacteria come in capsules.
  • Magnesium is a good optionMagnesium hydroxide often treats constipation. It is safe for most people. However, doctors don’t recommend it for patients with renal impairment.
  • Lifestyle changesThis could include quitting smoking, reducing your exercise level, and anxiety management. control a person’s bowel movements.

For health and well-being, a healthy digestive system is vital. It also indicates that a person eats a balanced diet.

Poop abnormalities that persist could lead to complications. Consistent diarrhea can lead to nutritional deficiencies, or in extreme cases, malnutrition. Bowel obstructions can also be caused by constipation.

A person’s poop tends to be brown, soft to firm in texture, and easy to pass. If a person notices any changes in their poop, they should keep an eye on it and consult a doctor if it doesn’t resolve within two weeks.

A fiber-rich diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and lots of water are all key factors to improving bowel function.

This article can be viewed in Spanish.

Source: Medical News Today

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