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Bristol Stool Chart on Poop

When you see a Naturopath you may be forgiven for thinking they are fixated by what your bowel movements (a.k.a. your poop) looks like. There is very good reason behind this, other than possibly making you feel uncomfortable. The Bristol Stool Chart on poop lets you know how 'normal' or 'abnormal' your poop is. Do you look at your poop? It's important you do as it can indicate early signs of health issues.

Picture of constipation through to diarrhoea as the 7 types of poo formation
The 7 types of poop according to the Bristol Stool Chart

The Bristol Stool Chart on Poop and its Relevance


The Bristol Stool Chart (shown in the graphic) is a way of standardising how we talk about what our bowel movements are like. It is used to help us understand any digestion and elimination issues you may be experiencing. Type 3-4 is what is considered 'normal'. Any sudden changes you have in your bowel movements should be addressed and if you see blood it should be addressed urgently by your G.P.


If you aren't pooping daily (1-3 times), then you're not eliminating toxins. Your body will have to use other pathways to eliminate them. This may result in skin breakouts, liver congestion see with the extra roll of fat above your navel, and puffiness from overburdened lymphatics.


The colon is one of the elimination channels of the body, and possibly the channel that most people think about when they hear the word elimination. It is part of the digestive system which is all about eating food, breaking it down to extract nutrients and expelling what isn't needed. When this pathway doesn't work well, we can experience issues.


Ineffective bowel detoxification may result in:

  • Excessive flatulence and belching

  • Tiredness

  • Bloating

  • Skin issues

  • Cravings

  • Mood changes

  • Pain on the upper right hand side of your abdomen

  • Pale coloured poop

  • Burning reflux

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhoea

  • Nausea

  • Urgency to poop

  • Seeing undigested food in your poop ...and so on.

Tips to managing our digestive processes


The digestive system is about the digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, and elimination of waste. We can help this process by the following tips:

  1. We can stimulate a sluggish digestive system by drinking a glass of warm water with lemon squeezed into it, 30-minutes before we eat at meal times. Apple cider vinegar may also be used.

  2. Chewing our food stimulates gastric acids and enzymes required to break our food down. This is important so we get the nutrients from our food. If we chew well, we reduce the chance of gastric reflux or indigestion. Improperly broken down food is what we feel coming up with gastric reflux, along with stomach acid that has tried but hasn't been successful in breaking down big clumps of food. So if you chew well (20 chews per mouthful), we reduce our chances of digestive issues. These may include gastric reflux, bloating, tiredness, pale coloured poop, skin issues, excessive flatulence, belching, pain, intestinal permeability or leaky gut from undigested, fermented foods that produce gas, anaemia, and immune issues.

  3. Take a break between mouthfuls. Eating slower means we also inhale less air. Less air in means less air has to come out!

  4. Watch our portion sizes - a clenched fist is the size of our stomach. If we adopt the mantra that no food is off limits, but make sure we keep our portion sizes the size of a clenched fist then emotionally and physically we will be satisfied. It may take some time to slowly wean your stomach size back if you've been consuming more than a fist size, but it will shrink back over time.

  5. Don't drink fluids with meals. Wait until 30-minutes after you've finished eating. If you drink fluid with meals, it dilutes our stomach acids. These acids are needed to break down foods, and to extract the nutrients we need. If we drink with our meals, symptoms may appear again - reflux, tiredness, cravings, bloating, excessive wind etc

  6. When you feel the first sign of needing to have a bowel movement - do it! Retained faeces suffocates your bowel, and more toxins are produced. Ensure your fluid intake is at 2-2.5 litres per day. Drinking chamomile tea can also assist bowel evacuations by softening the waste and relaxing the bowel wall.

  7. Aloe vera juice can assist an irritated bowel (leaky gut). Treating leaky gut can help reduce cravings, help with feelings of exhaustion, immune issues, as well as mood changes.

Special note on our Immune System


Around 80% of our immune system lines our digestive tract. If you don't look after your digestion, your immunity suffers. Think of you digestive system first when you have constant immunity issues. Is it being looked after as best as you can?


If you feel the symptoms above are something that you'd like to discuss with me personally, please make an appointment.



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References:

Weaver L, (2018), Exhausted to Energised, Little Green Frog Publishing


ARTICLE/CONTENT DISCLAIMER

The information provided in this blog/article/handout is for your personal or other non-commercial, educational purposes. It should not be considered as medical or professional advice. We recommend you consult with a GP or other healthcare professional before taking or omitting to take any action based on this blog/article/handout. While the author uses best endeavours to provide accurate and true content, the author makes no guarantees or promises and assumes no liability regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. The information, opinions, and recommendations presented in this blog/article/handout are for general information only and any reliance on the information provided in this blog/article/handout is done at your own risk. Any third-party materials or content of any third-party site referenced in this blog/article/handout do not necessarily reflect the author’s opinion, standards or policies and the author does not assume any liability for them whatsoever.

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