Using the Bristol Stool Chart for Your Health
Your gut stool is one of the quickest ways to tell if you need to test your gut. Stool, commonly miscalled waste or something to discard, contains the truth of what is happening inside for our bodies. The data that can be collected from stool analysis can give us insights into the state of our health to many of our internal systems. New science has now implicated your stool microbiome and other biomarkers as ways to determine if we have good mental health, sleep, weight loss, chronic conditions, and healthy aging. Next time you go "number two", take a look at your stool as compared to the Bristol chart of stool below.
The Bristol Stool Chart Meaning
On the far left of the chart below you will see the numbers 1-7 that ranks your stool. The stool shape chart and descriptions next to these numbers are to help guide you to rank your stool. In general, a ranking of 3-4 is considered normal. When you rank 1-2 you may be experiencing some level of constipation and when you rank 5-7 you may be too low in dietary fiber or experiencing some level of diarrhea. All of these rankings have specific microbiome related associations that may have insights to your overall health. To find out what microbes make up your microbiome, you can read more about getting a comprehensive gut test.
The Bristol Stool Chart Color
This quick test above can quickly give you information on your stool health. One other factor to consider is the color of the stool. The color list below may help guide the reasons for changes in color.
Green: Stool is dehydrated, passed through your intestinal tract too quickly, or colored due to consumption of leafy greens or green food coloring.
Black: Stool may have some blood coming from the intestinal system and coloring the stool darker than normal.
Red: Stool may have blood within it and could be an early sign of an issue. Try to rule out red food coloring from food such as beats.
Brown: Stool natural color at varying degrees, generally a healthy sign.
Yellow: Stool that may have too many fats or some form of malabsorption of the digestive system.
White: Stool may not have come in contact with other biles and salts it normally does in the digestive system.
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