We all do it, might as well look a closer. Examining your stool is a simple, inexpensive way of telling whether or not you’re healthy. If you’ve exhibited serious symptoms such as prolonged or bloody diarrhea, an unusual amount of gas, nausea, or abdominal pain, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Doctors will conduct a proper stool analysis. Chemical and microbiologic tests and microscopic examinations can reveal infections in the digestive tract, liver or pancreas; poor nutrition; or even cancer. If you’re currently taking some sort of medication, you may be asked to avoid doing so in order for test results to come out as accurate as possible.
There are some things, however, that you can look for prior to the visit. Even those of us who feel healthy can learn a little something about ourselves from our excrement.
Continue reading for some helpful tips and info-graphics about your waste.
#1 Your time on the toilet is even more precious than you think.
It isn’t just a time for release, it’s also a time for learning. And we’re not just talking about reading a book on the toilet. If you aren’t looking at your poop, you can learn a lot about yourself.
#2 In general, there are seven different types of poop as shown in the Bristol stool chart.
Take a look at these figures. Which one looks like your most recent waste? Are the colors and shapes pretty consistent or do they vary? Type 3 and 4 are what you should be aiming for.
#3 Take a closer look at healthy blocks of poop on the lefthand side.
If your poop shows a drastically different color and shape or if it comes out as mush, liquid, or if it’s mixed with blood, it’s best to consult with your doctor.