In the 21st century, we have finally realized that it is important to take care of our health. However, we forget to pay attention to the signals that our body sends us. Have you tried a stool test? It may sound gross, but its color and shape can tell a lot about your health.
Bright Side has gathered information to help you take another step towards your health. Read to the end and stay informed!
You probably know that the normal color of stool is brown. It can vary slightly from time to time depending on what you’re eating, but a sudden change in color for no apparent reason can be a warning sign. So let’s find out what it is.
White, gray, or clay-colored stools indicate a lack of bile. This may indicate problems with the liver and gallbladder, as these are the organs where bile is produced and stored. This can range from blocked bile ducts and stones to cirrhosis of the liver.
White mucus in brown stools can be a sign of Crohn’s disease.
Green color can be caused by chlorophyll-rich vegetables (such as spinach), green food coloring in drinks, and iron supplements.
If the cause is not food, it means that your stool is passing through your digestive tract too quickly and does not have time to absorb enough bile and bilirubin.
Yellow stool indicates blockage of the bile ducts and poor absorption of fat. Another reason is a lack of enzymes produced by the pancreas, which can indicate chronic pancreatitis, cystic disease, or cystic fibrosis.
But don’t panic! Yellow poop could be a sign that you ate too many carrots or drank too much yellow-colored drink.
Black stools can be caused by medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, iron supplements, etc.) or intestinal bleeding. The latter is obviously a reason to contact your doctor immediately.
A more common cause lies in the food you eat. Black and blue foods such as blueberries and licorice can provide this shade.
Red stools are usually caused by your diet. Beets, colored drinks, tomatoes … think about what you have consumed recently.
However, if food isn’t the cause, it’s time to see a doctor. Blood in your stool is an alarming sign. It could be a rectal fissure or something more serious, like hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, or cancer.
If you don’t believe that looking at your poop is normal, some scientific research might convince you. Scientists at Bristol Royal Infirmary have created the Bristol Stool Chart to identify stool types and help people stay healthy. It describes the 7 types of stool and what they mean.