Bowel movements come in enough varieties to fill a Dr. Seuss book. Like most Dr. Seuss (and I mean absolutely no offense by the following comparison), your poo actually contains within it many literal and figurative layers. In other words, your poo tells two stories: the literal story of its color, shape, size, and journey, and the broader, richer story of the lifestyle choices that led to such a distinct color, shape and size.
Here are some potential stories about your poo. It will be up to you to fill in the rest:
Brown poo – Brown poo is most often indicative of a normal, healthy digestive system. The brown pigment is the result of bile mixed with dead red blood cells. Brown poop quite often tells the story of a healthy body getting a good amount of fiber and water in the midst of life.
Green poo – Green poo can be the result of something like a bowel moving too quickly through the intestines to an abundance of green-colored foods in your diet. Typically, green poo is nothing to worry about, though if it’s persistently too stinky it could be telling the story of gastroenteritis or salmonella.
Big Poo – A nice, bulky poo that slips right out is the most desirable of all poos, but this poo shouldn’t be too massive. An overly large bowel movement might be indicative of too much waste building up in your digestive system (i.e. constipation). If the poo is time and again huge and uncomfortable it might be due to certain intolerances like allergy to lactose.
Mean Poo – If getting the poo out is either too much a struggle or too easy (i.e. diarrhea) it can mean sickness or that urgent changes are needed to your diet. If your find yourself straining to squeeze out a few, painful pebbles, that tells the story of unhealthy food binges and excessive coffee drinking. Diarrhea could mean dehydration or a stomach bug. When unhealthy eating is the cause of bad poo, it is essential that fiber and water are restored to the body to achieve balance.
Red Poo – Red doesn’t always equal blood when it comes to poo. Sometimes red means you ate beets for dinner. On the other hand, if you see inexplicable red in your stool it can be a sign of bleeding in the lower intestinal-tract.
Black Poo – If the poo is the color of tar, it might be time to ring some alarms. Aggressively dark pigmentation is often the result of dried blood, which would indicate that you’re bleeding somewhere internally. See a doctor just to be safe.
Smelly Poo – If your poo truly stinks to the high heavens for days in a row, then it could mean something as simple as dietary choices your making or something deeper like Crohn’s Disease. While not necessarily a code red, wretched smelling poo should raise a few internal flags regarding the food you eat.
Daddy Mack Poo – This is the grand-daddy of all great poos—the result of proper diet and exercise. It’s brown, compact, loaded with fiber and water, and it slips right out. One or two wipes and you’re done. It’s the ultimate poo. The perfect poo.