Stool consistency: this is how you recognize digestive problems

Not only the frequency of bowel movements is an indicator of how our intestines are doing. We should also keep an eye on our stool consistency. We explain to you how you can differentiate between healthy and unhealthy stools.

In this article you will learn:

  • Why your life affect your intestinal health has
  • What stool consistency normal is
  • Interesting  facts and figures about chair 

How your lifestyle affects your digestion

Study data show: Apparently the fact when we eat something also has an influence on the composition of our intestinal flora. At the same time it was observed that this in turn is closely linked to the consistency of the stool.

So if your life gets out of step due to shift work, time difference or unusual meal times , this can have an impact on your intestinal activity and digestion – including the intestinal flora. Possible consequence: a sluggish bowel.

Frequency, color, shape – which stool consistency is normal?

The problem with this: the longer the food takes to travel in the intestine, the more water is withdrawn from the stool – and it becomes hard. Under certain circumstances, this can also lead to secondary diseases such as anal hairs. You can also find out from us how you can relax your sphincter muscle with an anal haircut .

What many do not know, however: hard stools or uncomfortable use of the toilet, even if you go to the toilet every day, can already indicate a sluggish bowel and, according to the medical definition, are already a symptom of constipation .

But when is the chair the way it should be? Information about this can be provided by the Bristol stool shape scale , which also allows conclusions to be drawn about the transport process in the intestine.

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Type 1:
Individual, firm lumps, difficult to remove

Type 2
Wurstartig, lumpy

Type 3
Sausage-like with a cracked surface

Type 4
sausage dough with a smooth surface

Type 5
Individual, soft, smooth-edged lumps, easy to excrete

Type 6
Individual, soft lumps with an irregular edge

Type 7
Liquid, without solid components

With this scale, the stool consistency can be rated as “normal” (type 3, 4, 5), “too soft” (type 6, 7) or “too hard” (type 1, 2). A healthy digestion yields a feces of type 3, 4 or 5 . The ratio between water and other components is ideal.

Types 1 and 2 indicate that digestive residues take a long time or longer to clear and are too hard after dehydration . With type 5, the intestinal transit is faster. Types 6 and 7 are diarrhea .

The color can also provide information: Everything that is brown to yellow-brown is considered healthy. A green tinge, for example, can occur after eating spinach. Black or red discoloration, on the other hand, can be an indicator of blood in the stool . Then the rule is: off to the doctor. But before you panic: Beetroot or a strong red wine can also turn the stool red.

More on the topic: Your digestion: So simple and yet more complex than you thought

Facts and figures: The basics of bowel movements 
  • On average, about 130 g of stool are excreted per day 
  • Bowel movements usually take place between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. 
  • Healthy stool is of medium strength and roughly the shape of a banana
  • 75 percent of our stool consists of water, of the remaining quarter around 25–54 percent consists of bacteria
  • The “chair movement” takes its name from history: In the 18th century, people sat on a wooden chair with a hole and a chamber pot underneath for big business
Read More  Common questions about bowel movements

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