What Is the Bristol Stool Scale?
I think the majority of us can agree that talking about our poop can be a little embarrassing! Being a nurse, stool discussions happen often, but certainly not about my own! However, it is important to educate yourself on your gut-health and what all the different stools symbolize. The Bristol Stool Scale is a chart that explains your stool health. It includes the size, shape, color, and consistency just to name a few. It also helps you better explain your stools to your physicians.
Bristol Stool Scale types
Type 1: Hard, lumpy, "rabbit pellet”-type, and difficult to pass stools.
Medical professions say this is typically someone who is VERY constipated. It is suggested to drink at least 40 ounces of water a day and increase fiber-rich foods. Many medications can also be the culprit of constipation.
Type 2: Sausage-shaped, lumpy, and similar to number one.
This type also correlates with constipation.
Type 3: Fairly normal stool.
It is sausage-shaped, but more well-formed than type two. There should be minimal straining during a bowel movement with type three.
Type 4: Soft and smoother than type 3, and is also considered a normal stool.
Type 5: Soft and smooth stool, but does not involve straining and tends to break apart.
Professionals say it’s neither normal nor abnormal, and should not last more than a few days.
Type 6: Loose stool, this type is not normal.
Type 7: Diarrhea; basically liquid.
I believe a lot of us can relate to this type! Similar to type six, this can also be the culprit of many factors, not to mention it’s miserable!
I know how humiliating it can be to discuss your bowels with your physicians, but it is very important for our well-being. If you think something is off, have it checked out!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?