By: Yuhanis Yunus
Do you ever wonder about your bowel habit and whether your bowel had pass stool with normal consistency or not? What about constipation? And what is diarrhea?
To assist clinician and physician in assessing all the above questions, Ken Heaton, MD from University of Bristol had developed a chart in 1997 which is called as Bristol Stool Chart. This chart was made with the help of 66 volunteers designed to help doctors measure the time it takes for food to pass through your body and leave as waste.
As you can see from the chart, stool may have different shapes and forms that can be indicative of digestive problem.
(CAUTION! The pictures shown might be graphic so if you are eating, avoid this part.)
The indications are as follows:
- Type 3 and 4 : the ideal stool
- Type 1 and 2 : constipation
- Type 5, 6 and 7 : diarrhea
- Subtype a : fatty stool
- Subtype b : stool with undigested food particles
Constipation is a form of condition indicating certain diseases or a complication due to certain diseases. To diagnose constipation, a person need to experience any two out of these symptoms such as less than 3 bowel movement per week, straining, lumpy or hard stool, obstructive sensation, sensation of incomplete defecation and need manual maneuver to defecate over the preceding 3 months.
As for diarrhea, it is a condition where there is imbalance of water and minerals excretion and absorption resulting in watery stool. This condition can be acute where it does not last more than 14 days or chronic where it may persist for more than 14 days.
If any of the above conditions occur, you are in need of medical attention as soon as possible and apart from medications, practicing healthy lifestyle and balanced diet is as important.
Avoid sedentary lifestyle of eating junk food and eat more fruits and vegetables may change your grossly unhealthy stool to a normal and easily passed stool.
As funny as staring at a toilet bowl may seems, it still can save your life!
Disclaimer: Writer is a student of Bachelor in Medicine and Bachelor in Surgery from Widad University College. She will be graduating from the meds school March next year.