My practice as a naturopath focuses on balancing nutrition and identifying and eliminating inflammatory foods to restore health, and I always inquire about my patients’ elimination habits. The state of someone’s stool says a lot about their internal processes, i.e., if they are absorbing their foods, suffering from inflammation, and/or infected by parasites. I ask about color, odor, buoyancy, frequency, ease, and consistency. One of the tools I use to assess the responses is the Bristol Stool Chart.
Developed at the University of Bristol in England, and published in the Scandanavian Journal of Gastroenterology in 1997, the Bristol Stool Chart describes the consistency and form of human poop ranging from diarrhea to constipation. It’s a clinical tool you can use to assess your own health on a daily basis.
The optimum state for stool is Type 4. I think of it as when your poop looks like an old banana: smooth and tubular with a slight curve and gentle to pass.
One of my mentors, Dr. Tom Anstett, jokes that he is the president of SWA, or Stool Watchers of America. He knows that your stool is a good indicator of how the rest of your body is doing: healthy stool means all systems are fired and functioning.
Are you noticing that you do not eliminate Type 4 poop 1-3 times per day? Sophisticated testing and dietary therapies can help get you back on track and feeling good. Contact me if you’d like a free consultation.