Ayurvedic view on Poop and Its different forms
Sometimes in our life some things become so common that we hardly pay attention to them. For example, the colour of our stool, Our stools have a specific colour that might be brown or sometimes slightly green following the night when we had an iron rich diet. Stools get their usual colour because of the presence of bile and bilirubin. Any change in the colour of the stools may be an early sign of something wrong going on in our body. Therefore, it is necessary to learn about the normal and abnormal stool colour. In this article today this is what we are going to do.
Our food is processed at different levels in our body, like in the stomach it is mixed with acid and in the intestines it is mixed with other digestive enzymes and juices. This gives the stools its colour. The colour of the stools have its own significance in our life. As this could indicate something which needs our attention. Of course, once in a while a slight change in the colour of stools might be because of some different food that we have consumed, but a changed colour of stool for days might be a warning sign.
Following are the different colours of stools that tell a lot about our health:
- Green Stools - It indicates that either you had some green vegetables or the food that you had was containing some colouring agents in it. It is also possible that you are on supplementation or medications that have iron in them. For example vegetables like spinach, watercress, green beans, broccoli and cucumber could give our stools a green colour. There are some fruits also which could do the same, like guava, green apples and grapes. This was the normal scenario, but if the green stools are persisting then it could indicate that the food is passing through the intestines faster. For example in diarrhoea.
- Yellow Stools - Sometimes the colour of the stools may deviate from regular brown colour to yellow colour. Though this does not need any special attention if it is about the stools of babies who are taking breastfeed. But, if you are an adult and this yellowish stool is becoming regular with a foul smell then it could indicate that the food is not being digested in the gut properly. It could be in many conditions like wheat allergy where the intestines become sensitive to gluten and can't handle it. Therefore if you are consuming food items like barley, wheat and rye and passing yellow offensive stools, you should consult your doctor.
- Black Stools - If your baby is passing black stools after birth for the first few days, then it is normal physiology. In adults, it may be because of some medication that you have been prescribed by your doctor which contains iron or bismuth subsalicylate in it. But, black stools in other situations than mentioned above could tell you about the bleeding that is happening in your upper gastrointestinal tract. This bleeding could be a result of cancer, gastric ulcers, or esophageal bleeding sores.
- Pale Stools - This is something that does not happen in normal scenarios which means; if the colour of your stools is changing to pale then it could be something serious. In the starting of our topic we learnt how stools get it normal brown colour, because of bile. But if there is any obstruction in the way of bile that is stored in the gallbladder and secreted through a duct (a pipe) then there will not be sufficient bile. This could lead to the appearance of stools to look pale or clay coloured. Conditions in which this could occur are jaundice, hepatitis, gall bladder stones etc.
- Red Stools - This is the most alarming colour of the stools. If you ever encounter such stools then do not procrastinate in booking an appointment with your doctor. Unless you are sure that last night you had some red drinks like cranberries juice, tomato soup or beets this red colour of stools should not be ignored. Possible medical conditions of red stools are bleeding from rectum as in the case of anal fissure, haemorrhoids, cancer, colon polyps, colitis (inflammation in the colon) etc.
Different forms of stools and their meaning
On The Basis Of Body Structure Involved
We covered the points related to the different colours of stools, now let's understand if there are some forms of stools also with their significance. To do this we will take help from the Bristol stool chart. Bristol stool chart divides the human faeces into seven categories which are as follows.
- Type 1 (Separate hard lumps) - This type of stools is found in the individuals who are very constipated. Once in a while it is not something to be worried about, but you should not let it persist. In order to do so, consume liquid in adequate quantities, and introduce dietary fibre in your diet.
- Type 2 (Lumpy and sausage) - Stools which appear like this are also a result of constipation, but the magnitude of the constipation is less than the typical constipation.
- Type 3 (Sausage shape with cracks) - Stools of this shape are considered as the normal. They have cracks in it, and are easy to pass as they are soft.
- Type 4 (Snake type) - This type of stools also belong to the normal category of stools. They are smooth, appearing like a snake or a smooth sausage.
- Type 5 (Soft blobs with clear cut edges) - Stools with this consistency indicate that the diet is lacking the fibre content in it. In future it could lead to problems like constipation, anal fissure etc. Therefore fibre content must be increased in the diet.
- Type 6 (Mushy with ragged edges) - This type of stools indicates the inflammation in the gut. Diseases which could be leading to such poop are IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome), Ulcerative colitis etc.
- Type 7 (Watery stools with no consistency) - We all are familiar with such kinds of stools in case of diarrhoea. This type of stool runs quickly from the intestines.
The colour of the stools which might not seem a big deal but sometimes could be considered a warning sign indicating towards a particular disease. With the help of stools colour and consistency we could become alert in early stages of a pathological change going on in our body. This alertness could help in early diagnosis and a good prognosis of a disease.