Why the Shape of Your Bowel Movement Matters

Apr 14, 2022

Ed Sheeran might be ‘in love with the shape of you,’ but over here, we’re ‘in love with the shape of poo.’ That’s because we know that the shape, size, and consistency of your poop can be a trustworthy indicator of your day-to-day health. From mild constipation to more serious digestive issues, taking stock of your stool is a smart way to find out if you should tweak your diet, book a doctor’s appointment, or stay the steady course. 

The list below, adapted from the Bristol Stool Chart, a widely used clinical assessment tool, can help you understand how your poop clues you into the state of your overall health.

Tooty Pebbles (Type 1)

If your poop consists of hard, round pellets that resemble rabbit droppings, it’s a strong indicator that you’re dehydrated or constipated. If you’re having uncomfortable gas, bloating, or a hard time passing these puppies using your Squatty Potty, we wouldn’t be surprised. To help get relief from these nut-like turds, try drinking more water, eating more fruits and vegetables, and exercising to loosen your muscles. If that doesn’t alleviate your constipation, try a laxative or visit your doctor.


The Plop Thickens (Type 2)

Picture a bulbous brown caterpillar or a nutty chocolate bar. That’s what this stool looks like. If it’s four to eight inches in length, you’re on the right track, but upping your fiber intake and exercising can also provide constipation relief for this thicker, hard-to-pass stool.


Hot Dog! (Type 3)

Congratulations, you have healthy poop! This stool is sausage-shaped with definitive cracks. These poops are softer and easier  to pass than the previous types. This poop’s solid nature means your body was able to adequately remove nutrients and water from your food and move things along your digestive tract at a regular clip. Keep up the good work!


Snakes on a Potty (Type 4)

Talk about making a splash! The epitome of poop health is a long, log-like stool that passes easily and sinks to the bottom of the toilet. If this happens every day and at a minimum of three times a week, we have no notes. You’re a poop rockstar.


Blob City (Type 5)

Blobby? Check. Clear cut edges? Check. Came out easily--almost too easily? You’re on the far edge of healthy poop and edging into diarrhea territory. This is fixable if you avoid overly fatty foods and drink hydrating fluids over the next few days. Fibrous food will help get your stool back to the solid form it should take. Oh, and a spritz of Pootanicals Pre-Potty Spray can help make return trips to the bathroom smell more like roses and less like punishment.


Soft Serve (Type 6)

Chocolate ice cream is good on the way in, but experiencing it on the way out is no bueno. If your stool is looser with ragged edges and accompanied by gas or abdominal pain, you’re experiencing diarrhea. Start drinking water and avoid caffeine and alcohol to help your intestines digest food at a normal pace. This situation is still salvageable, so no need to get too down over your dumps.


Water World (Type 7)

This #2 is more like a #1, with no solid pieces and a watery consistency. It’s definitely a dump that will require use of the Refresh-It® Dual-Stream Bidet and, if we’re being honest, the Invisibrush® Hidden Toilet Brush. But there’s no reason to take your runs to the poop doctor. You may have been hit with a stomach bug or bacterial infection or strayed a bit too far from a healthy digestive diet. Drink plenty of fluids and non-acidic foods like chicken and rice. If your stools don’t improve in three days, call a doctor.


The less you have to think about your stool, the better. In general, your poop should be a soft, easy-to-pass solid that takes less than ten minutes to exit the body. If you’re pooping once a day with little to no strain, you’re doing just fine. When in doubt, up your water intake and consume fibrous foods to get your poop health more regular. And, of course, you can make the pooping experience more comfortable and better for your body with a Squatty Potty.