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What Should My Stools Look Like?

The type of stool or faeces depends on the time it spends in the colon. After you pass faeces, what you see in the toilet bowl is basically the result of your diet, fluids, medications and lifestyle. You can use the Bristol Stool Chart to check what your stools are telling you.

The Bristol Stool Chart shows seven categories of stool. Every person will have different bowel habits, but the important thing is that your stools are soft and easy to pass – like types 3 and 4 below.

  • Type 1-2 : indicates constipation
  • Type 3-4 : are ideal stools as they are easier to pass, and
  • Type 5-7 : indicate diarrhoea and urgency

What are the signs of a healthy bowel?

Being ‘regular’ is a way of describing good bowel habits or normal bowel function. It’s common for people to empty their bowel once a day, although it’s still normal to be more or less often. Being regular really means that soft yet well-formed bowel motions are easily passed and that this happens anywhere from 1–3 times a day to 3 times a week.

The bowel usually wants to empty about 30 minutes after a meal (commonly breakfast), but this can vary from person to person.

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