What is Your Poop Telling You?

Did you know the color of your poop can be an indicator of disease? It’s true! Before you flush you should take a second glance and look for a few important things: color, shape, smell and size.

Dr. Oz Poop Color

Normal poop is brown in color, but there are certain colors of poop that could possibly indicate disease. You should talk to your doctor if your poop’s shade is consistently not normal.  Red poop is the most worrisome and could be a sign of lower gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding or diverticulosis, which is when small out-pouchings (called diverticula) or sacs develop in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The condition is rarely seen in people under the age of 30 and is most common in those over 60. Both men and women are equally affected. Green poop can occur with rapid transit through the intestines where bile doesn’t have a chance to be broken down to its final brown color, but could also indicate Crohn’s disease which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the end of the rectum (anus). Yellow tinted poop could be an indicator of Gallbladder disease. Gallbladder disease is when the bile in the gallbladder becomes concentrated and thickens.  White color poop or Mucus in the stool can give it a whitish appearance and may be due to inflammation or benign conditions like IBS could indicate Pancreatitis or Pancreatic cancer. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. It occurs when pancreatic enzymes that digest food are activated in the pancreas instead of the small intestine. It may be acute – beginning suddenly and lasting a few days, or chronic – occurring over many years. Very dark or black poop could indicate an Upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleed and would be something you’d want to bring up with your doctor.

Dr. Oz Poop Chart

Dr. Oz Poop Shape

Not getting enough fiber in your diet, spasms of the bowel or straining too hard can cause the shape of your poop. Narrow, pellet-like stools that crumble in the bowel, make it difficult to defecate, could be because Diverticulosis .  Very narrow or pencil thin shaped stool could indicate colon cancer and should be brought to the attention of your physician, who can perform a colonscopy and confirm or elimate if cancer is the cause.

Dr. Oz Poop Smell

The smell of your stool can be attributed to a few different factors, how long it has been in your colon, medications you may be taking, your diet , and sometime the presence of infection.
The cause of stinky stool is bacterial fermentation of the food in your intestines that produces foul-smelling sulfide compounds.  Antibotics or medications can also cause the smell to change to an almost medicinal smell. In very serious causes, if your stool is foul smelling and floats with an oily sheen it could be an indicator of pancreatic cancer.
When disease causes nutritents to not be absorbed, Crohn’s, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis, your stool could have a foul smell. For most people, stinky stool is most likely causes by diet, and that extra helping of beans you ate for supper.

Dr. Oz Poop Size

The size of your poop is something to take notice of. Small hard stools are usually caused from eating a low-fiber diet, and could be associated with a higher risk for developing diverticulosis and colon cancer.  Small, difficult to pass stools, or constipation, is common with people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  A higher fiber diet use of a bulking agent like psyllium husk can lead to softer, larger stools, making it easier to exit your body.  Even though low-fiber diet is most likely the problem, small, hard stool could be colon cancer and should be taken seriously.

Dr. Oz Poop Floats or Sinks

Oh! And about the floating poop thing…poop carrying fat will float. Poop that sinks does not.

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