Have you been looking for a Bristol Stool Chart printable to help determine your gut health status?
While most people don’t want to talk about bowel movements, different types of stools, and how it all relates to overall health, I”m not.
These days, normal bowel function is a thing of the past and because of it, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and various diseases of the bowel in general are increasing.
My father died from Colon Cancer, so any time I can provide resources for how to achieve a healthy bowel and what a healthy digestive system looks like, I will take the opportunity.
What is the Bristol Stool Chart?
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Dr. Ken Heaton, MD from The University of Bristol created The Bristol Stool Chart in 1997, through a study where they measured the transit time of their food from entrance to exit with radiopaque pellets, and had them keep a diary of their stool using this scale.
Upon completion of the trial, the Bristol Stool Chart was born as a universal way to track transit time.
The chart can be used to help identify gastrointestinal distress or food sensitivities even.
The Bristol Stool Scale is commonly used by healthcare professionals to assess bowel function, diagnose certain digestive disorders, and monitor treatment progress.
It can provide valuable insights into bowel habits and help identify abnormal stool patterns that may indicate underlying gastrointestinal issues.
This diagnostic medical tool was designed to classify the form of human faeces into seven categories.
So what are these seven types of stool exactly?
- Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass) – basically like rabbit droppings
- Sausage-shaped, but lumpy
- Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface
- Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
- Soft blobs with clear cut edges (easy to pass) – definitely more like loose stools
- Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
- Watery stools, no solid pieces, entirely liquid
Type “4” is an ideal stool, and this is where we all want to be.
Types 1 – 3 are indicative of constipation; 5 – 7 is more on the diarrhea spectrum.
Snake poop is a healthy stool; a good sign for optimal bowel health.
Lean in and listen up.
The Bristol Stool Chart Alternative Names
Alternative names for it that you may see floating (pun?!) around include:
- Bristol Stool Scale
- Poop Chart
- Meyers Scale
- Bristol Stool Form Scale
- BSF Scale
Why Use the Bristol Stool Chart?
For many people, using the Bristol Stool Chart is purely a research tool for personal needs.
Keeping track of where you’re at is good practice, no matter your situation.
But even though many use it sporadically and more for fun than anything else, it is a tool that doctor’s can also use as a medical aid when trying to figure out an underlying problem.
If your “type” has stayed consistently the same for any duration, it could indicate something more serious from a medical conditions standpoint (i.e. a Type 1 or a Type 7).
But you’ll notice I said duration vs. a single day. This is because, on any given day (or even for a full week), stool type can change a great deal due to these factors:
- Medications and side effects of them
- Age-related changes
- Activity levels and exercise
- Illness (such as gastroenteritis or “food poisoning”)
- Hormone-related changes such as during menstruation or pregnancy
- More serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer
However, if due to any of those risk factors, a prolonged (negative) change in Bristol Stool Scale number appears, further investigation and professional medical advice must be taken into consideration.
A Type “4” stool consistency is where we want to be at or hovering around for most of the time.
Bristol Stool Chart Printable
If you’d like to have the perfect Bristol Stool Chart printable via a Bristol Stool Chart PDF, you’ll find it through my Etsy store HERE.
This page comes from the 90-day gut healing journal. We created the Bristol Stool Chart Printable so that you could always have a little more pleasant view of the different types of stools for tracking purposes.
If you have a copy of the e-version journal or printed, you’ll have this sheet 24/7 at your hands all the time.
In order to understand if your type of stool is cause for concern or not, you should be tracking it. It’s not enough to just have this printable at your side. Instead, you should track it on a daily basis. This is so that you can identify patterns and have a sound understanding of where you’re at today and what the next steps on your journey might involve.
Remember what I said in the video above; critical, could be life saving.
Bristol Stool Chart Versions
There are so many great visuals of the chart out there in addition to my rendition of the Bristol Stool Chart.
Here are some of my favorites (hover over each one to pin):
If you want to get really bold and brave, grab THIS.
Hey, like you don’t want to study normal stools with your morning cup ‘o Joe each day, right?!
Now, if you dare to share, leave your numbers below in the comments. No shame.
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You will heal. I will help.