I don’t even think you know how important the Bristol Stool Chart is. 

And most people don’t want to talk about or look at it. But this post will force you to. Ready?!

What is the Bristol Stool Chart?

Click HERE to save this for later.

Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com all about #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthyliving

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.

It is a diagnostic medical tool designed to classify the form of human faeces into seven categories.

The seven types of stool are:

  1. 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
  2. 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy
  3. 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface
  4. 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
  5. 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (easy to pass)
  6. 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
  7. 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid

Type “4” is where we all want to be. Types 1 – 3 would indicate constipation; 5 – 7 is more on the diarrhea spectrum.

Snake Poop

Snake poop is where we all want to be. 

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 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 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 (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), bowels could change due to these factors:

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Travel
  • Dehydration
  • Medications
  • 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
Bristol Stool Chart reasons for bowel changes IBS IBD poop agutsygirl.com #ibs #guthealth #bristolstool #poop

However, if due to any of those factors, a prolonged (negative) change in Bristol Stool Scale number appears, further investigation must be taken into consideration. 

A Type “4” is where we want to be at or hovering around for most of the time.

Bristol Stool Chart PDF

If you’d like to have the perfect Bristol Stool Chart PDF, I have made it accessible via my Etsy store HERE.

This page comes from the 90-day gut healing journal. 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. 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. Here are some of my favorites (hover over each one to pin):

Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com Flower Empowered #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthyliving
Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com Precision Nutrition #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthylivingq
Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com Bed Wetting and Accidents #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthyliving
Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com Reddit #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthyliving
Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com Good Mix Superfoods #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthyliving
Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com Healthline #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthyliving
Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com Greatist #bristolstoolscale #ibs #guthealth #healthyliving

source + image credit + source + image creditsource + image credit + source + image credit + source + image credit + source + image credit + source + image credit

If you want to get really bold and brave, grab #3 on the Gut Health Wish List. Like you don’t want to study this with your morning cup ‘o Joe each day, right?!

Now, if you dare to be brave and bold, let’s share about our numbers below in the comments. No shame.

Bristol Stool Chart agutsygirl.com #guthealth #bristolstoolchart #guthealing #ibs

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. IBS or Colon Cancer
  2. How to Handle Gut Setbacks
  3. Why You Might be Bloated and Constipated


Similar Posts


  1. I stay in the range of 2 and 3 unfortunately. That is why I needed to focus on my gut health this year. I am tired of being miserable. I knew I needed to move more and drink more water but the funny thing was when I started exercising more the bowel movements increased and it was more painful than not going. My normal bowel movements are once or twice a week. Of course I will not be deterred and have started with my exercises and dealing with the cramping.

      1. Thank you so much for the out pouring support, education and caring you have put out here. I truly needed and appreciate it all! XOXO

  2. Number 5 is my most common stool, but it looks more like a soft serve swirly pile (like in the “Your Poop and You Shape and Consistency” pictures from Healthline, rather than the little blobs seen in most of the other pictures). It has been like that for several months while being treated for SIBO. I also have celiac and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I don’t know how to get them to firm up a little more. I have occassional leakage, but that is getting better. It often makes a mess when I go to the bathroom, requiring lots of wiping and lots of toilet paper. No pain or bloating, just a little gas. My integrative medicine gastroenterologist MD does not seem to be helpful in this. Any suggestions? I’ve been on so many supplements and been trying so many different things. Thanks!

    1. Hi! Does your MD seem to think it’s a problem? Just because you’re not at a “4” doesn’t mean there is something wrong necessarily. That said, bulk is usually added with fiber. How much do you eat?

  3. My cats poop is a level 7 he is a kitten 4 months old. Can it be the food. I changed the food must I go back to the old food. Please let me know what you think

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *