Is My Poop Normal? A Color + Texture Guide

The average person poops one to three times per day, but for all of that pooping, we don’t really think about our stool enough. Is your poop normal? Let’s talk about it.

Poop is an excellent indicator of health, so taking note of the color, texture and smell of your number twos can be really useful and informative. How do you know if your bathroom experience is normal? Healthy poop isn’t really the kind of thing that comes up in casual conversation, right?

Is your poop normal?

Luckily, we have the Bristol Stool Scale. Developed in 1998 by Stephen Lewis and Ken Heaten from the University of Bristol, this scale addresses everything you need to know about the health of your poop based on shape and texture, from constipation to diarrhea.

Here are all the different number twos we all encounter at one point or another:

Is My Poop Normal? A Color + Texture Guide

Type 1: Pellets

These hard little individual nuts, marbles, or pellets indicate constipation. This shouldn’t happen on a regular basis. Also, if you regularly spend more than 10 minutes on the toilet, you should look into some dietary shifts.

Type 2: Caterpillar

A long, lumpy log, this is another sign that you are constipated. Eat more veggies, and drink more water.

Type 3: Sausage

This poo is the dream—a long log with some cracks on the surface that is a breeze to pass.

Type 4: Soft Serve

A long log like type 3, but significantly more smooth and soft. This is also easy to pass and very healthy.

Type 5: Mushy Hash Browns

Soft blobs with clear-cut edges. Easy to pass, but it is a sign you might need more fiber in your diet.

Type 6: Slop

Fluffy, mushy pieces with ragged edges, verging into diarrhea territory. If this happens on a regular basis, you likely have some unaddressed digestive issues.

Type 7: Abstract Expressionist Art

Entirely liquid, no solid pieces. Your poo moved through your intestines too quickly, and you have full-blown diarrhea, friend. If this is happening chronically, it may be an indication of an underlying health issue.

What Your Poop Color Says About Your Health

Is My Poop Normal? A Color + Texture Guide to Healthy Poop

Okay, so what about color? Our number twos come in all colors of the rainbow. Here’s what each shade could mean:

Medium to Dark Brown

Ever wonder why is poop brown? This is actually thanks to bilirubin, which is a compound formed when red blood cells get broken down and create a rich brown pigment. This is totally healthy and normal.

Black

If you’ve consumed licorice, iron supplements or Pepto-Bismol (bismuth), that could cause black stool. However, this color could also mean bleeding in the upper intestinal tract. Seek out a doctor if you have inexplicably black stool.

Green

Having a slight green tinge to your poo is actually pretty normal. It likely means you’re consuming lots of green veggies, so good on you!

But if you haven’t been pounding the kale and spinach by the bowlful, a full green color might indicate that your stool is traveling through your system too quickly—it hasn’t had the time to pick up the bilirubin pigment and is primarily colored with bile salts. Try consuming more fiber, as it is likely you’re verging into diarrhea territory, or seek out the advice of a doctor if it persists.

Pale, White, or Grey

Your poop could be very pale because the bile ducts in your gallbladder are blocked or malfunctioning. Obviously, you should see a doctor in this situation. On the other hand, this can also be the side effect of certain diarrhea medications—but check in with your doctor just to be sure.

Red

Red may seem like a stress-inducing color to see in the toilet bowl, but don’t freak out. If you are consuming a lot of beets, cranberries, tomato juice or red food dye, you will pass reddish stool. This is totally healthy. Of course, if you haven’t consumed any red foods, this could also be a sign of bleeding somewhere lower in the digestive tract, and you should see your doctor.

Yellow

Yellow poo is usually also oily and very smelly. It is generally a sign that you are consuming too much fat, and your body is not handling it well. Those with celiac disease and other digestive disorders may also experience yellow poo when they are not properly absorbing nutrients.

If your poop is yellow and contains mucus, this could indicate an issue with your liver or gallbladder, and you should seek professional support.

There is so much more to poo than embarrassing stink. Next time you spend some time on the toilet, take a moment for a quick inspection before you flush. It could provide you with eye-opening insight into your diet and health!

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59 comments

Graham P
Graham P1 months ago

So now we Know.

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Lesa D
Lesa DiIorio1 months ago

thank you Jordyn...

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Edgar Z
Edgar Zuim1 months ago

It is very interesting to know the functioning of our body. Poop is really a warning sign for any abnormality that may be occurring.

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Kerrie G
Kerrie G1 months ago

Interesting, thank you.

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Janis K
Janis K1 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N1 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N1 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N1 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Janis K
Janis K1 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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lynda l
lynda leigh1 months ago

There is so much more to poo than embarrassing stink.

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