Bristol stool chart

While not everyone wants to discuss their poo, sometimes we need to in a health context. So even though you mightn’t whip this out at a dinner party or the pub, it’s a useful tool for healthcare professionals and may help you to gauge what’s going on in your bowels. We all need to know this stuff!

Approx read time: 6 mins

Sometimes our poo will vary – we may have eaten something we’re not used to or we might have a bout of something that’s upsetting our digestive system. But there are longer term issues that deserve attention, such as chronic constipation or diarrhoea, and the Bristol stool chart can help you to know what’s healthy and what isn’t.

Numbers three and four on the chart are where the magic lies. Smooth and soft, not lumpy or hard, or smushy or watery. If you hit three or four on a regular basis that is good. Although we should all look out for blood in our poo or any changes that aren’t normal for us, such as different coloured poo or a change in frequency. In these cases you must consult a doctor.

The Bristol Stool Scale

The Bristol Stool Scale is a medical tool (created by Lewis SJ, Heaton KW (1997)) that divides the consistency of human faeces into seven groups, ranging from hard lumps to entirely liquid. It’s often used to assess gut health and helps people and their healthcare providers to understand and talk about stool consistency and the potential issues that it might signify.

So here we are with our very own Nuush Bristol stool scale.

A diagram showing the seven different types of human faeces.

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Thank you for reading this article. Please note that while we share a lot of awesome information and research you should be aware our articles are strictly for informational purposes and do not constitute medical advice intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.