Bristol Stool Scale
Unlike the rest of the body, the bowels and our feces have never been popular subjects for research. Therefore, it’s not surprising that there is little scientific data available on these topics. However, constipation and diarrhea are two of the most common conditions affecting Americans today. In order for health care professionals to better diagnose these conditions, and others that affect the bowels and bowel movements, the Bristol Stool Scale was developed to classify stool shape, size, and consistency.
What Is The Bristol Stool Scale?
Developed by a team of Gastroenterologists at the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom; the Bristol Stool Scale is a recognized, general measurement used in the health care profession to evaluate the consistency or form of stools. This scale is a medical tool designed to classify one’s bowel movements into seven distinct categories. There is a direct correlation between the form of the stool and the amount of time it has spent in the colon. Therefore, the Bristol Stool Scale can be used to measure the consistency or form of a patient’s stools, presenting your health care provider with more information for detecting patterns or changes in bowel habits. However, it’s important to remember that this scale is intended to provide a general, not exact, measurement of fecal form and consistency.
How Do I Use The Bristol Stool Scale?
The Bristol Stool Scale classifies feces into seven types, based on their appearance as seen in the toilet water. They are distinguished as follows:
- Type 1: Feces come out in separate, hard lumps, similar to nuts. Type 1 stools have spent the longest amount of time in the colon and are generally difficult to pass. When feces sits in the colon for too long, it can cause one to become constipated. This condition is usually caused by a lack of fluids, lack of friendly bacteria, stress, excess mucus, and not enough good fiber. Avoid alcohol, baking soda, and all products with refined white flour, sugar, white rice and yeast.
- Type 2: Stools are sausage-like in appearance but lumpy.
- Type 3: Stool comes out similar to a sausage but with cracks in the surface.
- Type 4: Feces are smooth and soft in the form of a sausage or snake.
- Type 5: Feces form soft blobs with clear-cut edges that are easily passed through the system.
- Type 6: Stools have fluffy pieces with ragged edges. These are considered mushy stools.
- Type 7: Stool is entirely liquid and watery with no solid pieces. This type of stool has spent the least time in the colon. Diarrhea is usually caused by a bacterial or virus infection from foods or water. It can also be caused from anxiety, food allergy, drugs, or other problems in the colon. This is a sign that something is wrong and the body is trying to cleanse itself.
Please Note: The following is Dr. Group’s addition and not part of the original 7 categories of the Bristol Stool Scale.
- Type 8: Stool is foul-smelling and mucous-like with bubbles (sprayed out). This indicates excessive intake of alcohol and/or recreational drugs. Please seek professional help for your addiction.
Stools at the lower end of the scale are hard to pass and often require a lot of straining. In general, if you are constipated, you will be passing stools that are categorized as Type One or Two, and not very often at all. Those who are suffering from have diarrhea will be passing Type Six, Seven, or Eight stools on a very frequent basis. Stools at the loose or liquid end of the spectrum may pass through the system almost too easily, causing an urgency to defecate as well as potential “accidents.” The rule of thumb is that Types Three and Four stools that are passed once every three days qualifies as “normal.” I personally disagree with this, as I believe that at the very least, one stool should be passed each day instead of every three days.
When Would I Need the Bristol Stool Scale?
You can use the Bristol Stool Scale at home to get a better idea of the types of stool you typically pass. This scale will also give you a better idea of any changes that may develop in your typical bowel habits. When changes do occur, it’s often a sign that your colon is not functioning properly. This is a good time to use a colon-cleansing supplement designed to remove toxins and fecal debris from the intestinal tract and restore the health of the colon. Oxy-Powder® is a highly recommended colon cleanser that flushes away encrusted fecal matter from both the large and small intestines. Oxy-Powder® uses an oxygen-based formula that also works to deliver oxygen and heal the tissues of the intestinal tract.
About the Author
Dr. Edward F. Group III continues to develop, sell and evaluate exclusively high-end natural and organic healthcare products to support a wide range of health conditions. The products he promotes are free of toxic tag-along herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, heavy metals, fumigants, irradiation, liver-toxic glues, binders, or gelatin capsules with animal-source risk and toxic preservatives.