Bristol stool scale

A medical aid designed to classify the form of human feces into seven categories.

It suggests the form of the stool is a useful surrogate measure of colon transit time.

That conclusion has since been challenged.

The Bristol stool scale is part of the diagnostic triad for irritable bowel syndrome: pain/discomfort, bowel habit, and bloating (in women).

The seven types of stool are:

Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)

Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy

Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface

Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily)

Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool

Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid

Types 1 and 2 indicate constipation, with 3 and 4 being the ideal stools as they are easy to defecate while not containing excess liquid, and 5, 6 and 7 tending towards diarrhea.

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