I remember my young son peering into the toilet after successfully landing his first ever poo. He meticulously described the shape, colour, texture and size. He was extremely proud of his effort and immediately got on the phone and told his Dad and Grandma all about it.

As children it is easy and normal to talk bowel motions, but as we get older it becomes increasingly more difficult to talk about. At ‘Gut Feelings’ we don’t mind talking about your bowel motions – we talk ‘crap all day’.

In this blog I will explain what it means to be ‘regular’ and what a healthy bowel motion looks like. Many of us don’t really know what a normal bowel motion is. We may worry that perhaps our bowel motions are too runny, or too hard? Perhaps we are going too often, or maybe not at all. People often assume that healthy, regular bowel motions are typical, but this is not the case.

What is ‘regular’?
What it means to be ‘regular’ will vary from person to person. People often think that you must pass a bowel motion once a day to be regular, but this is not the case. Being regular means passing soft, well-formed bowel motions with ease anywhere from 1 – 3 times a day to 3 times per week. Some people consider themselves to be ‘regular’ when they pass a bowel motion once a day as this is normal for them; whereas ‘regular’ for others means emptying their bowels more or less often.

What does a “healthy bowel motion” look like?
A healthy bowel motion is one that is soft, well formed and easy to pass, like types 3 and 4 on the Bristol Stool Chart below. Dry lumpy bowel motions that are hard to pass, like types 1 and 2 in the Bristol Stool Chart, are indicative of constipation. On the opposite end of the chart, types 5, 6 and 7, are the soft watery bowel motions, which are suggestive of diarrhea and urgency.

Feel free to comment below and tell me what’s normal for you?

Blogged by Kerith Duncanson – April 2015

Bristol Stool Chart

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