What Your Poop is Trying to Tell You | Chart Included

toilet with speech bubble emerging

It might sound a bit strange, but there may be a message waiting for you in your toilet, and it’s coming from your poop! You can learn a lot from the appearance based on its shape, color, and the frequency in which those indicators occur.

Curious what you could find out? Well thanks to the Bristol Stool Chart used by many doctors, there are seven types of bowel movements that tell the story of what could be happening in your gut.

Our Take On The Bristol Stool Chart

hip2poop's take on the bristol stool chart

Type 1: Separate hard lumps

What this could mean: Constipated

This type might be slightly hard to pass. It’s likely a sign that you’re constipated but you may want to see a doctor if this lasts more than a couple of weeks.

Type 2: Lumpy, sausage-like

What this could mean: Slightly constipated

Not the worst thing in the world, but it might take longer than normal to push out. Drink more water to help get things moving back there.

Type 3: Sausage like with cracks in the surface

What this could mean: Normal

Most common shape and easy to pass. This is a very normal bowel movement.

Type 4: Smooth, snake-like

What this could mean: Normal

This is the ideal shape and signifies a completely healthy poop. Shoot for this type of movement every 1-3 days.

Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges

What this could mean: Lacking fiber

Relatively easy to pass but might have some sense of urgency behind it. It should firm up on its own in a couple of days.

Type 6: Mushy consistency with ragged edges

What this could mean: Inflammation

You’ll want to drink more fluids and add electrolytes as you’re slightly dehydrated. Fruit juice and soup should do the trick.

Type 7: Liquid consistency with no solid pieces

What this could mean: Inflammation & constipated

Check for additional signs of dehydration, like dry mouth, sleepiness, headaches, or if you have severe stomach pains and/or fever. See your doctor if this lasts more than 3 days.

Color Scale of Stool

poop color chart


Could be caused by:

  • too much fat
  • trouble absorbing nutrients
  • a side effect of certain medications
  • a clogged bile duct

If this persists for a few days, you’ll want to check in with your doctor.


Could be caused by:

  • consumption of lots of green vegetables
  • food moving through your digestive tract faster than it can be broken down

It’s pretty normal, but shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence.


This means your poop is perfectly normal! Brown stools are ideal, and probably what you’re most used to seeing. Your stool turns brown as a result of all your food mixing together as you digest, along with some bile to help it process.


Could be caused by:

  • an iron supplement
  • an active ingredient in stomach medicines
  • eating lots of black licorice

If none of the above apply to you, check in with your doctor.


Could be caused by:

  • eating red food coloring or red-colored medicine
  • blood in the large intestine
  • a scratch in the rectum
  • hemorrhoids

If you find your stool is red, you’ll likely want to contact your doctor as it can be a sign of more serious issues.

Want to keep this information handy?

Download our printable to keep in your bathroom to reference at any time!

Poop Chart

About the writer:

Emily obtained her Bachelor's degrees from Clarkson University with 5 years of content writing experience specializing in health, beauty, fashion, home, & living frugally.

Join The Discussion

Comments 8

  1. Ali

    Haha! This is actually really useful information 🙂

  2. Tammy

    This is really helpful info! Love the new site!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Yay! That’s great to hear, Tammy! Thanks for the kind comment! We sure appreciate it!

  3. Rebecca

    We use this chart regularly for our son with neurogenic bowel due to a birth defect (Spina Bifida).

  4. Katrina Hardy

    Wow! This is very valuable information. Thanks!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You are SO welcome!

  5. barb

    I was actually looking this up just a few days ago – your chart is much better than the one I found, thanks!!!!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Oh good! You’re welcome, Barb! SO glad this was helpful!

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