Color chart for bowel movements: Stool Color Changes Chart, Meaning, Texture, Size & Unhealthy
Poop Color Chart | FastMed Urgent Care
If you’re looking for a color of stool chart (or a poo colour chart, for our friends outside of the U.S.), it’s probably no surprise to you that taking a second look at your bowel movement may provide valuable information regarding your health.
Your stool can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most telling sign of potential health risk is its color. See what your body is trying to tell you with the poop color chart from FastMed.
Wheel … of … Poop Colors!
Okay, so it’s a chart. We just couldn’t help ourselves. If you review the poo colour chart below, you can create a general understanding of what your bowels may be trying to tell you. Any instance you note that suggests medical attention, we strongly encourage that you seek it.
Poop (Stool) Color Chart!
Very Light Brown
This indicates a high-fat diet with little fiber. It is not a sign of any major health issues, but it should encourage you to improve your overall diet.
This is the color (or colour) of normal, healthy stool.
Black, tar-like stool is an indication of internal bleeding. A serious medical condition may be present, so it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.
This is a common sign of food passing through the colon before the final stage of digestion. It is typically normal and not of any concern.
Frequent greasy, yellow stools are often a sign of an underlying medical condition. Seek medical attention for a proper diagnosis.
If your stool is dark red without any signs of blood, then the color may be due to the ingestion of certain foods and not necessarily harmful.
If your stool is bright red and there are signs of blood, seek the advice of a medical professional.
Typically caused by a lack of bile and requires medical attention.
If you have remaining questions about your poop after reviewing our stool color chart, stop by your local FastMed Urgent Care. Our staff of experienced medical professionals is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for all of your basic health needs. Take a look at our list of locations to find the closest FastMed Urgent Care near you!
Stools – Unusual Color
Is this your child’s symptom?
- Stool color that is strange or different than normal
- Normal stool colors are any shade of brown, tan, yellow or green
- The only colors that may be caused by a disease are red, black and white
- Dark green may look like black, but dark green is a normal color
Causes of Unusual Stool Color
- Almost always due to food coloring or food additives.
- Stool color relates more to what is eaten than to any disease.
- In children with diarrhea, the gastrointestinal (GI) passage time is very rapid. Stools often come out the same color as the fluid that went in. Examples are Kool-Aid or Jell-O.
- The only colors we worry about are red, black (not dark green) and white.
Clues to Unusual Stool Colors
- “Bloody stools”: 90% of red stools are not caused by blood
- Blood from lower GI tract bleeding
- Medicines. Red medicines (like Amoxicillin). Sometimes, other medicines that turn red in the GI tract (such as Omnicef)
- Foods. See list below.
Foods That Can Cause
- Red Jell-O, red or grape Kool-Aid
- Red candy, red licorice
- Red cereals
- Red frosting
- Red food coloring
- Fire Cheetos
- Red peppers
- Tomato juice or soup, tomato skin
- Blood from stomach bleeding (stomach acid turns blood to a dark, tar-like color)
- Foods. Licorice, Oreo cookies, grape juice
- Medicines. Iron, bismuth (Pepto-Bismol)
- Other. Cigarette ashes, charcoal
- Bile. Dark green stools from bile may look black under poor lighting. Smear a piece of stool on white paper. Look at it under a bright light. This often confirms that the color is really dark green.
- Green stools are always normal, but they can be mistaken for black stools.
- Bile. Most dark green stools are caused by bile.
- Green stools are more common in formula fed than breastfed infants. It can be normal with both.
- Green stools are more common with diarrhea. This is due to a fast transit time through the gut. However, formed stools can also be green.
- Dark green stools may look black under poor lighting. Eating spinach can cause dark green stools.
- Medicines. Iron (such as in formula)
- Foods. See list below.
Foods That Can Cause
- Green Jell-O
- Grape-flavored Pedialyte (turns bright green)
- Green fruit snacks
- Spinach or other leafy vegetables
White or Light Gray:
- Foods. Milk-only diet
- Medicines. Aluminum hydroxide (antacids), barium sulfate from barium enema
- Liver disease. Babies with blocked bile ducts have stools that are light gray or pale yellow.
When to Call for Stools – Unusual Color
Call Doctor or Seek Care Now
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent
Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours
- You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
Contact Doctor During Office Hours
- Stool is light gray or white and occurs 2 or more times
- Strange color without a cause lasts more than 24 hours. Exception: green stools.
- Suspected food is stopped and strange color lasts more than 48 hours
- You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home
- Strange stool color most likely from food or medicine
- Green stools
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Care Advice for Stools – Unusual Color
- What You Should Know About Unusual Stool Color:
- Strange colors of the stool are almost always due to food coloring.
- The only colors that may relate to disease are red, black and white.
- All other colors are not due to a medical problem.
- Normal stools are not always dark brown. Sometimes they are light brown, tan or yellow.
- Here is some care advice that should help.
- Green Stools:
- Green color of the stools is always normal. Most often, green stools are caused by bile.
- Green stools are more common in formula fed than breastfed infants. But, they can be normal with both.
- Green stools are more common with diarrhea. This is due to a fast transit time through the gut. However, formed stools may also be green. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
- If your child takes iron, be sure your child is not taking too much.
- Avoid Suspected Food or Drink:
- Don’t eat the suspected food.
- Don’t drink the suspected drink.
- The strange stool color should go away within 48 hours.
- Save a Sample:
- If the strange stool color doesn’t go away, bring in a sample.
- Keep it in the refrigerator until you leave.
- What to Expect:
- Remove the cause of the unusual color from the diet.
- Then the stool should change back to normal color.
- This should happen within 48 hours or 2 stools later.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Strange color without a cause lasts more than 24 hours
- Suspected food is stopped and strange color lasts more than 48 hours
- You think your child needs to be seen
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
Last Reviewed: 09/26/2021
Last Revised: 03/11/2021
Copyright 2000-2021. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.
Dog Poop Color Chart | Find Out What Each Color Means
Your dog’s poop can tell you quite a bit about their digestive health. While scoping out your dog’s stool may seem gross at the moment, it’s an important tool in being an observant pet owner. So what can different colors of poop mean in our canine friends?
In this article we will discuss the many poop colors you may see in your pup, and explain what each color can mean for their overall health.
Does Poop Color Matter In Dogs?
We tend to think of our dog’s poop as a smelly waste that should not warrant much attention, but that is not true at all. The appearance of your dog’s poop is a peak into their digestive health, and can offer you extra insight you may not have known otherwise.
Don’t want to read this entire article? Watch our video which we will talk about the main points about dog poop color and what to watch out for.
Brown Dog Poop
Brown is the color you want to see when you look down at your dog’s poop. Firm brown dog poop is an indicator of ideal gut health, as well as optimal digestion in our canine friends. If your dog’s poop is chocolate in color and firm enough to pick up easily, they are probably in good standing!
Green Dog Poop
Green dog poop in our furry friends can point to a few different factors. If your dog’s poop is brown with chunks of green material in it, they likely have been eating large amounts of grass. This is not necessarily a serious issue, but you should attempt to limit the behavior if it is becoming a regular snack.
However, if your dog’s poop is any shade of green, this can point to GI upset due to many potential factors. Dogs may have green poop when they have a bacterial infection, have intestinal parasites, or are battling any other forms of GI upset. If your dog is suddenly having green poop, it’s time to contact your veterinarian for advice.
Brown With White Specks
Brown dog poop is completely normal, but white specks in their stool are not. White specks in a dog’s poop can be remnants of debris and material, but it can also be a sign of intestinal parasites. Some worms will shed in a dog’s poop once they enter adult form, leaving behind tiny white specks or noodle-like worms. If you see any movement in these mysterious white flecks, you are likely dealing with intestinal parasites.
Black Dog Poop
Black dog poop can be a sign of a serious disturbance in a dog’s upper GI tract. If a dog is bleeding high up in the digestive tract, the blood will then go through the same digestive process as the other material passing through. The digestive process will cause the blood to turn black, leading to dark black poop in most cases.
Black dog poop can be caused by GI ulcerations, intestinal parasites, and any other compilation that damages the tissue of the stomach or intestines. If your dog is suddenly passing black stool, it is best to contact your veterinarian immediately.
Red Dog Poop or Red Streaks In Their Poop
Red dog poop, or red streaks in a dog’s poop, can be a sign of bleeding in the lower intestinal tract. This is often a sign that blood has not had the chance to be digested, meaning it has likely occurred in the large intestine.
Dogs can have bloody poop when experiencing any type of GI upset, and can even progress to bloody diarrhea if it is not addressed properly.
Bloody diarrhea is a medical emergency for our canine companions, as this dehydrates them at a rapid rate. If you ever think blood is present in your dog’s stool, then contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep in mind that red dog poop can also occur if your dog is eating bright red kibble. However, this should never suddenly occur, and will begin the moment they start consuming this diet. While this is a possibility, we always suggest contacting your vet just to be safe.
Yellow Dog Poop
Yellow dog poop can point to multiple factors in our canine friends. A sudden occurrence of yellow stool may be the early signs of brewing GI upset, and may be followed soon by diarrhea. Yellow and orange tinge poop has also been linked to liver disease in dogs, meaning this could be a sign of something serious.
A sudden occurrence of yellow dog poop should always be taken seriously, and warrants a trip to your veterinarian. This is especially true if your dog is experiencing diarrhea, as this can point to a potential illness in your pup.
Purple Dog Poop
If your dog’s poop is purple, this could be due to blood with a darker pigmentation. Bloody diarrhea can occasionally look like dark red jam, appearing almost purple in some dogs. Just as we mentioned above, any possibility of blood in your dog’s poop should always be taken seriously. If your dog is suddenly passing purple stool, it’s best to contact your veterinarian.
Grey Dog Poop
Grey dog poop can have a few different causes in our beloved pups. First, dog poop can harden when it is exposed to the elements for long periods. If you only notice your dog’s grey poop when walking through the yard days later, this is likely just the stool’s normal aging process.
However, if your dog’s stool is grey from the moment they pass it, this can be an indicator of underlying medical conditions. Grey poop in dogs can point to digestion complications in some dogs, often as a result of improper function of the pancreas. Grey dog poop is not a normal occurrence, so it’s best to contact your vet at the first sign of grey stool in your pup.
Mucus Dog Poop
A small amount of mucus in your dog’s poop is nothing to be concerned with. Mucus is present in the intestines to help pass stool, meaning a small amount may linger on their poop from time to time. However, a large amount of mucus in your dog’s poop should warrant your attention.
If there is a large amount of mucus in your dog’s poop, this can point to irritation in their digestive tract. Excessive mucus is produced when the intestinal tract is inflamed, causing trails of mucus to pass in their stool.
A dog’s intestines can become inflamed due to dietary indiscretion, infectious illness, intestinal parasites, and any other intestinal disturbances. If your pup is suddenly passing large amounts of mucus, it’s best to contact your vet for further advice.
What Colors Of Dog Poop Is A Cause For Concern?
So when should you be concerned about your dog’s poop color? The safest option is to contact your vet at the first sign of changes in their stool. If your dog sticks to a standard dietary routine, their poop color and consistency should remain the same each day. Any abrupt changes in color can point to potential medical concerns, offering you a small peak into their overall health.
While you should always seek advice from your vet, there are a few poop colors that can be more serious than others. If your dog is having red, black, purple, or yellow poop, we suggest contacting your vet immediately. This is especially true if your dog is having diarrhea as well.
How About Poop Consistency?
Poop consistency is just as important as poop color when monitoring a dog’s digestive health. The consistency of your dog’s stool can point to multiple complications, ranging from dehydration to GI irritation.
For example, if your dog’s poop is hard as a rock, they are likely needing a bit more fiber in their life. On the other hand, if your dog is having runny stool that is impossible to pick up, they may be struggling with some form of GI upset. Changes in stool consistency can be one of the first signs of illness, making it one more factor to keep on a dog’s wellness checklist.
As you can see, our dogs can experience a poop rainbow due to multiple reasons. The important points above are knowing what poop colors are a cause for concern. Keep those in the back of your mind so if you ever see them, you will know what to do. If you are ever unsure your local vet can help diagnose what may be going on with your pup. They can also take a stool sample, run some tests and give you an idea of what may be going on with your pup.
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 10 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! Read more about us here.
What Is The Color Of Your Poop Telling You?
Do you pay much attention to the color of your poop? Perhaps you should, because it can give you vital clues about your state of health. Normal healthy stool is a dark brown color. Variations in color can indicate problems with the health of your digestive system and even problems in other organs of your body.
What should normal poop look like?
It is normal for your stool to vary slightly depending on what you’ve eaten recently, how much you ate, whether you’ve eaten in a hurry, and the fluids you’ve consumed. Having said that, normal stool should be formed and be dark brown.
Many people will find the idea of checking their bowel actions a little gross or distasteful, but it’s worth doing. Always have a look at your bowel actions to observe their color and consistency.
Are you familiar with the Bristol stool chart? It is a medical aid designed to classify feces into seven groups. It enables you to identify whether the consistency of your stool is normal or not. The shape of your stool is largely determined by the length of time it spends in your colon. Dry, hard stools have been there for too long, while mushy, watery stools are passing through too quickly. Your stool is supposed to be soft and easily passed.
Going overboard with turmeric, curry and orange vegetables like pumpkin can make your stools look more yellow. Another possibility is a gut infection, especially if accompanied by abdominal cramps, stool urgency and loose consistency. Ask your doctor for a stool test to check for parasites. Giardia infection is one possible cause of yellow stools. Intestinal Para Cleanse capsules help to kill parasitic gut infections. Sometimes people taking medication for reflux and heartburn can have stool that is more on the yellow spectrum.
Greasy looking stool
This can occur if you have eaten a lot of oily foods recently. If your stools regularly look greasy, it is probably because you are not digesting fat properly. This is a problem because you’ll be missing out on precious essential fatty acids like omega 3 fats, which are necessary for reducing inflammation in your body. You will also be missing out on fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K2, as well as fat soluble antioxidants like lycopene and lutein. Greasy stools can sometimes float, look frothy and have a foul-smelling odor. Gallbladder problems, liver problems and digestive disorders like celiac disease can sometimes be responsible. Taking an ox bile supplement and digestive enzymes can make the world of difference and help you absorb beneficial fats from your diet.
The most common cause of pale stools is insufficient bile production. Your liver produces bile and your gallbladder stores and concentrates it. Bile is supposed to give your stool a dark brown color. It also acts as a deodorizer and helps to prevent your poop from being overly smelly. People who don’t produce enough bile can have these problems. A blockage of a bile duct from gallstones or a condition affecting your gallbladder, pancreas, or liver are potential causes of decreased bile secretion. My liver tonic Livatone Plus helps your liver to produce more healthy bile, while an ox bile supplement increases bile concentration in the intestines.
The most common cause of green colored stools is a high green vegetable intake; whether it’s green juices, smoothies or soups. So if you’re currently on a detox, your poop could be looking more green. The green plant pigment chlorophyll is cleansing and detoxifying to your body and I encourage you to make raw vegetable juices regularly. If your stool looks green all the time, it could be because you’re not breaking down and digesting vegetables adequately. In that case, eating slowly, chewing thoroughly and taking a digestive enzymes supplement should help.
Mucus in stool
Your intestinal lining could be producing mucus because your gut is inflamed. This commonly occurs with inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In people with irritable bowel syndrome the intestines can over secrete mucus as well. Other potential causes of mucus in the stool are an infection or anal fissure. Please see your doctor if you notice mucus. Glutamine powder is wonderfully healing and soothing to the gut lining and essential for anyone with mucus in their poop. Glutamine supplementation can be found in our Ultimate Gut Health Powder.
Very dark stool
Your poop can look dark if you’ve overindulged in licorice or blueberries, or taken activated charcoal. Iron supplements also commonly make the stool look more dark. Sometimes stool that is very dark may indicate bleeding in the upper part of the digestive system, such as the stomach or esophagus. Medical conditions that can cause dark, tar-like stools include duodenal or gastric ulcers, esophageal varices and gastritis. Along with following your doctor’s recommendations, a glutamine supplement should help.
Bright red stool
Foods such as beets, tomato juice and red colored candy can give your poop a red appearance. Sometimes it can be caused by bleeding that comes from lower down in the digestive tract, such as the large intestine, rectum or anus. Conditions such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis or colon cancer may be responsible.
Most variations in the appearance of your poop are caused by harmless factors like diet changes or a mild gastro bug. However, it is important not to self diagnose. If you are experiencing a recent or persistent change in your bowel motions, please see your doctor.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
Purchase Products Related to this Article
Bristol Stool Chart | Faecal
What are the signs of a healthy bowel?
Being ‘regular’ is a way of describing good bowel habits or normal bowel function. We often talk about our bowels being regular but this is often misunderstood as meaning that you go to the toilet to pass faeces every day. It’s common for people to empty their bowel once a day, although it’s still normal to be more or less often. Being regular really means that soft yet well-formed bowel motions are easily passed and that this happens anywhere from 1–3 times a day to 3 times a week.
The bowel usually wants to empty about 30 minutes after a meal (commonly breakfast), but bowel movements can vary from person to person.
Good bowel function for adults
There’s more to good bowel function than just being regular. For example, you should be able to:
hold on for a short time after you feel the first urge to go to the toilet
pass a bowel motion within about a minute of sitting down on the toilet
pass a bowel motion easily and without pain – you shouldn’t be straining on the toilet or struggling to pass a bowel motion that is hard and dry
completely empty your bowel when you pass a motion – you don’t have to return to the toilet soon after to pass more.
Bowel control problems
People who pass bowel motions at the wrong time or in the wrong place may be experiencing poor bowel control, or faecal incontinence. They may also pass wind when they don’t want to.
Poor bowel control is more common than you think. About 1 in 20 people experience poor bowel control and it affects both men and women. It’s more common as you get older, but young people can also have poor bowel control. In some cases, people with poor bowel control also have poor bladder control and may leak urine (urinary incontinence).
Good bowel function for children
Children usually develop the ability to be toilet trained by about three years of age. Soiling is when the bowels are emptied in places other than the toilet. Even after a child is toilet trained, there may be occasional accidents with soiling (poo) in your child’s underwear.
If a child is unable to be toilet trained or has regular poo accidents after the age of three to four years, then they should be medically assessed. If a child has been toilet trained and at a later stage starts to soil, this also needs medical assessment.
How many children get soiling?
About 1-3% of children can have this problem and some of them may have wetting as well. It is more common in boys.
Soiling may vary from a ‘skid mark’ to larger amounts that need to be removed from underwear before it can be washed.
Why do children soil?
In almost all cases soiling happens because the large bowel is not emptying properly and the child is constipated. Constipation is very common and occurs at some time in up to 25% of children. If it is not recognised and treated, bowel actions may become harder and less frequent. Over time, stretching of the bowel makes it less sensitive, so the child may not feel when poo needs to come out and therefore has an accident. It is quite possible that there is hard poo inside the bowel, but the soiling is soft runny poo leaking around the hard mass, and so you don’t realise that constipation is the underlying problem.
SEEK HELP for Bowel problems
In many cases incontinence can be prevented, better managed and even cured. Talk to your family doctor or contact the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66.
The National Continence Helpline is staffed by continence nurse specialists who offer free and confidential information, advice and support. They also provide a wide range of continence-related resources and referrals to local services.
Stool Color Guide | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Is your child’s poop color normal? Check out our guide to find out.
Poop comes in all colors (and all smells and textures) including many
shades of brown, green, or yellow. In general, these colors are normal
and variations in these colors do not indicate that anything is wrong.
In some instances, poop color can provide important clues as to
problems with the gastrointestinal tract or liver.
Normal stool color
Breast milk poop is often described as mustardy in color and seedy in
texture. This is because the nutrients in breast milk are very
well-absorbed by the baby.
Babies on formula and those who have started eating solid foods will
produce poop that is usually darker yellow, brown or green in color.
Any shade of brown, green or yellow is possible and normal, from light
beige to dark green. In some instances, food is not entirely digested,
so it can be chunky or have whole pieces in the diaper.
All babies have black poop for the first few days after birth. It is
called meconium, and this is completely normal. If black poops continue
after the first two to three days, check with your pediatrician.
Abnormal Stool Color
If you see that your infant has a white, pale yellow or chalky grey
stool, you must contact your child’s pediatrician immediately, as this
may be a sign of a blockage in the liver. The most common example of
this type of blockage is called biliary atresia and timely diagnosis of
this condition is important to correcting this problem.
Some babies don’t do well on standard cow’s milk formulas (such as
Enfamil® or Similac®). These formulas can cause some irritation at the
rectum (the last part of the gastrointestinal tract), causing a little
blood staining on the diaper. Though not an emergency, you should take
your baby to the pediatrician to discuss whether other formulas would
be better tolerated.
Although rare, there are many causes of larger volumes of blood in the
diaper. Sometimes, bloody poops are caused by an infection. In this
case, your child might appear sick and develop fever, vomiting or
changes in behavior. Some other causes of bleeding include allergies,
blood vessel malformations and polyps (warty growths) that have fallen
off. It is difficult for a parent to figure out how significant the
bleeding is, so you should take your baby to the doctor right away if
you see bloody poop.
While all babies have black tarry poop in the first few days of life,
after your baby’s bowel movements transition to a breast milk or
formula poop, you should never see black poop again! Although some
foods, medications and iron supplementation can make poop black, if you
see black tarry poop after the baby has transitioned to yellow, green
or brown poops, it may suggest a serious gastrointestinal bleed and you
need to have it checked right away by your baby’s pediatrician.
Free Printable Stool Color Charts
Stool, commonly known as Poop or faeces, is an ordinary part of the digestive process. Stool comprises of waste products that are removed from the body. This may include bacteria, undigested food particles, proteins, salts or any other substance that are produced and later released by the intestines. Although Poop may vary in its color, amount, texture, shape or odor, there are a few things that can possibly indicate a healthy or unhealthy stool.
In this article, we have discussed the different types of Poop, including the signs that indicate a healthy or unhealthy poop. Keep reading to acquire more information.
What is a healthy stool?
Healthy faeces can be as different and as unique as the people produce it. Nevertheless, there are a few general tips to follow if you want to assess your stool artistry for optimum health.
The following are the general characteristics of normal or healthy Poop:
- Medium to dark brown: Poop contains a pigment called bilirubin, which is formed when red blood cells are broken down.
- Strong-smelling: Bacteria in excrement release gases that contain the unpleasant smell associated with Poop.
- Soft to a firm in texture: faecal matter that is released in a single piece or a few smaller pieces is usually considered a sign of a healthy bowel. The shape of the intestines forms the long, sausage-like shape of stool.
- It should be painless to pass: Normal and healthy Poop should be pain-free to pass and should require minimal strain.
- Passed once or twice daily: While most people pass stool once or twice a day, others may poop up to three times a day. On average, a healthy person should pass the bowel at least three times a week.
- It should be consistent in its characteristics: You should monitor any changes in the smell, color, texture or frequency of your Poop, as changes may indicate health issues.
The table in this section, indicates the various colors of Poop, potential cause and possible solutions or precautions.
|color||Potential cause||What to do|
|Black||GI bleeding Iron, bismuth||This is an emergency. Visit an emergency department|
|Maroon||Gastrointestinal bleeding||This is an emergency. Consult an emergency department|
|Red- bright red blood||Haemorrhoids, annal fissure||Consult a health-care professional|
|Red- maroon/dark red, sometimes with mucus or clots||Inflammatory bowel disease, infection, tumour, diverticular bleed, rapid upper gastrointestinal bleeding||Urgently consult a doctor|
|Green||sometimes normal. A diet rich in green vegetables is usually associated with diarrhoea||Consult a doctor|
|Brown||Normal color||Keep eating healthy|
|Yellow||Pancreatic diseases, malabsorption, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, Giardia infection||Consult a doctor|
|Clay, pale yellow, or white||Lack of bile in the stool which causes liver or biliary disease||Consult your health care practitioner|
Normal Poop is usually light to dark brown in color. This is due to bilirubin- a pigment compound formed during the breakdown of red blood cells our body. Bilirubin is responsible for the brown coloring. Although differences in stool color or texture may be normal, other noticeable changes should be evaluated by a doctor since the symptoms associated with poop color changes are most likely the symptoms of underlying issues or illnesses. The color of Poop may change due to many reasons, including:
- over-the Diet (e.g. beets, green vegetables, liquorice)
- Illnesses such as Gastrointestinal diseases, tumor, cancer, biliary diseases, diarrhoea, among others
- Bismuth, for example, Pepto-Bismol
- Intake of drinks.
- Certain -counter drugs and prescription medications
- Stool that comes out in an unusual color, especially yellow, may be as a result of diarrhoea, intestinal bleeding, liver or pancreatic diseases, or over the counter and prescribed medications.
- Green Poop is usually a common color change. If stool passes through the intestines too fast, there might not be enough time for bile to be broken down to provide the standard brownish color of stool. This is mainly due to diarrhoea or due to certain foods such as green, leafy vegetables or green food coloring.
- Black or red Poop is normally associated with bleeding within the digestive system, that is, from the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine/colon. You should visit a doctor immediately if you notice this color change.
- The yellow, greasy and foul-smelling stool may be due to the intestine’s inability to digest and absorb fat due to illnesses of the intestinal lining such as cystic fibrosis, or celiac diseases. It may also be as a result of the inability of the pancreas to manufacture adequate digestive enzymes or lack of enough bile in the intestines.
- Bright red stools may be as a result of bleeding from haemorrhoids in adults or annal fissure for infants. Other common causes may be intestinal infections, tumors, inflammatory bowel diseases, among others.
- Black tarry stools are usually due to a large amount of bleeding into the digestive system, especially from the upper gastrointestinal tract. This is a worrisome symptom as it can result in a medical emergency if left untreated.
- White stools or pale stools are often caused by liver diseases or bile ducts. These may be due to pancreatic cancer which often blocks the bile ducts. Lack of bile makes the Poop to lose its brown color, thus leaving it to appear pale.
- Maroon stools are usually caused by Gastrointestinal bleeding, especially the upper GI tract. They result from partial digestion of blood in the ileum and proximal colon. The color may also partially depend on how rapidly the blood travels through the intestines. The faster the speed of the stool through the GI tract, the brighter red the color. This is also an emergency that should never be ignored.
- When stool color changes, the type of tests needed to be conducted depends on what is suspected to be the cause of the color change. For instance, a gastrointestinal tract endoscopy may be needed to evaluate black, maroon or red Poop if bleeding is suspected.
A long sausage-like shape is how most Poops come out, due to the shape of the intestines. However, Poop may come out in various shapes. When Poop differentiates from the normal log-like shape, it is trying to inform you that something is up. Faecal matter should not come out in small pellets but instead, should be a few inches in length which should be comfortable and easy to pass with less or minimal strain.
When to see a doctor
You should consider booking an appointment with your doctor if changes to Poop last for more than two weeks.
If your stool is bright red, black, maroon or looks like coffee grounds, seek immediate medical treatment. This is because it indicates blood loss, which can result in a medical emergency if left untreated.
The default color of normal Poop is brown. It is often soft to firm in texture, and it is easy to pass. If you ever experience differences in poop color, shape or texture, monitor the changes carefully and visit a doctor if the issues do not resolve within two weeks.
Make it your habit to eat foods that are rich in fibre, exercise regularly, minimize your stress levels, and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water to encourage a normal bowel function.
Free Stool Color Chart Templates
Monitoring the changes in your stool color, texture, shape or odor daily, may seem like a very daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be. Download our free, easily customizable and professionally designed stool color chart templates, which will help you to navigate through the whole process quickly and effectively.
Monitoring the changes in your stool color, texture, shape or odor daily, may seem like a very daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be. Download our free, easily customizable and professionally designed stool color chart templates, which will help you to navigate through the whole process quickly and effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do the colors of my Poop mean?
Brown and green color in Poop is considered normal. Stool color rarely indicates a potentially serious intestinal condition. This is mainly because stool color is influenced by your daily diet and by the amount of bile in your intestines which digests fats in your stool.
What are the seven types of stool?
The various categories of Poop are:
Separate hard lumps like nuts which are usually difficult to pass and are black-severe constipation
Lumpy, sausage-like shaped poop-mild constipation
Sausage-like shaped but cracks on its surface and tends to be black sometimes-normal
Soft blobs with clear cut edges-lacks fiber
Average stool- snake or sausage-like, usually smooth and soft-normal
Liquid consistency with no solid pieces-severe diarrhea
Mushy consistency with ragged edges-mild diarrhea
Why is my Poop a darker color?
Some over the counter drugs and prescribed medications contain Pepto Bismol, which causes dark stools. Iron is also a common cause of dark stools. Licorice, blueberries, or any food with a dark red, blue, purple, or green food coloring may also cause darker stools.
When should I be concerned about my stool color?
Check with your doctor if you are concerned about the changes in your stool color. Seek immediate medical attention if your stool is bright red or black and tarry. This color changes indicate the presence of excessive blood. In cases of severe diarrhea for more than two weeks, seek medical attention, as food may be moving through the large intestines too promptly.
The default color of bowel movements is usually light-dark brown or sometimes green. However, there are moderate variations among individuals concerning stool form, amount, and color. When differences in stool type occur, it implies that there may be certain conditions or illnesses that are affecting the gastrointestinal tract of the whole body. If these changes persist for more than two weeks, it is recommended that you seek medical attention. To foster a healthy bowel movement system, you should exercise regularly, drink many fluids, eat fibre-filled foods and regularly monitor your stool color, texture, shape and odor using stool color chart templates.
Constipation – Florolact
What is constipation?
Constipation is considered to be a decrease in bowel movements less than 3 times a week and / or the release of hard, scanty bowel movements, often accompanied by a systematic feeling of excessive tension during defecation or incomplete bowel movement (Table 1).
Table 1. Differences between normal bowel movements and constipation (according to Fuston I. et al., 2001)
|Bowel frequency||at least 3 times a week and no more than 3 times a day||no more than 3 times a week|
|Chair weight||35-150 g per day|
|Mass fraction of water in the stool||about 70%|
|Time of passage through the digestive tract||1-5 days||more than 5 days|
In clinical practice, the diagnosis is based on two or more of the main features listed below:
- Decrease in the frequency of bowel movements (delay in emptying more than 2-3 days)
- Feeling of incomplete bowel movement after a bowel movement
- Changes in the consistency and shape of the stool (individual hard lumps, resembling nuts, or forming a “sausage” with an uneven, as if cracked surface)
- Discharge during bowel movements of a small amount (less than 35 g / day) of dense dry feces, traumatizing the anus
- Necessity of straining during the act of defecation (more than 25% of the duration of evacuation)
- Unproductive urge to defecate
- The need for digital removal of feces from the rectum
With constipation, in some cases, patients note pain in the lower abdomen, a feeling of pressure and distention, which are relieved after the passage of gases and feces.Sometimes patients develop episodes of intestinal colic. Complaints of bloating and rumbling, excess gas with an unpleasant odor are not uncommon. The development of extraintestinal symptoms is quite typical: fatigue, general weakness, headaches, sleep disorders, mood changes associated with the need for a bowel movement and an internal feeling that their condition can improve only after bowel movement. In some cases, neurotic changes become very pronounced, up to the development of “proctophanatism”, when patients think only about the act of defecation, indulge in hypochondriacal moods, and lose interest in the environment.
Constipation as a symptom occurs in many pathological conditions, leading to a slow advancement of the chyme through the colon, excessive compaction of feces, and a weakening of the urge to defecate. Constipation can be idiopathic or secondary. The cause of constipation, first of all, are diseases and injuries of the colon and rectum, as well as numerous diseases of other organs and systems, metabolic disorders leading to impaired intestinal motor function.Many drugs can also cause constipation as a side effect (Table 2).
Table 2. The main causes of constipation
Insufficient intake of water and food.
Decrease in dietary fiber
Insufficient physical activity.
Systematic suppression of the urge to defecate
|Psychogenic factors and mental illness||
|Organic disorders of the intestinal lumen||Small bowel obstruction: adhesions, swelling, polyp, diverticulitis, intussusception.Colonic obstruction: swelling, polyps, diverticulitis|
Irritable bowel syndrome
|Anomalies of development and position of the colon||
Dolichocolon, megacolon, colon duplications, colonoptosis.
Megarectum, atresia and stenosis of the anus and rectum.Agangliosis (Hirschsprung’s disease, Chagas disease)
|Diseases of the rectum and anal canal||
Rectocele, rectal prolapse.
Anal fissure, hemorrhoids
|Taking medications||Opiates, narcotic analgesics, antipsychotics, tranquilizers, antispasmodics, cephalosporins, diuretics, antiparkinsonian, antihypertensive drugs, iron preparations, antacids containing aluminum hydroxide or calcium carbonate, etc.|
|Endocrine and metabolic disorders||
Hypercalcemia (hyperparathyroidism, diseases accompanied by osteolysis: myeloma, lymphoma, breast cancer).
|Diseases of the nervous system||Brain diseases: stroke, tumors, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease.Brain stem and spinal cord diseases: cauda equina tumors, meningocele, tabes dorsalis, multiple sclerosis, spinal injuries|
|Decreased muscle tone in the diaphragm and anterior abdominal wall||
Emphysema of the lungs.
Florolact: optimal ratio of efficacy / side effects for constipation
Unlike irritating laxatives, which are not indicated for long-term use, the treatment of chronic constipation often requires individual selection of the drug and, importantly, the therapy regimen.
The main drugs for the treatment of chronic constipation are disaccharides and macrogol. They are safe, can be used for a long time, but are not always effective even at maximum doses (therefore, combination therapy is often prescribed). In addition, often increasing the dose to the maximum is accompanied by a significant increase in side effects and poor tolerance (flatulence, flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain).
- Due to its optimal complex composition, Florolact increases efficiency while reducing the frequency of side effects (flatulence, flatulence, bloating).
- Florolact was developed by on the basis of safe and well-studied components (lactitol, oligosaccharides, gum arabic), widely used in medical practice and the food industry.
- Florolact for chronic constipation not only normalizes intestinal motility, but also restores intestinal microflora – pronounced and selective prebiotic effect.
Florolact: experience with constipation
The study included 50 patients of both sexes aged 19 to 70 years with chronic constipation syndrome.Patients were divided into 2 groups: group A (15 people) – patients whose only complaint is a rare stool, group B (35 people) – patients who meet the diagnostic criteria for chronic constipation with complaints of abdominal pain, bloating.
All patients underwent a detailed physical examination, general and biochemical blood tests, stool analysis, endoscopic examination of the intestine (colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy). The main criteria for exclusion from the study were the presence of acute inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, intestinal obstruction, the presence of severe cardiovascular pathology, alcohol abuse, mental illness, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, body mass index greater than 40 kg / m2.According to the protocol, it was envisaged that in the course of treatment with the Florolact® biocomplex, patients refrain from taking other drugs for the treatment of constipation, and do not take laxatives for 7 days before being included in the study. Treatment with florolact was carried out as monotherapy. The initial dose was 10 g of florolact (2 sachets) per day per dose, if necessary, the dose was increased to 15–20 g of florolact (3-4 sachets) per day until stool normalization.
During the study, 3 patient visits were envisaged: initial, 2 and 4 weeks after the start of treatment.During each visit, in addition to the physical examination, the severity of symptoms was assessed using a 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain and flatulence, the number of bowel movements and the consistency of feces.
During the first and third visits, general and biochemical blood tests were performed, including determination of the content of hemoglobin, erythrocytes, leukocyte count, ESR, serum transaminases, total bilirubin, total protein, electrolytes, creatinine and glucose; scatological studies were also carried out.
Tolerability of the drug was assessed as “excellent” (no indication of any side effects), “good” (the patient himself did not report side effects, but upon careful questioning, adverse events in the form of slight bloating were detected), “satisfactory” (the patient he himself reports mild abdominal distention or an undesirable increase in bowel movements), “unsatisfactory” (the patient reports drug intolerance, expressed in the form of allergic reactions, significant bloating, diarrhea).
In total, the study included 50 patients – 15 (30%) men and 35 (70%) women aged 19 to 70 years (mean age (46.8 ± 1.9) years). Group A – 15 people, all women, group B – 35 people (15 men, 20 women).
Group A patients (n = 15) had symptoms that met the diagnostic criteria for functional constipation. In patients of this group, complaints of abdominal pain and flatulence, even with prolonged delays in bowel movement, were not observed.
Group B (n = 35) included patients with IBS with constipation (14 people), diverticular disease of the colon (9 people), hypothyroidism (7 people), type 2 diabetes mellitus (5 people).When collecting anamnesis, patients revealed concomitant diseases: coronary heart disease, stable angina of the II functional class (in 7 patients – 20%), gastroesophageal reflux disease (in 9 – 25.7%), duodenal ulcer without exacerbation (in 2 – 6%), biliary dyskinesia (8 – 23%), cholelithiasis without exacerbation (8 – 23%), chronic pancreatitis without exacerbation (3 – 9%).
After 4 weeks of treatment with florolact, all patients in group A noted an increase in the frequency of bowel movements: in 10 (67%), it became more often 3 times a week, while in 7 (46.7%) – daily.In all patients, feces remained shaped or semi-shaped, and there was no discharge of dense or liquid feces. The effective dose of florolact in this group of patients is 20 g per day. Also, patients noted that one dose of 20 g is better tolerated and more effective than 2 doses of 10 g (Table 3).
Table 3. Characteristics of changes in the frequency of bowel movements and stool consistency in patients of group A (functional constipation)
| Start of research
(n = 15)
| After 2 weeks
(n = 15)
| After 4 weeks
(n = 15)
|Number of bowel movements per week|
|1-2||15 (100%)||1 (7%)||–|
|2-3||–||6 (40%)||5 (33%)|
|More than 3||–||8 (53%)||10 (67%)|
|Semi-shaped||–||7 (47%)||9 (60%)|
|Issued||6 (40%)||8 (53%)||6 (40%)|
After 4 weeks of treatment with florolact, all patients of group B noted an increase in bowel movements: in 21 (60%) patients, it became more frequent 3 times a week, in 15 (43%) – daily.In 12 (34%) patients, whose initial frequency of bowel movements was 1 time in 7–10 days, during therapy, the number of bowel movements increased to 2–3 times a week. All patients showed normalization of the consistency of feces. The effective dose of florolact in this group of patients was 15–20 g (3-4 sachets) per day per dose (Table 4).
On average, in the surveyed group of patients, daily intake of florolact led to an increase in stool frequency from 1.5 to 7.5 times a week.
Table 4.Characteristics of changes in the frequency of bowel movements and the consistency of feces in patients of group B
| Start of research
(n = 35)
| After 2 weeks
(n = 35)
| After 4 weeks
(n = 35)
|Number of bowel movements per week|
|1-2||23 (66%)||9 (26%)||5 (14.3%)|
|2-3||–||15 (43%)||9 (25.7%)|
|More than 3||–||11 (31%)||21 (60%)|
|Issued||4 (11%)||23 (66%)|
|Solid||31 (89%)||2 (5.7%)||–|
At the end of the 4-week course of taking florolact, a significant decrease in the severity of pain and bloating was noted.Before the start of therapy, 33 patients (94.3%) in group B noted the presence of pain syndrome, and 5 (14.3%) people assessed the intensity of pain syndrome according to the VAS more than 5 points. Upon completion of treatment, 24 (68.6%) patients noted Table 7. Characteristics of changes in the frequency of defecations complete disappearance of abdominal pain, only 2 patients (5.7%) had pain in the lower abdomen, according to subjective assessment, more than 5 points. These were patients with irritable bowel syndrome. A positive trend was also noted in relation to the assessment of flatulence.At the end of treatment, bloating, rumbling, and excess gas emission stopped in 62.6% of patients (Table 5).
During the study, no significant changes were noted in the indicators of general and biochemical blood tests, which indicates, in particular, the absence of a negative effect of the drug on protein and electrolyte metabolism, the functional state of the liver and kidneys.
Table 5. Dynamics of assessment of abdominal pain syndrome and flatulence (VAS)
| Start of research
(n = 35)
| After 2 weeks
(n = 35)
| After 4 weeks
(n = 35)
|Assessment of pain syndrome|
|1-3||28 (80%)||9 (25.7%)|
|4-6||3 (8.6%)||2 (5.7%)|
|Evaluation of flatulence|
|4-6||21 (60%)||2 (5.7%)||–|
Table 6 shows the results of a coprological study at the time of inclusion in the study in comparison with the data obtained after 4 weeks of therapy.According to the results of a coprological study, the number of patients who had an admixture of mucus and soaps in the feces significantly decreased, which serves as indirect evidence of an improvement in the motility of the large intestine and a decrease in irritating effects on it.
Table 6. Results of scatological studies (absolute number – the number of patients who had a particular indicator)
|Indicator||Initial||After 4 weeks of treatment|
|Brown||50 (100%)||50 (100%)|
|Slime admixture||39 (78%)||2 (4%)|
|Positive blood test||0||0|
|Detection of leukocytes||11 (22%)||0|
| Muscle fibers:
| Fatty acids:
In general, the overwhelming majority of patients noted excellent and good tolerability of the drug: 36 (72%) patients noted the tolerance of florolact as “excellent”, 11 (22%) – as “good”, 3 (6%) – as “satisfactory”.
* Butorova L.I. New possibilities for the prevention and treatment of chronic constipation with complex prebiotic drugs: the choice of the optimal combination // Gastroenterology of St. Petersburg. – 2012. – No. 4. – P. 2–10
Schemes of application of the prebiotic complex “Florolact®” for chronic constipation
|Severity of chronic constipation||Severity Criteria||Additional criteria||Application diagram|
|Light / Moderate|| Stool frequency 2-3 times per week
combined with stool consistency
Bristol scale type 2
(sausage-shaped, but lumpy)
or from periodically
|Heavy|| Stool frequency 1-2 times a week
and less often in combination with the consistency of feces according to the Bristol scale of type 1 (hard lumps, “sheep” feces) or with an almost constant need excessive straining (or the use of manual manipulations to facilitate defecation)
* Note: Given the individual variability of intestinal motility, it is possible that maintenance and prebiotic doses overlap in a number of patients
Methods of application and dosage
To compensate for the deficiency of dietary fiber in order to normalize the intestinal motor function in case of constipation:
- Initial dose of 10.0 g of Florolact (2 sachets) 1-2 times a day, if necessary, increase the dose to 15.0-20.0 g of Florolact (3-4 sachets) per day until stool normalization.
Next switch to prebiotic dose:
- 5.0 g Florolact (1 sachet) 1-2 times a day for 1 month.
A single dose – 5 g of powder (the contents of one sachet) before use must be dissolved in 50-100 ml of water at room temperature.
90,000 reasons, treatment in Irkutsk at the Expert Clinic
Blessed is he who has a chair in the morning without compulsion,
Food is to his liking, and all enjoyment is available.
From these lines, the authorship of which is attributed to Pushkin, one can indirectly judge that the problem of constipation was at least known already at the time of the great poet. Unfortunately, it does not lose its relevance today.
We talked about the problem of constipation in adults with Ayuna Khabinichna Mikhailova, candidate of medical sciences, gastroenterologist Clinic Expert Irkutsk.
– Ayuna Khabinichna, in what cases can we talk about constipation in an adult? What it is?
If we start from the definition, then constipation is a syndrome (complex of symptoms), which is characterized by a violation of the secretory and evacuation functions of the large intestine.It can manifest itself in the form of a rare stool (less than three times a week), is characterized by a thickening of the consistency of feces, difficulty in defecation (a person struggles for a long time). In this case, a sensation of an obstacle in the rectum may appear, or it becomes necessary to apply some special techniques to facilitate the passage of feces. If such manifestations persist for more than three months, they speak of chronic constipation.
Constipation is conventionally divided into functional and organic.With functional constipation, there is only a violation of the contractions of the intestinal wall and there is no organic pathology of the colon.
– Why does constipation occur in an adult? What are the reasons for it?
- a certain – in particular, “western” – style of food. It is characterized by a low content of plant fibers;
- reduced amount of fluid taken by a person throughout the day;
- irregular or changing diet;
- old age.Such constipation is explained by age-related changes in intestinal contractility, weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, and some concomitant diseases;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- irritable bowel syndrome, one of the forms of which is characterized by a predominance of constipation;
- strictures (narrowing) of the colon;
- colon cancer;
- anal fissure, hemorrhoids;
- Hirschsprung’s disease;
- multiple sclerosis;
- systemic metabolic disorders – in particular, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus;
- taking a number of medications (constipation as one of the side effects).These medications may include calcium channel blockers, iron supplements, antihistamines;
- Certain mental illnesses (eg depression).
I would also like to note this moment. It is very important to pay attention to the so-called “symptoms of anxiety”, a kind of “red flags”: their appearance is a reason to immediately consult a doctor. Among them:
- acute constipation that came on suddenly, against the background of complete health and normal stool;
- the appearance in the feces of blood, pus;
- weight loss, fever, general weakness, decreased appetite.
– Children have such a thing as psychological constipation. Does this happen in adults?
If we talk specifically about the fear of defecation, as is observed in children, then in adult practice I have never encountered such a phenomenon. However, for example, a situation is possible when the act of defecation is difficult for a person due to the upcoming flight (lack of time) or during it; due to the lack of a toilet nearby, etc. In this regard, a person has to suppress the urge to defecate.That is, it is rather a situation that can lead to constipation.
– How can you find the cause of constipation? What diagnostic methods are used for this?
First of all, you need to conduct a detailed survey of the patient, finding out the nature of the diet, the mode of food intake, the volume of fluid drunk, all the characteristics of defecation (frequency, consistency of feces, the presence of pain during defecation, etc.), the presence of any other symptoms.
Then the doctor examines the patient (including the anorectal region), probes (palpates) the abdomen.
After that, depending on the doctor’s assumptions, instrumental research methods are prescribed. Among them, the main method is colonoscopy, an X-ray examination of the intestines with barium. Special tests may also be prescribed to study bowel function.
Learn more about the video colonoscopy procedure here.
– What are the possible consequences of constipation in adults?
– First of all, this is a violation of the quality of life: the patient may form a psychological dependence on the problem.Constipation prevents a person from living, working, developing.
Constipation increases the likelihood of anal fissure, hemorrhoids, diverticular disease and colon cancer. With a prolonged (week or more) retention of feces in the large intestine and their absorption into the blood, intoxication (poisoning) with the products of intestinal contents is possible. Ischemia (circulatory failure) may develop in the mucous membrane of the large intestine, and the cells of the mucous membrane may be damaged.
– What to do in case of constipation in an adult? How to fix a chair?
Treatment of constipation in adults is as follows. It is important to analyze the patient’s lifestyle. First of all, you need to adjust the power supply. You should eat at least 400 grams of vegetables and fruits per day. The amount of vegetable fiber (dietary fiber) as such should be at least 20-25 grams per day. Its source is, for example, bran – they can be taken if vegetables and fruits are not available to a person for some reason.However, a side effect of bran can be some bloating and abdominal pain, so some people may refuse to take bran because of these symptoms.
No less important is the regularity of meals, with a mandatory, moderately high-calorie breakfast, not a late dinner.
The volume of daily drunk liquid is about 2 liters. It is useful to drink 1-2 glasses of water at room temperature in the morning. Drinks containing caffeine have some laxative effects.
You need to move enough.This is at least 40 minutes of walking at least 3 times a week. Movements increase intestinal peristalsis. Alternatively, you can work out on a treadmill and ride a bike.
It is important to try to develop a certain mode of bowel emptying, that is, at a set time of day – a kind of automatism, a reflex. Even if at first there is no act of defecation, over time it can get better and “become attached” to time. It is also necessary to take into account the position of the patient during bowel movement – the so-called “eagle pose”, when the knees are pulled up to the stomach, there is a low chair under the legs.
Now about drug treatment. Laxatives are used. These are primarily agents that increase the volume of intestinal contents. One example is lactulose-based preparations. It is a synthetic non-absorbable complex carbohydrate classified as oligosaccharides. From plants, psyllium is used. Another group is drugs that enhance bowel contractions.
In order to eliminate constipation, which appeared against the background of another disease, it is imperative to treat this disease.
It should be remembered that the work with the large intestine is quite painstaking and relatively long.
– How to prevent constipation in an adult?
- eat rationally. In this concept, I include not only a balanced diet for all the necessary substances, but also the regularity of food intake (at least 3 times a day). Fresh fruits and vegetables, which can increase gas production, are best eaten in the morning.
- to move.Alternatively, walk for 40 minutes 3 times a week. It’s minimum. If for some reason this is impossible – for example, due to articular pathology – then walking should be replaced with physical exercises, individually selected by the doctor.
- drink about 2 liters of liquid per day;
- Treat diseases that may cause constipation.
You can make an appointment with a gastroenterologist at the Irkutsk clinic here.
ATTENTION: the service is not available in all cities
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Mikhailova Ayuna Khabinichna
1996 Graduate of the Faculty of General Medicine of Irkutsk State Medical University.
Graduated from internship in therapy in 1997.
From 2001 to 2003 – clinical residency in gastroenterology.
In 2009, she completed a postgraduate course in gastroenterology.He has a PhD in Medicine.
Currently, a gastroenterologist at Clinic Expert, Irkutsk. Accepts at the address: st. Kozhova 9A.
90,000 Constipation in a cat: what to do – how to help a cat with constipation: what to give
Lack of defecation is always a signal that the pet is not healthy. At least one act of emptying per day is considered the norm.
If the act of defecation occurs untimely and with long delays, this can lead to intoxication of the animal and other serious negative consequences.If you notice that the cat does not go to the toilet or meows and makes other sounds during bowel movements, spends a lot of time on this process, but often without results, if the feces are dry and the amount is small, we can talk about constipation in the cat. Constipation can be caused by an unbalanced diet, low protein foods, dehydration, and hairballs in the esophagus. In cases of constipation and complicated acts of defecation of a pet, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian and take the prescribed treatment.
Discoloration of feces may indicate problems of various origins. Brown feces are considered normal. When the color is normal, but the stool is runny, it can be caused by eating poor quality stale food, as well as parasite infestation. But if the feces are of an unusual color?
If the stool has turned black, this may indicate the presence of digested blood, which indicates internal bleeding in the upper digestive tract.
If blood is found in the feces in the state in which everyone is used to seeing it, scarlet or bright red, it means that the blood has not been digested and bleeding takes place in the lower parts of the digestive tract.In any case, the presence of bleeding in any part of the digestive tract should not be ignored and prompt assistance from a veterinarian.
If your pet’s feces have acquired a greenish or yellowish tint, this may indicate problems with digestion, dysbiosis and other digestive disorders. If the stool is completely light yellow or even beige, white is an indication of a malfunction in the liver.
Grayish feces indicate problems with the digestion of food intake.If the feces are oily or watery, then this may indicate a malfunction in the absorption of excess fluid by the intestinal walls.
In case of any of the listed manifestations of changes in the quality, quantity, consistency of stool in a cat, you should immediately consult a veterinarian, take stool tests and, having received the results and referrals from a specialist, begin treatment.
It is strongly discouraged to start treatment with human drugs and dosages on your own, as this can aggravate the condition of the animal, and precious time will be lost.
90,000 methods and methods for treating constipation in infants and babies
Constipation in babies is a fairly common phenomenon, and many mothers, especially inexperienced ones, are completely lost, not knowing how to help their baby and what to do. All means are used: from enemas and laxatives to grandmother’s recommendations or advice from a neighbor. But the child’s body is so fragile that radical measures may not only be useless, but even cause significant harm to health. This is especially true for drugs used without the recommendation of a pediatrician.How to properly and safely deal with constipation and in what cases can a mother help a child herself?
Causes and signs of constipation in a baby
From the point of view of a pediatrician, constipation in a child is the absence of defecation during the last few days or difficulty in emptying the intestines. The causes of constipation in very young children can be a variety of factors – from genetic diseases to errors in nutrition.
- Anomalies of the digestive system .They are extremely rare, nevertheless, it is because of them that the child may periodically experience constipation. Such diseases include dolichosigma and Hirschsprung’s disease. Dolichosigma is a congenital defect, expressed in the elongation of the sigmoid colon, in which feces should accumulate before defecation. Bowel emptying with dolichosigma slows down due to the occurrence of excessive pressure in the sigmoid colon, as well as because of its kinks. Hirschsprung’s disease is caused by a violation of the innervation of the intestine: some of its parts, due to such a failure, are constantly in a state of spasm and practically do not work.Treatment of these diseases is most often surgical.
- Rickets and hypothyroidism. In case of rickets, a lack of vitamin D leads to a weakening of the body’s immune defenses, a drop in overall muscle tone and, as a result, to constipation. A child with congenital thyroid disorders can also suffer from constipation from the first days of life.
- Psychogenic Causes: Frequent stress or too many distractions for a very young child is a serious cause of constipation.
- Insufficient physical activity. Failure in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract can also be caused by lack of movement. The baby is not yet able to walk or play on his own, he lies most of the time, which means that it is the mother who is obliged to provide him with the necessary level of activity.
- Dysbiosis is one of the most common causes of constipation in children. Dysbiosis can develop in babies due to late breastfeeding, in bottle-fed babies, due to improper or inadequate nutrition, or lactose intolerance.Also, the appearance of dysbiosis is possible against the background of chronic diseases of the intestines and stomach, peptic ulcer, allergic or acute infectious diseases. It is often the result of active use of antibiotics and other medications.
However, without the help of a pediatrician, it is quite difficult to find out if a child is actually suffering from constipation. After all, it is likely that the decrease or absence of regular bowel movements is only a physiological feature of the baby. Moreover, without the help of a pediatrician, trying to make a diagnosis is simply dangerous, because the mother’s rash actions often lead to negative consequences.
In babies, stool frequency is closely related to age, while in those who eat breast milk, it may be higher than in artificial ones (see Table 1). By the age of four months, most babies have bowel movements on average about twice a day, regardless of the type of food.
Table 1. Frequency of bowel movements in healthy children, depending on the type of food 
Age in months
Number of bowel movements per day
attention to vigilant mom? The most important thing is, of course, the general condition of the child.The consistency of the feces is also important: the mother needs to monitor the density, color, composition and smell of the baby’s feces, as well as the baby’s behavior during the bowel movement.
Normal infant feces are yellow, without an unpleasant odor, have a semi-liquid consistency, and sometimes contain particles of undigested breast milk. In artificial babies, feces are denser, sometimes with a characteristic odor.
Symptoms that indicate constipation are usually easy to identify:
- The baby’s tummy is constantly swollen, but there is no gas;
- the child becomes restless, does not sleep well, often screams, cries, his appetite disappears;
- when trying to defecate, the baby pushes, but this does not lead to a result, while the child has an expression of tension or pain on his face, he begins to cry, makes restless movements;
- the baby often pulls his knees to the chest and blushes;
- vomiting sometimes appears;
- during hygiene procedures, the child shows obvious anxiety – this can be caused by cracks in the rectum due to constipation;
- stool during bowel movements dense and dry in the form of small pellets, has a rotten smell.
If constipation is suspected, parents should contact their pediatrician immediately. The problem is that long-term constipation not only causes discomfort in the baby, it is dangerous to health. Chronic constipation can cause a hernia, damage to the rectum, accompanied by infections and bleeding, as well as general intoxication of the body.
How to treat constipation in a child: methods of experienced mothers
The most important thing in treating constipation is to establish its cause and, if possible, eliminate it.But every mother should know that self-treatment of constipation can be very dangerous for the baby, since it is not known what exactly is causing the problem. If constipation has lasted for several days, then it is imperative to show the child to the doctor – poisoning and dehydration of the body is also fraught with serious complications. If necessary, the doctor will prescribe the necessary medication.
Enemas and laxatives should only be used as a special measure! They are able to flush out the vitamins, proteins, microelements it needs from the child’s body and negatively affect the beneficial microflora.In addition, these drugs reduce the muscle tone of the intestines, disrupt its natural reflex of defecation. You should not use folk remedies either – they are most often contraindicated for young children, and besides, not all of these remedies have a real therapeutic effect. However, even before the visit to the pediatrician, the mother can use harmless and gentle methods to relieve the baby’s condition.
- Tummy massage. It is performed to relieve spasm, activate intestinal motility and increase intestinal tone.The abdomen is massaged with soft circular movements in a clockwise direction – stroking should be done with light pressure. For additional effect, you can put a warm towel or diaper on your baby’s tummy. A good effect is sometimes given by an exercise that most mothers are familiar with under the name “bicycle”: it is an alternate bending of the baby’s legs to the stomach.
- Mother’s body heat or warm water bath. If we are talking about the second method, then the mother is recommended to take a bath with the child for additional tactile contact.Some mothers simply put the baby on their belly and lightly press it – this is very good at relieving stress from the baby.
- Mechanical stimulation of the intestines through irritation of the anus. It must be done very carefully, you can use a cotton swab, thickly greased with baby hypoallergenic cream, or a special vent tube. The stick is carefully inserted into the baby’s anus (but not too deep) and gently twisted several times. It is not recommended to abuse this method, as there is a risk of damaging the mucous membrane.
- Glycerin candles. They must be specially designed for newborns or for children in the first months of life. Suppositories effectively soften feces and promote quick bowel movements, but it is advisable to use them only as directed by a doctor.
- Diet. It is recommended that a breastfed baby be given breast milk. At the same time, mom should change her diet by adding a large amount of liquid, as well as fruits and vegetables, which have a laxative effect and contain an increased amount of fiber.Low-fat fermented milk products, including natural yoghurts, are extremely useful. Some cereals, coffee, tea, pastries, fatty fish and meat should be excluded. Formulated babies should get plenty of fluids between meals. If necessary, you can change the mixture to food containing more lactobacilli. If the child is already receiving complementary foods, then it is advisable to give natural purees or juices: mashed potatoes or prune compote can help with constipation.
- Reception of complex preparations containing bifido- and lactoprobiotics to normalize intestinal function.
But, as in all other cases, preventing constipation is easier than treating it. Moreover, prophylaxis can be recommended without restrictions to all mothers without exception.
Prevention of constipation
Parents should not wait for the first manifestations of constipation; preventive measures should be taken regularly. It is very useful to put the baby on his stomach for a while before feeding, and after eating, hold him vertically for a couple of minutes, “in a column”.
Abdominal massage and gymnastics should also become permanent, because, as we have already said, lack of physical activity is one of the causes of constipation.As a rule, a set of exercises can be prompted in a pediatric clinic by a pediatrician or a health visitor.
One of the reasons for constipation can be overheating, so it is recommended not to wrap up the baby, which Russian mothers often sin even in warm weather.
It is very important to feed your baby correctly and provide him with the optimal amount of liquid. This is especially true for bottle-fed babies who do not receive the breast milk they need, which contributes to the proper functioning and protection of the gastrointestinal tract.A nursing mother should also eat right, because everything that she ate, indirectly, through milk, will enter the baby’s stomach.
If you find signs of constipation in your baby, do not panic right away. Nevertheless, every mother should know how to effectively and safely help the child and alleviate his condition, as well as be able to apply this knowledge in practice. It depends on the parents how quickly the child will return to normal and whether there will be a relapse in the future. Lifestyle changes: increasing physical activity, correcting the child’s nutrition, carrying out supportive therapy – can be a good help for preventing constipation in babies.
Chronic constipation: from symptom to diagnosis and effective therapy. The algorithm of our actions | Livzan M.A., Osipenko M.F.
The article provides an algorithm for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic constipation
When visiting a therapist and gastroenterologist, patients often complain of constipation, a problem that many consider to be a very delicate one that significantly reduces the quality of life.
In 2011, experts from the International Association of Gastroenterologists approved recommendations (algorithm and cascades) for the management of patients with constipation syndrome .According to the document, constipation is a violation of bowel function, manifested by an increase in the intervals between bowel movements compared to the individual norm or systematic insufficient bowel movement.
Let’s demonstrate how this algorithm works in practice.
Patient V., 35 years old, with a complaint of constipation at an outpatient appointment with a therapist.
STEP 1. It is important to clarify whether the patient’s subjective perception of constipation really meets the existing criteria for this suffering.
Subjective and objective definitions of functional constipation (Rome III criteria) include the presence of at least 3 of the following criteria :
A. Straining for at least 25% of bowel movements.
B. Rough or hard stools in at least 25% of bowel movements.
C. Feeling of incomplete evacuation in at least 25% of bowel movements.
D. Feeling of anorectal obstruction / blockage for at least 25% of bowel movements.
E. The need for manual techniques to relieve at least 25% of bowel movements (eg, finger evacuation, pelvic floor support).
F. Less than 3 bowel movements per week. Self-reliant stools rarely occur without the use of laxatives.
After clarifying questions, our patient concretized complaints about a rare stool frequency – no more than 2 times a week, a change in its consistency (hard, “lumps”) and a feeling of anorectal obstruction. All this allows us to confirm the presence of constipation syndrome in our patient.
From the anamnesis: considers himself a patient for 10 years, when after pregnancy she began to notice first episodes of stool retention for 1-2 days, and then a change in its consistency.3 years ago, in connection with this, she was examined on an outpatient basis, a colonoscopy was performed, no organic pathology was revealed. The therapist prescribed lactulose in a dose of 15 ml daily. However, due to the appearance of bloating and the absence of a rapid laxative effect, the patient began to independently cleanse the intestines with enemas, and later underwent 5 courses of colon hydrotherapy without a stable clinical effect. No cases of gastrointestinal tract pathology, including inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, polyposis, have been identified.
Works as a manager, work is associated with frequent business trips, psycho-emotional stress, low level of physical activity. Divorced. Regularly undergoes examinations in connection with medical examination. The last time was examined 1 month. back.
STEP 2. After a thorough examination of the history, it becomes clear that constipation is chronic. The incidence of constipation both in Russia and in the world is quite high. So, according to the latest population study MUZA , conducted in 2011.in Moscow, the prevalence of constipation classified according to Rome III criteria is 16.5% among the adult population. The frequency of constipation consistently increases with age and among 18-24-year-olds it is 3.6%, 45-54-year-olds – 17.8%, and in patients over 65 years old it rises to 32.8%. Gender differences (women / men) in the incidence of constipation total 2.1 (in the group of persons 18-24 years old – 1.2, 25-34 years old – 2.4, 35-44 years old – 2.1, 45-54 years old – 3.2, 55-64 – 1.9, from 65 years and older – 2.7).
Chronic constipation can be associated with lifestyle, endocrine and metabolic disorders, neurological and psychogenic factors, gastroenterological diseases, pathology of the anorectal zone.
STEP 3. After identifying the symptom complex of chronic constipation, the most important goal of further examination is to identify the “symptoms of anxiety.” It is their presence / absence that determines the scope of the patient’s examination.
The “red flags” or “symptoms of anxiety” include: weight loss, fever, sudden onset of the disease after 50 years, the presence of malignant tumors of the gastrointestinal tract in relatives, intestinal bleeding, a positive test for occult blood in the stool, changes in the blood: anemia, leukocytosis, accelerated ESR.The presence of “anxiety symptoms” is an indication for detailed imaging examinations of the gastrointestinal tract, including colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer screening is also required for patients aged 50 and older due to the increased risk of colorectal cancer in this age group.
The patient’s objective status is as follows. The condition is satisfactory. The food is sufficient. Weight – 88 kg, height – 175 cm. The skin is pale pink, there are single ruby spots.Thyroid gland 0 degree according to WHO. Vesicular breathing, no wheezing. Heart sounds are somewhat muffled at the apex, 66 / min. The abdomen is soft and painless on palpation. The liver is not enlarged. The spleen is not palpable.
In addition to the general clinical study, an examination of the perianal region with palpation of the rectum was carried out to identify perianal changes, prolapse of the rectum, prolapse of the perineum, as well as to exclude volumetric processes in the rectum and rectocele.
Careful collection of anamnesis, familiarity with previous studies, as well as an objective examination of the patient made it possible to establish the absence of “symptoms of anxiety” and pathology of the perianal region.
STEP 4. The next stage of the examination is to identify drugs that can cause constipation. Table 1 provides a list of drug groups that may have constipation as a side effect.
A survey of the patient made it possible to exclude the drug genesis of constipation.
STEP 5. Thus, the clinical analysis allows to establish the diagnosis: functional constipation (K 59.0).
STEP 6. Determination of the need for additional examination.
In case of detection of an organic disease that caused “symptoms of anxiety”, further necessary examinations and treatment are carried out.
We found no organic causes of constipation or drug side effects in our patient. Her complaints meet the diagnostic criteria for functional pathology, so therapy can be prescribed without additional research.
STEP 7. The next most important step is the selection of treatment, taking into account the characteristics of the lifestyle, identification of factors associated with an increased risk of constipation, as well as previous experience with treatment.
In the treatment of patients with constipation syndrome, the basis of therapy is the correction of lifestyle and nutrition (non-drug methods of therapy). When choosing medicines, agents with a low risk of drug interactions and a reliable predictable effect should be used.
Drug-free therapies. The patient’s dietary habits were analyzed. We tried to convince the patient to develop a habit of regular bowel movements and to activate physical activity. In the diet of a patient suffering from constipation, foods with a high content of vegetable fiber should prevail: vegetables, fruits, cereals, muesli, wholemeal bread, prunes, dried apricots, figs. The use of rice, semolina, chocolate, baked goods, confectionery and pasta should be limited. It is recommended to increase the drinking regime up to 1.5-2 l / day, and in the choice of drinks give preference to mineral water, juices (carrot, peach, apricot, plum, pumpkin) and fermented milk products.It is advisable to refuse from cocoa, black strong tea and sugary carbonated drinks or significantly limit their use.
In addition, the patient was discussed with her daily routine and habits of defecation. The patient is focused on recognizing the urge to defecate and providing the conditions for its implementation; she is advised to resort to straining only when the urge to defecate. It is necessary to increase physical activity, perform physical exercises to strengthen the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall and pelvic floor.
Non-pharmacological methods of therapy include biofeedback, aimed at developing and maintaining effective straining when urging to defecate, which we had in mind, but have not yet recommended for this patient.
Next, we tried to find the optimal laxatives. What do we have in our arsenal (in terms of evidence-based medicine) ?
1. Laxatives containing dietary fiber – organic polymers that retain water in the intestinal contents.Drugs in this group have been shown to promote less hard stools (grade B).
2. Osmotic laxatives. Contains poorly absorbed ions or molecules that increase the osmotic gradient: lactulose, polyethylene glycol, magnesia hydroxide. Lactulose and polyethylene glycol increase stool frequency and improve stool consistency in patients with chronic constipation (recommendation grade A).
3. Enterokinetics. To date, the only drug of this class is available in Russia – prucaloprid.The drug is a full agonist of type 4 serotonergic receptors (5HT4) and does not interact with other types of receptors at usual therapeutic dosages.
4. Activators of chloride channels. Lubiprostone is a type 2 chloride channel activator, enhances intestinal secretion without changing the concentration of electrolytes in serum, accelerates the passage of intestinal contents.
5. Stimulant laxatives. Stimulant laxatives are among the most effective (recommendation level B) for normalizing stools in the shortest possible time.The safety of different representatives of this group is not the same. So, some laxatives of this group (primarily senna preparations) have, in addition, a pronounced dose-dependent effect and, with prolonged use in increasing doses, can lead to severe laxative disease, melanosis of the colon mucosa. Perhaps the most complete evidence base has been accumulated in relation to the drug Dulcolax® (bisacodyl). Since 1959, more than 100 clinical studies have been conducted that have proven the efficacy and safety of the drug, and the list of evidence is growing.Thus, as a result of a multicenter 4-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of the treatment of patients with chronic constipation, the efficacy and safety of Dulcolax was demonstrated by restoring regular urge and emptying the bowel, while the average effect was maintained for at least 4 weeks. .
In a systematic review published in 2011 , the authors assessed the effectiveness of long-term (at least 1 week) use of laxatives for the treatment of chronic constipation.Of the 11,077 studies, only those that met all the requirements of evidence-based medicine were selected. As a result of the dropout, 21 studies were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the efficacy and safety of both well-known laxatives (polyethylene glycol, lactulose, sodium picosulfate, bisacodyl) and new ones introduced to the pharmaceutical market in the last decade: the serotonin receptor agonist 4- type II (5-HT4) prucalopride, the chloride channel activator lubiprostone and the intestinal guanylate cyclase agonist linaclotide.Noteworthy is the lack of an assessment of the efficacy of senna preparations for chronic constipation, since there are no controlled randomized trials with a sufficient sample size to assess the effectiveness of these drugs, and there is also no sufficient evidence to recognize the safety of long-term use of senna preparations (the safety profile is classified by the FDA  category III ). Traditional laxatives (polyethylene glycol, lactulose, sodium picosulfate, bisacodyl – 7 studies, 1411 patients, RR = 0.52; 95% CI from 0.46 to 0.60), prucaloprid (7 studies, 2639 patients, RR = 0, 82; 95% CI 0.76 to 0.88), lubiprostone (3 studies, 610 patients, RR = 0.67; 95% CI 0.56 to 0.80), and linaclotide (3 studies, 1582 patients, RR = 0.84; 95% CI 0.80 to 0.87) were superior to placebo in efficacy, while evidence for the efficacy of lactulose versus placebo was limited.149 (37.6%) of 396 patients who were prescribed osmotic laxatives did not respond to therapy, compared with 193 (68.9%) of 280 patients who were assigned to placebo (RR = 0.50 ; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.63). Both trials of stimulant laxatives, involving 735 patients, confirmed the efficacy of picosulfate and bisacodyl. 202 (42.1%) of 480 patients randomized to stimulant laxatives did not respond to therapy, compared with 199 (78.0%) of 255 patients who received placebo (RR = 0.54; 95% CI 0.42 to 0.69).The study demonstrated not only the high clinical efficacy of picosulfate and bisacodyl in relieving constipation symptoms, but also a favorable safety and tolerability profile of therapy with stimulant laxatives, both according to doctors and the patients themselves. Only 3 randomized clinical trials provided data evaluating individual symptoms of chronic constipation. In 2 studies involving 118 patients, data on straining during bowel movements were available, and data on stool hardness during treatment were presented in 3 studies in which 269 patients participated.The relative risk of persistence of symptoms in both studies was significantly reduced with laxatives (0.37; 95% CI from 0.19 to 0.71 and 0.26; 95% CI from 0.16 to 0.44 respectively). The average number of bowel movements per week was significantly higher with laxatives than with placebo. It was found that such a beneficial effect is observed when taking both osmotic and stimulant laxatives.
Our patient was recommended a set of non-drug measures (modification of lifestyle and diet), and also prescribed a course of stimulating laxative Guttalax® at a dose of 15 drops in the evening for 14 days and macrogol – 1 sachet 2 r./ day with water and after meals for up to 1 month.
STEP 8. Evaluation of the effectiveness of therapy and making adjustments if necessary.
After 2 weeks. the patient noted a good effect of therapy. Taking into account the adjustments that she made to her lifestyle and diet, it was decided to abandon the constant intake of laxatives; if defecation is delayed (less than 3 times a week) or the appearance of other symptoms of constipation, especially associated with business trips, periodically use Guttalax®.
If the problem reoccurs, you need to seek advice again.
This clinical example makes it possible to demonstrate the application of international and Russian recommendations for the examination and treatment of patients with constipation syndrome, as well as to illustrate the effectiveness of complex drug therapy with the use of stimulant laxatives.
What should be stool in a healthy cat
Like many cat owners, cleaning the litter box is probably not your favorite pastime (but if this is not the case, we will gladly accept your help in this matter!).But did you know that to keep your cat healthy, it is quite important to check if the color and shape of her excrement is normal?
Most animals defecate at least once a day, and a cat’s stool is an excellent indicator of its health. By its appearance, you can determine if she has constipation or any other disease, as well as whether her food is suitable for her.
Knowing what a “good turd” should look like can help you recognize if your cat’s stool doesn’t look normal.
Healthy and unhealthy cat stools: what to look for
As a rule, the feces of a healthy cat are quite plastic (like modeling clay: not too soft or too hard) and have an oblong shape – like a chocolate bar. This is considered the “gold standard” for excrement. Normal stools are dark brown in color, but not too dark, as dark or even color may indicate the presence of digested blood in the stool. Feces that are too light can indicate a more serious problem, such as liver disease, as it could be a sign of a complete blockage in the bile duct, PetWave says.
Stool in the form of small hard balls is considered abnormal as it may be a sign of constipation. This is a serious problem for cats, as it can indicate health problems such as neurological or metabolic disease or obstruction of the colon, notes International Cat Care. According to Wag! Constipation in your cat can also indicate that she is dehydrated. You should definitely contact your veterinarian if your cat has a bowel movement of small, hard balls.
You should also look for loose, soft or almost loose stools with mucus without any pronounced shape. Diarrhea in cats can be caused by a variety of causes, from bacterial infections to intestinal parasites and food intolerances. If you do not look closely at the contents of the tray, sometimes you can mistake very loose stools for urine. So always take a close look at what you take out of the litter in the tray – or you can even use a pair of disposable gloves to check the texture.
Not every unusual cat turd is a cause for panic, but it should still be closely monitored. Your cat may have diarrhea for one to two days after a diet change or a hard car trip, says Cornell University’s Cat Health Center. However, if this stool lasts more than two days or is accompanied by poor appetite, lethargy or vomiting, take the animal to a veterinarian immediately, says Dr. Richard Goldstein of Cornell University.It’s always best to play it safe.
How to Prepare Cat Feces Samples for Analysis
At each annual check-up, your veterinarian may ask you to bring a stool sample for laboratory testing. Samples are best collected in special plastic containers available from both veterinary and human pharmacies. Just remember: the lab needs a fresh sample, so collect these “treasures” from the tray on the day you visit your veterinarian.Once you collect the faeces in an approved plastic sample container, be sure to sign the date and time of the collection so that your veterinarian has accurate information.
Multiple cats – multiple checks
If you have multiple cats, it is not necessary to collect samples for each individual animal, unless your veterinarian asks to do so. However, if you find blood in your stool, you will most likely have to watch the litter box to determine which cat has a health problem.Of course, if one cat is sick, the rest may be sick too. If you notice a serious problem with one cat, try to isolate it and its litter box from the rest of the animals until you can show it to your veterinarian.
Believe it or not, your cat’s stool can tell a lot about how she is feeling. By checking it as you clean the litter box every day, you can monitor and maintain her health and provide her with a clean, healthy environment.
Christine O’Brien is a writer, mom and longtime owner of two Russian blue cats, which are the main ones in the house.Her articles can also be found on Care.com, What to Expect, and Fit Pregnancy, where she writes about pets, pregnancy and family life.
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien.
90,000 How to avoid constipation in children: expert opinion
Normal daily bowel movements are considered a sign of good health in a child. Any changes in frequency, consistency, color or smell are a sign of its violation and require immediate medical attention! How to recognize that a child has constipation and which doctor should be consulted – said pediatric surgeon of the Ameda Family Clinic Sergey Mikhailovich Petrik.
Many parents mistakenly believe that constipation is a disease. Not at all. Constipation is just a symptom of the disease, but what a specialist – a pediatrician or a gastroenterologist, sometimes, and quite often – a surgeon should answer this question.
How to recognize constipation in a child?
Constipation often presents as infrequent or painful bowel movements. In most cases, parents are concerned that the child’s stool is too large in diameter and hard in consistency, the act of defecation is painful for the child, sometimes the urge to defecate does not work.
What diseases in childhood cause constipation?
This question is very correct, because, as we have already figured out, constipation is not a disease, but only its consequence.
The causes of constipation can be both somatic and “surgical”, as well as congenital and acquired.
Due to constipation, they are divided into: alimentary, hypodynamic, organic: (congenital bowel anomalies; acquired anorectal), metabolic, toxic, secondary or symptomatic in a number of diseases (endocrine; digestive organs; urinary system; gynecological sphere; infectious; accompanied by muscular hypotension; chronic hypoxia).
How to distinguish between these types of constipation?
Alimentary constipation, which most often occurs in young children under the age of one year, is associated with a change in the child’s diet, switching from breast milk to formula, the introduction of complementary foods, etc., parents should pay attention to them.
Hypodynamic – they are rare in children and are associated more with diseases of the nervous system, in which intestinal paresis occurs.
But organic constipation is a fairly common pathology, and is a consequence of such congenital diseases as Hirschsprung’s disease, dolichocolon, megacolon.Treatment of this group of constipation is mainly surgical. Very often, the diagnosis of such constipation is so difficult that it requires an additional research method – irrigography (administration of a contrast agent through the rectum followed by a series of X-ray images).
Secondary or somatic constipation occurs in endocrine diseases, diseases of the digestive system, urinary system, as well as neurological diseases, which are accompanied by muscle hypotension.
Why is constipation dangerous in a child?
Normally, the stool of a healthy child at the exit from the colon should contain about 70% water, the remaining 30% is “waste” material.
However, if the normal movement of feces through the large intestine is disturbed for some reason, additional absorption of water from it occurs. In addition, together with water, the body begins to “absorb” those processed products that should have been taken out of its borders a long time ago.
In medicine, there is even a term for the symptoms caused by chronic stool retention – this is “fecal intoxication.” In a child, this is manifested by a predisposition to frequent viral infections (decreased general immunity), periodic nausea, vomiting, acetone syndrome, headaches, periodic (for no apparent reason) fever, rashes in the buttocks, thighs, on the temporal areas and the skin of the forehead …
Chronic intoxication in children leads to impairment and retardation of mental and physical development.
Stool retention also leads to the formation of hard feces and an increase in the diameter of the stool, which in turn causes a painful act of defecation in the child. He remembers the information that every trip to the toilet “by and large” causes pain and discomfort, in connection with which the child begins to deliberately restrain the natural act of defecation. This leads to overstretching of the large intestine and loss of muscle tone of the intestine, irreversible changes develop, which are very difficult to influence with drug treatment and often have to seek help from surgeons.
Which doctor should I go to if my child has constipation?
The child must be shown to the pediatrician, gastroenterologist and surgeon.
Treatment directly depends on the cause of constipation, but there are, of course, general rules: nutritional correction, drug therapy, physiotherapy exercises and massage.
In conclusion, I would like to note that timely diagnosis and treatment started on time will help to avoid undesirable consequences and severe complications.