What Does Healthy Poop Look Like?

Yes, I’m going to talk about poop. Come, sit, make yourself at home. It’s unfortunate that in western society, talking about things like sex and shit is often taboo. But when you have Crohn’s disease, it’s very important to observe your poop carefully for signs of health.

Before I got my Crohn’s in remission through natural diet and supplements, my poop looked nasty. Very loose, pale brown and floating along with globs of what looked like mucous, but later I learned it was fat deposits that weren’t being absorbed by my gut. This was the sight of my stool for so long that I began to accept it as “normal” and that there wasn’t anything I could do about it.

But when I switched to a new diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, within 24hrs I had my first solid stool in years. Even so, it was years before I really researched and taught myself what healthy stool looks like. It’s rather simple. First, here’s what unhealthy stool looks like,

  • Loose, no formed solids
  • Pale color
  • Floating
  • Additional deposits (blood, mucous, fat)
  • Bad smell

In contrast, here’s what healthy poop looks like

  • Solid, smooth and log like
  • Nice chocolate brown color
  • Sinks to the bottom of the toilet bowl
  • Nothing else, no blood, mucous or fat
  • No smell

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Stool_Scale

When you have an inflammatory bowel disease, you need to constantly monitor your bowels for signs of health. You could have colonoscopies, CT scans and other very expensive and harmful tests, and those are OK every few years or in an emergency. But in between, looking at your own stool for the signs above is your best option.

If you see that your stool is unhealthy, it means you are eating the wrong kinds of food. Forget about drugs. They are not the answer, in fact they tend to cause more problems than solve.

The kinds of food you should try eating are like those recommended by the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Starting with their chicken soup recipe is safe because after making the soup with carrots, celery, chicken (w/skin and bones), parsley and onions, you only drink the broth and pureed carrots. The rest is thrown out because when you are starting the diet your gut is not strong enough to digest them. But keep up with it, and soon, it will.

A few months ago, I made the soup and ate everything, chicken (without the skin), carrot, onion, parsley and broth. It was like eating spinach, I felt superhuman amounts of energy. The nutritional concentration was fantastic. When cooled in the refrigerator the broth turned into a solid gelatin substance. I even ate it cold and it was damn good. Just like a cold pizza. In fact, this chicken soup recipe is the SCD version of pizza because it has a lot of healthy ingredients packed into one meal and can be eaten either hot or cold.

In my own experience, following the diet from “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” stopped the inflammation in my gut and returned my stool to a solid, healthy form. I highly recommend people with Crohn’s or Colitis take a long, serious look at the diet because I believe it can help keep Crohn’s in remission, but it does take a lot of hard work, patience and discipline.

© 2010, Reid Bryant Kimball. All rights reserved.

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9 Responses to “What Does Healthy Poop Look Like?”

  1. Ragamuffin says:

    this is the greatest table i have ever seen.

  2. I know, I was so happy when I found it. There should be a cartoon sitcom series with each type above as a specific character.

  3. ddrrnt says:

    I tend to pass type 4’s.

  4. I was going to ask you that during our interview. :)

  5. Sal says:

    Hi Reid,
    Now that you have been remission for a few years, do you still take this SCD?
    If yes, Are you gonna take it the rest of your life?

  6. Hey Sal,

    I should clarify, that my claim of being in remission for several years has “holes”. I had a flare-up a few months ago. My bowels got softer each day over 6 days and on the 7th day peaked to diarrhea. Then the next day I was back to solid stool. It was because I ate a restaurant and despite my asking them to follow my dietary needs, I don’t think they did. There was a sauce on the steak I think had something in it.

    Anyway, my point is that sometimes, by accident I’ll eat something that sets off a flare-up, but I go for months without having one, so I generalize and say I’ve been in remission for years.

    I plan on staying on SCD for the rest of my life. Without it, I’d flare-up easily.

  7. Joslyn says:

    thank you. I was dx with crohn’s a couple of weeks ago. I started the SCD on the 14th of July (while I was home missing yet another family gathering due to having to sit in the bathroom) and I’ve been doing much better so far, however I still tried the yogurt (I’m actually making some *right now*). Hoping this will work for me, it’s so encouraging to read how well it’s working for you.

    Thank you and keep up the blogging!

  8. beans says:

    it doesnt say what type is healthy!!

  9. Number 4 in the picture is the ideal healthy looking poop!

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