Poo school

Your poo tells you everything you need to know about your health, your digestion and the Bristol Stool Chart is your guiding light. Welcome to poo school.

Why is this relevant?

Well, we’re in deep shit, literally.

The World Health Organization predicts that chronic diseases will account for three quarters of all deaths worldwide by 2020. The bad news is that health is deteriorating fast and the good news, is that we can do something about it, simply by looking at our poo.

The American Physician and Medical researcher Dr. David Perlmutter argues that an imbalanced gut flora can cause anything between Alzheimer’s disease and Autism. He works with patients who suffer from various chronic diseases and he claims that he has seen dramatic improvements through dietary changes and stool transplants.

My own experience has led me to believe that there is a way to treat disease differently (i.e. not through cortisone, steroids and other chemicals). I now know that it’s possible to recognise when something is wrong before the symptoms starts to show, and before an imbalance has caused something as severe or more severe than the health issues I had. The thing is, your digestive knows and it tells you off again and again, it literally shows you that something isn’t right.

I think we’ve all had our fair share of diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas and those are all signs of any big internal revolt. Poo school explains it further.

So what do we do with all these signs if we don’t know what they mean? Think about it, we’ve never really been encouraged to look at our poo ever since we started to sit on a toilet independently. You know you do your thing, you flush the toilet and you never look back.


Let’s take a quick look at poo and what it consists of. 75% of it is actually just water, the remaining 25% is a mix of bacteria, left over medicine, vegetable fiber and cholesterol that the body wants to dispose of and that it can’t use any more.

That’s it.

The Bristol Stool Chart is one of the oldest and the most well-known ways of identifying what our poor should look like. I have taken the liberty of displaying these images in slightly more modern, and let’s say emotional way.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the juicy bit. Let the poo school begin. 

Type 1

Let me present type one poo, also known as painful constipation. It passes through your system in about 100 hours, which is about four days.

Your poo shows you how you’re doing. You’re designed to poo every single day and if don’t poo every single day, you can only imagine what that means – it’s disgusting. Your body slowly starts to reabsorb all those substances that it initially wanted to get rid of, and that has a lot to do with all of those inexplicable diseases we are faced with today.

It is not only about long-term disease. Short-term constipation makes you sluggish, maybe easily irritated and anxious, no wonder though because you are carrying a lot of shit. Try adding prebiotic fiber to your diet, to make your make poo more porous and to amplify the good bacteria in your gut. Remember that fresh papaya that I mentioned earlier? Well, let’s just say it does the trick.

Type 2

Type 2, number 2 – same shit, different name. Not a happy face, better, but still very lumpy and hard.

Note that your poo is a great communicator and in this case it tells you that you are dehydrated, which really isn’t a bad thing unless you don’t take the hint.

Your constipation might also be showing you that you are not chewing your food well enough. The rule is 15 to 30 times per bite which is a lot, I know.

Try sticking to smoothies and soups for a day or two, to make your poo more porous and to ease your digestion. And prunes are probably one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Type 3

Type 3 is good shit. Your stomach is making you proud and this cracked sausage shows you that your digestion is working well. Good job!

Type 4

So this is it!

The model child, the slippery banana, the ideal offspring and what we should be taking belfies of.

I love the banana. it just makes me smile and I would even go as far as saying that it makes me proud because I know, that what I produced in the bathroom is a direct reflection of how well I have managed to take care of myself.

The slippery banana is a lot like toothpaste, with an optimum ratio of solid and liquid content, you probably won’t have to wipe yourself after it, that’s how smooth it is.

Type 5

Type 5 poo is early stage diarrhea.

There is no need to panic just yet but go easy on the raw stakes and the sugar. When you’re stressed or get affected by bacteria, your body goes into defence mode and your intestine stops functioning, meaning that it doesn’t absorb any nutrients and because of this the fluid is washed out of you in no time.

Type 6

Type 6 is one step closer to diarrhea. Think about going to the bathroom after a big night out, it’s not exactly pretty, and it’s because we have stuffed ourselves with toxins.

It’s actually really logical to get that reaction.

Type 7

Holy crap! Type 7 is full-on diarrhea and you desperately need to drink more water because it passes through your system in ten hours only and you are losing a lot of liquid.

Long-term diarrhea can become really dangerous because it affects the body and it prevents it from absorbing the nutrients it needs to function well, in this case you probably need to re-access your current health situation and get to the bottom of what is causing a constantly upset stomach.

Short term diarrhea can be cured by simplifying your diet and sticking to bananas, boiled rice and white toast to make your poo firmer. Also note that your body isn’t storing or getting enough fuel, which means you are probably more tired than usual, get some rest and be aware of the fact that your poo shows you how you are doing mentally and emotionally.

Learn from poo school

Now that you know what to look for, I also want you to know that you have full control of your body and your eating habits.

Do me a favour take a look at your shit! Look really closely, it can’t hurt (well, your eyes only…)

We manically track what we eat, when we sleep and how much we work out, every single day, through apps and smart phones and all sorts of high-tech devices, yet we’ve completely forgotten about the simplest ways of keeping track of our immediate health.

Isn’t it time that we start checking our poo as well?

By now you might think that I’ve gone completely nuts, that’s okay, but imagine a world where we all have the power to take care of ourselves simply by looking at our poo, eating well and maintaining healthy habits?

That’s some serious shit. 

Stephanie is the founder of Helpings and the creator of all content on the platform. Watch her TEDx talk, 'Holy Shit', about digestion on YouTube, organized at King's Collage London in 2016. Stephanie is currently building her second business, a chocolate brand called kAAKAO, and she shares her experience by means of inspiring other entrepreneurs to excel in business and in life.

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