Bowel Movement-Pictures, Colors, Shape, Size

What does a normal bowel movement look like? People usually do not talk about it, due to societal perception of disgust and embarrassment for this natural and important bodily function. It is something that you should never ignore primarily because it strongly reflects your overall health. Basically, the gastro-intestinal tract works as your body’s processing unit in metabolizing the nutrients that you consume and get rid of the waste into your body. On the contrary, most people never entertain the thought about their movements that is why many do not have any idea between a normal motion is and not. In fact, normal movement does not have exact definition and actually differs from person to person because of their differing bowel habits. Still, it is very important that you have some idea about bowel movement. The following paragraph discusses issues you need to know about it. Read on.

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Normal bowel movements, frequency, shape and size

As what was stated earlier, the appearance of feces varies with each individual. Therefore, here are some factors that will help you determine a normal bowel movement. Here they are.

  1. Frequency – common perception about normal bowel is one movement daily. But this does not apply to everyone. In fact, there’s no precise frequency rule with what is a normal movement. However, normal movement ranges from three movements daily to thrice a week. Thus, if your movement is less than three times per week, it may be a sign of constipation while having over three watery stools is a sign of diarrhea.
  2. Characteristics – moving your bowels should never be a struggle. It should be soft and pass through easily although some may have softer or harder bowels than others. Moreover, the color of the stool must range from brown to golden brown, formed and the consistency must resemble that of peanut butter with sausage-like contour.

A frequent change in frequency and characteristics of your bowel movement habits may require that special attention is necessary especially for people over 50 years old as it may indicate a more serious health problem.

Bowel movement Related Problems

Abnormality in bowel habits may indicate some health problems therein. Here are some of the problems related to bowel movement.

  1. Diarrhea – this condition refers to watery and loose stools which occur over three times daily. For most, this condition is very common that lasts from one to two days and disappears without any treatment. In this case, the change in bowel may be due to food intolerance, medication side effects and infection. However, when the watery and loose stools lasts over three days together with dehydration, severe pain and fever. Aside from those, if the stool looks tarry or black and contains blood, then, immediate medical attention should be provided.
  2. Constipation – this is a widespread bowel movement problem which cause an estimated 2 million physician visits every year. This condition is usually characterized by lumpy, dry and hard stools normally associated with pain and difficulty when passing, as well as discomfort and bloating. Factors like sedentary lifestyle and chronic dehydration can result to constipation. The best solution is drinking lots of water and keeping away from caffeine consumption to prevent dehydration. Also, a 30-minute exercise helps in maintaining overall health. Finally, fiber also helps to ensure easy and painless releasing of stools. Read more about constipation cure

Normal Bowel Movement Pictures

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Bowel movement colors and disease indications

Your stool says something about your health. That is why there are stool examinations oftentimes requested by physicians to diagnose certain illnesses. Now, take a look what your stool may indicate about your health.

  1. Bloody stool – stools with blood is not normal and must be examined by physicians. Primarily because several health conditions may have caused it that ranges from mild conditions like hemorrhoids to serious ones like infection and colon cancer.
  2. Black stool – certain foods as well as iron supplements can result to having tarry and black stools normally associated with foul odor. However, if you have not been taking any iron supplementation and have black stools, this could also be a sign of internal bleeding. Bleeding on the upper gastro-intestinal tract such as the esophagus and stomach results to tar-like and black stool. Thus, you need to see a doctor once this happens.
  3. Red stool – it is normal to be alarmed with red-colored stools and it normally happens after consuming red-colored foods. However, it could also be an indication of other health conditions such as anal fissures, inflammatory bowel disease, diveticular bleeding, hemorrhoids and colon cancer (or colon polyps). Better yet, consult a doctor right away especially if you haven’t experienced it before along with some pain and discomfort. A doctor’s visit will figure out any underlying serious conditions.
  4. Green stool – this is usually the result of consuming iron supplements, artificially green colored foods and reduced colonic passage time.
  5. Clay or pale colored stool – a pale or clay-like stool results when bile salt is lacking as well as antacids, barium and hepatitis. The bile salt is responsible of giving a brownish-colored stool. With clay-like stools, there could be an underlying digestive tract problem. Bile which was excreted by liver helps in breaking down the fats found in foods and adds color into your stool. An abnormality in liver result in pale-looking stool. Besides, problems with the pancreas also result in pale looking stools mainly because the pancreatic organs produce digestive enzymes that add color to the stool.
  6. Pencil-thin stool – although being thin is widely preferred in digital gadgets, but it is way different concerning stools. This is because pencil-thin stool is a strong indication of colon polyps or colon cancer. Once there is a blockage on the colon, thin stools comes out. Therefore, if you noticed that you frequently had thin stools, then, you should never delay seeing your friendly doctor.


Therefore, stool is something you should not ignore. In fact, serious health conditions can be ruled out with your bowel movement. Thus, it is better that you conduct an honest examination of your bowel movement so that any changes in it will alarm you when to see your friendly doctor. In this way, you are preventing the underlying health conditions from getting worse with immediate medical attention.

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1 Comment

  1. about every 2 months i get what seems like constapation, this last a few days and i bloat and sometime even my lower back hurts and i pass ne. amounts of urine often anyway finially after a lot of pushing i pass a lot of round smooth balls of stool followed by light pink what looks tissue. can you tell me why thishappens?

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