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Stool Abnormalities: Mucus, Blood, and Color (With Pictures)

Cindy is an experienced writer who investigates changes in the body. She loves sharing her research with the world.

What is your poop telling you?

What is your poop telling you?

How to Analyze Poop

Poop is a fascinating topic. What could be better than providing information in order to examine your stools? This can help you determine if you are living a healthy lifestyle.

In this article, I go in-depth on various poo colors and textures and what they might mean for you. But first, let's look at a quick chart about two commonly asked questions: what do mucus and blood in the stool look like?

What Do Mucus and Blood in the Stool Look Like?



Mucus is a white or yellow jelly-like, squishy substance that can look like streaks or blobs.

A small amount of mucus in your stool is nothing to be concerned about; large amounts of mucus or mucus accompanied with blood or pus can be the result of a number of infections or conditions (see below) and should be investigated by a doctor.


Blood in your stool can vary in appearance. It can be bright red and be streaked or spotted. Your poo may also be tarry and dark (called melena), which is an indication of bleeding in a higher area of the GI tract.

Bright red blood can be caused by a number of conditions including anal fissures and hemorrhoids, while dark tarry stools can be caused by a variety of other conditions. See below for more information.

Picture of Mucus in Stool

Picture of Mucus in Stool

Did You Know?

•It's normal to poop anywhere from three times a day to once every three days.

•If your stool smells really foul, you may be ingesting too many animal proteins.

•Excess mucus could be a sign you're eating foods you're allergic to.

Abnormal Stools

An abnormal stool can vary from person to person since regular stools also vary from person to person. Many changes in stools can be accounted for by dietary changes. Blood, tons of mucus, or bloody mucus in your stool is always a cause for concern, especially if it's accompanied by abdominal pain or other symptoms. Chronic constipation and diarrhea are also things you should bring up with your doctor.

Some changes in your stool can be caused by eating different kinds of food, food that has gone bad, or food with artificial dyes or colorings.

Keeping track of your stools, taking pictures, and keeping a stool diary will also help you recognize patterns that you can bring to the attention of your healthcare provider.

According to Healthline, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following changes in bowel habits:1

  • blood in your stool
  • increased mucus in your stool
  • watery, diarrhea-like stools for over 24 hours
  • pus in your stool
  • severe abdominal pain

And you should make plans to see the doctor if:

  • You haven't pooped in three days
  • You can't pass gas
  • You have mild, persistent abdominal pain
  • You have lost the ability to control your bowels and have sudden urges to have a bowel movement
  • You're losing weight for no apparent reason
  • You have thin, ribbon-like stools

Mucus in Stool

Mucus is in your bowels to protect the lining of the intestines and help things pass more easily.2 A little mucus is normal, but whenever your poop has an excessive amount of mucus in it (a clear, white, or yellow substance with the consistency of jelly which is produced by the mucus membrane of the large intestine), you should get it checked out. This is especially true if it's accompanied by bleeding or a change in bowel habits.3

A significant, prolonged increase in the amount of mucus in the stool is a potential sign of potential disorders such as Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, irritable bowel syndrome, or a malabsorption issue such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance.2 You should let your doctor know about the presence of increased mucus, pus, or blood in your stool.

Blood in the Stool

According to UptoDate,4 seeing blood on the outside of your stool, on toilet paper after wiping, or in the toilet is fairly common and most of the times, it is not the result of a dangerous medical issue. This kind of rectal bleeding (which appears as bright red blood) is most commonly caused by hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

However, there are some other, more serious, causes of rectal bleeding such as colon cancer, colon polyps, and diverticulosis. It is impossible to distinguish one from the other without a medical exam. So if you've been experiencing rectal bleeding for a significant period of time, you should see a healthcare professional.

Bleeding from higher up in the GI tract, such as in the stomach, can cause black, tarry stools. If you're passing blood that is dark red or in clots, it would also indicate bleeding that is higher up than hemorrhoids or anal fissures might cause — these are definitely reasons to see your physician.

Floating Stools

It's not always a bad sign, but floating stools might be an indication of lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, bad digestion, or air inside your intestines. This is sometimes an indication that you've been eating something you couldn't digest properly, like desserts, excess dairy, or fatty things like fries.

Malabsorption—when you can't absorb all the fat and other nutrients from the food you're ingesting—can cause your poop to float.5 With a stool diary, you can keep track of what you're eating and how it affects your stools. If you have floating stools for a prolonged period of time (over two weeks), this may be something you want to bring up with your doctor, especially if it's accompanied with other symptoms like abdominal pain.

Ribbon-Like Stools

Skinny, stringy poop may be caused by a condition that triggers inflammation in the colon, like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. It could also be caused by something simple, like constipation due to a lack of fiber in the diet.6

In ulcerative colitis, each time that your intestines heal after being ulcerated, the scar tissue that forms is not as flexible as the tissue that was there before the ulcer. This means that the intestine can't stretch as much as normal so the stool will become smaller.

Whenever you notice sudden drastic changes in your poop, it's something you should mention to your doctor.

Foul-Smelling Stools

Poop isn't supposed to smell good, but when it starts to smell like rotten eggs, take note. Changes in diet are the most common culprit for changes in stool odor, but if this continues for a few days and comes with lots of cramping and diarrhea, then you should let your doctor know.7

Sometimes you may get foul-smelling poop from eating something that didn't sit well with you, but if it's accompanied by changes in the color of the stool, pain, fever or chills, or weight loss, it could also mean something serious, so pay attention.

Foul-smelling stool can also be caused by malabsorption issues, such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease, food allergies, or inflammatory bowel disease, so if this is a persistent issue, you should take steps to find the underlying cause.7

Why Does My Poop Smell So Bad?

ReasonExplanationWhat to Do

Changes in diet

The most common reason for odor; something you ate or a natural bacteria in your colon are the culprit

Avoid those foods


Infection or disease is preventing your body from absorbing nutrients

Check for dairy or carbohydrate intolerance or other food allergies, celiac's disease, or inflammatory bowel disease

Bad food

You may have eaten something that was infected with virus or bacteria and wasn't cooked properly

It shouldn't persist after the food has been digested

Medications and vitamins

Antibiotics, medicines, and excess multivitamins can mess with your system

If you have overdosed on your medicine or on vitamins A, D, E, or K, you should tell your doctor

Other conditions

There are many other possible medical explanations

Consult with your doctor

Why Is My Poop Green?

Sometimes this is nothing to worry about. When digested matter goes through the intestines too quickly, it has no time to turn brown, so it comes out green.

Stool Colors and What They Mean

Of course, people do experience other problems with their stools, such as changes of color. How would you feel if you went to the toilet and your poo came out green, black, or red? What does it mean if it floats (or sinks)? Why does it have white stringy stuff running throughout it?

I hope here to explain many of the concerns you all have so that you can sleep at night and not worry why your latest bowel movement was so odd.

Light, Whitish, or Pale

This can be an indication of a lack of bile. Perhaps a bile duct is obstructed, or maybe you've taken too much bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, aka Pepto-Bismol) or some other anti-diarrheal medication? If this persists, this is something you should bring up with your doctor.8


If your poop is yellow, it may be a sign that you haven't properly digested the fat or protein gluten in your diet. Perhaps you have a malabsorption disorder (like celiac disease) or maybe you've just been eating too many fatty foods. Tell your doctor.8


Certain foods (like beets and other things with artificial red coloring) can make your poop look alarmingly bloody, but there is no cause for concern. Real blood, however, can be a sign of a problem. The medical term for the passage of bloody poop is "hematochezia." The brighter the blood is, the lower it may be coming from in the gastrointestinal tract (colon), rather than the higher gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine). A physician should always investigate blood in the stool to rule out potentially serious conditions.8


If you have the occasional green poop, don't panic! Most likely it is normal, and there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. Think about the foods you ate or any vitamins or supplements you took, even if they're not green.

There can be many reasons: The first and most obvious is eating green foods. Green, leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll, which could be coloring the stool green. Foods with dark purple coloring, like Kool-Aid, popsicles, and gelatin (Jell-O), can also result in rainbow-colored poop. Iron supplements or foods that are rich in iron can also give it a green tinge.

Poop can also appear green for other reasons, and not just from what you've been eating. We think of a healthy stool as being brown, but the bile secreted in the first part of the small intestine is actually green. As food is digested and passed through the large intestine, it turns into a darker brown color. If it is still green by the time it is excreted, it may have gone through the large intestine too fast to be changed in color. This is often called "rapid transit" or "decreased colonic transit time," and green diarrhea can result.8

In breast-fed infants, green poop is normal, especially right after delivery. In older children, the reason could be food-related as described above, or from eating or sucking on colored non-food items such as crayons.


Black, tarry stools with a foul odor can be the result of eating certain foods, taking iron supplements, or possibly from internal bleeding. If the black color is from blood, it is known as "melena." The dark color indicates that the blood has been in the body for some time and comes from higher up in the gastrointestinal tract.8

Note: A black stool caused by food, supplements, medication, or minerals is known as "false melena." Iron supplements, taken alone or as part of a multivitamin for iron-deficient anemia, may cause poop to be black or greenish in color. Foods that are dark blue or black may also cause blackness. Substances that can cause false melena are:

  • Black licorice
  • Blueberries
  • Iron supplements
  • Lead
  • Bismuth (Pepto-Bismol)

A physician should be consulted immediately if the black color can not be attributed to a benign cause such as an iron supplement or food.

Melena Symptoms and Diagnosis

The black color alone is not enough to determine that blood is being passed in the stool. Therefore, a doctor will need to confirm. This can be done in the office through a rectal exam, or you may be sent home with a kit to collect a small sample that can be sent to a lab for evaluation.

The blood could be the result of several different conditions including a bleeding ulcer, gastritis, esophageal varices, or a tear in the esophagus from violent vomiting (aka a Mallory-Weiss tear). The tarry appearance is from the blood having contact with the body’s digestive juices.

After melena is diagnosed, a physician may order other diagnostic tests to determine the cause and exact location of the bleeding. This could include x-rays, blood tests, colonoscopy, gastroscopy, stool culture, and barium studies.9

Different Kinds of Stool

Below are eight different types of poo you might see in your toilet, based on the Bristol Stool Chart (more information below).

  • Stools at the lower numbers on the scale are hard to pass and often require a lot of straining. If you are constipated, you will be passing type 1 or 2 stools when you pass them at all.
  • Those suffering from diarrhea will pass type 6, 7, or 8 on a frequent basis. Those at the loose or liquid end of the spectrum may seem to pass through your digestive system too easily, causing an urgency to defecate as well as potential “accidents.”
  • Types 3 and 4 are ideal since they are easy to pass without being too watery.
Modified Bristol Stool Chart: Type 8 Is an Addition

Modified Bristol Stool Chart: Type 8 Is an Addition

Bristol Stool Chart Explanation

This chart was developed by a team of gastroenterologists at the University of Bristol. It is now a widely recognized general measurement used in the healthcare profession to evaluate the consistency or form of stools. This scale is a medical tool designed to classify one’s bowel movements into seven distinct categories.10

There is a direct correlation between the shape of the stool and the amount of time it has spent in the colon. Therefore, the Bristol scale can be used to measure the consistency or form of a patient’s stools and present your healthcare provider with information for detecting patterns or changes in bowel habits. However, it’s important to remember that this scale is intended to provide a general, not exact, measurement of fecal form and consistency.

The Bristol Stool Scale classifies feces into seven types, based on their appearance as seen in the toilet water. They are distinguished as follows:

  • Type 1: Feces come out in separate, hard lumps, similar to nuts. Type 1 has spent the longest amount of time in the colon and is generally difficult to pass. When feces sit in the colon for too long, it can cause constipation. This condition is usually caused by a lack of fluids, lack of friendly bacteria, stress, excess mucus, and not enough good fiber, though it can also be a sign of other conditions.
  • Type 2: Lumpy and sausage-like in appearance.
  • Type 3: Comes out looking similar to a sausage but with cracks in the surface.
  • Type 4: Feces are smooth and soft in the form of a sausage or snake.
  • Type 5: Feces form soft blobs with clear-cut edges that are easily passed through the system.
  • Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges. These are considered mushy stools.
  • Type 7: Entirely liquid and watery with no solid pieces. This type of stool has spent the least time in the colon. Diarrhea is usually caused by a bacterial or virus infection from food or water. It can also be caused by anxiety, food allergy, drugs, or other problems in the colon. This type is a sign that something is wrong, and the body is trying to cleanse itself.
  • Type 8: This type was not included in the original Bristol Stool Scale, but was added later by Dr. Group. It is foul-smelling and mucus-like with bubbles (sprayed out). This may indicate excessive intake of alcohol and/or recreational drugs.


I hope you will now take notice of the toilet's contents with a view to checking out whether you are healthy or not, and if you should be adjusting your diet in any way. Especially look out for blood (mainly old blood) in your poop, as this can indicate bowel or colon cancer, and is best caught early. Do not panic too much over red blood in stools, as this can simply be hemorrhoids, but it is worth getting checked out.

You might find this Bristol Stool Scale iPhone app useful if you want to download it. Over time it creates a graph of your stool quality which you can share with your health professional. This could help in monitoring the effects of lifestyle or drug changes, medical treatments, etc, over time. The app also includes links to some online resources and a brief explanation of each type.

Disclaimer: As with any online advice, this article is not meant to replace a consultation with a professional doctor, and if you are concerned about your bowel movements or your stools in general, then my advice would always be to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as you can.

Sources Used

  1. Nall, Rachel, RN, BSN. Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA. "Change In Bowel Habits." May 7, 2015. HealthLine. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  2. Holland, Kimberly. Medically Reviewed by Judith Marcin, MD. "Why Is There Mucus In My Stool?" August 29, 2016. HealthLine. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  3. Wilkinson, John M, MD. "Mucus in Stool: A Concern?" June 17, 2015. HealthLine. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  4. Penner, Robert M , BSc, MD, FRCPC, MSc and Sumit R Majumdar, MD, MPH. "Patient Education: Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding) in Adults (Beyond the Basics)" September 3, 2015. UpToDate. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  5. Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA. "What Causes Floating Stools? 7 Possible Conditions." July 5, 2016. HealthLine. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  6. McDermott, Annette. Medically Reviewed by Graham Rogers, MD. "Why Is My Poop Stringy?" March 31, 2016. HealthLine. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  7. Kahn, April. Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA. "What Causes Foul-Smelling Stool? 7 Possible Conditions." April 14, 2016. HealthLine. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  8. Picco, Michael F, MD. "Stool Color: When to Worry." October 6, 2016. Mayo Clinic. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  9. Wilson, Dodd. "Chapter 85: Hematemesis, Melena, and Hematochezia" from Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. 1990. Butterworth Publishers. Accessed April 21, 2017.
  10. Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH. "What Kind of Poop Do I Have?" September 17, 2015. WebMD. Accessed April 21, 2017.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 29, 2011:

Closing comments on this article (at least for the time being) as I need to focus on other projects. Hopefully this article has helped with your problems, and if not the articles I created that cover the many colours of stools and what they mean (linked to at the end of the article itself) will be able to offer more help. If this or my other articles have not answered your questions please see your Doctor for further help.

Good Luck.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 25, 2011:

I don't know the answer to this if you specifically have GI problems as a person Beau, but am guessing your Doctor can answer this for you. Wish I could give more information, but I am not a Doctor and can't say if your stool colours will keep changing as a result of this condition.

Beau on November 25, 2011:

Haven't been eating leafy greens but have been eating green beens alot and coleslaw. I had an ultrasound on my upper abdomen and they say it looks normal and "unremarkable" when looking at my gallbladder liver bileduct and pancreas. And I just wanted to know if there should be consistency in my stool color? Or will my stool persistently be one way or another if I have GI problems?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 25, 2011:

I would advise you read each of my articles about the various meanings behind different coloured stools, (links are at the end of the article). You should largely know from the information in those articles as to what is likely to be a possible cause in your case, e.g. if it because you have been on iron supplements or have been eating a lot of blueberries, leafy green veg etc. If you can say 'ahhh yes, I have been eating those things' then you know there is little point in going to your Doctor.

If on the other hand you can rule out all the apparent 'safe' reasons for the odd colour of your stools, and you are having the pains you describe then that is the time I would speak to your Doctor.

Beau on November 25, 2011:

I have been looking at my stools for a long time now and I compare them all to these web sites because I am concerned that going from light brown to green to dark brown to even orangeish brown colors. All the info given here is very informative but what I want to know is when to worry and when to advise my doctor of my concerns. I mean my stool just went from orangish brown to yellowish brown to a nice brown to a dark green to a dark brown now and allover a couple weeks! All colors of which have lasted a couple days! Now I have to start taking steroids and nerve pills and muscle relaxers for a chronic lower back problem that I am getting an MRI on next week and I am just wondering what these mess are going to do to my poop! I am always watching this because my grandfather died of colon cancer and my mom died of pancreatic cancer. I go to doctor when I am not feeling well but as for any digestive issues go I eat just fine and I don't or rarely have diarea. But man this pain in my back and lower left side sucks! I am always tired and I take my hypothyroidism meds properly. I am always scared I got pancreatic cancer or something.

Billy on November 25, 2011:


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 23, 2011:

I would strongly suggest going to a different Doctor as soon as possible, or at the very least demand your Doctor now investigate further since you have bleeding AND pain. I am stunned he has not already referred you for further investigation of this.

Check out my article on the meaning of black or red stools as it covers blood in stools too:

BLOODY POO on November 23, 2011:


I have in the past two day have had to runs..NOW my poo is Bloody. I have been feeling pretty sick. Not wanting to do anything.

I tummy has been in pain for the past 3 months. I have seen my DR. who tells me is nothing. Thats before the Blood.

NOW what can I do. My Doctor is doing nothing about it. and the pain in my tummy hurts all the time.

it stops me from doing anything I have losted over 30 pounds in the 7 weeks.

and Still the DOCTOR does nothing.

Please HELP ME

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 22, 2011:

Well not 'bad' Johnny, but probably worth doing if you are experiencing problems right now. Good Luck.

johnny on November 22, 2011:

thank you very much

and i haven't been to the doctor for a check up for a year and a half is that bad?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 22, 2011:

Hi Johnny, for a comprehensive list of high fibre foods I would Google it, but basically you want more wholegrain bread, baked potatoes, cereals, vegetables, wholegrain pasta, nuts, fruits etc. Try this link for starters:

johnny on November 22, 2011:

what are some good fiber foods that i can eat

that will eliminate this problem

cause i cant take it no more!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 21, 2011:

Hi Johnny, this is covered in type 1 within this article, both on the chart and within the text, (both cause and solutions).

johnny on November 21, 2011:

my stool is hard to pass, and its small like nuts, i don't eat alot and i stress sometime. and after i have pooped it feels like it is stuck inbetween my anus so i have to go again.......

please hellp me out

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 20, 2011:

Hi brend, with your history I would be inclined to be extra cautious and go and see a Doctor. Did you also read my other article as this covers blood in stools in more detail than this article does? The link is

Hopefully all is well, but it is wise to be on the safe side Good Luck.

brend on November 20, 2011:

For the past 4 days I have been seeing bright red blood in my stools and sometimes with clots of blood in it. Three yrs ago I had a colonostomy I think its how u say it. Could this be something serious?? I'm very scared

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 19, 2011:

Hi Jane,

You sound very normal to me so I think you can relax :)

jane:) on November 19, 2011:

i drink lots of water and my poop is type 4 that you talked about and i go to the bathroom to do #2 at least two times a day is that normal?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 18, 2011:

I would recommend lots of water Peter (about 2 litres a day) as constipation is largely caused by dehydration. You could also try prunes or dried apricots to get thinks moving again. I hope this helps :)

Peter on November 18, 2011:

Hi, I need help. I had diarrhea for a few days and then i ate some oatmeal for a few days and it stopped. Now I have constipation from the oatmeal. I feel like pooping every time but when i get to the restroom only a tiny bit comes out. After about 20min I get the same feeling again. Please how do i cure this problem without laxatives.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 10, 2011:

You are very welcome fotini, glad to have reassured you. :)

fotini on November 10, 2011:

color is just bcz my body change i guess...alot of ppl tell me is normal..but i like to get opinions..well not that i talk about it with my frnds...hahahahah....but i guess i ddnt think it was normal for your poop 2 be smaller then your rectom...but i thank you again :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 09, 2011:

Hi fotini, some people do have stools that are not the 'size of their rectum', and this is not necessarily a problem. Lots of people only pass 'one or two' stools per motion as well, often followed by smaller pieces. If the motions are normal in colour and you feel well in yourself I would not worry, but if you really can't stop yourself from worrying I really urge you to go to a Doctor and put your mind at rest officially. I am NOT a Doctor, and would not want you to rely on my research and opinion as a professional diagnosis.

fotini on November 09, 2011:

& sometimes # 5 folows...after # 4.....i though your poop was supposed to be the same size as your rectom...but mine is smaller like sausage & pebbles folow...& i go in the morning aftr some coffee....but i feel like i don't poop enough.....maybe 1 sausage or

fotini on November 09, 2011:

misty i really need youir bm is # 4....i eat fiber & i take colon normal for # 4 looks like my rectom is strech i don't know ...

fotini on November 09, 2011:

hi again, i just wanted 2 tell u i have been eating more fiber,& im taking colon health, i only poop in the morning after a little coffee...& my poop is # 4.& sometimes #5 folows ....i cant really feel it when it comes out, isn't your poop supposed to be the size of your rectom...mine is like sausage & pebbles folows...what's your opinion to that?....normal or not..should i give time ..or my rectom is stretch? anal sex for the

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 09, 2011:

Glad you found it helpful Nelly and cheers for commenting :)

Nelly A. on November 09, 2011:

Very interesting hub (but i had to scroll down fast when i started seeing pics. LOL). This is really helpful. i'm often constipated so i guess i'll seriously drink lots of water. Thanks for this.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 09, 2011:

LOL bangingbeauty, I removed a load of the really graphic pictures as they even made me feel ill, and I was seeing them frequently due to the amount of comments this hub generates.

bangingbeauty on November 09, 2011:

Hi misty, thank god I wasn't eating when I was reading this :D first time I read about the mucus in our stool, interesting fact learned! I should pay more attention to my bowel movement next time :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 08, 2011:

I am afraid I can't answer this one as I am not familiar with what you describe and the specific circumstances. I would suggest you go to your Doctor and get a stool sample tested. Unfortunately I am not a Doctor and can only offer suggestions to people based on what I learned from my own previous research.

Good Luck

Tayo on November 08, 2011:

Its over 4 month that i had staph inffection and typhoid.ever since then i've been having a noisy stomarch and i poo 2 to 3 times daily.the first is hard and dark with mucus while the subsequent are brown and soft.pls what can i do?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 06, 2011:

LOL Jerrico, I just love the idea of you eating a myriad of coloured foods now just to make your poo 'rainbow coloured'. Try blueberries, red wine and hot cheetos too, you can have lots of fun with colours :)

Jerrico Usher from Bend, Oregon on November 06, 2011:

"Foods with dark purple coloring like Kool-Aid, popsicles, and gelatin (Jell-O) can also result in rainbow-colored stools" nice, you make me want to experiment LOL. I've never read such a detailed accounting of "poo" before- I knew a few of them but was curious and now know it all :) interresting artice but those pictures of green poo- almost made me throw up... did you have to make it so big? ubrrrr ubrrrrr ok, I'm done :)

will bookmark this for future refrence... you never know. I've been watching my health a great deal lately and poo is just one great borometer of where you are and how things you take (supplements etc...) affect you. Great article. It's poo-riffic hehe...(hey if you can't joke about it your taking things too seriousely)..

AmruthVarma on November 06, 2011:

Hi Event Horizon

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 04, 2011:

Not sure what to suggest on this Pat, unless it is a malabsorption issue because you describe the chunks as being 'like fat'. Alcohol can make you very 'loose' and pass an almost liquid type stool / poo, often common in colour to what you have been drinking, i.e. reddish black if you drink red wine or Guinness, yellow if you drink cider. I suggest you see a Doctor to get the cause of these fatty chunks checked out, especially if they continue.

Pat on November 04, 2011:

oh, and i have a bad stomach ache as well...

Pat on November 04, 2011:

i had a bowel movement and nothing but 2 small clear chunks came out, it kind of looked like chunks of fat. I have been drinking a lot of alcohol lately, any thoughts?

fotini on November 03, 2011:

i thank you for your help :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 03, 2011:

Hmmm, sounds odd all round fotini, but a proper stool requires plenty of fibre in the diet, and not passing stools will not do anything to help the muscles 'down there' that you would use to 'push'. I would really suggest you speak to a Doctor about this as it is otherwise beyond my level of knowledge on the subject.

Good Luck.

fotini on November 03, 2011: a probiotic & pearls is like yougurt but 3 times that....i don't think my musles in my colon work right..i can see difference...i cant push like before...& i used to take vitamins & i had a problem going 2 the bathroom....i forgat 2 tell you...i was on antibiotic for 1 month...bcz bronckitis...i read that can kill your good bactiria from your colon..i drink alot of water ,no pop..i was raised in grece so water

fotini on November 03, 2011:

aligh or pears are u think maybe have some to do with my musles..bczi cant push like before...i thank you for your advice :)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 03, 2011:

Hi Fotini, have you tried improving your diet naturally, as in eating lots of natural fibre, not adding it artificially? Also try charcoal tablets from your chemist or health food shop to absorb gas and help reduce the bloated feeling. I don't think vitamins are your problem as they won't really have a big impact on the consistency of your stools. This sounds more likely to be down to diet or even an infection or other reason. I have no idea what 'aligh' or 'pearls' are, but I am in the UK so this may be a US thing. Honestly if the change to a 'proper' diet high in natural fibre doesn't work, I would suggest discussing this with your Doctor.

fotini on November 03, 2011:

oh i forgat to add...should i try aligh or pearls?....& i wana start taking vitamins but im scared that i wouldn't poop @ all

fotini on November 03, 2011:

hi my poop have been like pebbles...i used to go everyother day but now but regular...but now when i go is cut up & little at a time...i feel so blowded...i put benefiber in my diet...but not much change...& i feel that my mucles in my colon is not strong like used to be...plz if you can help me....i don't drink & i don't do drugs....i do smike 4-5 cigg a day.....i took stool softener & still pebbles but softer..if i take milk of mug i do go.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on November 03, 2011:

Thanks for your input Ganalf469. He does only say 'This may indicate unsafe amounts of alcohol and/or recreational drugs.', which is not to say it can also mean other things too. I have no knowledge personally of where Dr Group got his degree from. I am also guessing what you refer to could fall under Type 7 on the actual Bristol Stool Chart.

Ganalf469 on November 03, 2011:

"Type 8" can reflect serious digestion tract issues and can have nothing to do with drugs/alchol. Equating them that way makes me wonder what cereal box your "doctor" got his degree from.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 31, 2011:

This quote might help explain it too:

"Bile comes from your gall bladder and helps your body digest food," said Anish Sheth, M.D., assistant professor at Yale Medical School and author of the book What's Your Poo Telling You? "It's metabolized by the bacteria in your large intestine, leaving behind a byproduct called stercobilin—and it's that stercobilin that gives stool a brown pigment."

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 31, 2011:

The brown colour is all to do with the bile salts/bilirubin in the stool that have been excreted by the liver. Strange coloured stools can indicate stools have passed too fast or too slowly through the bowel.

debbie lucas on October 31, 2011:

since i was 1st introduced to the toilet iv had a fascination as to why nomatter what one eats it exits out the other end brown. why does it become brown? please help me im 42 now and still looking at my poo daily how iv not fallen down the toilet before now is beyond me i think im realy becoming obsessed now as iv asked everyone i know and some sfrangers but to my annoyaance they never know. WHY IS POO BROWN?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 31, 2011:

Hi Reeta, well haemorrhoids/piles will cause bleeding, so they would be able to detect blood in the stool, but I doubt this will tell them where the blood came from, especially as it would be 'old' blood by the time the sample was analysed. You usually identify haemorrhoids/piles yourself when you wipe, and then see red blood on the toilet paper. For really bad piles, (which will be painful) a Doctor would need to examine you in case they have become external.

Reeta on October 31, 2011:

hello misty,

i just wanted to know if the presence of piles can be detected in a stool check?????

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 28, 2011:

A sudden change in diet could cause this as your system adapts to foods it isn't used to. This probably wouldn't have happened if you had changed over more gradually. I doubt very much you have anything to worry about, but if it continues for more than a couple of weeks I would probably mention it to your Doctor just in case it is something else.

Emma on October 28, 2011:

I have recently changed to a much more healthier diet, which is low in fat and a lot more fruit and vegetables (hardly ate any before) My poop had now become darker and quite runny. Is this normal due to the change in diet (1 week ago) or should I be worried

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 22, 2011:

Not pleasant I agree Souptik Gupta.

Souptik Gupta on October 22, 2011:

Yuck....the pics, i feel like vomiting !!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 21, 2011:

If you have already been to a specialist I probably can't offer you anything more Adam. I am not a Doctor or a Nurse, and wrote this article and answer questions based on my research alone. It sounds as if a specialist has already done all I would suggest. Black stools usually tend to mean old blood, but what causes this can vary a lot, e.g. bowel Cancer, polyps, too much iron in the diet, drinking Guinness etc. I so wish I could suggest more possibilities. Perhaps a second opinion is in order.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 21, 2011:

LOL everyman, what else can I say but 'Thanks, and have a great weekend too'. :)

Adam on October 21, 2011:

I have been having lower left abdominal gut pain for the last 1.5 years, escalating from mild pressure to a chronic pinch. My stool ranges from type 2-4 but has unique characteristics. For one, it looks similar to the photo below the description to Type 8: ie, it has black slimy thin parts mixed throughout, as well as pink/red what looks like tissue. I can only assume the black could be old blood and the tissue is the wall of my intestine flaking off.

I have had a colonoscopy and CT scan that have yielded no results. I am at a loss for what is happening and what can be done. Any advice would be helpful.

everyman24 on October 21, 2011:

Misty...your answers to these folks are have become the go to person on's actually kind of might want to create a web page (or would that be a poopage page?)...have a great weekend...happy pooping...and for those of you writing in about your issues, time to evaluate your diet, make the right changes, talk to a doc and get your sh*t together...intestinal disorders and colon cancer are no fun and the latter can and will take a person out in a painful wake up and eat right!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 21, 2011:

Sounds like you best bet is to see a dietician and change your diet to a healthy and balanced one Rose. You will feel totally better once you do, and I mean in every way!

rose on October 21, 2011:

once a mont i feel like i have to poop and start sweating and feel like fainting it is very scary i do eat the wrong foods and i am constipated i have had this for twenty years but when it happens it is scary.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 20, 2011:

That image I suspect only looks like it has black bits in it because those areas are exposed above the water. Black stools can indicate old blood, or they indicate an excess of iron. It could be caused by colitis, but likewise it could be a number of other things too. You would be best off getting a stool sample tested by your Doctor to be on the safe side.

TBS1986 on October 20, 2011:

See the first picture(not on the chart), at the very top of the page, the stool which looks pretty normal, the one which is mainly brown but has traces of black in it, is there any idea what causes someones stools to look like that? as in all of a sudden have traces of black in it.As mine have been like that for the last week or so.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 20, 2011:

The oily slick on the surface of the bowl could just be the unabsorbed fats then HR, and yes, the yellow stuff could be bile. Stress can affect the way our bodies work, so I would not rule that out as a factor. You might also want to consider what you have eaten or drunk lately, e.g. drinking cider can cause the yellow appearance on toilet paper. Based on what you have said I would give it a few days and if nothing changes then consult a Doctor for a proper analysis (I am not a Doctor). You might be able to reduce your feelings of being bloated by taking some charcoal tablets (available in most chemists or health food shops).

HR on October 20, 2011:

Thanks for your response! I wanted to point out that my stools are not yellow. They were brown and normal consistency, but there was a yellowish oily substance floating in the bowl. The toilet paper looked like yellow food coloring was on it. It's only happened twice in the last week or so, but not every time. It wasn't fowl smelling and I don't have any of the other symptoms you mentioned accept my stomach feels a little upset. Can this be caused from stress? Searching on the internet suggests the yellow stuff is bile.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 20, 2011:

Thanks stylezink, pleased you found this useful, but sorry to put you off your recently eaten lunch in the process lol.

stylezink from Atlanta, GA. on October 20, 2011:

Awesome hub! Very informative! I giggled at the pics and had to hurry scrolling.. Not a good idea to read right after lunch! Thanks for sharing this with all of us we all should know the ins and outs of our bodies. Voted up!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 20, 2011:

LOL, sounds pretty accurate to me everyman24.

everyman24 on October 20, 2011:

Hi Misty...thanks for the kudos...just checked your "oh dang, I gotta pee again" hub...very well done...another cause of that is the imbibing of an undocumented study conducted over many years at bars around NYC, it has been discovered that once a woman has a few beers and has to pee, she tends to have to get up and go again every 20-30 minutes, which can lead to funny jokes, crossed legs and, with somewhat great frequency, a need to use the men's room due to the line at the lady's room door....;-)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 20, 2011:

The oiliness can be a sign of undigested fats HR, the colour can be several things depending on how quickly the problem came on. If this came on suddenly it could be a sign of an intestinal bacterial infection. If you have been suffering from heartburn, chest pain, coughing, wheezing or a sore throat, you could be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease aka GERD. If the latter proves to be the case you should avoid fatty foods, chocolate, peppermint, coffee and alcohol.

Yellow, greasy, oily bad smelling stools can indicate malabsorption of fat due to pancreatic insufficiency, as seen with celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

A yellow stool can also indicate insufficient bile production.

Overall I would suggest getting a stool sample checked out by your Doctor to establish what the exact cause of the problem is in your case.

HR on October 19, 2011:

I have had a normal stool (colour/shape) but with a yellow oily looking substance a couple of times over the past week. My stomach has felt a bit bloated. Thoughts??

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 17, 2011:

LOL everyman, that is quite probably the best, funniest and nicest comment I have received here yet. As it goes I have covered female urinary incontinence in another article, but not from the male perspective. You can read it here:

everyman24 on October 17, 2011:

Holy covered it all, from the nutty little ones to the floods and across the color spectrum. I agree with an earlier poster that it was a combination of admiration of the info posted and significant chuckling mixed in with simultaneous occasional gagging with which I perused this hub. Good info...the key being it is important to eat well to keep one's sh*t together the way it is supposed to be...will you be covering the frontal stream next??? Cause there's a lot to be learned from one's pee, too....

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 17, 2011:

Hi Keagan, the red could be piles/haemorrhoids and be fresh blood therefore, but it depends how much there was and it may not have been blood at all.Black stools can also be caused by blood, but older blood and this should be checked out by a Doctor. You might find the following site useful:

Keagan on October 17, 2011:

Can you tell me why it was re diarhea and then a solid black and i don't take any pills you

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 17, 2011:

As I said to another poster a few comments back:

"This is most likely just the natural bile that is in your small intestine as this is green in appearance. If you haven't eaten anything then your stool would pass raidly through the rest of the digestive system and quite probably still come out green. It can also be a result of vitamin tablets etc you may have been taking (especially iron). If it continues once you begin to eat again I would suggest a check up at the Doctors."

I hope this helps.

Keagan Massey on October 17, 2011:

I just went to use now and it was a dark green Im only 17 ):

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 17, 2011:

Well, it sounds a little bit strange I have to say, unless you are on an unusual diet or taking vitamins or supplements that could be reflected in the colour or your stools. I would err on the side of caution if I were you and if it isn't back to normal in a couple of days take a stool sample to your Doctor for analysis.

keagan massey on October 17, 2011:

hi im very worried last week i pooped and it was red idk if it was blood or what but it was diarhea then the next day it was green diarhea and then was pure liquid and then the day after it was black Shoul i be worried or be checked out?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 17, 2011:

This is most likely just the natural bile that is in your small intestine as this is green in appearance. If you haven't eaten anything then your stool would pass raidly through the rest of the digestive system and quite probably still come out green. It can also be a result of vitamin tablets etc you may have been taking (especially iron). If it continues once you begin to eat again I would suggest a check up at the Doctors.

jay dawn on October 17, 2011:

just want to ask why im having a very green vowel movement when i don't eat anything..

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 15, 2011:

Hi 'me', wish I could answer you, but I have not heard of this before. Suggest you take a stool sample to a Doctor and ask his opinion as I am not personally a Doctor (see above comment).

me on October 15, 2011:

When I go it has the consistency of tree roots...what is this?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 15, 2011:

Thanks sng, it is important people remember I am not a Doctor, and if in doubt a Doctor is always the best option they can take.

sng on October 15, 2011:

i was giggling and cringing at the same time! this was very informative. but people, please, mistyhorizon2003 has repeatedly stated she is NOT a physician. describing your bm to her is not going to diagnose you. if you are concerned about your BM, it is vital to your health to see a doctor!! my aunt went without going and when she finally did, she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. she now has a colostomy bag and every day is a blessing. if you don't have insurance or very good insurance, just work out a plan with the office. paying the doctor a payment every week for the rest of your life is well worth having the rest of your life.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 15, 2011:

Hi Andy, I have never seen a 'feline' stool chart, and not even sure one exists. Maybe it is similar, although I doubt a cat would have a problem such as number 8 lol.

Glad you found this useful anyway :)

andy on October 15, 2011:


and thanks for your plunging the depths article. It is interesting and the bristol stool chart, which I was aware of only recently, shows the importance of nice snakey bowel movements. I've actually been looking for a feline stool chart, but to no avail. I suppose the same might apply to animals as well, after all.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 13, 2011:

Do you drink a lot of alcohol Reaper, as what you describe could fit that description? If not you should look at your diet and see if it is balanced or not. The red spots could be small spots of blood caused by haemorrhoids, but this should be double checked by your Doctor if you can rule out my earlier suggestions as a cause of the problem.

Reaper on October 13, 2011:

hi i have a case of diarreah its colour is bright yellow but i have just noticed there was small bright red spots in it and am a little concerned can u tell me if this is worth getting checked ? also i notice ppl saying they move there bowls once or twice a day where as i can move mine up to 5 times a day and always have been the same should i be getting checked by a gp ?

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 13, 2011:

Hey, thanks AnnaBeth, this is one of the nicest comments (if not THE nicest) I have ever received. I really appreciate it :)

AnnaBeth on October 13, 2011:

Thank you for this very informative article! Just what I needed, and the pictures are so very helpful. A picture is worth 1,000 words and helps so much when you are worried and don't necessarily have language yet, since poo knowledge is something most people avoid - even after they need it! I am very sorry about your husband, and how you came to have collected this information, but I am very grateful for your sharing it in such a clear, well written and gently humorous way. xo

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 09, 2011:

Hi Dnam,

Well it doesn't sound like anything to worry about and it could just reflect the way you are digesting your food. If you feel healthy otherwise I would just carry on as you are. If you really have concerns you can always get a second opinion from a different Doctor.

Good Luck

Dnam on October 08, 2011:

okay so recently I changed my diet. Like 180 change. I seriously eat junk food like.....once every two months. it's oatmeal for breakfast, usually fish with some sort of veggie. and sometimes chicken if I wanna treat myself. Hardly any red meat. NOW,

my poo looks.....not solid. like it doesn't look super mushy or LOOSE but it's like somewhat sold but loose on the edges. My doctor thinks im crazy and ignores me about everything at this point because when I started getting healthy I was complaining that everything hurt. I kinda devoloped anxiety isues about myself. But, okay I excerice about.....5 times a week, About an hour and a half. I poo maybe like 2-3 times a day. occasionally 1. but any advice or just anything you can tell me to give me some piece of my mind about my poop? I mean is it supposed to sometimes look like this? it's not painful....or hard to wipe but like I said it looks....loose around the edges....thanks!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on October 07, 2011:

Hi evelyn,

This sounds like constipation to me, which could be caused by not going to the toilet when you first got 'the urge', drinking insufficient quantities of water, being on certain medications, eating certain foods etc. If it starts to happen regularly you might want to take a stool sample to your Doctor for analysis in case something else is going on with regards to your digestion etc. Why don't you try a few weeks of taking probiotic drinks such as Yakult to replenish the bacteria in your gut in case this is reduced for some reason and causing the problem you describe here.

evelyn on October 07, 2011:

Twice I have had a stool the size of a tennis ball I had to yank it out what does this mean

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 28, 2011:

Hi Eileen, I would recommend you ask your Doctor about this, as the numbness down one side may or may not be connected. You might have a virus or be allergic to certain foods you are eating, which could cause the diarrhea. Again, as in my above comment, I suggest taking a stool sample to your Doctor for analysis just in case you simply need some antibiotics to clear up a virus.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 28, 2011:

Hi TimK, quoting from my article:

"Type 7: Stool is entirely liquid and watery with no solid pieces. This type of stool has spent the least time in the colon. Diarrhea is usually caused by a bacterial or virus infection from foods or water. It can also be caused from anxiety, food allergy, drugs, or other problems in the colon. This is a sign that something is wrong and the body is trying to cleanse itself."

It is likely you fall into one of the categories in my quote. i.e. Are you anxious or stressed or do you take drugs (legal or illegal)? If neither of these applies you may be suffering from a food allergy,or have a virus or bacterial infection. If you suspect the latter then you will need to take a stool sample to your Doctor so it can be analyzed and the problem determined and corrected with either medication or a dietary adjustment.

Good Luck

eileenp on September 28, 2011:

hi ive suffered from dioreaher for the past two weeks and my eating is normal i also have had not a pain but a sort of numbness in my right side does this have anything to do with mt poos

TimTK on September 27, 2011:

hello Misty great hub just to let you. I am 23years old and i like to tell you about my problem that i been going through lately... for the last 6-8months i been having an irrational matabolism system... Like somewhat once or twice or sometimes not even a week i get this small sharp pain on the left side of my stomach/body, and all this time my stools been very watery with no solid pieces just like (type 7) i goto restroom atleast 3-4times a this normal for someone whos 23years old, with a healthy diet?