Poop Shape

This page discusses various types of shape of human feces and some of the possible reasons why that particular shape may occur.

Short Poop Shape

Short poop is often indicative of constipation and is not really short, but is so dry that it breaks apart and is excreted through the large intestine and colon. Typically the first solution is just to consume more dietary fiber and drink more water and other fluids.

Sausage Poop Shape

Sausage-shaped poop is considered the most healthy type of poop and is not usually healthy. It means you are getting a good amount of water, dietary fiber and other types of digestive enzymes. If the color and smell of the poop is normal, just monitor your poop shape in case something changes or gets out of balance.

Narrow Poop Shape

Narrow poop is sometimes considered problematic because it may be indicative of something in the digestive tract that is blocking the poop from passing in full shape. Common reason for blocking of poop could be a sign of colon (colonic) polyps which can be a precursor of colon cancer.

Constipation and Poop Shape

If you are dehydrated, the poop may come out in hard and almost round balls. That is because the pieces are broken off as they come out, or separate from decay while they are in the colon. Most of the time, the hard and round shaped stools are a sign of dehydration, which can be cured by changing your diet in order to make sure you are getting more fluids. Additionally, stopping or decreasing consumption of caffeine or alcohol may help you achieve healthier bowel movements. You might also want to increase the amount of dietary fiber you are getting from your diet.

Diagram of the Digestive System

Digestive System Photo

Broken Apart, Loose Stools

During bouts of diarrhea, your stools may become loose and watery. Due to the larger than usual amount of water present in the stools, the already loose feces may break apart and come out in completely random shapes. In cases of diarrhea, the shape of the stools are not a concern. The larger concern is the loss of water. Make sure you drink more water to replenish the water you had lost and do not get dehydrated. Also, make sure the water comes from a clean source since many cases of diarrhea occur from having consumed unclean water in the first place.

Seeking Professional Help

If the shape of your stools does not change over time, or with alterations to your diet, you may want to seek help with either a dietitian who may help you understand what other dietary changes may be needed, or a medical professional who can help diagnose the causes of the unusual poop shape by sending your stools to the lab for testing. In any case, you must first understand what is causing the change, and only then attempt to treat it - not the other way around, hoping for the best.

If you feel, something may be going awry with the state of your health, you should seek a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional who will find out your health history, the health history of your family, your lifestyle habits, possibly send you for some lab tests of either your stool or blood, and possibly some imaging tests. The healthcare professional will take all the findings from these and make the best possible diagnosis. After a careful diagnosis is made, it is much less risky to begin treatments since you will know with much greater confidence that in deed you are treating the problem you actually have.

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