Sure, in many ways taking care of your health can be very pleasant. Eating fresh veggies, taking time to destress, and getting enough sleep can all make your day more calm. However, some aspects of healthcare are a little less picturesque, although no less important. That's why it's a good idea to be on the lookout for potential poop red flags.
Yes, it's pretty gross for some people to think about, but the truth is that your bathroom habits can tell you a lot about the state of your digestive track and overall health. It's one more thing you can monitor to find potential issues before they become major problems.
For what it's worth, you won't be expected to get all up close and personal with your business. Simply having a passing familiarity with these symptoms will let you know when something is not quite right health-wise. Sure, it's gross, but poop is also a solid indicator of your overall health. And some of these symptoms could indicate serious health issues.
As always, if anything about your health is causing concern, don't hesitate to contact your physician for a proper diagnosis. Seriously, doctors and nurses have seen it all, so describing your bathroom habits will not weird them out in any way. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with these signs of potential poop problems.
1. Oily Texture
Yeah, if your toilet resembles an oil spill, it's probably not a good sign. According to U.S. News & World Report, oily stools may indicate a malabsorption issue. In other words, it's time to see your doctor.
2. Grey Color
The color can say a lot. According to Thrillist, grey stool may point to an issue with your liver, pancreas, or gallbladder. It's worth getting checked out by your physician.
3. Stringy Texture
Stringy poop refers to stool that is unusually thin or narrow. According to Healthline, stringy poop may be caused by anything from a lack of fiber in your diet to a colon polyp. Has your diet been lacking in fiber lately, or do you think something else is going on?
4. Red Color
Basically, any noticeable color variations are cause for alarm. In this case, red poop may signify anything from inflammatory bowel disease to colon cancer, as explained on Thrillist. (One less-terrifying possibility: you ate a lot of beets recently).
5. Terrible Odor
Are things way worse than normal in the scent department? As noted in Mercola, a very bad odor may point to a condition such as Celiac disease or Crohn's disease. This is not just a sign to ignore.
6. White Color
Basically, any variation in color should be viewed with suspicion. And according to the Mayo Clinic, white stool indicates a lack of bile, which may point to a serious liver disease. This is cause for an immediate trip to your doctor.
7. Increased Mucus
A little mucus in your stool is perfectly normal. But if you notice an exceptional amount of mucus in your stool, then this may indicate a health issue such as irritable bowel syndrome or even a parasitic infection. Basically, a noticeably large amount of mucus in your stool is cause for concern.
8. Yellow Color
Again, colorful stool is not a good sign in general. According to Mercola, yellow stool may indicate a health condition such as a gallbladder problem or Gilbert's syndrome. It is, as you might expect, a good reason to call your doctor.
9. Hard To Pass
Pain is not a good sign in this department. Chronically hard stools may just indicate a need for more hydration, or even more fiber in your diet, according to Very Well. Whatever the cause, you should not have to be in pain during this process.