What Your Doctor Wants to Know About Your Stools?

Aug 4, 2017

Talking to a doctor about your stools can feel a bit embarrassing, but your poo can provide valuable insights into your health. It is important to mention anything unusual that you’ve noticed about your stools, whether you’re visiting your doctor for diarrhoea treatment or something completely different.

What is Normal?

Most people will pass stools once or twice a day, but it depends on your diet. It can be normal to go less or more often. Generally, the poo should be of a smooth consistency that is easy to pass, without being runny. However, there is a lot of variation. The key is to know what is normal for you so that you can tell your doctor if you’ve noticed any changes, such as:

  • Passing stool more or less often than usual
  • Finding it harder to pass stools
  • Feeling like your bowels are still full after passing stools
  • Stools that are hard and dry or very loose and runny
  • Blood in your stool or black stools

If you notice these kinds of changes in your stools, it could be a sign of anything from an infection that needs some simple diarrhoea treatment to a chronic digestive condition that requires permanent changes in your diet. Your doctor can help you to work out what’s wrong and how to treat it.

Tracking Your Symptoms

If you have been experiencing different digestive problems such as diarrhoea, bloating or constipation over several weeks or months, it can help to keep a diary to track the changes. You should note down how often you pass stools, how easy it was, and what the stool looked like, as well as any home remedies or over the counter medications such as diarrhoea treatment that you’ve used. It might also help to keep a food diary so that you can identify any connections between what you are eating and your digestive symptoms.

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