The SCD Diet and Poop: It’s Time to Talk About It

by Jordan Reasoner

As with all things in life, it is extremely important to have something to measure yourself against to find out where you are in relation to where you want to be. Poop is no exception. In fact, poop is something everyone is always so scared and embarrassed to talk about… but it is the number one indicator of how well our bodies are functioning inside.

So, Let’s Talk About Poop

If you’re on this site, you’re probably really good at pooping and have wisdom beyond your years on the ins and outs of a good poop. Sometimes, you probably even celebrate and think about getting the camera when you have a memorable “normal” poop. My wife never thinks it’s funny when I yell, “Honey get the camera” and I don’t have the heart to tell her I’m serious…

I am right there with you, it’s a constant struggle to please the digestive system and a nice amazing poop is your reward. We all remember how sick we were and that one time in the grocery store when it was coming and it was coming now no matter what… that’s why those small victories are like standing on the podium at the Olympics with the gold medal around your neck. All those years on the SCD diet, taking vitamins and probiotics (training) resulted in the big win!

Ok, so what really is a “normal” poop and how do you know what’s going on inside? How often are you supposed to go? Well, the usual “it depends” is the answer you normally hear with this one. Everyone is different… and everyone’s level of digestive health is different.

A man by the name of Heaton, at the University of Bristol, developed the Bristol Stool Chart just so we could all finally have something to measure the output of our systems to. Most of the research out there suggests that in a perfectly running digestive system, every meal in should equal a good normal poop out… so roughly three a day. Again, everyone is different.

The Bristol Stool Chart gives you a breakdown of the seven types of poop that occur. Types 1 – 3 are considered to be various levels of constipation, while types 5-7 are considered various levels of Diarrhea. Types 4 and 5 are the more ideal levels of normal.

This is just meant to be a brief introduction into the Bristol Stool Chart and something that anyone with digestive issues should become familiar with. You have to measure yourself against something to know where you stand with your level of healing. Poop is the best indication of how well your digestive system is functioning.

If you want to read further and get a better description of each level of the chart, along with what it might mean about your digestive system, this is a great article to break that down for you from GutSense.org.

The important thing at this point is just getting familiar with this chart and figuring out where you stand, so you know how far you have to go to improve. As you heal, you might find yourself jumping around from one end of the scale to the other. Just focus on where you want to be and the things you need to do to get there.

Talk about poop; everyone does it. Got any good embarrassing stories?

-Jordan

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About the author

Jordan Reasoner Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Janine ("Jane Doo") February 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I want to thank you so much for sharing this chart! It’s going to make communicating my poop status to my doctor so much easier. Glad you’re having a breakthrough, and thanks again for blogging and for your support!

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fernpixel February 27, 2010 at 9:04 am

I’m soooo glad you wrote this so now I don’t have to hahhahaha. Its a taboo subject that I didn’t want to touch (but probably should) 😛

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Sara May 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm

While I find this chart very useful for the majority, people like myself who have had their colon removed and are living with a j-pouch will usually always be around a number 6 or 7 and it’s not because our digestive system is functioning wrong or that we have a long way to go, but simply because we no longer have a colon to absorb all that liquid and create solid bowel movements. Still a good indicator of digestive health for *most* of us though. 🙂

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Jordan Reasoner June 2, 2012 at 4:03 am

Thank you Sara, I really appreciate the insight! I love your work, thanks for stopping by 🙂

Can we do an interview with you for our podcast?

Email me at [email protected]

Jordan

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Martine October 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

Thank you so much for this information. I learned a lot this morning.

Martine

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Jordan Reasoner October 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

You’re very welcome Martine, thank you for being here, we appreciate you.

In good health,

Jordan

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KarenL April 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Great article! Does it matter if the stools sink or float?

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Paula Dutton August 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm

As a nurse and GI sufferer, I just wanted to mention that this chart is intended to help describe stool consistency. For some comments above, many other aspects ARE important. Color, change in characteristic smell, floating, pain, mucous blobs or undigested food seen… And ostomy patients do have a different ‘normal.’

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Tammy May 7, 2013 at 8:58 am

Eight years ago, I had my entire large intestines removed. Do you believe someone with no large intestines can EVER achieve the ideal type 4 or 5 or is that an unreasonable goal? Just curious; I get very very happy when I have the occasional easy type 6 and when I only poop 6 times a day instead of the usual 14-20.

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Dawn June 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Jordan,
Great article! I recall my horror when I became “one of them.” You know, the ones that talk about their poop! When I began my health journey, it was one of the very visual indicators of gut health. My husband and I broke the barrier and started talking about our poop. Finally I understood what all the fuss was about!
Peace to you, and thanks for all the interesting articles and videos!

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Kristy June 11, 2013 at 10:55 am

The dangers spoken of in the article are exactly me…ive had type one to 3 happening for about 8 yrs, and have been relying on fiber and laxatives. ..am i permanently damaged? Very frightened. I am 35.

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Hemming August 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I have 1 and 4 on separate days and rarely 2 and 3. Can anything about my diet be said from that?

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Donna October 24, 2013 at 7:05 am

My grown daughter and I have both at separate times experienced poop that is like odd shaped lumps or squeezed bits on a string. So, could be 1, 2 or even up to 4 bits joined together by a thin mucous string, maybe up to an inch long between each piece. It’s obviously constipation but what else is it saying? I even had it analysed conventionality, only to be told it was normal. It’s early hard to flush. I have not been able to find anything on it anywhere. We both have a tendency towards constipation.

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Michelle Tulloch November 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

I found this chart to be a huge help as we began the SCD a month ago for myself and our 4 kids. Whenever we have a stool we mark it on our food journal along with the Bristol number. It definitely helps me to know how everyone is doing and what tweaks need to be made!

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Raj December 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I always get 5 or 6 type hVe for last few years.

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Antonio March 5, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Jordan and Steven, I guess, I am a late comer to your system. Better late than never.
Thank you for introducing Konstantin Monastirsky to me. This the first time I learned the
logical explanation of constipation.
Now I can logically go about solving my poop problem. I hope.
You two are doing a great job helping people.
Thank you.
Antonio

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Antonio March 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Jordan and Steven, I guess, I am a late comer to your system. Better late than never.
Thank you for introducing Konstantin Monastirsky to me. This is the first time I learned the
logical explanation of constipation.
Now I can logically go about solving my poop problem. I hope.
You two are doing a great job helping people.
Thank you.
Antonio

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Vanessa March 25, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Thanks so much for including the gutsense link on this page!

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Debbie May 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm

After years and years and years of constipation to the point where mine from those days aren’t even on the chart, I am now after a few months of a Paleo diet and more recently using Dr. BG’s healing SIBO protocol, having daily movements and they are a 5! This Monastirsky guy says that’s ideal! I’m amazed and a little skeptical. How could I of all people be pooping ideal, after a lifetime of eating disorders and extreme constipation? And why is my idea of relaxing after the worst day at work reading in detail about sh*t? Thanks, you guys! I will tune in to Part 2 later. Here’s to poop!

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Sarah March 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm

After a week on SCD I jumped from a long time type 6 to a type 4 and haven’t gone back!

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Lil matt June 16, 2015 at 11:53 am

An entertaining, but embarrassing story for you guys. I was having diarrhea and nausea ongoing for months so I finally took a trip to the hospital. While admitted, there were many beautiful nurses, and my friends would always joke how I should ask one out to a date. My excuse was how could I have game when the nurse is looking at my poop all day lol. Now my poops are solid with a good celiac diet and staying positive fyi.

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Brent Kovacs June 18, 2015 at 8:03 pm

That’s awesome stuff Lil matt! Not that you had to suffer through that… but grateful to hear that you’re on the other side and able to take it in stride. Glad to hear that you’re doing better and finding what works for you. Hope your confidence is back and ready to get back in the game!

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Renee Allen August 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm

My stay with a full stomach but hungry I always get 1 on the chart please help …..

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Mariel Heiss August 3, 2015 at 7:26 pm

Hi Renee, we recommend you start with these resources: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/diarrhea-2/ (and please consult with your doctor if you haven’t already!)

I hope this information helps 🙂 Let us know if you have any questions.

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Evelyn Malave December 3, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Thk you for the information and chart. But I really need to know what can I do to poop.

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Mariel Heiss December 4, 2015 at 12:20 pm

Hi Evelyn – check this out: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

Hope you’re pooping more soon 🙂

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Dan January 13, 2016 at 4:04 am

I was suffering from a severe leaky gas( very bad, irritaring and strong gas).I found it so dufficult to sit and stand close to people. could that be leaky gut? but am now doing great with probiotics and L- glutamine

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Dan January 13, 2016 at 4:14 am

Is not gone actually but I feel good now, I smell like fermented milk when i take in milk and yorghut. but now there is great inprovement. i need more advice to help me get really really feel excellent

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Mariel Heiss January 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm

@Dan – check out our free webinar coming up on how to solve leaky gut – you’re on the right track with probiotics and l-lgutamine for sure!

Register for free here: http://solvingleakygut.com/webinar/live-qva/

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Rebecca Hill February 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm

I don’t go at all unless I take laxatives. A lot!! Like double doses and 3 different types at the same time.
it’s very scary.

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Mariel Heiss February 11, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Hi Rebecaa – I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through 🙁 Becoming dependent on laxatives is a real issue, and it can only continue to get worse if you continue to sue them. You may need to work with your doctor to get off of them. I recommend starting with this article: http://scdlifestyle.com/2014/09/are-herbal-laxatives-dangerous/

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Katelyn May 24, 2016 at 2:55 am

I am trying the SCD diet to heal chrinic sinus problems. I don’t have digestive symptoms but I believe I might have a leaky gut that lets proteins thru which causes an allergic/autoimmune reaction. Anyway, i gave up dairy first, thrn went gluten free (ish) and now am on scd for a week so far. This is a crazy question, but i cant find and answer online….Since i started altering my diet, my poop often smells menthol-y or medicinal/minty and I am wondering what that might mean? Does

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Mariel Heiss May 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Hi Katelyn – not sure about that specific question but you can learn a lot more about leaky gut at one of our free webinars here: http://solvingleakygut.com/webinar/live-qva/

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