Feces or excrement are the waste that the human or animal body expels at the end of its digestive process. They are made up of food remains that were not absorbed by the body, as they are not considered useful for it. Its appearance and consistency are of great importance for the clinical treatment of patients with gastrointestinal difficulties.

The shape, color and size, in addition to other characteristics that the feces may have, allow us to provide enough information about the person’s health, such as giving doctors clues about diseases that could be originating: digestive problems, infections , and even cancer.

There is a table widely used in medicine where the classification of human feces is found, this table was called the Bristol stool scale. This scale was created in 1977 at the University of Bristol, by doctors Lewis and Heaton.

According to this scale, feces are classified into 7 types:

  1. Hard and separated pieces, which are difficult to expel: this type of excrement owes its extreme hardness to the time it has remained inside the intestinal tract, showing symptoms of constipation and dehydration.
  2. Sausage-shaped but crumpled: they indicate dehydration and with an obvious sign of constipation.
  3. Similar to blood sausage and with cracks on its surface: this type of stool is within the normal category, however it is not considered the most optimal.
  4. With a smooth, elongated and soft shape: this kind of stool is considered by doctors to be the most ideal, since it is soft and smooth, which indicates that the person is eating a healthy, balanced and hydrated diet.
  5. Piece of pasty mass: this kind of stool is easy to defecate and is usually defecated after the main meals of the day.
  6. Soft pieces, with irregular edges and a pasty consistency: this type of stool shows signs of possible diarrhea.
  7. Without solid traces, totally liquid: this type of stool is diarrheal and can be a sign of a possible infection, so it is recommended to see a doctor.