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Ulcerative Colitis Stool

Ulcerative Colitis Stool?noresize

Bowel movements are a strong indicator of your body’s overall health. Although stools vary in color, texture, amount, and odor, it’s important to know your body’s norm and look out for indicators of health changes. Everyone will experience brief variations in stool here and there, but when the changes are persistent or have certain red flags, it’s important to investigate. Ulcerative Colitis, for example, is a condition that often causes changes to your stool. To understand what to look for in an unhealthy stool, you must first understand what characterizes a stool as “normal”.

What is a normal stool?

There are a few key characteristics of a normal stool:

  • Color: The color of a normal stool should be medium to dark brown (caused by the formation of bilirubin when blood cells break down)
  • Odor: It is normal for the odor to be strong-smelling
  • Texture: The texture of normal stool should be somewhere between soft and firm.
  • Shape: Stool passed in a single piece or a few smaller pieces is considered normal. The shape should be long and sausage-like to match the shape of your colon.
  • Frequency: The minimum bowel movements a person should pass per week is three. Normal bowel frequency is from once every other day to twice per day.
  • Effort: Healthy bowel movements should be strain-free and painless

For the most part, stools vary from person to person, and you should have a good idea of what is normal for you. Most changes in bowel movements will clear up on their own in a few days, but there are some specific red flags that can indicate that there is a problem, such as Ulcerative Colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis Stool

Changes in bowel movements are one of the key markers of Ulcerative colitis (UC). UC stool shape, color, and smell can be quite different than your average bowel movement. If you have UC, your immune system essentially attacks healthy cells in your digestive tract, which causes inflammation in your colon and rectum. Below are some key indicators that you may have Ulcerative Colitis based on your stool.

  • Color: You might notice bright red, maroon or black color indicating the presence of blood. You may also notice more mucus in the stool than normal.
  • Odor: The odor of the stool may be increasingly foul compared to the typical smell.
  • Texture: Presence of UC typically causes loose, watery stools. In reference to the Bristol stool chart, UC stool texture will most likely resemble types 5 through 7.
  • Frequency: Inflammation can cause increased motility and frequency of bowel movements. Many people experience frequent urgency and diarrhea.
  • Effort: People with UC may experience burning or painful stools.
  • Shape: Stools may vary in shape due to changing bowel habits. Some stools may be watery, while others may have a more formed shape.

The bottom line for healthy bowel movements is consistency! Healthy stools vary from person to person, but it is important to know what is “normal” for you. If there is a drastic change in smell, firmness, frequency, or color that does not subside in a day or two, we recommend contacting your physician and dietitian.

Looking for more information and help managing your Ulcerative Colitis? Our team can help!

 

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