Dr. Najma Taleb is a naturopath and gut health expert who shared on TikTok what different shapes of stool reveal about overall health.
A doctor reveals the shocking reason why our stools come in different shapes and what it could mean for our health.
Dr. Najma Talib, a naturopath and bowel expert, has gone viral on TikTok sharing the nicknames that give her stool different shapes.
The health expert, who has been practicing for more than 20 years, shared a video that has garnered 5.8 million views and more than 108,000 likes.
In the post, Dr. Taleb outlines some of the different shapes of stool — and what they may indicate for our health.
Hot dog shaped
Dubbed “sausage sausage,” Dr. Talib’s type of stool is considered the “ideal” stool.
The first type was a round tube. This type may be difficult to pass or only come out in small amounts.
It can be a sign of constipation and an indication that you’re eating too much protein and not enough fiber.
If you get a lot of protein, consider reducing the meat on your plate and instead eating a variety of fruits and vegetables to increase your fiber intake.
For example, a cup of cranberries or broccoli can contain 2.6 to 6.5 grams of fiber alone.
The USDA recommends filling your plate with half fruits and vegetables, 25 percent whole grains, and only 25 percent protein.
By itself, floating stools aren’t always a sign of something serious.
It could mean, for example, that your body has too much gas.
This can happen after any sudden dietary changes, such as adding foods like broccoli, beans, and lentils to your diet.
Lactose can also cause excessive amounts of gas.
However, Dr. Talib also said that floating stools could be related to a lack of bile, which is made by the liver to filter waste products such as toxins and excessive cholesterol.
Not having enough bile in the stool can be an indication of malabsorption of bile acid. When bile is not properly absorbed, it causes chemical imbalances, which can eventually lead to diarrhea.
Dr. Talib said that if your poop floats, that could also mean it contains too much fat. This can be a symptom of celiac disease and gastrointestinal infections.
Round stools may be difficult to pass, which indicates too much protein and not enough fiber
Caterpillar-shaped stool may mean that you are dehydrated or constipated.
These stools are lumpy and shaped like tree trunks. Similar to round shapes, this type of stool can be difficult to pass if you suffer from constipation.
Caterpillar stools may also mean that you are dehydrated, which goes along with constipation.
The intestines and colon absorb water from the stool to keep the body hydrated.
If there is no water to draw from, the stool becomes lumpy and caterpillar-shaped.
Drinking plenty of water can soften these stools. Setting a daily goal for yourself and gradually increasing it may help you to drink more water if you are struggling to get enough water.
Although porridge poop is not entirely liquid, it is considered a mild form of diarrhoea.
Dr. Talib attributed this type to food intolerance, anxiety, and excessive magnesium.
She also said that this type may be due to infection.
If it does not last more than a few days, it is likely caused by a common virus or stomach bug.
However, diarrhea has also been linked to bacteria such as Escherichia coli.
Other symptoms of E. coli include stomach cramps and vomiting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
She said too much magnesium, whether from the diet or medication, can also lead to diarrhea, as well as stomach cramps and vomiting.
Dr. Taleb’s recent stool appearance was “mucusy stool,” which can have white or yellow streaks.
This could be an indication of inflammatory bowel disease, particularly Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease is an intestinal condition that can cause inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract, from the esophagus to the anus.
In addition to stool that contains mucus, Crohn’s disease causes diarrhea, malnutrition, blood in the stool, and abdominal pain, according to the Mayo Clinic.
An estimated 500,000 people in the United States have Crohn’s disease.
Dr. Talib also attributed this stool pattern to bacterial infections such as salmonella and shigellosis.