bristol-scaleNow, if you’re eating your lunch you might want to come back to this blog in half an hour – because today’s subject isn’t exactly glamourous! It is, however, important – because did you know that looking into the toilet pan can help you identify the health of your digestive system?

The chart to the right is called the Bristol Scale – and it identifies the most common types of stools. Stool consistency relates to transit time – the time food takes to pass completely through the gut.

Type 1 as shown on the Bristol Scale has spent the longest time in the colon; stools at this end of the scale are hard to pass and often require a lot of straining. In contrast, type 7 has spent the least time in the colon; stools at this end of the scale often need to be passed urgently to prevent an accident.

The ideal stools are types 3 and 4, especially type 4; these are the easiest to pass, and indicate the optimal functioning of the digestive system.

To download or order a copy of the Bristol Scale for yourself, simply visit the Advice Packs page.