Your poo says a lot about your health and diet. Poo is also called a 'stool', 'stools' or ‘faeces’.
Why poo matters
There’s no such thing as a perfect poo – it comes in all shapes and sizes, colours and textures. It’ll probably be different every time you go, because your poo reflects what you’ve eaten lately. Keep reading to find out how you can improve your poo!
These are small, hard, dry lumps like nuts or animal droppings. This sort of poo can be difficult to push out, which is often a sign of constipation. It can be caused by not having enough fibre, not drinking enough liquid, or not doing enough exercise.
Try to eat more fibre, found in wholegrain bread and breakfast cereals. Fill up on fruits and vegetables and make sure you drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
These poos are large, greasy and often float, making it difficult to flush them away. They can often make your bottom itchy too.
Again, you should drink plenty of liquids and make sure you eat healthily. If you find your stools never seem to flush, you should tell a parent or guardian. They might want to take you to the doctor to see if everything is OK. It’s a common problem, but good to check it out.
When your poo smells really bad, this can be a sign of poor digestion – the food is sitting inside you for too long.
Make sure you get plenty of exercise. A healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and fibre can work wonders in making your poo less pongy. Keep off that junk food!
These poos leave skid marks down your toilet. This is because they have too much sticky mucous in them. This may mean you need more fibre in your diet. Stools that leave skid marks are quite common. Just aim to eat more fibre and see how you go!
Some poo is light or more yellow-ish in colour. Lots of people do the odd pale stool. But if you find your poo is often pale you should tell a parent. A visit to the doctors is a good idea just to make sure everything’s okay.
If something’s wrong, don’t wait long!
Some people poo every day, some don’t. But if you can’t go, or you can’t stop going, then you need to let a parent know. If you think your poo looks wrong or it hurts to go to the toilet, tell someone straight away.
Find out more about poo with our video series on diarrhoea and gut health.