The truth about ‘Mr Whippy poos’ – and how they put you at risk of malnutrition and kidney disease

LET’S talk about poop.

Yes, it’s a taboo subject, but it’s important to monitor your bowel movements as they can reveal a lot about your overall health.

The Bristol Stool Chart compares poo to different objects

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The Bristol Stool Chart compares poo to different objects

Your poop can make it known your body is fighting off a bug like norovirus, or that you have an underlying medical condition.

Though your number twos will likely look different every time you go, they all usually fall within one of seven categories outlined by the Bristol Stool Chart.

The helpful guide compares stools to different objects – from artwork and animals to (rather disgustingly) foods.

Poos that look a bit like soft-severe ice cream are often fluffy, mushy and have ragged edges.

Unlike harder poos, you might not always be able to control when you expel them.

This type of poop, which comes in at number six on the Bristol Stool Chart, may suggest a person is experiencing a mild case of diarrhoea.

This usually clears up on their own, but in the meantime, the NHS advises sufferers to drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash.

According to Healthline, having runny poos can also be a sign you need to add some more fibre into your diet.

Fibre helps to keep the digestive system healthy and helps prevent constipation.

It bulks up stools, making them softer and easier to pass through the bowel.

Government guidelines suggest that the average adult should eat around 30g daily as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Foods high in fibre include wholemeal bread, wholegrain breakfast cereals, brown pasta or rice, fruit, vegetables, peas, beans, nuts, seeds and potatoes with skins.

What are the risks of chronic diarrhoea?

If your poos have resembled Mr Whippy ice creams for some time, you could be at risk of some complications, including kidney disease and malnutrition.

When you suffer from chronic diarrhoea, your body loses lots of water and electrolytes – minerals found in your body’s fluid.

Electrolyte losses can have serious consequences, such as kidney disease, which happens when the kidneys don’t work properly, according to Healthline.

Diarrhoea can also lead to malnutrition as it stops the body form absorbing nutrients from food.

This can be problematic in the long-run as it can impact your heart, lungs, brain and nervous system.

What are the causes of chronic diarrhoea?

Diarrhea is usually short-lived, lasting no more than a few days.

But when diarrhoea lasts beyond a few days into weeks, it usually means that there’s another problem.

Loose stools can be a symptom of a medical condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or coeliac disease.

IBS is a common disease that affects the digestive system.

It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. 

Managing the condition requires a life-long commitment to routine habits, which can take months or even years to figure out. 

Coeliac disease is a condition where your immune system attacks your own tissues when you eat gluten, damaging your gut so your body can’t properly absorb nutrients.

Symptoms include smelly diarrhoea, abdominal pain and bloating after eating gluten, as well as more general fatigue, weight loss, itchy rashes and problems with balance or speech due to the impact on the brain.

Following a gluten-free diet should help control symptoms and prevent the long-term complications of the condition, according to the NHS.

In rare cases, runny poo can be a sign of carcinoid syndrome, which happens when a rare cancerous tumour called a carcinoid tumour releases certain chemicals into the bloodstream.

The cancer attacks the cells that secrete hormones into the bloodstream (neuroendocrine cells).

These tumours can occur anywhere in the body but most often develop in the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to diarrhoea, constipation or tummy pains.

Although carcinoid syndrome itself is not deadly, the cancer that causes it is.

The survival rate for the disease is between 65 per cent and 90 per cent per cent, depending on the stage and location of the tumour.

Other types of poops

Sausage-like poos, that are soft and easy to pass, are what Healthline calls ‘the gold standard of poop’.

This is because they indicate that all is going smoothly with your digestion and that you’re eating the right amount of fibre.

This is type three on the Bristol Stool Chart.

Snake-shaped poops that are softer than sausage-shaped ones and easier to pass are also considered normal.

According to Healthline, you should ideally get number twos like these every one to three days.

But any type of poo which comes from either end of the poo spectrum probably means you need to make some dietary changes or see a doctor.

Coming in at number one on the chart are marble-like pellets. These look like nuts and are hard to pass.

Poos like these indicate you’re constipated, as does number two on the chart.

These are caterpillar-like poos that are long but still lumpy.

The best thing you can do for these is to eat some fibre, which can also be found in fruit, veg and cereals, according to the NHS,

It’s also a good idea to hydrate and get moving – spending long periods sitting or lying down often spells disaster for your bowel habits.

Stress, anxiety and depression could also be playing a part in making your poops harder and lumpier.

If you think you’re suffering from any of this, it could be worth speaking to your GP to see how they can help.

Read more on the Scottish Sun

Amobea and Jackson Pollock-like poos – much like the soft-serve – very obviously indicate you’ve got a case of the runs, as your stool moved too quickly through your bowels to form a healthy poo.

Most cases of diarrhoea should clear up without treatment, according to the NHS, but it’s a good idea to stay hydrated and to choose foods that are easy to digest.

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