Bristol stool scale

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Bristol stool chart

The Bristol stool scale is a medical diagnosis tool used by doctors to classify the way feces looks into 7 different categories.[1] It is also known by the names, Bristol stool chart and Bristol stool form scale.

It was developed at Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1997 as a clinical assessment tool, but is also used to help with patients who can't speak, so that they can show their doctor if they have a problem with their bowels (a clinical communication aid). It's also used to help diagnose Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Understanding the scale[change | change source]

The seven types of feces described by the scale are:

  • Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
  • Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy
  • Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface
  • Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
  • Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily)
  • Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
  • Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid

References[change | change source]

  1. Koh, H.; Lee, MJ.; Kim, MJ.; Shin, JI.; Chung, KS. (February 2010). "Simple diagnostic approach to childhood fecal retention using the Leech score and Bristol stool form scale in medical practice". J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 25 (2): 334–8. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06015.x. PMID 19817956. S2CID 46258249.