Constipation: A Mother of a Disease

Constipation can bring discomfort and disruption to one’s daily life. This common digestive issue affects people of all ages and can have various causes. Understanding what constipation entails, recognizing the characteristics of healthy bowel movements, and exploring potential remedies can help alleviate this bothersome condition.

In this article, we will delve into the ins and outs of constipation, including its causes, what constitutes a healthy stool, the significance of the Bristol Stool Chart, the meaning of different colors of stool, the floating phenomenon, and the potential benefits of pelvic floor therapy in restoring natural balance.

What is Constipation?

Constipation refers to the infrequent passing of stool or difficulty in emptying the bowels. It is characterized by dry, hard, and small stools that are difficult to pass. The condition can be acute, lasting for a short period, or chronic, persisting for an extended duration. Understanding the causes of constipation is essential for effective management and prevention.

Common Causes of Constipation

Several factors contribute to constipation, including:

  • Lifestyle choices
  • Dietary habits
  • Medication use
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Insufficient fiber intake
  • Inadequate hydration
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Hormonal changes
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Hypothyroidism

Recognizing and addressing these underlying causes can be key to finding relief.

Characteristics of Healthy Stool

Understanding what constitutes a healthy stool is essential in gauging digestive health. Here, we will explore the key characteristics of a healthy bowel movement, including color, shape, size, consistency, and frequency.


Stool color can vary depending on several factors, including diet, hydration, and the presence of certain medical conditions. Normal stool colors range from brown to shades of green and can be influenced by the breakdown of bile pigments and the presence of food dyes or medications.


Healthy stool is typically log-shaped, smooth, and easy to pass. It should not require excessive straining or cause discomfort during elimination.


The size of your stool can vary, but generally, it should be comfortable and moderate, indicating proper bowel function.


Stool consistency can range from firm to soft, depending on factors such as hydration, fiber intake, and gut health. A healthy stool should be formed, but not too hard or loose.


While the frequency of bowel movements can vary among individuals, regularity is key. A healthy pattern typically involves having a bowel movement anywhere from three times per day to three times per week, as long as it is not accompanied by discomfort or straining.

The Bristol Stool Chart

The Bristol Stool Chart is a widely used diagnostic tool that categorizes stool into seven distinct types based on their appearance and consistency. These categories provide valuable insights into the overall health and functioning of the digestive system. Let’s explore each category:

Type 1: Separate Hard Lumps

This type of stool is characterized by hard, lumpy pellets that are difficult to pass and indicate severe constipation.

Type 2: Lumpy and Sausage-like

Stools in this category are lumpy but have a more cohesive appearance, resembling sausage links. However, they are still indicative of constipation.

Type 3: Sausage-shaped but with Cracks

Type 3 stools appear sausage-like but have visible cracks on the surface. This consistency indicates a relatively healthy bowel movement.

Type 4: Smooth and Well-formed

This is considered the “ideal” stool consistency. It is smooth, well-formed, and easy to pass, reflecting a healthy digestive system.

Type 5: Soft Blobs

Type 5 stools are soft and easily passed but lack the well-formed structure in Type 4. This texture is still considered within the normal range.

Type 6: Fluffy Pieces with Ragged Edges

Stools in this category have a fluffy, mushy texture with irregular edges. This consistency often indicates mild diarrhea or a rapid transit time through the digestive system.

Type 7: Watery and Entirely Liquid

Type 7 stools are entirely liquid and indicate severe diarrhea. This consistency typically points to an underlying gastrointestinal issue.

Decoding the Colors of Stool

The color of stool can provide valuable insights into digestive health. While variations can occur due to dietary factors or medications, specific colors may indicate underlying issues. Let’s explore the meaning behind different stool colors:


Brown is the most common color for stool, representing the normal breakdown of bile pigments during digestion.


Green stool can occur due to factors like consuming green-colored foods, rapid transit through the digestive system, or the presence of certain infections or medical conditions.


Yellow stool can be associated with liver, gallbladder, or pancreas conditions, such as hepatitis or gallstones. It can also be a result of rapid transit time through the intestines.


Black stool can indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as in the stomach or esophagus. It can also be caused by certain medications or consuming foods high in iron or bismuth.


Red stool can indicate bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract, such as in the colon or rectum. It can also be caused by consuming foods or beverages with red food coloring or beets.

Pale or Clay-colored

Pale or clay-colored stool may indicate a lack of bile, potentially stemming from liver, gallbladder, or bile duct issues. It can also be a side effect of certain medications.

How Pelvic Floor Therapy Can Help Restore Your Natural Balance

Pelvic floor therapy, a specialized form of physical therapy, can significantly address constipation and restore natural balance to the body. This therapy focuses on strengthening and coordinating the muscles of the pelvic floor, which are vital for proper bowel function. Here’s how pelvic floor therapy can help:

Strengthening Pelvic Floor Muscles

Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, can improve the strength and coordination of the muscles involved in bowel movements, facilitating more effective elimination.

Addressing Muscle Imbalances

Pelvic floor therapy can identify and correct any muscle imbalances contributing to constipation. The therapist can help restore proper muscle tone and coordination through targeted exercises and techniques.

Improving Relaxation and Coordination

Pelvic floor therapy emphasizes relaxation techniques and coordinated muscle control. This can help alleviate pelvic floor tension and improve the coordination between the pelvic floor muscles and the muscles involved in bowel movements.

Education and Lifestyle Modifications

Pelvic floor therapists provide valuable education about proper bowel habits, dietary modifications, and lifestyle changes supporting healthy bowel function. They can offer guidance on fiber intake, hydration, and adopting effective bowel movement techniques.

By addressing the underlying factors contributing to constipation and optimizing pelvic floor function, pelvic floor therapy can help individuals achieve more regular and comfortable bowel movements.

Key Takeaways

Constipation is indeed a “mother of a disease” that can disrupt daily life and cause discomfort. Understanding the characteristics of healthy stool, the significance of the Bristol Stool Chart, and the meaning behind different stool colors can provide insights into digestive health.

Additionally, recognizing the potential benefits of pelvic floor therapy in restoring natural balance and improving bowel function can offer hope for individuals seeking relief. It is essential to consult with healthcare professionals for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and guidance in managing constipation and maintaining optimal digestive health.

For more information on constipation and how pelvic floor therapy can help, reach out to me today!