The Bristol stool scale is a medical diagnosis tool used by Doctors to classify the way feces looks into 7 different categories. 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
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
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