I’m a doctor – here’s what it means if your poo looks like a caterpillar… and the food item it SHOULD look like | The Sun

I’m a doctor – here’s what it means if your poo looks like a caterpillar… and the food item it SHOULD look like | The Sun

A DOCTOR has revealed just what the shapes and sizes of your poo mean – including if it looks like a caterpillar.

Dr Nigma Talib, a doctor with 15 years of experience in naturopathic practice, revealed how important it is to examine your stool.

Sharing a video on Instagram, the doc reminded her viewers: "It’s always important to examine your stool as it’s a good gauge for what’s going on internally."

And she listed a string of different types of poo and what they can mean.

According to Dr Talib, round(ish) poop can indicate your diet has too much protein and a lack of fibre.

The NHS suggests healthy adults need 0.8-1g of protein per kilogram of body weight.

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For example, a 60kg adult would need 48-60g per day.

Protein is found mostly in animal products although it can also be found in nuts and legumes.

Some of the most common sources protein are meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds.

But there is such a thing as too much protein.

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As for fibre, government guidelines say our dietary fibre intake should be 30g a day, as part of a healthy balanced diet.

But according to the NHS, most adults are only eating an average of about 20g day.

Some good sources of fibre include: wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholewheat pasta, wholegrain bread and oats, barley and rye.

Dr Talib went on to say that floating poop can mean you have too much gas and too much fat in your diet.

If it's also paler in colour, oily, floats and is foul smelling, this can indicate that the fat in your food isn’t being digested properly.

This is called steatorrhea and could be a sign of pancreatic cancer or celiac disease.

Meanwhile, having poo shaped like a caterpillar means you might be suffering from dehydration and constipation.

When a person becomes dehydrated, their intestines cannot add enough water to stools, leaving them dry and hard.

The NHS recommend that we drink six to eight glasses of water per day.

And porridge-like poo can be concerning for people, as Dr Talib warns it can either signal an infection, or even a food intolerance or anxiety.

Poo that is more like mucous can also be a sign of infections or Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is a bowel condition that can cause inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract.

Asides from mucous-y poop, the condition can cause diarrhea, malnutrition, blood in the stool, and abdominal pain, according to the NHS.

Finally, the expert lets her viewers know exactly what their poo SHOULD look like – a hot dog sausage.

Her chart is a twist on the widely-used Bristol stool chart.


Poos can vary in colour and consistency, depending on several factors like your diet, digestive health and underlying illness.

If you're concerned about the colour of your poop then you should see a medical professional.

Normal for you

When it comes to going for a number two, plenty of people aren’t really sure what’s normal.

Keeping an eye on what's 'normal' for you though is crucial, as is being aware of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer.

The five red-flag symptoms of bowel cancer include:

  • Bleeding from the back passage, or blood in your poo
  • A change in your normal toilet habits – going more frequently for example
  • Pain or a lump in your tummy
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Losing weight

If you notice any changes to your usual habits, don't be embarrassed, speak to your GP.

And if you are eligible for a bowel cancer testing kit, make sure to do on.

The Sun launched the No Time 2 Lose campaign in April 2018 – to call on the Government to lower the bowel cancer screening age to 50 and raise symptom awareness. 

As a result, people in their 50s started to be invited for screening last yea

A healthy poo should be a medium brown, but that doesn't mean it won't sometimes be another colour, Dr Rhianna McClymont, lead GP at Livi previously told The Sun.

She said: "Beetroot, for instance, can cause a red-pink tinge, which might be quite concerning at first glance."

Some colours like green or yellow poop can emerge – with yellow often meaning you might have have coeliac disease.

If you have the disease and eat foods that have gluten, like many breads, pastas, and cookies, your intestines won’t work as they should. 

It can be the sign of something serious if your poo is black.

According to Charlotte Dawson, a registered nurse and head of support and information at Bowel Cancer UK, black poo is a red flag sign for bowel cancer.

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"A black stool indicates bleeding from somewhere within the digestive tract, so if someone presents with that you would really want to investigate both the bowel and the stomach," she said.

If you notice any changes to your usual habits, don't be embarrassed, speak to your GP.

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