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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Poop

Updated on January 8, 2017

Poop is the nice way of saying feces. Which is a Latin word (faeces in fact) which is a plural of faex which means "dregs".

Pooping is a process by which the waste products of metabolism are removed or eliminated from an organism. The waste matter is discharged from the bowels as excrement. The waste products include residue of food together with bacteria, cells from the intestinal lining and secretions (mainly from the liver), water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen-containing compounds, such as ammonia, urea, uric acid, and various salts, such as sodium chloride.

Pooping is necessary for all living organisms because it removes from the body substances that are not useful. If allowed to accumulate, the wastes would poison the body's cells.

The Waste Disposal System

From start to finish: the oseophagus passes food from mouth to stomach, where it is churned and partly digested. Next, duodenum continues digestion; the remainder of small intestine (ileum) completes digestion and absorbs digested food. About every four hours the contents of the small intestine are discharged into the large intestine through a valve. The caecum and colon of the large intestine absorb excess water. Indigestible residue from previous day's intake collects in the rectum for disposal. This left behind residue is called the feces. It consists of 70 percent water, worn-out and discarded epithelial cells, indigestible cellulose, salts (especially calcium phosphate and iron), and many bacteria. From there it exits via the anus as poop!

The color and consistency of poop

  • Poop produced from a diet consisting exclusively of carbohydrates are similar in composition to those produced from a diet consisting exclusively of proteins.
  • In starvation, the poop are reduced in quantity and almost black in color
  • A bulky poop is produced by foods rich in cellulose.
  • The diet of the human fetus is entirely liquid, but shortly after the child is born it evacuates a semisolid, dark greenish-brown poop known as meconium.
  • Black poop may be from large amounts of blood being present or indicate excessive bile functioning.

    An ulcer or cancer in the stomach or large intestine causes small amounts of blood to be present in the poop.
  • Bleeding from the lower portion of the intestine or from the anus (hemorrhoids) produces unaltered blood in the poop, coloring it bright red.
  • A light-colored or fatty poop may indicate a pancreas disturbance
  • Constipation may produce a hard drier poop and often take the shape of round balls coated with mucus.
  • Indigestion may cause a soft and watery poop.
  • A meat diet can cause a darker poop while a milk diet will cause a lighter color.
  • High amounts of iron, bismuth or manganese can cause a dark poop.
  • In obstructive jaundice, the poop is pale in colour and very offensive.
  • In young children suffering from diarrhcea, the poop is green due to bacterial decomposition.
  • Ribbon-like poop may result from some obstruction in the large intestine.
  • Rectal polypus may cause a groove along the poop.
  • A "pea-soup" like poop arises in typhoid fever.
  • Cholera can cause a "rice-water" effect to the poop.
  • Slimey poop may arise from colitis.

The concept by Professor DCA Candy and Emma Davey, based on the Bristol Stool Form SCale produced by Dr KW Heaton.
The concept by Professor DCA Candy and Emma Davey, based on the Bristol Stool Form SCale produced by Dr KW Heaton.

What stops poop from coming out?

Stoppage of Bowels, Obstruction of Intestine.

This condition may be "acute" when the canal is suddenly and completely blocked; or "chronic" when it is narrowed gradually.

Obstruction may be due to causes external to the bowel, such as pressure from tumours of neighbouring organs; or it may result from compression by bands of tissue produced by chronic peritonitis. Poop grown solid, gall-stones or foreign bodies may cause blockage. Strangulation of a knuckle of bowel owing to hernia is a frequent cause of intestinal obstruction in adults.

Constipation, Stasis of Intestine

Constipation is the sluggish or infrequent bowel movements characterized by hard, dry poop. Constipated patients often complain of headache, feelings of loginess, and distension of the abdomen. However, it is uncertain whether these symptoms are really due to constipation or to the patient's conviction that he will feel bad if he does not have a daily bowel movement. Constipation is not harmful except for the discomfort it may provoke and the rectal irritation that may accompany passage of the poop because of its hard, dry character. There is little evidence that people who are constipated absorb any harmful toxins from the colon.

The condition can usually be relieved by drinking adequate fluids, eating laxative foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and cereals, and by establishing routine evacuation habits.

Constipation that develops suddenly in people who have previously had normal functioning of the bowel may be a symptom of a serious disorder. Any sudden change in bowel habits should be reported to a physician.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Different Methods of Pooping

Methods of pooping vary considerably. In one-celled animals, such as amebas and paramecia, carbon dioxide and ammonia pass directly from the organism to the environment through the cell membrane. Single-celled animals in fresh water pump out excess water by a special hollow structure, called the contractile vacuole. In simple multicellular animals, such as sponges and coelenterates, carbon dioxide and ammonia are excreted in the same way as in one-celled animals. The method by which sponges and coelenterates eliminate water is not clearly understood. In higher animals, wastes are removed by various kinds of special structures or organs.

Unlike animals, plants do not have special structures or organs that excrete wastes. All the waste products are lost to the environment through the cell walls at the surface of the plant. In single-celled plants, such as some algae and yeasts, and in simple multicellular plants, such as mosses, excretion occurs over the plant's entire surface. In more highly developed plants, wastes are lost through the leaves.


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    • profile image

      Sienna 3 years ago

      Seriously, I thought I had the cleanest ass in the world until recently. I have pretty bad OCD when it comes to hygenine down there, especially after bowel movements. So my usual routine consists of using those flushable wipes to wipe, then I even take a shower after my bowel movements . I have this thing where I feel so dirty after shitting that I MUST shower. One day, I randomly decided to take one of those wet wipes, put some liquid Dial soap on it for lube, and stuck it up my anus. There was shit residue on it, so I kept repeating until I felt somewhat clean enough, even for the shower. I was mortified and my ocd kicked into overdrive. WTF. The outer part of my anus seemed clean when I wiped, but inside was another story. A fingertips length would be fine, but anything further than that was dirty. My showers are now longer than ever and consists of me bending over, ass cheeks spread with the shower head beaming directly at my anus for long periods of time ...hoping the water would clean deeper in there. My worst fears have come true and now I'm terrified to try anal sex. I'm curious at times, but now I'm gonna totally avoid it in fear of having an embarrassing moment. How disgusting would it be to have your man pull out with shit residue on his dick. Ugh..repulsive! I feel so deceived by anal sex lovers who have told me repeatedly that the anal canal is as smooth as the inside of your mouth and nothing can get stuck there. I'm curious to know if something (fecal matter) is really there or if it's just a little residue that washed off after my ocd wipe rage and shower. Btw, I usually feel light after a bowel movement and I pass gas cleanly, so it doesn't feel like anything is there. Is this normal? Not the ocd habits, but to have residue inside the canal.

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      NordicEagle 3 years ago

      The comments made me laugh.

    • profile image

      kimboo 4 years ago

      I usually poop everyday and the past few days my poops have been too big around and thry hurt! Why is my poop hurting me so and what maked it so big around?

      Thank you :-)

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      MelBurn 4 years ago

      I am often when using the bathroom I was in SO much pain, I really thought I might pass once it came out, I had to look to see what all that pain was about. I had TWO large white masses in the protruding of the right side of it! they were HUGE.....sort of bumpy looking, not smooth, jagged...I actually touched it only to see if it was soft or hard...although I had to think hard due to the pain...and they were as hard as concrete. Any idea what this is??

    • profile image

      Nicole 4 years ago

      I'm not sure but my lower stomach area hurts a lot before I poop and it feels really bloated and usually only a couple pieces of poop come out and they are kind of dark with a layer of light mucus like substance and I'm a person that assumes the worst about everything. I don't know what's wrong with me it's been going on for four days now.

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      distress! 5 years ago

      I have been constipated for 2 weeks now, I feel like im going to die.. I have done enemas, taken laxatives, drank prune juice, drank Miralax (which is also a laxative), I have done everything!!! the only thing that has helped me poop just a small amount is the prune juice. but like I said it is a very small amount, and its like brown water, the big stuff wont come out..

    • profile image

      pooplaugher 5 years ago

      I am having the best laugh ever,

    • profile image

      babydragonwarrior 5 years ago


    • profile image

      him 5 years ago

      also whenever i laugh it hurts in the same spot

    • profile image

      him 5 years ago

      the part just under my stomach hurts when i move around or sit im not sure what it is

    • profile image

      @ Andy 6 years ago

      Not good

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      Andy 6 years ago

      I haven't crapped solid in 7 yrs, and it usually comes out with hurricane type wind speed. The whole thing takes about 1.5 sec normally. Wiping is a beast. For me single ply tp is like a band aid on a gunshot wound.

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      Angela 6 years ago

      Nick Davis - Get your poop producing butt to the doctor asap. I had black poop and found out it was black b/c there was blood throughout the poo. The fact that you are also producing white poo could mean there is an obstruction too. the exams are not fun, but they are not that bad.

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      herekittykitty 6 years ago

      my poo is hard and doesn't come out easily. sometimes it won't come out for days. it can seem to be a clay-like consistency and it can be little balls or balls smushed into one big piece. sometimes it smells like moth balls and i've noticed that the longer it stays in my body, the worse it smells.

    • Bits-n-Pieces profile image

      Bits-n-Pieces 6 years ago

      I'd be scared NOT to go to the doctors.

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      nick davis 6 years ago

      All my poop always comes out pale white or pitch black is that is there something wrong with me. im not jokin im scared to go to the dr's

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      Just_Pooping 7 years ago

      haha reading this while pooping is fun :D

    • Bits-n-Pieces profile image

      Bits-n-Pieces 7 years ago

      I think soft long poopies is fine. But consult with your doctor if you're concerned.

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      steve 7 years ago

      I poop soft long poopies is that ok

    • profile image

      bradley 7 years ago


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      bradley 7 years ago

      lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

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      Fanny Cocker 8 years ago

      I poo 18 times a day.. is this ok? I also have green stools?