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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Poop

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.


NordicEagle on October 21, 2014:

The comments made me laugh.

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kimboo on October 09, 2013:

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 :-)

MelBurn on September 20, 2013:

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??

Nicole on May 02, 2013:

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.

distress! on January 06, 2013:

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..

pooplaugher on December 08, 2012:

I am having the best laugh ever,

babydragonwarrior on October 26, 2012:


him on May 28, 2012:

also whenever i laugh it hurts in the same spot

him on May 28, 2012:

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

@ Andy on April 04, 2012:

Not good

Andy on April 01, 2012:

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.

Angela on August 28, 2011:

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.

herekittykitty on August 04, 2011:

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 (author) on May 23, 2011:

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

nick davis on May 20, 2011:

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

Just_Pooping on January 15, 2011:

haha reading this while pooping is fun :D

Bits-n-Pieces (author) on August 17, 2010:

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

steve on August 17, 2010:

I poop soft long poopies is that ok

bradley on August 09, 2010:


bradley on July 27, 2010:

lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

Fanny Cocker on April 12, 2010:

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

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