The human body has a way of letting us know when something isn't quite right. Sometimes the hints are subtle and sometimes they hit us like a ton of bricks. The condition of a person's feces, (also known as poop, stool, excrement, waste or shit) can be one of those subtle hints.

Most of us don't really think too much about our feces and many feel uncomfortable discussing it, even with a doctor. But, it's a body function that everyone does that can let us know when our health is suffering. A change in a person's feces can simply indicate a change in diet. But, it can also indicate that the body has a serious condition or is fighting off an infection. If our digestive tract isn't working optimally, we can suffer from a lack of nutrients and toxic build-up.

Some indications warning us that there is something "off" in our body can be in the shape, texture, color and smell of our feces. Below, I've listed what to look for as warning signs:

  • Hard, lumpy feces-this could be a sign of acute inflammation of the small intestine. This type of feces is difficult to pass due to how hard it is, and can sometimes cause bleeding of the anus. This type of feces can also be caused by taking antibiotics and not drinking enough water or eating enough fiber.
  • Sausage shaped, lumpy feces-this feces is usually hard, difficult to pass and can cause anal bleeding. It's common for people with Irritable Bowl Syndrome to have this kind of feces.
  • Sausage shaped feces that has a cracked surface-this is very similar to the previous condition of the feces and can indicate that you are constipated. Chronic constipation can lead to hemorrhoids, decreased appetite, pain and rectal bleeding.
  • Sausage-shaped, soft, smooth feces-This is what normal, healthy poop should be. If this is what you have, you are healthy and your digestive system is working well.
  • Soft, runny feces (diarrhea)-This type of feces can be caused by food intolerance, a virus or bacteria, medications, IBS, Celiac disease, diabetes, pancreatitis and Addison's disease.
  • Black or bright red stool-This is usually indicative of bleeding in the intestine
  • Pale brown or white stool-Thiis may be a symptom of hepatitis, cirrhosis, or pancreatic disease.
  • Yellow-colored poop-usually indicates an issue with the gall bladder, but can also be a sign of malabsorption

    If your feces has an unpleasant smell, it may be a sign of:
    Pancreatitis, Cystic Fibrosis, Celiac Disease, and Problems with digestion and absorption. See a doctor ASAP.