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Quiz: Do You Know the Scoop on Your Poop?

What comes out of your body can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside of it

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Question 1 of 8

Bright-red blood in the stool could signal:

Bright-red blood often indicates that the bleeding is coming from the lower end of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract — “and it’s almost always from hemorrhoids,” says William Chey, M.D., professor of gastroenterology and nutrition sciences at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan. It could also be from a small tear in the tush.

Question 2 of 8

Poop that appears pale could indicate a problem with which body organ:

If your poop appears pale and even seems to float in the toilet, it may be an indication that your pancreas, an organ that aids in digestion, isn’t functioning properly.

Question 3 of 8

True or false: Constipation is more common among older adults.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 16 percent of adults have symptoms of constipation. Among adults ages 60 and older, that share about doubles.

Question 4 of 8

The following can help relieve constipation:

“I tell many of my patients who have issues with constipation: The more you move, the more your gut moves,” says Reezwana Chowdhury, M.D., a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “A sedentary lifestyle does slow your gut down.” 

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Question 5 of 8

You should call your doctor if you're routinely having diarrhea at night.

Everyone experiences diarrhea from time to time. But if you find yourself getting it frequently and getting up with it at night, it could indicate an underlying disease, like inflammatory bowel disease, microscopic colitis or celiac disease.

Question 6 of 8

True or false: Iron supplements can cause your poop to turn black.

Taking iron supplements or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol) can turn your stool black. Black stool can also indicate bleeding somewhere in the upper GI tract, so it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor.

Question 7 of 8

Stool that appears pencil-thin could indicate which of the following:

If you are someone who is pretty regular and find you’re suddenly not able to go — or can only produce pencil-thin stools — it could point to an obstruction in your GI tract.

Question 8 of 8

True or false: Eating beets can cause your poop to turn red.

Food can have an effect on the hue of your poo. For example, beets can cause your stool to turn red — so can tomato soup and cranberries. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach can make it green.

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