Why all the talk about feces?
It’s just poop right?
Fecal matter or feces is a term to denote a waste product expelled by an animal through the anus by way of the digestive tract during defecation, the final act of digestion. Although there is no singular term for it, etymology suggests that the term originated from the Latin word faex (pronounced as fece) that means “dregs”.
Normally, feces are semisolid with a mucus coating it. It varies in appearance and even in color, influences by the state of the person’s digestive system or general diet. Hardened and less moist feces are a result of an interrupted bowel movement where the feces return back from the rectum to the large intestines wherein the water is absorbed.
Modern colloquialism that is sometimes considered as profanity has cited examples such as shit and crap that are related to feces. Other terms related to feces are poo, poop, dung, turd, number two, doo doo, doody, dookie and excrement. A newborn baby’s first feces are called meconium (or merconium).
Stool is commonly used term in reference to human feces. Stool samples are oftentimes used in the field of medicine of scatology (or scat) to detect parasitism or infection in the digestive system. Many scientists have thoroughly examined the importance of feces as a rudimentary determining factor in many plagues that has struck the human population for ages. Sometimes, stool sample is requested for several tests.
Water contamination due to feces can cause worldwide pandemic especially in developing countries where the sewer system isn’t safe or sanitary. The main pathogens gleamed from feces are: Salmonella, Shigella, Bacteroides, E. coli O157, Entamoeba histolytica, Aeromonas, Campylobacter, Yersinia, Candida and Cryptosporidium.
There are many parasites, bacteria and viruses that can cause diarrhea. Once pathogens enter the body, the large intestine will fail to absorb water normally and then will expel liquid poo and subsequently expelling intestinal pathogens. Laboratory examination of feces is used to detect parasites such as pinworms, roundworms and even hookworms.
Feces can also be analyzed to determine various conditions and diseases. Poo is analyzed for fecal occult blood that can indicate gastrointestinal bleeding. Fecal calprotectin levels can also be gleamed through feces to indicate an inflammatory process like ulcerative colitis, neoplasms or cancer, and Crohn’s disease.
Feces are also categorized through the Bristol Stool Scale (referred as Meyers Scale in the UK). Developed by K.W. Heaton at the University of Bristol, it is a medical aid that is designed to classify human feces into seven categories. The Bristol Stool Scale was first published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology in 1997 and it points out that human feces form depends on the time it stayed in the colon.
The seven types of human feces are:  Separate hard lumps resembling nuts that are hard to expel,  Sausage-shaped feces that are not lumpy,  Sausage-shaped feces that has cracks on the surface,  Sausage-shaped or snake-shaped feces that is soft and smooth,  Soft blobs that has clear-cut edges,  Fluffy-like, mushy feces that has ragged edges, and  Watery, entirely liquid feces with no solid pieces.
The first two types of poo indicate constipation. Type three and four are typically easy to be expelled and therefore considered as optimal. The last three types (types five to seven) are indication of increasing tendency of urgency or diarrhea.
The different appearance and color of human feces can be attributed to the person’s diet and colon state. Poo is normally brownish in color, a result of the combination of bilirubin (the yellow bi-product of normal heme catabolism, which is a vital component of red blood cells) and bile (a dark-green to yellowish brown fluid produced by the liver that helps in digestion of fats in the small intestine). Breastfeeding babies expel pale yellowish poo since they haven’t consumed anything solid yet.
Yellow colored feces are indicative of an infection called Giardiasis. It is a parasitic infection of the Giardia, an anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasite that can cause diarrhea. Yellow poo can also indicate a condition called Gilbert’s Syndrome, which is characterized by hyperbilirubinemia and jaundice. It means that there’s too much bilirubin in the circulating blood.
Black colored feces indicate the presence of red blood cells that has been in the intestines for too long that the digestive enzymes were able to break it down. This condition is known as melena. The color is due to peptic ulcer or bleeding that occurs in the upper digestive tract. Black poo can also be attributed to the consumption of food that contains substantial amount of animal blood such as in black pudding, blueberries, black licorice, beetroot and liquor. Medication such as Pepto Bismol and iron supplements can also make feces black. It can also look black to bright red because of hematochezia.
Green colored feces are a result of large amounts of unprocessed bile in the digestive tract. Green poo can also be a caused by eating food with anise oil or licorice herb.
Blue colored feces can be caused by radiation treatment, cesium and thallium poisoning. Consuming food with blue food dye can also make poo blue.
Tarnished silver or aluminum pain-like colored feces are caused by carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater, a result of gastrointestinal bleeding and biliary obstruction (white stool).
Ingested seed and solid objects wherein digestive enzymes cannot break down will pass through the poo. Seeds are known to germinate after being expelled during defecation. A testament of this is the growing tomato plants where sludge forms in the sewers. Feces can be used as fertilizer, but it must be turned into compost first to eliminate possible pathogens that can be transmitted into the vegetables or plants.
There are also many organisms that feed on feces. Bacteria, fungi and insects are among those that use feces as a food supplement or basic food. Insects like dung beetles can smell it from a distance. Young elephants eat their mother’s feces to gain gut flora. Feces and urine reflect ultraviolet light, making predators like kestrels to use to spot their prey.
Fecal matter refers to excretion of waste products from the digestive tract of animals. These are the waste matter also known as excrement which needs to be ejected for the body to work normally. Our body continuously produces a lot of fece and all the fece that is produced must be ejected time to time otherwise it adds up to the poison level in the body and can prove to be fatal.
Fecal matter also known as poop or scat is the necessary wastes that are produced in the body of all animals. Their chemical composition differs from one animal type to other. The excrement largely depends on the type of food you intake. It is worth mentioning that fecal matter or poop is a necessary waste. It is mandatory for our body to produce it as in its absence, the body would respond strongly and there are high chances of some kind of a system failure since if there is no excretion, the waste product tend to accumulate in the body over time and act as reserves of poison that deteriorates the normal functioning for the body.
Although, poop and scat are basically the terms for excrement or fece, owing to the foul language that is prevalent these days, they are also colloquially used as slangs meaning a pathetic situation or something you do not like. Hence, the meanings are open for interpretation. However, returning to the main point a lot of products or food that we consume need to be excreted from the body as our body mechanisms are so designed that we assimilate all the required nutrients from the food that we intake and then the remaining products after being processed need to be expelled to the outer environment. This is a characteristic feature of most animals and hence for the healthy survival, it is to be ensured that the excrement happens at regular interval.
If owing to some reasons, the fecal matter stops being generated, then you need to consult a medical practitioner at once. The same rule applies for the animals as well as your pets. If your pet has not been excreting his fece for some days, go and visit a veterinary doctor at once before the situation gets nasty.
Thus, do all that is necessary to maintain good bowel movements. It is a healthy habit and you must always remember not to skip the bowel as poop is a necessary waste. As much as there is a need to get such wastes rid from the body, there is the same dire need for the body to produce them as well. It definitely seems to be a lot of trouble but this is how the body has been designed to work and no matter how hard you try you cannot alter the way our body behaves. A lot of organs need to coordinate together to produce shit; and then get rid of it too. Thus, all this trouble needs to be endured to get rid of the scat or poop whichever way you like to say it.