- Do you know how many times I've opened my kid's diaper to find another diaper made of poop?
- Like, a poop diaper?
- Yeah, like a poop diaper under the diaper.
(cheerful music) What is poop?
- Fluffy stuff?
- Ice cream.
- Broccoli, broccoli.
- Red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers.
- When you eat something, it's poop.
- Most of the solid material in poop is stuff you can't break down: fiber, cellulose.
In addition, poop even has fats, mucus.
About a third of the solid material is bacterial cells, dead or alive, that used to reside in our gut.
- So, basically it's just a giant mess.
- But a giant mess with one more ingredient, and it comes from your blood.
Red blood cells, when they're old and start to break down, release a molecule called the bilirubin.
This heads to the liver, where it then gets secreted into the gut.
Your gut bacteria metabolize it, and part of it turns your poop brown.
(poop squelching) Now you know.
- But look, all poop is not brown.
Like, I've seen all kinds of colors coming outta my kid's butt.
- (laughing) Well, totally not all of 'em, but you're right.
Poop does come in a spectrum of colors, and to give you a better idea of this, let's take a field trip.
(cheerful music) (bus whooshing past) - Kids' poop comes in so many different colors, so I'm at a hardware store, and we're gonna run through some paint colors to help you understand what's normal and what's not when it comes to the color of your kid's poop.
So, often, poop color will be determined by what your baby or kid is eating.
If your baby's pooping in this range of colors, you're all good, but other things like candy, fruit snacks, certain medications, carrots, and beets can actually change your kid's poop.
Once, when I was in elementary school, I had one of those old-school Flintstone push pops for lunch, and turned my poop this color, Blue Lagoon, and it really freaked me out.
God, I miss the nineties.
(child gagging) If you see red poop in your baby's diaper, or if your kid is, like, "Hey mom, my poop is black," call your pediatrician 'cause it could be a sign of bleeding, and also, the shade of red, from bright red to dark, can give doctors a hint as to where the potential bleeding is coming from.
Now, blood that's really old might actually look black, but if you see black stool, make sure you take a close look because it could actually just be dark green, which is normal.
Now, white or clay-colored stool can also be concerning.
Yes, poop can turn white or, in medical lingo, an acholic stool, (air whooshing) any poop that falls in this creamy spectrum.
Now, this could mean there's a problem with your kids' hepatobiliary system.
By that, I mean the liver or the ducts that secrete bilirubin into the gut.
This could mean liver disease or a blockage.
Now remember, bilirubin turns poop brown, so without it, poop actually looks white.
(static crackling) If you see this, definitely call your doctor.
(chime dinging) - Did I tell you how much my son loves his poop?
(laughs) - He loves his poop.
Every time he poops, he looks in the potty, and he names them.
He gives them all names.
So, like, one time, he looks in the potty, and he's like, "There's a dolphin.
That one's rocks.
That's a pangolin."
- I'm impressed.
- The pangolin one, I mean, like, I'll fight him on that.
It wasn't exactly like a pangolin, but- - Is he naming them off a whim, or is he paying attention to the consistency?
- He's looking at the shape.
- Here's the important part, is that the consistency of children's poop, and it doesn't matter if it comes out in the form of a pangolin or a dolphin, gives us a hint as to how long it's been hanging out in the GI tract.
Early on in digestion, things are very juicy.
There's a lotta liquid involved.
There's beverages or saliva, gastric acid, and it all winds up in the small intestine.
Here, a lotta the water and nutrients get reabsorbed.
Then we move down to the large intestine, and even more water gets reabsorbed.
With the right timing, the right pace, poop should come out soft and smooth.
- It's not always like that, though, right?
Like, what about, what about when it's, like, less like poop and more like oatmeal soup?
- If the poop is accelerating way too fast through the intestine, not a lotta water gets reabsorbed.
You end up with more water in the stool, and possibly diarrhea.
- Okay, so that's what it is.
It's, like, food just, like, bolting through your system.
- Yeah, not enough water's getting reabsorbed, - You can't catch me!
- or the food's not being down properly, and the reason why this is a problem, not just because it's a mess, is because this could lead to dehydration, loss of a lotta liquids, and possibly even shock.
There's actually a lotta different causes of diarrhea.
It's not that simple.
- Nothing ever is.
What if it's moving too slow?
Like, what if the poop is moving, like, rush hour traffic in Midtown?
- If it's hanging out for too long, too much water can actually get reabsorbed.
It gets really hard, and children can get constipated.
Now, with really young babies, constipation is not that common, but once infants start eating solid food, it can happen.
It's not usually a big deal.
Your doctor might just recommend you introduce a little bit more fiber into baby's diet.
This could be in the form of prune juice or apple juice because fiber will draw more water into the gut, making poop easier to pass.
Now, if constipation gets really bad, stool can actually harden and form a ball, and stool will leak around it, kinda like a rectal plug.
(child gagging) - Rectal plug?
- Rectal plug.
- Dude, tell me that there's a better name for it than rectal plug.
- There is, encopresis!
(air whooshing) - That's better!
- Your doctor might suggest you give your child more fiber or a laxative to clear the plug and help stool flow again, but please, always talk to your doctor before giving your kid any laxatives.
- That's right, do not go on the internet, asking a bunch of strangers about rectal plugs.
(Alok snickering) Call your pediatrician.
Dude, you and your use of stool as a verb?
- Because stool's, like, the most universal verb.
Past tense: Jimmy stooled.
Transitive verb: Jimmy stooled his pants.
Intransitive verb: Jimmy stools.
Adjective: Jimmy has stooly pants.
Past participle: Jimmy- - All right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right.
(upbeat electronic music) (inspirational music)