What are the signs of a healthy gastrointestinal system?

A healthy gastrointestinal system (GI) will process food and eliminate waste material from the body efficiently. Efficient GI functioning is evident in the amount of time it takes to digest food and in the appearance of the stool. The consistently healthy appearance of stool and regular frequency of bowel movements suggests a healthy GI system.

A healthy individual typically digests food in 24 to 45 hours. Healthy stool is soft and plump, and sinks to the bottom of the toilet. The stool should be easy to pass, with a consistency that is not too dry or too watery. Color varies depending upon diet, but should not be black and tarlike, pale gray, or yellowish. The consistency, color, and frequency of stool reflect many aspects of health, including diet, hydration, use of medications, and presence of medical conditions.

Continue Learning about Digestive Health

Minimize In-flight Flatulence
Minimize In-flight Flatulence
Too close for comfort… Cheek to jowl…  Packed together like sardines. All of these phrases accurately describe the seating in the coach section of jus...
Read More
What medications are used to treat microscopic colitis?
UCLA HealthUCLA Health
By and large, microscopic colitis can be treated with a medication called budesonide, which is a for...
More Answers
Embarrassing Stomach Issues, Solved
Embarrassing Stomach Issues, SolvedEmbarrassing Stomach Issues, SolvedEmbarrassing Stomach Issues, SolvedEmbarrassing Stomach Issues, Solved
Find out if your gas, grunts and growls are normal and what to do about them.
Start Slideshow
How Does What I Eat Affect the Good Bacteria in My Gut?
How Does What I Eat Affect the Good Bacteria in My Gut?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.