Solid bodily waste discharged from the colon through the anus during defecation. Normal feces are 75percnt water. The rest is about 30percnt dead bacteria, 30percnt indigestible food matter, 10–20percnt cholesterol and other fats, 10–20percnt inorganic substances, and 2–3percnt protein. The colour and odour are produced by bacterial action on chemical constituents. Many disorders produce abnormalities in the feces, usually constipation or diarrhea. Bleeding in the stomach or intestines may show up as dark red to black stools. Tests are needed to detect small amounts (occult blood). High fat content usually indicates disease of the pancreas or small intestine. Many diseases are spread by contamination of food with feces of infected persons.
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