Sh*t Happens - What your poop is telling you
This topic may get a little dirty, might get a little too shitty if you know what I mean...let’s talk about poop! Everybody does it yet it’s something that is not talked about in adult circles. Not exactly the best small talk at the dinner table with friends!
Poop isn’t just for children jokes, it’s an important insight to your personal health. Poop is directly impacted by your diet and water habits. It can give clues as to what’s going on in your diet. It’s no wonder that gathering poop in the hospital is so often needed!
What exactly is poop?
Poop is a combination of undigested food, proteins, bacteria, and salt that have unique shapes, and smells. These shapes and smells can help indicate how healthy, or unhealthy your digestion is working. It helps to know your sh*t about poop!
Everybody is their own unique snowflake and have poops that are just as unique! There are however a few markers that can help you determine if you are more on the constipated side, or having bouts of diarrhea. Knowing this is key in order to help you elevate your poop game!
What’s a normal poop?
First of all, poop talk is good to have! IF you are reading this still I commend you for diving into this discussion. It’s not always a pretty one, yet a vitally important one.
There are a few different things that you should consider when you think about your quiet time on the toilet.
Frequency and time..
Doctors say that a healthy poop schedule is one that ranges from every other day all the way to 3 times in one day. This is the normal flow of digestion, one that helps to rid the body of bacteria and unused nutrients from the food you ate.
If you’ve ever experienced a few days of constipation you know the feeling of wanting to clear out the system. You feel uncomfortable, bloated, and “sick to your stomach”. Your body wants to move on but might be hindered by the lack of water. More on this later though!
Most people will also find that they have the urge to poop around the same time everyday. This can help with creating your own poop schedule - get that magazine ready!
Normal poops should take anywhere between 1 minute to 15 minutes. The easier it is to go - the better health you are in. This is because the consistency and shape help to guide it out of your body.
Shape and size…
Bare with me here - we are getting knee deep in sh*t here!
Healthy poops are generally sausage or log shaped (the emphasis here is the ease of removal). If you find yourself with pellets in the toilet bowl, there might be something going on!
Poops should be easy to pass and not require too much exertion. The size of your bowel movement should be a few inches long, and not small pellets as mentioned above.
Brown reigns supreme here - this color represents the healthy poop! Green is also a good color as you may be eating a lot of green vegetables (which is a good thing!).
If for any reason you find red or black in your poops you might be either eating foods with red dye in it OR have some bleeding internally. IF you see red in your poop for more than a day or 2 you should seek medical assistance.
Bristol Stool Scale
This scale is used to help determine how healthy a poo is. Using the recommendations above, there are 7 different types of poops that can give you insight to what you can do better to help create a healthy movement!
These 7 types range in shape, size, and consistency. These are the big 3 determining factors to a healthy poop.
These kinds of poops may indicate that you are constipated. If you find yourself often having these types you might want to up your water intake.
Water is a valuable resource during digestion. Water helps to aid the movement of your poop keeping it soft and easy to pass.
These types of poops are the cream of the crop! These poo’s are passed easily and inform you that you are eating a proper diet of fiber and drinking the right amount of water.
These types of poop are extra soft, if not downright mushy. This indicates a lack of fiber in your diet. Fiber as we spoke about in a previous blog cannot be digested by the body. Instead, fiber is used to bind your poop together making it easier to pass.
When you find yourself with bouts of diarrhea, too much water is not being reabsorbed into the body while you are digesting your food. This causes you to lose a lot of water during your poop time.
These types often can lead to dehydration if you regularly experience it. If diarrhea lasts more than 2-3 days, a doctor call is in your future.
If you regularly have softer, watery poops than you need to up your vegetable intake (high in fiber).
Clean it up!
Whether you think poop is gross or not - it’s important to understand. For most people this is a completely personal event that is embarrassing to talk about with anyone, even doctors.
For some parents poop might be common place with poop jokes flying from one child to the next. I think there's a good reason that the book made super popular “Everybody Poops” is an excellent way to break down these barriers and stigma that our digestive process is disgusting and unnatural.
Digestion is just a normal, healthy way of our bodies getting rid of things it doesn’t need. It certainly isn’t the prettiest way to do it but it’s what is necessary to live a happy and healthy life.
There is no denying the clues that your poop can give you towards your health habits. Think about being a poop investigator and give your poop a look next time you “drop the kids off at the pool!”
I’ll sign off this by saying if you do notice that your poops aren’t healthy for days on end, talk to your doctor and figure this out. Healthy bowel movements will keep you feeling light and airy rather than bloated and constipated. Everybody poops….not everybody poops perfectly!
Please refrain from sending any pictures to me - I’m no doctor!