Poop - The Secret to Your Health
Poop. This word evokes many different emotions and sentiments depending on who is reading it. For most, it is a gross word that brings up thoughts of private bathroom moments that we would rather not share. For me, it is one of the most exciting words and areas I get to talk about. Poop is a valuable daily tool we have to assess our health, a report card if you will. Once you learn to speak the language of your poop, I assure you, it will become an exciting area for you as well!
What is your Poop Telling You
In order to communicate with our poop we need to look at several different areas: frequency, texture, color, floating/sinking, and consistency. Let’s break these down.
Frequency - how often are you going to the bathroom. This is critical because a daily bowel movement means your body is properly removing toxins. Anything longer than 3 days without a bowel movement is considered constipation. We do not want that! On the other end if you are going too frequently and are leaning more on the side of diarrhea, you may want to look into potential food allergies or get check out by your doctor or functional practitioner.
Texture - Check out the Bristol Stool Chart to get a visual as to what your poop should look like. Ideally you want to have a nicely formed poop that doesn’t break apart when you flush it.
Color - News flash, your poop should be brown! I think most of us know this but there can be variations on this, but generally you want your poop to be on the brown spectrum. Some colors to watch out for are black (this could indicate internal bleeding) and yellow (may be an issue with your gallbladder).
Floating or Sinking - Ideally you want your poop to sink to the bottom of the toilet. If it’s floating this could indicate some fat malabsorption. Taking enzymes or assessing levels of stomach acid, are a great place to start when correcting this imbalance.
Consistency - There shouldn’t be any visible particles of food in your poop. This is a great way to ensure your food is being broken down and you are getting access to all the important nutrients from your food. If you can see pieces of food in your poop, you may to investigate further. Enzymes are a great place to start and eating more cooking vegetables vs. raw can help improve digestive efficiency.
What Else do I need to know?
While the above are the main elements to consider when communicating with your poop, these are a couple additional considerations.
•Smell - if you could clear out a small house with the odor of your poop, you may want to think about getting it analyzed. Putrid smelling poop often indicates a bacterial imbalance or bacterial pathogen. A stool test would be a great next step!
•Bloating - If you have terrible gas throughout the day or gas that builds as the day goes on, this could be your body alerting you to a digestive imbalance. Consider a breath test to assess SIBO or food sensitivity testing to see if your body has trouble breaking down foods.
-Mucus in the stool - could indicate a food allergy or sensitivity. If it doesn’t resolve in a couple days, get it looked into.
How to measure your poop health
Bottom line, to ensure your gut is healthy and your poop is optimal, make sure you can check these things off your list:
-Your poop is well formed and doesn’t break apart when you flush it
-Your poop sinks to the bottom of the toilet (doesn’t float)
-Don’t experience painful bloating
-You don’t have visible pieces of food in your poop
If you can say yes to the above, then you are on your way to optimal digestive health. If you need a little extra support in any of these areas, take the digestion quiz for a personalized recommendations of how to start fixing your gut health today. Happy Pooping!