I know it’s a taboo topic, but if you really want to know how healthy you are, it’s time to take a look at what you’re leaving in the toilet. Poop comes in different shapes and sizes. What’s normal? What’s healthy? I guarantee you’ll be surprised at just how much your poo can tell you. |
Breaking Down Your Bowel Movements
You probably didn’t like the sound of that! But it’s important we cover this topic. The majority of your stool, around three quarters, is made up of water, while the rest is a combination of cells, mucus, bacteria and more. The content may actually change depending on what’s happening inside your body, and that’s why examining your stool is necessary. Day-to-day changes are normal based on what you’ve eaten and it’s important to look for consistent changes. Let’s take a look at what to watch out for. What The Shape and Sizes Mean
bristol stool chart
The Bristol Stool Chart divides stool into seven different categories that range from lumps that are hard to pass, to watery and entirely liquid. Learning more about the chart enables you to better understand your digestion and overall health.
A clear sign of constipation. It is painful to pass because the water content of the stool is too low. This may be caused by a round of antibiotics or a diet low in carbohydrates and fibre, among other things.
A little better, although lumpy, sausage-shaped and still quite painful. Stool has likely remained in the body for weeks if it has this appearance.
Similar to Type 2 with cracks remaining on the surface that signify it’s just a bit softer. If you are experiencing Type 1-3 on a regular basis, it might be time to make some changes. Here are some dietary and lifestyle factors that can cause constipation:
Dehydration Stress Food intolerances Not enough exercise Too much dietary fibre
Type 4 is smooth and soft with a shape similar to a snake. This type is common if you only have one bowel movement a day. A larger diameter suggests a longer transit time or large amount of fibre in your diet.
This is the best. It has the appearance of soft blobs, clear cut edges and leave your body with ease. This type is common for someone who has a bowel movement after each major meal (around 2-3 times a day).
This type is mushier and has ragged edges. It’s considered borderline normal. This suggests the bowels move a bit faster and could be triggered by spices or stress. These kind of stools may indicate a slightly hyperactive colon (fast motility), excess dietary potassium, or sudden dehydration or spike in blood pressure related to stress.
If you experience stools that are entirely liquid, they could be caused by bacteria, viruses or medications. If you have consistent diarrhoea or loose stools in the absence of one of these, you need to investigate further.
A bowel movement should be a normal part of your day and not something you dread or worry about. So, how do you make that happen?
What you can do to improve your poo
If you’re suffering from poo problems and you haven’t started a food journal, now is a great time to do so. Record what you eat at what time, and make notes about your stools as well. Chances are you’ll notice a pattern that can help you make some changes.
Ever heard of fermented foods? Fermented foods like sauerkraut and Korean kim-chi will help maintain a balance of friendly bacteria in your gut. You can also take a probiotic supplement to help achieve this. Having the right balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut will go a long way in improving your health.
In addition to probiotics, do your best to avoid pharmaceutical drugs and antibiotics which annihilates beneficial bacteria in your gut where your immune system resides.
Most importantly, remember to keep your water intake high to avoid constipation and of course eat lots of fresh fruit and veg. These will keep your body hydrated and clear of toxins that create an imbalance. For a more effective cleanse, consider natural alkaline water.
Now that we’ve gotten the awkward part over with, it’s time to take what you’ve learned and use it on your journey towards greater health.
For more natural health tips visit our blog at: http://www.alkalife.com.au/blog
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