This Is What Your Poop Says About Your Health

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By Gillian B

Poop. We all do it, hopefully daily, but we don’t usually like to talk about it.

But today we’re getting down and dirty and talking all about good ol’ number two. First, here’s a bit of a strange request.

I want you to get into the habit of observing your dump.

I know, a lot of us like to flush as soon as possible to spare ourselves the supposed horror we’ve just left behind but when you do that, you’re literally flushing valuable information down the drain.

How, you ask? Well, your poop tells all. It can provide a tremendous amount of insight into the function of your digestive system and the health of your body overall.

The practice of inspecting your poop is a great awareness tool that can allow you to reflect on your health and eating practices daily. But what should you be looking for? Here’s a handy dandy list.

The Perfect Stool

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Not that stool, although it is nice.

  • One complete elimination in the morning
  • A brown color
  • A banana shape
  • Does not stick to the toilet
  • Easy to wipe – no mess
  • Minimal odor
  • Almost always the same regardless of foods eaten

Imbalanced Stool

  • Mucus in the stool (looks like cobwebs wrapping around poop)
  • Green or yellow stool (not from eating excess green veggies)
  • Black stool
  • Greasy or shiny stool
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Blood in the stool
  • Undigested food in the stool

What does the color of your poop mean?

Spoiler: Neon is bad.

Spoiler: Neon is bad.

As mentioned before, brown is what your stool should be. Some other colors you may see include red, green, yellow, white, and black.

All of these other colors (barring the consumption of foods or medications that would cause a temporary shift, such as beets) could be indicative of something going on in the body that needs to be addressed. Here are some possibilities:

  • Red could mean lower GI bleeding.
  • Green could mean Crohn’s Disease.
  • Yellow could mean gallbladder trouble or parasites.
  • White could indicate liver disease or pancreatic problem.
  • Black could mean upper GI bleeding.

Consult with your doctor if your stool is an unusual color for an extended time.

How often should you poop, anyway?

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WebMD says: “Depending on your diet, age, and daily activity, regularity can mean anything from three bowel movements a day to three each week.”

However,  there’s more to proper bowel function than just being regular. For example, you should be able to:

  • Pass a bowel motion within about a minute of sitting down on the toilet.
  • Pass a bowel motion without pain – ideally, you should not be straining on the toilet or struggling to pass a hard or dry stool.
  • Complete evacuation of your bowel; you should not have to go back to the bathroom soon after to pass more.

So how do you achieve the perfect poop?

  1. Chew your food! Shoot for 27 chews per bite. It should be a paste before you swallow.
  2. Eat until you are 80% full. Overeating is a massive burden on the digestive system.
  3. Remove all sources of gluten from your diet (the most common sources are wheat, barley, rye, spelt and other grains)
  4. Eat a diet that includes whole foods, rich in fresh, organic vegetables and fruits that provide healthy nutrients and fiber; most of your fiber should come from vegetables, not from grains
  5. Avoid artificial sweeteners, excess sugar (especially fructose), chemical additives, MSG, excessive amounts of caffeine, and processed foods, as they are all detrimental to your gastrointestinal (and immune) function
  6. Boost your intestinal flora by adding naturally fermented foods into your diet, such as sauerkraut, pickles, and kefir (if you tolerate dairy); add a probiotic supplement if you suspect you are not getting enough beneficial bacteria from your diet alone.

There is also one major thing a lot of us in North America get wrong about pooping. Catch the details here.

You might be surprised to learn how pooping in other regions of the world differs from pooping in North America. It’s a pretty major difference that leads to many of the problems we face when it comes to pooping.

Resources:

www.lifespa.com

www.mercola.com

www.kimberlysnyder.com

www.webmd.com

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11 comments
Steve Miller - January 24, 2016

Here is how you know this is bullshit. 3. Remove all sources of gluten from your diet (the most common sources are wheat, barley, rye, spelt and other grains). A. Plenty of people eat gluten and have perfect poop and healthy lives. There is zero evidence that humans need to eliminate gluten from your diet. B. Not all grains have gluten. Oats is a grain, which does not have gluten that is why people with celiac disease can eat Honey Nut Cheerios.

Reply
    truth sayer - January 24, 2016

    Some gluten-intolerant people are intolerant of oats too. This could be due to cross contamination or that they have issues with avenin. The author does not actually mention oats though. The wheat that we eat today is not the same wheat we ate about 60 years ago; it has been cultivated for its higher yield and resistance to pests. We are eating a new protein that our ancestors did not eat. As well as that, a lot of people are unaware how this new ‘gluten’ affects them until they stop eating it as there are many ways in which it can affect your organism. And because intolerance builds so gradually most people are unaware that they are even suffering the symptoms. People with gluten sensitivity can experience symptoms such as “foggy mind”, depression, ADHD-like behavior, abdominal pain, bloating,diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, and chronic fatigue when they have gluten in their diet, but other symptoms are also possible.

    Reply
      brian1248 - January 26, 2016

      This nonsense about “new protein” is just that: nonsense. Anytime one eats a new food, one could encounter a “new protein” unlike any that one has eaten before, but I doubt that you would recommend not trying new types of food in an effort to vary the diet. In addition, all proteins are broken down in the digestive process, and by the time that the digestive process is done, what is absorbed into the bloodstream are the component amino acids, and the body cannot even tell what particular protein the source of the amino acids was. Individuals with specific problems like celiac have issues that interfere with this process, just as those with other specific allergies do. That does not preclude the general public form eating “new proteins”. Just as Steve Miller pointed out that the reference to gluten in the original article was a red flag, so is your reference to “new proteins”. You are not a “truth sayer”; you are a purveyor of nonsense.

      Reply
        truth sayer - February 1, 2016

        I am not about to engage in a fuck-your-ignorant-shit-for-brain-opinion-cause-i-am-always-right conversation with you, so sorry. If you know everything, then there’s no point in arguing with you. But you sure are insecure about being smarter than me, aren’t you?

        Reply
          brian1248 - February 2, 2016

          “you sure are insecure about being smarter than me, aren’t you?”

          I’m not the one calling myself “truth sayer”. So, who’s insecure?

          I’m also not the one engaged in using foul language.

          It’s not a question of who knows what, or some kind of contest of will; it is a question of evidence. Evidence always beats ignorance.

          Consequently, I have ZERO insecurity about “being smarter” than anyone, because it’s not about me or you in the long run. It’s about the evidence.

          As Neil Degrasse Tyson once said “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

          Reply
          truth sayer - February 6, 2016

          Quit power-tripping on my ass. Dogma is often disguised as science. You should dedicate more time to your punctuation; that needs your attention much more than the world needs your science. Huggies.

          Reply
          truth sayer - March 4, 2016

          I wasn’t using foul language; I was interpreting your condescending and hostile reaction to my comment. You speak to people as they have no right to question what you say or what anyone else says. So what are you doing here? Are yo here for the purpose of shining brighter than all the other dull stars? Or are you a mildly-literate troll? By the way, what’s real for me, Sonny, is what I decide is real, not what YOU or even science decide is real. If science is always true, Google the expanding-earth theory, the Phlogiston theory, the Martian canals, luminiferous aether, the blank slate theory, phrenology, Einstein’s static universe theory and Fleischmann and Pons’s Cold Fusion. Then you should logically conclude that science isn’t infallible. Science fact becomes science fiction on a regular basis. I’m sorry that you weren’t let in on that. I suggest you sit in a corner and talk to yourself in future as you appear to have very little experience of interacting with people in a respectful manner.

          Reply
    bsroon - January 25, 2016

    i’m growing Blue Tinged Ethiopian Emmer. Of those claiming gluten sensitivity, about 4% test positive for celiac disease – all others CAN eat gluten, but may not like it. Of people testing positive for true gluten sensitivity – 85% can eat Ethiopian Emmer without any problems.
    i’m also going to grow Sonora White. It is one of the varieties that the modern over-gluten wheats come from. In 1887 i think – Eau Claire region of Wisconsin, a family grew a crop of Sonora White wheat which is JUST SHORT of current production records.
    It is not a good bread wheat – low in gluten, but an EXCELLENT tortilla wheat AND is drought tolerant – like the emmer i’m growing.
    A professor in Wash State who specializes in wheat states that most people who have difficulty with bread and gluten would not have that issue if they didn’t eat the modern, quick-yeast bread, but used some of the old natural, wild, sourdough yeast as a leavening agent.

    Then there is the way that so many modern farmers poison their wheat with an herbicide to kill it all at the same time. That increases yield by not allowing patches of live, green wheat while others are dry. Prevents some shatter while others are just getting to the ripe stage to combine. Helps farmers – poisons their consumers.

    Reply
bsroon - January 25, 2016

Gray means you have at least Hepatitis B. Your eyes also get very yellow.

Reply
Steven Hunt - January 30, 2016

Very interesting article. Thanks for this knowledge!!!

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Lisa Johnson - May 31, 2016

a study that i heard about sorry don’t know the source,( i think it was a Newsweek) they said that proper elimination would occur 20-30 minutes after every meal They studied other cultures who don’t have our modern diet. Peristalsis begins with the first bite and should be finished with a good, not runny BM.

Reply
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