Here’s What Your Stool Can Tell You About Your Health
Your stool is not only the thing that comes out of your rectum. It is more like the thing that signals you when something is wrong with your body. But, if you notice something unusual about your stool, and it only happens once, you have nothing to worry about. If the ‘strange thing’ keeps going on, you have to do a thorough investigation and testing.
How do normal stools look like?
Brown, medium soft and 4-8 inches long are the features of normal stool. Some say its consistency resembles toothpastes. You should have no trouble releasing the feces, without too much straining. But, mild deviation of this description should not terrify you.
Changes in stool are usually attributed to different foods and lifestyle habits, so count to 10 before you panic. Beetroots can color the stool, and fatty foods makes it soft, foul-smelling. You are likely to see floating stools more often if you eat too much fats.
Check the Bristol stool chart to determine whether something is wrong with your body (intestines). Type 3, 4 and 5 are considered close to normal. Type 4 is the King of poops.
Carefully observe your stool. Look for any changes in its color, shape, smell, consistency and buoyancy.
If redness is in no way associated with your last meals, it could be a sign of internal bleeding in the lower gut area. Colon cancer is the greatest fear of most people, even though bloody stool is also a symptom of hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
The bile is green. When your poop travels too quickly through the intestines, the bile has not enough time to turn brown, and your poop is green. Green poop is also a result of antibiotics and iron supplements. Your stool is likely to be green if you eat too much chlorophyll-rich leafy greens and take food supplements, like spirulina, chlorella and wheatgrass. But, be aware of any possibility that you may suffer from Crohn’s disease, irritable Bowel Syndrome or celiac disease.
Yellowish poop may indicate that you have an infection. Sometimes it is a sign of gallbladder dysfunction, which means there is poor bile output and excess fats.
Bile duct obstruction or insufficient bile may be the reason your stool is pale, clay-like or white. Gallstones, hepatitis, bacterial infection, pancreatitis, cirrhosis and cancer may be some of the causes. Plus, having an x-ray with barium may also affect the color.
Black or dark green feces could be caused by bleeding in the upper gut area. But, it may be just a result of iron consumption or foods like dark veggies and too much meat. If this is the reason, the color will soon return to normal by itself, unless you do not do anything to change this dietary habit.
It is usually caused by obstructions in the lower bowel or an external pressure on the colon, usually from an abnormal growth. This condition usually requires colonoscopy in order to exclude the possibility of colon cancer.
Small and hard stool
It is a common sign of constipation, usually caused by unhealthy, low-fiber diet. Eat more foods rich in fiber and exercise regularly. Psyllium husk and ground flaxseeds will also improve your bowel movement.
Soft stool that clings to the toilet
It could be a result of body’s inability to absorb oils, a condition which is accompanied with oil droplets that float in the toilet. You may want to check your pancreas.
Mucus in stool
It is quite normal to have mucus in the stool. But, if you notice too much of it, you may be dealing with inflammation, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Leukocytes (white blood cells) in stool
Leukocytes are present in the stool in cases of digestive tract disorder.
Yes, you know how poop smells. But, if your bathroom stinks for too long after you have been there, this has to be associated with your dietary habit or the time that has passed since the last time you used the bathroom. Foul smell is sometimes caused by some medications or inflammation. Food malabsorption will also make your poop smelly. Check for any possibility that you have Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or cystic fibrosis.
It is nothing to worry about. The amount of gas in the feces will determine whether it will float or sink. But, floating, foul-smelling and oily stool may indicate malabsorption of nutrients, especially if it is followed by weight loss.
Check your stool more often. Once you determine what is normal for you, you will easily spot any changes, differences and detect potential dangers.
How often should you visit the toilet?
First, you have to determine what is normal for you. Experts say that three trips to the toilet per day to three per week are just normal. But, many factors may influence the frequency of your defecation, such as dietary habits, travel, medication, hormonal fluctuations, sleep patterns, exercise, illness, surgery, childbirth, and stress are some of the causes.
Keep an eye on the strain your ‘pooping process’ requires. Normal defecation should require the same strain as urinating and passing gas. If it requires too much effort, it means that something is wrong.
How to improve your bowel movement?
Healthy and balanced diet
Eat more fruits and veggies, as they contain enough fiber. Psyllium and freshly ground flax seed can provide you more fiber.
Stay away from processed foods and foods that are packed with sugar, artificial sweeteners and chemical additives.
Balance your gut flora
Add more probiotic products to your diet, such as sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, and kefir. You may want to replenish the good bacteria in your gut after an antibiotic therapy. If you cannot solve your problem with probiotic food, consider supplementing with probiotics.
Drink plenty of water
Go more often to the gym or find what exercises work best for you and do them at home.
Check the video below and see what does your poop tell you about your health:
Cleanse your colon, because it is a vital part of the digestive tract. There is nothing better than a healthy digestive system. Look for the most effective way to cleanse your colon.
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