- First up, you want to be going daily. At least once a day, better if you go twice. And one of those poops should be a whopper. Yep – size really does matter when it comes to your BMs. Women who poop less than once every 3 days have a five times increased risk of breast cancer. One of the reasons why is because we poop out excess estrogen from the body. Pooping is also essentially “taking out the garbage” and when you don't take out the garbage it putrefies and toxins build up in your system, and proper detoxification is crucial for cancer prevention. So what can you do to ensure you're pooping on the daily? A few things. Increase your fibre to at least 30g / day. If you're not eating much currently then do this slowly. Do this by consuming vegetables. Ideally, you want to be eating 8 serves of vegetables daily (one serve is 1/2 C chopped veggies, 1/2 C cooked leafy greens, or 1 C raw leafy greens). Ensure you're drinking enough water too. You want to aim for half your body weight in pounds, in ounces of water each day. You can also take vitamin C or magnesium citrate to bowel tolerance. Simply start low and build up until you have loose poops. Once you do, back off and see if you can keep yourself regular by drinking enough water and eating enough fibre. And if these things don't work then you must check your thyroid. Not just TSH, T4 and T3 but also reverse T3 and your antibodies. Another thing that might be gumming up the works is that your gallbladder isn't functioning properly. This is a huge reason for constipation. If this is the case you're going to want to consider ox bile, taurine, and phosphatidylcholine.
- The next thing you want to ensure is that your poop is the right consistency. You don't want it to be too watery or diarrhea. You have no idea how many people I know who have been suffering with diarrhea for months, even a year! Yet their GPs have no clue what to do about it. If you have diarrhea then you have something going on in your gut to cause said diarrhea. The trick is to find a functional health practitioner, such as myself, who can suggest the proper testing to get to the root cause, (you can contact me to set up a free 15 min consult here). If you have diarrhea this means you aren't absorbing your nutrients. And if you aren't absorbing your nutrients you won't have the essential building blocks you require for health and disease prevention. You also don't want your poop to be hard and pebble-like. This is constipation. What you want to be looking for is an easy to pass bowel movement that is smooth and log-like. You want it to be relatively thick, because thin bowel movements give us a clue that your gut is constricted – usually due to stress. The worse case scenario is that you have an obstruction in your bowel causing pencil-thin poops. The best thing you can do is check out the bristol stool chart in my Healthy Gut Guide 12 page e-book to see where your poops rate on the scale of good to bad. (Be sure to forward this email to anyone you know who could use this information).
- You don't want your poops to float or be greasy. If your poops are floating this can mean you're not absorbing your fats. This could be due to a liver and/or gallbladder issue. You have to absorb your fats. If you don't you'll be deficient in fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K – which are all crucial to optimal health. If you do have floating and greasy poops then you want to work with a functional health practitioner to support your liver and gallbladder.
- Foul smelling poops also aren't great news. Sure, no one's poop smells like roses but if you find yourself repulsed by your own BMs then this is an indication that something ain't right in your gut. Dysbiosis, (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria) could be a contributing factor. If your poop smells like sulfur this is usually a sign that you are molybdenum deficient.
- The colour of your poop is important. If it's very dark brown or black this could be a sign of internal bleeding higher up in the GI tract. Red stools on the other hand, may be a sign there's bleeding lower in the GI tract, (but rule out the consumption of foods such as beets before you get alarmed). White or grey poops are often a sign of a liver or gallbladder issue. Yellow stools may be an indication that you aren't digesting your fats. You want your poop to be a nice brown colour.
- Finally, if you use a lot of toilet paper this isn't a great sign either. This is often a sign of excess mucous in the intestinal tract. You may find that eating a lot of sugar or consuming alcohol will increase your mucous production. Having to use a lot of toilet paper when you wipe is a sign that things inside your gut need to be addressed.
If you can relate to any of the symptoms I've mentioned above you may want to do a GI Map stool test. This is the test that every one of my clients does. Why? Because all health begins in the gut and that's why when I work with my one on one clients we always start in the gut. No matter what your symptom or health condition is, your gut is likely to blame. If you want to chat about how I might be able to help you with your symptoms please reach out here to set up a free 15 min consultation.
In happiness and health,