Toilet Bowl Detective: Poo’s Clues to Your Health
Do you sometimes look back after a visit to the toilet and wonder…
Should it look like that??
We won’t even get into aromas! Those can also make you wonder if there’s something wrong with you, for sure. [Cue the non-toxic odor spray]
Fact is, your bowel movements DO hold clues to your overall health. Particularly your digestive system.
AND, there are also perfectly normal things that happen all the time that are actually nothing to worry about. 💩
There’s a wide range of what is normal when it comes to poop, so there’s typically no reason to worry over a few unusual movements or a slightly abnormal stool. (Even doctors can’t always tell when a stool is an abnormal color or shape.)
Here are some factors to consider when you want to determine if your BMs are trying to tell you something.
What Should It Look Like?
The Bristol stool form scale is the common standard in clinical research and medical practice, even occasionally in popular media. On this scale, there are 7 types of stool.
It’s said that both medical pros and patients can visually match a stool sample correctly more than 80% of the time. It’s easier to determine clear abnormalities (like Type I or VII) than it is others, though.
The weakness of this scale is that when there’s less of a clear difference (like between Type II or III), the distinction and how people see and interpret samples can vary.
You might call it a grey area. Or should I say, brown area?? 😀
Is Variation Normal?
It’s definitely normal. In fact often people have different types of stools at different times on the same day.
In one study of menstruating women, the women tended to have both more constipation and more diarrhea during the week of their periods. Their Bristol stool form scale numbers also changed the most during this week.
Why Does The Shape Change So Much?
Simply put: Form relates to function. Because the colon is responsible for water absorption, the longer the stool stays in the colon, the more water is absorbed from it.
This then causes the stool to become dry and hard to pass. The slower stool moves through the colon, the more likely it is to come out as a type I or type II stool.
Interestingly, the bacterial composition of the colon and the stool also changes with how quickly the stool moves through the colon.
Water, fiber and your microbiome also determine exactly how (and how fast) your waste is evacuated.
As usual, what you EAT and your NUTRITION are the biggest factors in ensuring a healthy poo.
Meanwhile, if you want even more insights into how your poop should look…
Or to find answers to burning questions like:
Why is it that color?
How big should it be?
Do I need a probiotic?
And much more…
You really should download The Health-Conscious Person’s Guide to Poop. No cost. An easy, informative read that we know you’ll enjoy! Anyone with toilet troubles can benefit from this free report. Can you guess which cheesy joke near the end is our fave??