Parents talk and share about their kids poops but not their own. Adults don’t’ talk about bowel movement (BM) with peers so they may not be aware of abnormal BM, only later to find out that they are having some gastrointestinal problems or other serious illness. Don’t take your poop and BM for granted.
Unhealthy bowel movements are an indication of unhealthy digestion. As they say, “You are what you eat”, but you are also what you don’t digest.
First, we definitely should know what healthy poop is
- Soft, but formed
- Medium-light brown in color
- Consistent shape and color throughout
- Easy to pass
- Natural smell, not repulsive
- 12 inches per day (whether in one big 12-inch poop, two 6-inch poops or three 4-inch poops) 2 to 3 the size of a small banana is perfect!!!
- Floating is the best (but if you are not vegan, you might not see one)
How long the transit time takes?
Normally, digested food should move through the colon in approximately 18 hours, from start to finish. However, Dr. Oz says, “A steak dinner can take you two, maybe three days to get out of your intestine. What that means is the way you digest it is basically to rot it in your intestines. On the other hand, if you eat vegetables and fruits, they’re out of your system in less than 12 hours.”
To check your bowel transit time, a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Counselor, Alison Anton gives you a tip. “Drink 8 ounces of beet juice or take 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Note the time, and check your poops consistently for the next day or two. You should be able to see a reddish hue if you drank the beet juice, or see the little seeds. If you see the evidence well before 18 hours, your transit time may be too quick. If two days have passed before seeing any evidence, you transit time may be too long.”
Also, you need to make sure your BM is consistent. Naturopathic Doctor, Sorai Susanne S. Stuart, PhD ND says, “It may be said that almost every chronic disease known is directly or indirectly due to the influence of bacterial poisons absorbed from the intestines. The colon is a sewage system, your personal garbage disposal, by neglect and abuse it transforms into a cesspool. When it is clean and normal we feel healthy and balanced; allow it to stagnate, and it will distill the poisons of decay, fermentation and purification into the blood thus poisoning the brain and nervous system so that one becomes mentally depressed and irritable; it will poison the heart so that one is weak and listless; poisons the lungs so that the breath is foul; poisons the digestive organs so that one is distressed and bloated; and poisons the blood so that the skin is sallow and unhealthy. In short, every organ of the body becomes poisoned, we age prematurely, look and feel old, joints are stiff and painful; neuritis, dull eyes and a sluggish brain overtakes one’s health, thus the pleasure of living and thoroughly enjoying life is gone.”
A distended abdomen is a definite sign of a more serious large intestinal problem. Obvious symptoms are halitosis, foul-smelling stools, acne, skin rashes and irritations, lower back pain, knee pains, flatulence (gas), diarrhea, headaches, sinus infections, excess mucus, constipation, fatigue, painful joints, insomnia, bladder infections, prostate discomfort, depression, mood swings, low-sex
drive, abdominal bloat, nausea, and anxiety. Autointoxication plays a large role in the development of diseases in the female genito-urinary apparatus; this may be regarded as intestinal stasis. Potential misdiagnosed gallbladder ailments are possibly severe blockages within the large intestinal hepatic flexure. Stuart who specialized in colonics says many symptoms or problems are reduced or possibly eliminated once intestines are cleaned.
So, as I said in the beginning, you can’t ignore unhealthy digestion. Please check your poop every time you have and exam that:
- If Your Stool Looks BLACK, TARRY, AND STICKY It Could Mean:
Bleeding in your upper digestive tract. The black color comes from digested blood cells.
- If Your Stool Looks VERY DARK BROWN It Could Mean:
You drank red wine last night or have too much salt or not enough vegetables in your diet.
- If Your Stool Looks GLOWING RED OR MAGENTA It Could Mean:
You’ve eaten a lot of reddish foods such as beets.
- If Your Stool Looks LIGHT GREEN It Could Mean:
You’re consuming too much sugar, or too many fruits and vegetables with not enough grains or salt.
- If Your Stool Looks PALE OR CLAY-COLORED It Could Mean:
Minimal amounts of bile are being excreted, perhaps because of problems with the gallbladder or liver.
- If Your Stool Looks BLOODY OR MUCUS-COVERED It Could Mean:
Hemorrhoids, an overgrowth of certain bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, colitis (inflammation of the colon), Crohn’s disease (also known as inflammatory bowel disease), or colon cancer. Red blood usually means the ailment is located near the end of your digestive tract, whereas black blood signals partially digested blood coming from an ailment higher up the tract. Seek medical advice promptly.
- If Your Stool Looks PENCIL-THIN AND RIBBON-LIKE It Could Mean:
A polyp or growth in your colon that narrows the passage for stool. Or spastic colon. It can also be from a prolapse at either side of the transverse colon constricting the colon and lack of fiber.
- If Your Stool Looks LARGE AND FLOATING, WITH GREASY FILM ON TOILET WATER It Could Mean:
Malabsorption — your digestive system isn’t getting full nutritional use of food.
- If Your Stool Looks LOOSE AND WATERY, SOMETIMES DIARRHEA WITH UNDIGESTED FOODSTUFFS It Could Mean:
Possible causes are food poisoning, lactose intolerance, antibiotics, antacids, dietary intolerance, dietary changes, travel, anxiety, stress, inflammatory bowel disease, or irritable bowel syndrome.
- If Your Stool Looks SMALL, HARD, ROUND PELLETS It Could Mean:
Constipation-even if you’re defecating frequently. Possible causes are eating too much dry food, including protein, and not enough vegetables and raw foods; laxative abuse; worries; or irritable bowel syndrome.
- If Your Stool (Has) ALTERNATING BOUTS OF DIARRHEA & CONSTIPATION It Could Mean:
Irritable bowel syndrome. This chronic condition can be aggravated by red meat, spices, sugar, alcohol, LACK of fiber, allergy-causing foods, irregular hours, and chaotic relationships.
- If Your Stool (Is) REALLY BAD SMELLING It Could Mean:
An imbalance of intestinal bacteria or eating too much animal protein, which can putrefy in your digestive tract.
If your stool-watching isn’t winning any awards, you might want to try a Colon Cleanse before joining the ISWA (International Stool-Watchers Association 🙂
8 thoughts on “How regular are you?”
I love this article, Kaoru. It’s an eye opener with great information on a topic that most would never want to publicly discuss (but secretly want to know). 🙂
I know we should talk more openly about POOP!
Very informative Kaoru. Thanks for doing the research.
Thanks for the comment!
I have been suffering from pancreatitis and it is due to my gallbladder and my bm has been anything but normal… I was doing research and came across your post!… Thank you for not shying away and posting!… More people should be more concerned about there health and less about what might be embarrassing!!!…
Thank you for the comment. I totally agree with you that we should discuss more openly about our bowl movement. It is nothing to embarrassed about!
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Thanks for the comment. I need to work on that…