Hi, my name is Samantha and today I would like to talk to you about poop. That’s right, POOP. “What Your Poop Is Trying To Tell You” might not be the prettiest topic for a blog post, but there’s a lot to learn from this mundane, yet necessary, process. Poop provides us with valuable information about what’s going on inside our bodies. It may seem strange, but taking note of your poop gives you substantial insight into your digestion, organ function, gut bacteria, and more. Keep an eye on it or keep a poop journal, if you’re super into owning your body’s data, like me. It’s a great indicator of how your diet and supplements are affecting your gut and digestion, and whether you’re making progress towards better health.
So without further ado, let’s get straight to the poop … I mean point.
What Your Poop Is Trying To Tell You
If you’ve ever researched anything regarding bowel movements, you’ve probably seen the Bristol Stool Scale, which lists seven different types of poo. The information is broken up into seven categories based on a 2,000-person study, and it makes bowel movement knowledge basic and easy to understand.
Type 1: Dry, hard pellets that resemble marbles or jelly beans. This type of poop suggests that you are constipated. It could be dehydration, stress, or a nutrient deficiency. If you have chronic constipation, you might consider getting your thyroid checked out. If you have an underactive thyroid, you will not produce enough hormones, thus slowing down your metabolism. A slow metabolism results in a slowdown of the entire digestive process, which leads to constipation.
Type 2: Dry, sausage-shaped with a bunch of lumps possibly resembling a caterpillar or a nut-filled candy bar. This type of poop suggests that you are mildly constipated.
Type 3: Sausage-shaped with cracks on its surface. This type of poop is considered normal. Just watch your water intake to prevent constipation.
Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges. This type of poop is leaning towards diarrhea. It could be that you are not getting enough soluble fiber or that you do not have enough good bacteria in your gut.
Type 6: Mushy with ragged edges. This type of poop suggests mild diarrhea. It indicates that you are dealing with inflammation. You might have had a food that has upset your stomach, or you could be dealing with leaky gut.
Type 7: Watery with no solid form. This is straight up liquid diarrhea. This type of poo suggests that you have severe inflammation. If it was a one-time thing, it was most likely from something you ate. If you have chronic diarrhea, it could be a gut imbalance, leaky gut, food allergies/sensitivities you are unaware of, IBS, or Chrons Disease. It’s a good idea to get your thyroid checked if you have consistent diarrhea as this type of poo (combined with other symptoms as well) could also suggest an overactive thyroid.
If you are consistently constipated do this …
- Drink more water.
- Check your diet. Are you eating high quality fruits and vegetables? Incorporate more leafy greens and healthy fats such as avocado and salmon.
- Ditch processed foods.
- Do some form of physical activity for 30 minutes each day, even if it’s just a stroll in the neighborhood.
- Start supplementing with magnesium.
- If none of the above work, consider getting checked out by a doctor to see if you have hypothyroidism.
If you are consistently dealing with loose stools do this …
- Stay hydrated.
- Stay away from foods that you have sensitivities to. If you are unaware of your food sensitivities, keep a food journal and track your bowel movements.
- Consume more fiber.
- Ditch processed foods.
- Eliminate gluten, grains, seeds, legumes, dairy, and alcohol, which can affect your stomach lining and alter the range of your gut bacteria.
- Supplement with prebiotic-rich foods, and high-quality probiotics.
- If none of the above work, consider getting checked out by a doctor to see if you have hyperthyroidism.
- Should my poop float or sink? Generally, poop should sink. If your poop is solid and occasionally floats, it could just be that you ate a considerable amount of fiber that day. If it floats often, that’s an indication of poor nutrient absorption.
- How often should I poop? If you go one to three times a day, this is a good sign. Generally, a healthy bowel movement should take no more than 3-10 minutes. It should be painless, and you should feel somewhat complete after you finish. If you are going less than three times a week, you are constipated and need to drink more water. If you go more than three times a day, you might need more fiber in your diet, you might have unknown food sensitivities, or you could be dealing with something more severe and need to see a doctor.
- What color should my poop be? Normal poop is usually brown or green. Pale, light-colored clay-like stool suggests a problem with your digestive system and is not normal. Red or black stool indicates that you may have some internal bleeding. **Side note – Beets will make your poop red.**
- What are the symptoms of abnormal poop? Pooping too little (constipation), pooping too often, diarrhea, blood in stool, excessive straining, greasy fatty-stool, painful bowel movements, and mucus in your poop.
So, what is your poo telling you? Are you doing alright or can you stand to make a little im-poo-vment?