Is My Poop Normal?
As you probably know by now, as a Nutritionist I love talking about POOP!! 💩
Analysing our poop is the best way to understand what’s going on in your body. How your digestive system is working can be a total reflection of how your entire body is functioning!
It can even be affected by emotions (just think of the last time you were nervous for a presentation)…
You may get constipation or have diarrhea when you eat something that "doesn't agree with you," or when you're super-nervous about something.
And what about fiber and water? If you’re not getting enough, it’ll probably show in your poop.
What about the all-important gut microbes? If they're not happy, it'll probably show in your poop.
Did you know there is an “official” standard for poop? They’re sure is!
Meet the Bristol Stool Scale
The Bristol Stool Scale was created at the prestigious University of Bristol in the UK back in 1997. It’s used to help with the diagnosis of various bowel disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The scale breaks down type of poop into seven different categories ranging from type 1 which is very constipated, to type 7 which is diarrhea:
I put together an indepth breakdown of each type of stool, what it could mean, and how to correct it. CLICK here to download the Poop Chart now.
Other “poop” factors to consider
You probably guessed that the shapes described in the Bristol Stool Scale are not the only thing to consider for poop health.
Think about how often you go. At least once per day, up to 3 times per day is good. Less than one, or more than three can mean there is something going on.
What about how hard you have to try to go? You want it to be as effortless as possible.
And the colour? It should be brown from the bile that you need to break down the fats you ingest.
And if it’s green after a day of massive veggies (or chlorophyll), or red after that large glass of beet juice, you’re just fine.
But if you see an abnormal colour, like red or even black, that you can't explain based on what you ate or drank in the last day or two, you probably want to get that checked out.
What do you do when you have "imperfect" poo?
Well, the first thing to consider is how imperfect it is, and how often it is like that? Once in a while, things aren't going to be perfect, and that's A-OK.
If you know you need to get more fiber or water, that's a great place to start.
If you haven’t had enough probiotic foods, then try getting more of them.
If you’re super-stressed, then try deep breathing, meditating, or having a warm bath.
Oh, and don’t forget the two most basic pieces of nutrition advice:
- First, eat a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, including a lot of fruits & veggies (and their “fibrous” skins, wherever possible). The fiber in these is not only helpful for pushing food through your gut, but they also feed those millions of amazing helpful critters that live there (your friendly gut microbes.
- The second piece of advice is to eat slowly, and mindfully, chewing thoroughly.
These are good habits for anyone and everyone, even when you have perfect poop!
Of course, long-term issues might require a more thorough review with a qualified health care practitioner. Don't suffer from poop issues for too long before seeking help.
If you’re not sure why you’re having irregular bowel movements, or you can’t seem to regulate them, sign up for my free 30 min consultation and get your Whole Body Health Profile to see what underlying problem could be affecting your bowel movements.
P.S. Don't forget to download my Poop Chart!