Leave your embarrassment at the (bathroom) door. Helping you be your healthiest is our passion, and a big indicator of your health status can be found in the toilet bowl.
Paying attention to what your poo is telling you can be a great way to increase your awareness of what good health looks, feels, and yes, even smells like.
Yes, ladies and gents, it’s time to talk turd.
11 Things to Know About Your #2
- On average, a person excretes about an ounce of poop for each 12 pounds of their body weight. For example, if you weigh 160 lbs., you’re likely to be eliminating just under a pound of stool each day.
- Ever wonder why poop is brown? It gets its color from bile (which is released by the liver to aid in the digestion of fats), which is a dark greenish brown color. If it comes out pale or clay colored, there could be an issue with your liver or gall bladder, such as gall stones or an obstruction of bile flow. If you notice it once in a while, there’s likely no reason for concern. However if it’s a prolonged issue, you may want to consult your medical practitioner.
- Greasy stool, or noticing a greasy sheen on the surface of the toilet water, occurs when excess fats are passed along with the elimination. This could be a result of poor digestion, malabsorption, or after consuming high levels of oils or fats through your food.
- Position can help. If you struggle with regular BMs, a small stool to put your feet on like the Squatty Potty, can make a huge difference. (Plus, their informational video on YouTube is hilarious. You’ll know you’re watching the right one when you see the unicorn…)
- Stool transit time is a way to know if food is moving through your digestive tract at a proper rate. Too fast (diarrhea’s an easy example), and you’re likely not absorbing all the nutrients from what you eat. Too slow, and you may be constipated and not eliminating toxins properly. “Optimal” transit time is considered 18-36 hours, though 12-72 hours is considered normal. You can test at home by consuming 2 tsp white sesame seeds (chewing as little as possible) or charcoal tablets and then measuring how long it takes to see the results in the toilet bowl. The amount of time from ingestion to seeing clear results will tell you your “transit time.”
- Compared to size and shape, the smell of “#2” is less talked about, but can still tell you a lot about your health. Of course it won’t smell like roses, but it shouldn’t be incredibly, unbelievably stinky. (As in, the person coming into the stall after you shouldn’t need a gas mask and air freshener.) Extremely foul-smelling stool can be related to diet, an underlying medical issue (undiagnosed Crohn’s, celiac, etc) or could also be the result of passing excess fats (see above).
- Bitter taste stimulates peristalsis, the contractions that move food through your digestive system. (That’s why coffee seems to be so helpful in speeding things along.) Sub in some warm water with lemon or try a bitter tasting tea like roasted dandelion.
- Step away from the laxatives. Did you know that prolonged use of laxatives can make you dependent on them? As in, become unable to “go” without them? No Bueno. If you have chronic issues with constipation, chat with us about some less extreme solutions, like ColonRx. Many people first discover it during the 28 Day Cleanse – and we’ve had people report they’re finally “regular” for the first time in their lives. Many people also like to pack it when they go on vacation, when deviating from one’s routine can affect the rhythm of elimination.
- Most Americans don’t consume nearly enough fiber. (Do you know how much YOU get each day, btw?) Optimal intake is 35-50g, though individual requirements vary. Does that sound astronomically high? Start with a slightly lower goal of 25g daily, and see how that feels. In general, higher levels of fiber provide good results, but those who previously consumed very little fiber would want to increase their intake slowly. Don’t forget the PaleoFiber in your shake, as well as solid food veggies at your meals (or on the side of a shake meal!).
- Do you spend a ton of time on the can? Do you also have hemorrhoids? Spending excess time on the toilet means that much time is spent with your body weight applying pressure and stress to your rear end, and restricting blood flow around the anus. Not a good combination. If this is you, let us know you’re struggling and we can help (and so can the rest of this list!).
- Wonder why some BMs come out teeny tiny and others look like you’d find it behind the rear end of an elephant? The amount of fiber you consume is directly related to the size of your stool.
Don’t be embarrassed – remember that for us, talking about what happens behind closed (bathroom) doors is just another day at the office. Getting your BMs on track can make a huge difference in the quality of your life, and in many cases, just small tweaks can help immensely. Trust us, you’ll be poo-phoric!
Questions? Cambiati provides One-on-One Nutrition Counseling Services! Sign up here or call us in the office at (925) 280-4442 or even email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org