Evaluating Your Poop, To Determine Your State Of Health

Poop (n.) “excrement,” 1744, a children’s euphemism, probably of imitative origin. The verb in this sense is from 1903. The same word in the sense “to break wind softly” is attested from 1721; earlier “to make a short blast on a horn” (late 14c.).

No matter your social status, political lean, religion, weight, gender, or dietary preference, we all share the bodily function of taking a shite, poo, dropping a deuce, or going number two. As a sign of solidarity, I’m sharing with you one of the tools I use to determine the state of one’s diet and overall health.

The five components below will temporarily change from time to time based on many factors. Don’t worry about these times unless they persist. It’s more important how you routinely make your deposit at the porcelain bank that counts. Optimally we want all five components to be in 98% of the time. If one or more are not where they should be, on a consistent basis, then you should get checked out to see where the cause is coming from.

Not to be dreck, butt, it’s time to back the big brown caddy out of the garage and check out the dooky.

1. How often do you poop? If you do a stinky one to three times per day, every day, give yourself a high-five. Your GI system is responsive and moving as it should.

2. What is the consistency of your poop?  A healthy bowel movement should rate type 4 on the Bristol Stool Scale. A combination type 3, almost 4 or type 4, almost 5 would be okay as well. The consistency of your BM is an amazing tool when assessing your stool. A number 2 that’s too hard is a common indicator of not enough water, salt, or good fat in your diet. Too soft, the worse of the two, can be a sign of lack of fiber or more importantly, a GI bacterial infection. It’s best to be “just right” in the middle. Tip: If you have to do a full second round of wiping, it’s too soft. If there’s fresh blood on the paper it usually means it’s too hard. Get yourself checked out.

Optimum Consistency – Bristol Stool Chart

Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft. This form is normal for someone defecating once daily. The diameter is 1 to 2 cm (0.4–0.8”). The larger diameter suggests a longer transit time or a large amount of dietary fiber in the diet, which is okay if that is the case.

Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily). It is typical for a person who has stools twice or three times daily, after major meals. The diameter is 1 to 1.5 cm (0.4–0.6”). As with type 4, a larger diameter suggests a large amount of dietary fiber in the diet, which is okay if that is the case.

3. How easy is it for the poop to come out? You should never have to strain, nor should it be diarrhea. Again, it should be somewhere in the middle. Straining because your stool is too hard or you are rushing it can lead to hemorrhoids and rectal tearing. If your BM’s are always loose then it’s a sign that something is very off and needs to be checked out. Loose bowels or constipation as your routine bowel movement is not normal.

4. Do you get all the poop out?  If it feels as though you are not evacuating completely then there may be a need to increase intestinal muscle and nerve tone. This can be helped with increased water, salt, fiber and/or fat intake. If the opposite is true and you are going more than three times per day, you need to get it checked out. The loss of electrolytes alone will eventually create additional problems that are even harder to fix.

5. What is the color and smell of your poop? A healthy bowel movement is usually light to dark brown. If the color is consistently different or changes abruptly then go to “stool colors” below and see someone who can help to determine the cause.

Feces stink. Those on a traditional Western diet and/or those whose food sits longer in their colon have smellier potty animals. If there is an underlying bacterial infection, it can also create a foul smelling BM. In contrast, those on a clean diet and who are going number two at least once or twice a day, have very little to no odor. Excessive odor, like a change in color, is a sign that something is non-optimum with your health or diet. One easy fix for both is to increase green leafy vegetable intake. Chlorophyll, what makes a plant green, is a total body deodorizer.

Stool Colors and Possible Rationale

Light to dark brown color is the normal color of a healthy BM.

Black color could be blood from an ulcer in the stomach or a lesion in the small intestine. It could also be from iron supplements  or other medications.

Red color could be from more localized bleeding. Hemorrhoids or a rectal lesion may cause a bright red coloration. Eating beets or drinking beet juice will also cause this.

White, yellow or very light colored stool can be a sign of liver or gallbladder disease. Hepatitis and bile obstruction are the most common causes of light-colored toilet trinkets.

Green color can mean that your food is moving too quickly through the GI tract; you are supplementing with chlorophyll or spirulina; parasites; or you are on antibiotics

As always, if you need assistance in getting your diet or body dialed-in you know where to find me.

The Friday Five

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Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.

Dr. Ettinger

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Marcus Ettinger

Medical Detective & Digestion Coach at Advanced Healing Center of Orange
If you would like a personalised solution for your health challenge, either in-office or as a distance patient, please call us at 714-639-4360 for more information.