Is your bowel moving too fast or too slow?
People come to the clinic for bowel issues. They come generally, because their bowel is either moving too fast or too slow, or it’s a combination of both.
It could have been happening for a short time, or for a long time. People tend to wait a really long time before doing something about their bowel, and this can be problematic for a couple of reasons.
One is because it really impacts your life. So if something is happening to your bowel, don’t wait. Get it sorted really quickly because once you do, it can happen quickly. If you wait for too long, it becomes an ingrained problem.
Our bowel is controlled by smooth muscle, which sometimes makes it more difficult. Take for example constipation, the longer that happens, the more that smooth muscle gets stretched, and then it can’t go back to which way it was initially. It’s then best to do something about it as quick as you can.
The Perfect Poo
Let’s run through some of the things of what the perfect poo should be. And these are things that I have talked about extensively with clients over and over and over. I also have a basic quiz, that will give you an idea of where you should probably go next and what to do. And if you are ready, please click the button below.
So let’s talk about what it should be like in terms of going to for a poo, it should be every day. Even if your doctor tells you that it’s okay to go two times a week or every other day. Realistically, you should be going food in, food out and to say that you should go three times a day. But that’s not realistic. So I would say that as long as you’re going every day and that you’re feeling that it’s complete and easy to pass, they’re the really important things.
In terms of colour, what should that poo look like? Poo comes in a variety of colours, much to people’s disbelief, because most people just think it’s brown. It can range from white, mustard, green, brown or different shades of brown. We can get black or red.
There are reasons for some of the colours. So for me, if you’re having a white stool, you need to get that investigated. If you’ve got a yellow or green stool that can be gallbladders, so that needs a little bit of investigation as well. If your stool is red or black, if it’s Frank red blood, you should go and get that checked because you’re likely to have hemorrhoid, and that’s probably best nipped in the bud.
If your stool is black, there’s a couple of things that you should do. Assess what you’re eating. Are you having beetroot? Could that be turning it black or red? Are you taking charcoal or iron tablets? Because that can also make it quite dark. But if you’re not, then that’s an opportunity to go to the doctor and have it investigated.
If the shape and volume of the stool changes, and if you’re all passing really little thin, narrow stools, that should be investigated because you shouldn’t have a thin stool. If you’re eating the right volume of food, you should be having a well-formed stool.
So those are just a couple of things that you should go and get checked out. If that happens to you.
Does the poo sink or float?
This is a really important one because it tells a couple of things. The perfect poo should be like the Titanic. It should hit the surface of the water, then stay on top of the water for 3 seconds and then sink below. If it stays floating on the top, it means a couple of things. One, you’re not having enough fibre, and two, you are likely filled with gas.
Or you could have a fatal absorption, and that’s another thing. So you want to make sure that you are having adequate fibre, most people aren’t. So for a woman, the basic requirement for fibre in the diet is 28 grams, which is a lot. Not many people are eating that.
For men, it’s closer to 40 grams, and men are not eating that much either. So if you want the stool to sink to the bottom of the toilet, you need to make sure it’s got plenty of fibre.
The poo shouldn’t smell. You should be able to clear the room once you’ve had a poo. So if you’re doing this, there’s something else going on, and that could be lots of things – celiac disease, lactose intolerance or you could have an infection. You could have eaten something that just is not agreeing with you. You could have dysbiosis, which means an imbalance. These are some of the things that you should think about.
It shouldn’t be an offensive smell, it should be a normal natural smell. If it clings in the room, something is going on for you. It shouldn’t be overly smelly. It should just be a normal, natural smell, not offensive.
So if it clears the room, then something’s going on for you.
What is the perfect poo?
The perfect poo in terms of cleanup is when you wipe with toilet paper, and you don’t actually get any poo on the toilet paper, but that’s not always a physical reality for most people. So if you are struggling to get that stool out, they’ll be clean up. You’ll want to try and get the poo as close as you can to perfect the stage on toilet paper and it’s quick and easy.
What about if there is food in your poo? Now, this is a really big one and I see it over and over. Some examples are corn, tomato skin and capsicum skin. Those things are quite common because they’re really fibrous and cellulous and it doesn’t break down very well.
But other than that, if you’re seeing lots of food in your stool, it’s either you’re not breaking down the food very well – digestively, so it’s not broken down all the time and it gets into your bowel. And so then, look at hydrochloric acid and do you have the right nutrients on board to help with that?
Are you chewing properly?
If you’re not chewing properly, this will really impact how that food is broken down. Once it goes in our mouths, and the longer you can keep it in your mouth while chewing, the better it is for your digestive system.
Why? Because we have these little glands in our mouth that are secreting, amylase and enzymes to help break the carbohydrates. The longer we get that saliva over the real surface area of that food, the easier it is to break down and the better chance that we get when it gets to our stomach of digesting it.
Remember when the food goes from our stomach to our small intestines, it does so at 1 teaspoon at a time. So if you’re swallowing down big chunks of food, and you’re just taking two bites and then swallow, that’s really going to impact how you break down that food when it gets to your actual digestive system.
So make sure that you chew. Chewing is really difficult for a lot of people because we’re not actively thinking when we eat. So one of the things that you can do that is really helpful, is to take three deep breaths into your belly before you start a meal. Breathing allows your body to come out of that fight or flight state that you’ve been in and get into your body.
Because when we’re in fight or flight, our blood is being shunted away from our digestive system and it’s going to our limbs so we can run away. At that point in time, you’re not digesting anything. So it’s really beneficial for you to really take that deep breath, make sure your stress level is low around the meal and then eat.
How fast are you going to the bathroom?
Are you sitting there for half an hour? There’s something going on if that’s the case. Lots of people go and read their phones when they’re at work so they don’t have to do any work. That’s a different story.
So how often and how fast does it happen? You should get the signal to your brain and you shouldn’t ignore it, because the more you ignore it, the less the signal gets sent out. Eventually, that starts to lead to a constipation issue.
If you can go to the toilet at the moment, you get that signal from your brain. You’ve got to go sit down, do the work and be done really quickly. It shouldn’t be a really long-drawn-out process.
For people who are having bowel issues, buying a Squatty Potty, or one of those little stools, is the perfect thing to help with that especially with constipation. Why? It’s because the bowels in your rectum all have to open up and then line up. It’s really hard to do that when your feet are lower than your hips. If you get a little stool and put your hips up, it makes a really big difference to opening that valve and makes pooing a lot easier.
If you’re struggling, these are the things that I’d say on what a perfect poo looks like.
So if you’ve got any questions, you can book a FREE 15-minute GUT HEALTH ASSESSMENT with me by clicking the button below and I’ll answer those.