The Scoop on Poop

By Tracy Gowler 4 years ago
Home  /  Autoimmune Disease  /  The Scoop on Poop

Crazy title?  Maybe for you.  Not for me. There isn’t a week, sometimes a day that goes by that I don’t discuss the scoop on poop.  Haha.  Gross, yes but the reality is you can’t get away from it.  Health and poop go hand in hand.

Why is that? 

Well, even if you don’t like talking about it, it is a necessary bodily function.  You can’t get away from it.  And it is the final form food takes in your body before exiting.  What you eat and drink will affect your poop.  The health of your digestive system will affect your poop.  The way your body eliminates toxins affects your poop.  I know.  How many times can I say poop?  Well, I suspect a few more times at the very least.  Haha.

How can poop give us clues into your health?  Color, consistency, how often you go.  Recent changes tell a story.  Changes in the smell or just foul-smelling poop.  All of these can tell us a story, and everyone is different.

Let’s talk about some of these.

Color – mostly impacted by the food we eat and things we drink.  But, here are some considerations for color changes if they don’t vary in color.

  1. Light colored poop – can indicate inflammation or infection in your liver or gallbladder or even your pancreas. It could also indicate a blockage in your bile duct.
  2. Black poop – can be due to foods you are eating like licorice (yum) or blueberries. It can also be due to supplements like Iron.  Or if you are on a binder like charcoal, it can definitely turn your poop a nice shade of black.  It can also be an indicator of bleeding or tumors in your digestive system.
  3. Red poop – can be caused by blood in your stool. Can be a result of constipation and hard stools.  Can be due to your period if you are a female.  But it can be a sign of more serious issues like bleeding in the rectum or anus, blood vessel issues.  It could be due to stomach issues or blockage by a foreign object.  It can also be due to cancer.

The reality is that all of these are concerns if they are not due to supplements or food you have been taking. If they continue, it is best to have yourself checked out.

How often should you poop?

Not really a standard because everyone is different.  However, you shouldn’t have days between sitting on the toilet.  You should be going every day, at least once.

Changes to your poop – this is not an issue unless the change becomes more permanent.  We expect changes based on changes to our diet and environment and stress levels.

What if it floats?  This can highlight a nutrient absorption issue.  It can also indicate you have too much gas.  Pancreatitis and an infection can also be reason your poop might float.

Peewwww.  Now we now it will never smell like roses.  Haha. But it shouldn’t change. The smell should be relatively consistent and not foul smelling.  If it does smell foul and is not due to food changes and is consistently foul, it can indicate illness.  If it doesn’t clear up, it would be good to be proactive in understanding what might be going on.

Consistency – again, not a concern unless you find it isn’t shifting back to something more normal for you, your healthy normal.

  1. Diarrhea – This means not solid and more than 3 times in a day. It could be because you have eaten or been exposed to something your body doesn’t like.  It could be due to stress.  It could be due to pathogens in your gut.  If you are sick it could be due to a virus.  Medications can contribute.  It can also be due to illnesses that have to do with your colon or digestive system.  It should go away on its own.  If it doesn’t, that is a bigger issue that is not normal and should be evaluated.  Particularly in children as it is so much easier for them to become dehydrated.
  2. Constipation – not going daily and poop is hard, usually dry and very difficult to move. Could also be like little rabbit pellets.  Can suggest issues with your diet or water intake.  Fiber may need to be increased.  Water may need to be increased as dehydration does contribute to constipation.  Medications can contribute as can exercise or lack of.
  3. Oily or Greasy – could be due to your bodies inability to digest fat. Can also be due to gut infections or illness.
  4. Pencil Thin – not a problem unless it continues to be thin. It could indicate a blockage in the colon and should be looked at.

If you are interested the internet is full wonderful information, haha, but the quickest way to check out what your poop might be telling you is the Bristol Stool chart.  It will give you a visual and explanation of the various possibilities.  It really is a good indicator of health.  Check it out.

Hope you have a great rest of your week. Chat again soon.

  Autoimmune Disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Health, Healthy kids, Healthy Lifestyle, Tracy's Corner
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 Tracy Gowler

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