It’s something that everyone does, but few people ever want to talk about. Pooping is a fact of life and it’s something that you better know how to optimize if you want to get your health on track.
If you have ever inspected your bowels and wondered what exactly they are trying to tell you, especially if they are not of the norm, we have your answers here.
Check out the video below, which will give you the scoop on poop.
Now that you have that primer, let’s look further into some of the facts on poop and what they mean for you.
1. Got Hard Painful Poop?
Does it feel like you’re trying to give birth because you’re straining so hard to pass your bowels? If so, this is a sure-fire sign you are constipated. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you are still pooping, you aren’t constipated. If your bowels are exceptionally hard, this is classified as constipation as well.
Likewise, if your poop is coming out in small pebble-like pieces rather than one long smooth piece, that too is sign of constipation.
The best way to remedy this situation is to start adding more fiber to your diet plan and consider drinking more water as well. Women should be aiming for about 35 grams of dietary fiber a day while men should be aiming for about 38 grams.
Just don’t add all the fiber into your diet at once. Doing so may lead to the opposite problem and cause a serious case of diarrhea.
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2. Discolored Poop
While your poop color may vary day to day based on what you eat, if you notice it’s bright red or black in color, this is a sign that your G.I. tract is bleeding somewhere along the line.
Often this is due to a case of hemorrhoids, however sometimes it may be due to an ulcer in your stomach or even colon cancer.
If this continues for more than a day or two, it’s time to consult your doctor.
Do note if you have recently taken Pepto-Bismol (or a similar product) to relieve heartburn or indigestion, this can turn your bowels black as well, in which case there is likely no cause for concern.
3. Very Loose Stools
If your stools are very loose and happening more than once a day and it is not diarrhea, this could be an indicator that you may have celiac disease.
Celiac disease is a lot less common than many people believe (due to the recent explosion of gluten free products, more people believe they have this condition than actually do), but even still, it’s worth getting checked out for.
If you do have celiac disease, you could do great damage to your G.I system if you continue eating foods that contain the protein gluten found in grains.
Other subtle signs that may indicate you suffer from celiac disease include high levels of fatigue, pain, bloating, as well as feelings of depression. Of course these can be related to other problems as well however, so they can’t be a firm diagnosis on their own.
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4. Got Floaters?
Most of us have been there – you look down to discover that your poop is floating rather than sinking. What does this mean?
When you have floating poop, this typically happens when you have a high amount of gas in your digestive tract and it’s causing the poop to be buoyant.
The good news is this, on occasion, is not cause for concern. It simply means that you probably ate some foods that caused you to become gassy, such as beans, sprouts, and cabbage. If you have recently noticed that you are quite gassy, then likely you’ll have your answer right there.
Refrain from these foods for a day or two if it’s bothering you and you should find that your floating poop issue resolves itself.
5. Poop With An Oil-Stick Appearance
On the other hand though, if your poop is floating and it also has an oil-slick like appearance, this could indicate that your body isn’t absorbing the fats you are eating that well and as such, this is cause for concern.
It may be that you have an excessive amount of inflammation or an infection in your pancreas, which is hindering enzyme production.
When this is the case, you’ll want to see your doctor to identify if you do in fact have an infection or excessive inflammation and treat the underlying cause.
In addition to that, you may also consider taking a quality digestive enzyme product such as MassZymes to help restore the enzymes you need to break down these fats properly. This will go a long way towards ensuring that you don’t continue to experience this problem into the future.
6. Pencil-Thin Poop
Another thing to watch for is pencil-thin poop. Usually this happens if you are simply constipated due to trying to push it out. If that’s the case and it’s only been going on for a day or two, chances are, there’s no need to worry.
If it’s been going on for more than a few days however, it could be indicative of rectal cancer.
In this case, you’ll definitely want to make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out. They’ll be able to perform a colonoscopy and let you know exactly what’s going on and whether this is a concern.
7. You Have More Than One Poop A Day
Do you feel like you’re always in the bathroom pooping? If you are going two or even three times per day, you may wonder what’s up.
But, the good news is this can be normal for some individuals. There is no specific ‘normal’ frequency when it comes to poop and it will all depend on your diet and activity level.
What you do need to watch for is dramatic changes in frequency that happen all of a sudden. If you are a three-poops-a-day kind of person and then you go down to having just one without any other changes, that may be cause for concern.
Or likewise, if you normally have just one bowel movement and then are having three or four without adding any fiber to your diet, it may be time to book an appointment with your doctor.
The main thing to watch for is your comfort. If you feel comfortable, chances are, you are going at a frequency level that is right for you.
8. Smelly Stool
Most people are well aware of the fact that poop is not going to smell good. But what if your poop is so smelly, anyone who walks by the bathroom door in the next hour or two nearly passes out?
Is that cause for concern? It seems not. The various foods you eat can impact the scent of the bowels you produce, so some variation is normal and some days, it may be more potent than others.
Just be sure to turn on the fan and forewarn your family members when it happens and that’s your best remedy for this situation.
How To Become A Perfect Pooper In 4 Steps:
Now that you know what your poop is trying to tell you about your health, what steps can you take to improve your poop? Turns out, pooping perfectly doesn’t have to be that great of a challenge.
Here are some key facts to know.
1. Stay Hydrated
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to improve your poop and bowel frequency is to ensure you are staying well-hydrated. Slight amounts of dehydration can decrease the frequency in which you have a bowel movement and can also cause your stools to become hard and painful to pass.
This is especially important for those who exercise regularly and for those who are traveling on a frequent basis. Flying can cause dehydration in itself, so extra water is required to combat this.
If you happen to be flying across different time zones, you might consider using a natural supplement like melatonin to help maintain more normalized circadian rhythms. When your natural circadian rhythm is thrown off, this too can make it harder for you to maintain normal bowel functions.
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2. Banish Sugary Beverages
By now you should already realize that sugar-laden drinks – soft drinks, milkshakes, energy drinks, gourmet coffee, even that fruit juice you may have with breakfast are all no-no’s if you hope to maintain your body weight. These beverages simply tack on too many empty calories and what’s worse, can cause you to feel hungrier after drinking them. You’ll get a blood glucose spike that’s quickly followed by a crash, making it nearly impossible to control your hunger.
But now, there’s more reason to avoid these choices. When you drink sugary drinks like this, you are basically providing the energy that the bacteria in your body love to feed off of. Unhealthy gut bacteria thrive off sugar, so the more they get, the more overpowering they’ll be. Soon you’ll have very depleted levels of good bacteria left, which are necessary to help keep bowel movements regular.
Instead, swap out that sugary drink for a glass of club soda and lemon if you need something fizzy. Or, try some green tea sweetened with a little Stevia.
And with this, also consider taking a quality probiotic such as P3-OM, which will help restore the levels of good bacteria in the gut and promote regularity.
3. Not Fighting Your Urge
Okay, so let’s face the facts: pooping can be inconvenient. If you are someone who is always on the go, chances are, the last thing you want to be doing is answering nature call in a public bathroom.
But, if you need to go, it’s best to let nature take its course. If you let your stool sit in the colon for too long, it’ll become dry, hard, and may be more difficult to push out as well.
Try and get into a regular routine so that you know when to expect it each day. The best poopers tend to do so within two hours of getting up in the morning and usually after their morning meal.
For others, a cup of coffee is what does the trick and gets things moving along. Just remember, drink your coffee black or without any sugar.
4. Know How Exercise Impacts Your Poop
While intense exercise may be great for fat loss purposes, it’s not always the most ideal as far as keeping your poop up to par. Intense exercise can cause blood to move out of the gut and to the muscles, which can then set you up for a case of the runs – and not on the treadmill, unfortunately to say.
Diarrhea is all too common with many elite athletes and this is only made worse if they also use pre-workout supplements containing caffeine or consume a high fiber diet beforehand.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut back on your intense exercise completely, but do avoid eating too much fiber before your workout session as this can aggravate the issue and if you can, tone down your use of caffeine prior to exercise training.
On the other hand, 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise can work wonders for keeping you regular, so do focus on adding that to your routine.
So there you have a few of the best steps to take to improve your poop. Do you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share? What’s worked for you to improve your poop?