The Scoop On Poop: How Healthy Is Your Gut?
What’s the scoop on poop? Can your poop tell you if you need a body detox?
The health of your poop is incredibly useful to determine the health of your gut. Since your gut is your second brain and is connected to all areas of your body and most aspects of your health, it is super exciting to know that by looking at your poop you may learn so much about your gut health. Whether you have a healthy gut or need a body detox, your poop can tell.
Let’s dig in and learn about gut health…and poop.
Importance of Gut Health and Normal Poop
Your gut health is incredibly important. Your gut microbiome affects your body from the first day you are born. If your gut is not healthy, you may not be healthy either.
Some call your gut your second brain. It makes sense. Your brain is connected to your brain and is in constant communication about your body’s functioning.
Your gut’s health is essential for your brain health and mental health. A compromised gut may lead to brain fog, memory issues, and mood disturbances. Your gut is also connected to all other areas of your body. An unhealthy gut may lead to inflammation which may lead to chronic pain and disease down the road.
It’s not surprising that keeping your gut health and happy is absolutely crucial. The quality and the health of your poop is one of the best visible signs to determine your gut’s health. Your poop can tell a lot about your gut health and overall health. Normal poop may mean you are doing well, while abnormal poop may mean health issues and may be a sign that you need a body detox.
Let’s learn what’s the scoop on poop to determine how healthy your gut is.
What Is Normal Poop Like?
Not having normal poop may mean that you need a body detox or a lifestyle make-over. So what is healthy poop like. Check out the characteristics of a normal poop:
- Medium to dark brown: Poop contains bilirubin, a pigment that forms when red blood cells break down. This pigment gives your poop brown color.
- Pain-free to pass: Healthy poop should be easy and painless to pass with no to minimal strain.
- Soft to firm texture: Normal poop is long and sausage-like because of the shape of your intestines. Normal poop should come out in one piece or a few smaller pieces and should be soft to firm in texture.
- Strong-smelling: Normal poop may be associated with an unpleasant odor since bacteria in excrement emits gases.
- Passes once or twice a day: Normally people poop once a day, however, having up to three poops a day or having one poop every other day may still be considered normal.
- Consistency: Normal, healthy poop may vary per person, however, it should be consistent in characteristics for each individual. If you notice any changes in firmness, color, frequency, or smell, it may be a problem, and it may be a good idea to visit your doctor.
To determine the health of your poop, you may check out the Bristol stool chart created by the Bristol Royan Infirmary, England based on the bowel movement of about 2,000 individuals. Type 1 and 2 means that you are constipated, type 5 to 7 indicated diarrhea, inflammation, and urgency, while type 3 and 4 in the middle means that you have healthy poop.
How Long Should a Normal Poop Take?
A healthy poop should take 10 to 15 minutes at the most. For many, normal poop only takes a few minutes. If your poop takes longer than 15 minutes, it may mean you have constipation, hemorrhoids, or other health issues.
While usually brown is considered to be normal poop color, sometimes other colors may be normal too. In other times, color changes may indicate a problem.
- Black poop: Dark or black stool may suggest gastrointestinal bleeding, however, they may also happen because of iron supplement, black sout, black licorice, or bismuth medication.
- White poop: White, gray, or pale poop may indicate gallbladder or liver problems, however, they may also be caused by anti-diarrhea medication.
- Green poop: Green poop may happen if you have too much bile or not enough bilirubin, however, eating lots of greens, such as kale and spinach may cause green poop.
- Red poop: Red poop may suggest gastrointestinal bleeding or hemorrhoids, however, it may happen after eating beets or red berries or drinking tomato or beet juice.
- Orange poop: Orange poop may happen if you eat lots of beta-carotene, such as carrots or sweet potatoes, or take certain antacids or antibiotics.
- Yellow poop: Yellow poop may suggest that it has too much fat and you have absorption issues.
Poop colors may change temporarily due to diet or medication use, however, if your poop color doesn’t change back to normal after a week or two, visit your doctor. Red and black stools may particularly be a sign of a serious issue.
What’s an Abnormal Poop
Abnormal poop may suggest that you have digestive or other health issues. You may need a body detox or a dietary or lifestyle change.
Let’s check out the types of abnormal poop that may suggest a compromised gut:
- Not pooping enough (less than three times per week)
- Pooping too often (more than three times a day)
- Greasy or fatty poop
- Pain when pooping
- Black, red, green, yellow, or white poop
- Excessive straining
- Pooping takes too long (over 15 minutes)
- Blood in the poop or bleeding while pooping
- Watery poop
- Very hard, dry, clumpy, and small poop that’s hard to pass
If you have abnormal poop, make sure to visit your doctor to make sure that there isn’t a serious issue behind your poop troubles. You may also want to get on a body detox once cleared by your doctor.
Causes of Abnormal Poop
You may have abnormal poop for a variety of reasons. Some may be minor or temporary, such as a bad meal, temporary dehydration, or too much coffee. Some other reasons may be more serious relating to an underlying health issue.
- Dehydration: Your poop needs moisture to move through your intestines. Dehydration may lead to constipation. Coffee or alcohol may lead to dehydration, even if you are drinking lots of water.
- Lack of fiber: Fiber is a binding substance that helps your poop to move through your intestinal tracts and pass easily. Not eating enough fiber-rich greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds may result in lack of fiber and poop problems.
- Stress: Stress may trigger digestive troubles including diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Food allergies and sensitivities: Food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances may lead to constipation, diarrhea, and other tummy troubles and abnormal poop.
- Medical conditions: Health issues may also lead to abnormal poop and gut issues. Some medical conditions that may result in abnormal poop include thyroid issues, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cancer, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and autoimmune conditions.
If you are experiencing abnormal poop for two weeks or longer, visit our doctor. If your poop is black or bright red, seek immediate medical care, as it may suggest blood loss, which untreated may lead to a medical emergency.
How to Have a Healthy Gut and Healthy Poop
A healthy gut is incredibly important. Healthy poop is just one of the signs of a healthy gut. You want to make sure that you poop looks good and your gut is happy. Here as some tips to make sure that everything is functioning optimally.
- Eat lots of fiber: Fiber is absolutely essential for healthy poop and healthy gut function. Women under 50 should aim for 25 grams and men under 50 should aim for 38 grams of fiber a day. Over 50 the recommendation is 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men. Greens, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are great sources of fiber.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eat plenty of greens, vegetables, herbs, spices, sprouts, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and gluten-free grains. Reduce or eliminate refined sugar, refined fats, processed foods, artificial ingredient, and additives. This way you help your body detox and stay healthy for optimal gut health.
- Reduces toxins: Aim to eat organic foods to reduce toxicity. Choose an organic, natural, and homemade body and cleaner products instead of toxic conventional products. Stop smoking. These habits not only help your gut but a body detox lifestyle as well.
- Hydrate: Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Limit your coffee and alcohol consumption, and stay away from sugary sodas. You may add green juices or herbal teas as an extra along with water. Eat hydrating fruits and veggies, such as cucumber, celery, berries, and melon.
- Take probiotics: Probiotics add beneficial bacteria to your gut and balance your gut flora. They may help tummy troubles, such as constipation or diarrhea. Take a daily probiotic supplement and eat probiotic-rich, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, and kombucha.
- Exercise: Regular exercise may help to encourage normal bowel movements and lower inflammation and stress.
- Try magnesium: Magnesium may help to reduce the risk of constipation and encourage healthy poops.
- Body detox: Try a body detox. Through a body detox, you cleanse your body from toxins and encourage optimal health. While you may choose to do a short body detox, such as a 3-day juice cleanse or a liver detox, adding body detox practices to your everyday routine is important. Eating nutrient-dense whole foods, hydrating well, drinking green juices and green smoothies, taking probiotics, removing processed foods, and avoiding toxins are all part of a body detox lifestyle.
A well-functioning gut in essential for your overall health and well-being. A healthy poop may suggest a healthy you. Poop abnormalities may suggest gut health issues, nutritional deficiencies, health problems, and that you may need a body detox. Make sure to look at your poop, and take steps as outlined in this article to have a healthy poop, a healthy gut, and a healthy life.
How will you make sure that you have a healthy poop? What’s your favorite healthy, fiber-rich food for a good poop? Share your thoughts with us, we love hearing from you.
And remember, we are in this together.
Kat Gál is a holistic health writer who helps health, wellness, and nutrition businesses to market their products and services through quality online content. She is also a freelance writing mentor teaching wanna-be-freelancers how to make a living writing at freelancewriterschool.com. Reach out if you are looking for amazing blog content at firstname.lastname@example.org or katgalwriter.com. Visit freelancewriterschool.com for freelance writing tips. Follow me on Instagram @freelancewriterschool and on Facebook at facebook.com/katgalwriter.
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