WARNING- This article contains a lot of talk about poo, sh#t, stool, faeces- whatever you want to call it, we are talking about it. But it’s for your health, so lets get all the ickiness about it out and place it in the corner, because it’s important, for so many reasons! Your poo is telling us a lot about your internal health- how much your body is digesting (or not digesting!), inflammation, fibre intake, and it also gives us some red flags when things aren’t in great shape. For all of these reasons it is so important to be aware of what is going on with your body by taking notice of your poo. I’m not asking you to inspect it after each time you go, but just be aware of what your body is doing - and more importantly if you notice any changes.
So below I have outlined all the differences that can be seen, and what they all mean for you.
Image: Retro Planet
Light Brown - Normal (Yay!)
Dark Brown - Normal (Yay!)
Black- make an appointment with your GP, this can be a sign of issues further up your digestive tract and it’s best to get it investigated. If you’re taking an iron supplements this can also cause a darker appearance.
Green- It can be from foods that you’ve eaten, if you’ve had lots of leafy greens and your body isn’t breaking them down properly your poo might appear green. Other things to consider is that if you’ve had diarrhoea lately, this can also cause a green appearance. as can some medications.
Pale - if your poos have been on the paler side - almost clay like, then this can indicate that your liver and gall bladder needs some support. If you have had any abdominal pain alongside pale stools then seek medical attention to rule out any issues with your hepatobilary (live/gall bladder) system.
Firm- Firm is good, but it shouldn’t be painful to pass. If you’re finding that your poo is to firm then increasing fibre and water intake will help to soften the stool, making it easier to pass.
Soft - Again, we don’t want to soft! To soft is telling us that the body may not be absorbing nutrients well enough. Increasing fibre through the diet will help to bulk the stool and normalise the consistency
Floating- if you’re finding that your poos are hard to flush, this can mean that there is to much fat in the stool. Increasing the bodies ability to breakdown fats more efficiently is important if this is the case.
Sinking- if it sinks straight to the bottom then we know that we need to increase fibre within the diet.
A normal transit time for food through the digestive tract is approx 12-36 hours. Meaning that you should be going to the toilet and moving your bowels once or twice a day.
If you are not going every day then this needs to be addressed, as your food is spending to long in the digestive tract.
If you are going more often than this, chances are you’re not absorbing foods as well as what you could be.
This chart sums up every shape and size. Have a look and see which one yours look most like.
Image: Global Healing Centre
Mucous- suggests increased inflammation within the digestive tract. If it’s a lot of mucous its worth getting looked at, especially if the symptoms accompany it.
Blood - whether its bright red blood or dark blood, if you do see any blood its best to get checked by your GP.
Oily - This suggests that your body is having a hard time breaking down fats- focusing on liver and gall bladder health can help to support the breakdown of dietary fats.
Undigested food- helping support the bodies capacity to break food down efficiently is needed when we see undigested food in the stool. It has
Now thats not all, in fact this is the most important bit.
If you have said yes to any of the above that concern you, or you feel like you just aren’t ‘normal’ in the regard, I encourage you to see someone and get professional help to get to the bottom of why you’re experiencing this symptom. Take action. Because as we know, our gut health can influence so many other aspects of health.