Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fundamentals of Poo

There is no tip-toeing around this subject, so let’s just get to the point. Allow me to be frank (you can be sally): when was the last time you pooped? How was it? Not all poops are the same, and we have all had some pretty surprising experiences. There are those which make you feel inclined to Snapchat all of our friends to display our accomplishments and those which leave you feeling like you should shower immediately after. No matter how much you may want to shy away from it, the truth is that we all poop!

There are many shapes, sizes, and smells to our cargo that can vary throughout the week or even the day! It is important to stay in tune to our different dookie styles, because they may be telling us something. The diversity of our stool can range depending on diet, the stress of anticipating a skydive jump, illness or even a simple cup of coffee. Although the subject can be uncomfortable for some, this is a natural process that may be very telling about your health. A normal poo should be easy to pass, smelly (but not too smelly), and a healthy hue of hazel.
So what exactly are we looking at? With even small tweaks to the system, the matter can change from diarrhea to hard clumps that could cause painful passage and constipation. Here are some of the basics to consider the next time you drop the kids off at the pool.
The foods we eat can cause an array of pigments in our scat. Fibrous greens can pass right through undigested, red beets can tint your poo red, medication and supplements may also be culprits to the rainbow connection, but beware of black waste because it could be a serious sign of bleeding. Reflect on what you have ingested because blueberries, black licorice, iron supplements and even the bismuth component in Pepto-Bismol can lead to darkened droppings.  

Our livers produce bile, which helps with the digestion of food in our gut by alkalinizing the contents of the intestines.  One component of bile salts is bilirubin, a remnant from old blood cells. Bacteria living in our gut breaks down the bilirubin to produce a brown pigment that causes a healthy deuce to take on its characteristic color.
Image: Wiki
Our intestines are coiled around in our midsection which gather our remains for expulsion and a healthy form should be that of an “S” which is the shape of our innards.

Transit Time: The transit time for your bowel movements can be telling of how your body is processing food and its managerial methods of discarding the leftovers. There is a study that looked at the transit time of people in African countries (Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda) and their transit time that occurs within hours of a day compared to the westernized transit time of 3-5 days. This observation is linked to our different diets and how our bodies are equipped to manage foods that we consume. A diet low in fruits and vegetables won't contain sufficient fiber to push your excrement through the passageways of your gut in a timely fashion.

On the flip side, many of us have experienced a slip-and-slide effect after a meal...that awkward moment of putting down the fork and bolting for the white throne really leaves people guessing at times. This could be attributed to food allergies or protein sensitivities (i.e. gluten and other wheat proteins). When this happens, your body does not absorb the nutrients that it needs. Over time, eating foods that cause indigestion not only make your bathroom routine unpleasant but also deprives your body of essential nutrients.

How to better your butt business: 

  1. Drink water.  75% of your dung is made up of water, so don't deprive your body of that H2O 
  2. Keep moving.  Movement helps to stimulate the internal organs to do their jobs. Walking, stretching, running, yoga, lifting, and virtually any other kind of exercise will massage your insides and promote better circulation within the system. 
  3. Eat real food.  Consuming foods that nourish your body is essential to your overall health, and including foods rich in fiber will help with healthy pipe passage.  If you accurately document what you eat, you can also map out how your gut reacts to different foods.
  4. Maintain peace.  Day-in and day-out we are living with all kinds of stressors.  Keep your personal space clean, organized, and calm to recharge after a long day of being bombarded by other environmental anxieties.  Get a massage, go hiking, take the dog for a walk - all of these things will help increase positive results for your body.  When your body is under stress you can literally become anal retentive!
  5. Nourish your gut bacteria.  Fermented foods are a great go-to for a healthy mud-maker!  They contain healthy strains of probiotics that cultivate healthy flora in the gut. Some examples of delicious fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha tea. You can also purchase capsulized probiotic supplements.
If you are experiencing difficulty passing your product after implementing these healthy habits, make an appointment with your doctor.  Our bodies are built to react and repair, so if there are signs of strain then this should definitely be addressed (most people move their bowels daily!).  Next time you're sitting on the pot, give yourself some time to relax, allow your body to do what it is made to do, and pitch the shame! You could even try rocking back and forth a bit to encourage some movement so you can get a move on! 

Honestly, one of the main reasons I wanted to write this post was to see how many ways I could describe dumps.  We have a grand total of 18!  [THE CROWD GOES WILD!]

Stephanie Telep is a co-owner and health coach at Sweat and Butter.  She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duquesne University.  She hopes to help others make necessary changes in their lives while fostering a positive and healthy attitude.  She can be reached 

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1 comment :

  1. Glad that you covered this topic and provided some good info, butt (two t's) also made it funny so I could immaturely make poop jokes in my head as I was reading about poop! Smell ya later!


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