02 Aug What Is Your Gut Telling You?
They may not be suitable dinner conversation, but your bowel movements can tell you a lot about what’s going on in your gut. Ideally, your stool should follow the 5 S’s:
- It should be SHAPED like a snake, log or hot dog.
- It should be SOFT.
- It should SINK to the bottom of the bowl.
- It should be a nice SHADE of brown.
- It should SHOOT out easily and quickly every day.
If your poops don’t match that criteria, your gut could be telling you that there’s something going wrong. Here are some common stool characteristics and what they can mean:
- Small, hard pieces: Lack of fiber and water. Increase your vegetable intake and don’t be fooled by cereal, breads, or processed snacks that claim to be “fiber-rich”.
- Diarrhea: Frequent, loose stools can be a sign of food sensitivity or the wrong type of bacteria within your intestinal tract. If it lasts longer than a few days, be sure to drink more water to avoid dehydration.
- Floating stool: Lactose and gluten intolerance are some of the most frequent causes of floaters. Another possible cause can be increased gas in your system due to artificial sweeteners. Floating stool can also indicate an intestinal infection, so watch carefully!
- Black or dark red stool: Consult your doctor if you see this frequently. However, iron supplements and Pepto Bismol can turn your waste black, and eating beets can turn it red, so no need for alarm.
- Oily stool: Oil on the surface of the toilet bowl water means that your body is not properly absorbing fats from food. This is often associated with celiac disease or gallbladder issues, so contact your doctor immediately.
- Constipation: Generally, this situation can be solved simply by getting more water and increasing physical activity. Try going for a walk or a yoga workout to get things flowing! If those don’t help, constipation might also be indicating food sensitivity.
A clean diet, like the one we advocate at Prolean Wellness, is one of the best ways to improve your gut health. Listen to what your body tells you each time you sit on the throne!