Is your poop ok?
Sometimes my sh** sinks, sometimes it swims. Which one should it do?
Let me get into that a bit….I have seen a lot of poop. My poo, my dog’s poo, horse’s poo, my kids’ poo, my husband’s poo (when he forgets to flush), stranger’s poo, photos of poo…you get the idea! I am ok with it, I celebrate in the fact that people are caring enough about what their poo looks like that they are willing to take steps in the right direction to change their diets.
Think of your poo as a periscope into your bodies. On a daily basis we cannot look inside of ourselves to see what is happening with our organs, but its ok because your poo will let you know. You just have to pay attention to it!
Our culture is definitely weirded out about poo. It is definitely not “lady like” to talk about and a “true gentleman” would never live a floater for a lady to find….right? Well I consider myself a lady, I was raised with good Texas manners and I expect a man to hold the door and I teach my son to do the same. But I think when it comes to poop our society has to get comfortable talking about it. We have chronic health issues in this society that could be resolved by paying more attention to our poop. Unfortunately, our society think it is unsexy and gross. We are the only culture that will flush, cough, sing, or hum while pooping in a public place instead of rejoicing in our “bombs away” experience.
Why paying attention to your sh** is so important
Have you ever wondered why you aren’t feeling better or losing/gaining weight, or achieving your health desires even though you are nourishing your body with healthy food? Chances are your body is not absorbing a vital nutrient or mineral, and without assistance from a health professional (like a NTP, NTC, ND, DC) it is hard to identify which nutrient. There is a way to start identifying your needs yourself though, it will involve you spending some time noticing a poo trend. I highly recommend journaling or writing down foods eaten/time food was eaten/poop appearance and smell and time of poop.
If your poop is moving too fast, too slow, sinking too much, sinking not enough, looks like little pieces of tape? Then this means your digestive tract is not working like it needs to. This can lead to an increased risk of autoimmune diseases, inflammatory conditions, or neurological diseases. By getting over the “poop is gross” stigma and thinking of it as a warning sign then you could save yourself a lot of pain and suffering of disease, illness, chronic medications, and more.
Your assignment, I suggest you accept it
Step One: Eat beets (1/2 cup more more), corn (1/2 cup or more), or seasame seeds (1 tbsp)….do not eat the foods again until you see them in your poop.
Step Two: Write down what time you ate the food
Step Three: When you poop look at your poop. Do you see seeds or corn? Does your poop appear red?
Step Four: Write down the time that you notice the seeds/corn/red in poop
What was your transit time? This will change depending on the state of your digestive system, so it is important to pay attention when you eat those foods as to when you see them in your stool. The ideal goal is a transit time of 18-24 hours….not longer and not faster!
But my transit time was longer/slower….
There can be many different reasons for that. One of the big reasons is you are not digesting fats. Proper fat digestion is a process, first the fats should stimulate the salivary glands by being seen by the brain, smelt by the nose, then tasted in the mouth. Fats then travel as a bolus to the stomach where they are then digested and distributed through the gallbladder, pancreas, small intestines, and then they get to do their magic.
Fats are important because they provide a source of energy, they are necessary for healthy liver function, and build healthy cholesterol and bile. Fats are also required for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K. Fats are also required for the adequate use of proteins (your caveman eating style is only productive when the right fats are included into it).
Fats get a bad rap from the low-fat fad that occurred in different American diets. While there are many great fats, there are also bad fats like hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated fats, highly processed vegetable oils, and fried fats
When picking out a fat you want to find a great source of fat. Fat sources should be of the highest quality in order to get the right fat balance for healthy function. Supermarket oils that are in clear plastic bottles have had too much heat and light exposure which has killed the good fats that will nourish your cells and organs.
We need all three types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Some examples of good fats include: grass fed butter, coconut oil, well sourced organ meat, raw dairy, fish oils, flax seed, wheat germ, cold pressed olive oil, and avocadoes (and their oils). It is important to eat these sources of fats at the temperature that does not destroy their fatty acid balance.
It is important that your body is digesting the fats so that they are distributed throughout your body and allowed to do the job they are intended to do. There are dietary changes that can be made to assist in fat digestion. The changes range from adding in sources of hydrochloric acid into your diet so that fats get emulsified, to adding in beet juice and bile salt to help support the gallbladder and liver. It is dependent upon what the individual needs as far as what is recommended. There is a good chance that you have ever used caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, NSAIDs, or had stress that your hydrochloric acid levels need to assistance. A good natural help is to drink raw apple cider vinegar, like Braggs apple cider vinegar, with some water before each meal. That with proper intake of good fats and not eating over processed foods can help your poops look and feel like the best poops ever!
There are fatty deposits in my poop….
Besides everything listed above this can also be a sign that you are deficient in chromium. Unless you are working with a medical provider then it is always best to get your chromium from foods instead of self-supplementation. Foods containing chromium: brewer’s yeast, oysters, grass fed beef Liver, wild seafood (not farmed), sprouted whole grains, raw cow/goat cheese, organic potatoes, and free range organic chicken (and the chicken livers).
Other signs that you may be deficient in chromium are: blood sugar dysregulation (sugar cravings), increased cholesterol levels, and body or face acne.
My poop hurts….
This is a common problem in our society. One of the biggest reasons for constipation is dehydration. Constipation is not pooping at least once a day. The American society is chronically dehydrated and one of the biggest side effects is constipation, which leads to worse illnesses like colitis, ulcers, and kidney problems.
Some other reasons for constipation is not properly digesting food, so slow down and eat. Chew until your food is liquid and then swallow.
Constipation can also be caused by a deficiency in magnesium. Some sources for magnesium are: soaked/sprouted buckwheat flour, sprouted whole wheat flour, soaked/sprouted almonds and cashews, wheat germ, soaked Brown rice, and soaked Kidney beans.
Some additional signs that you might be deficient in magnesium are: Muscle cramping—especially at night, PMS, menstrual cramps, heart disease—arrhythmia, hypertension, migraine headaches, and chocolate cravings….chocolate cravings are a big hint that you are deficient in magnesium.
Unless you are working with a NTP, NTC, DC, ND, or medical professional I suggest you getting you magnesium from foods not supplements.
Cautions on taking magnesium: People with kidney failure should be careful of taking too much magnesium, due to its potential toxicity.
If pooping is causing strain then look into a squatty potty, this is a great invention that helps ease the poop shoot when it is doing its job J
I cannot get to the bathroom fast enough when I have to poo….
Diarrhea can be caused by many digestive disorders, so it is important to make sure that you are eating well sourced healthy whole foods, not processed foods. Diarrhea can also be a huge warning sign that you are experiencing a food sensitivity. This is where the food journal comes into play, write down your food/drinks and then what happened in the bathroom so you can identify foods that might be triggering a poopy reaction.
Diarrhea can also occur when a person is deficient in manganese. Unless you are working with a NTP, NTC, DC, ND, or medical professional I suggest you getting you manganese from foods not supplements.
Food containing manganese: soaked or sprouted nuts: pecans, peanuts, filberts, and sprouted whole grains, dehydrated fruits: raisins, apricots, prunes (with no sugar added to them), and green leafy vegetables: chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, and spinach.
Additional signs of manganese deficiency: fat and carbohydrate synthesis problems, glucose intolerance, impaired growth, reproductive difficulties, skeletal abnormalities, and weak ligaments
Should my sh** stink?
Your poop might have a small odor because stool is your body getting rid of the waste that was not needed, but very unpleasant smells should not be ignored. This can be a sign of many things, like a food intolerance. Foul smell can also mean that the food has been stuck in our colon for too long and this can be a warning of an infection. Sometimes a strange odor with black stools or red stools can be a sign of blood in stool, it is important to seek medical advice at that time.
Should my sh** sink?
It is better for your poop to sink than swim. If poop floats then either gallbladder is under-functioning or not getting enough healthy fats in diet. Perhaps you have had your gallbladder removed…then you will need bile salts for the rest of your life. This is definitely an area where a NTP can assist you!
What should it look like?
Your poop should be smooth, well formed, softer (not diarrhea soft) with a milk chocolate brown appearance. Should be the size of a banana (not a GMO banana, an organic banana), and you should have 1-2 bowel movements a day.
Let’s sum it up so I can poop…
Your poop is a window into your digestion, you want to pay attention to what is telling you so that long term issues do not occur. Your poop should be well formed and not horrendous smelling! You should poop 1-2 times a day and it should look like a banana and not hurt to do. Some tips on how to poo better to stay well are hydrated with water, use a squatty stool, exercise regularly, eat well sourced foods that are rich in minerals, lay off the processed foods, and seek the advice of someone who likes to talk about your poo.