REGULAR POOPING IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR OVERALL HEALTH, SO LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
BELIEVE ME, YOU WANT TO AND NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS!
Many people find this conversation embarrassing and an uncomfortable subject to talk about! It’s certainly not a conversation starter and I suspect that many people never speak up about their health concerns and problems when it comes to Poop!
While growing up we are taught many things that are relevant to our education but there are so many things that we aren’t taught about our health, one of them is what it means to have a healthy gut. For this reason there are thousands of individuals who are unaware that their poop could be a big indicator towards the state of their overall health.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TASKS IN SPEAKING ANY LANGUAGE IS ASKING QUESTIONS, SO LET’S ASK THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ABOUT POOP!
WHICH ORGAN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ORGAN IN THE BODY?
Most people would say the heart or the brain, completely overlooking the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Though definitely not the most attractive organs in the body, they are certainly among the most important. The 30+ foot long tube that goes from the mouth to the anus is responsible for the many different body functions.
The GI tract is imperative for our well-being and our lifelong health. A non-functioning or poorly functioning GI tract can be the source of many chronic health problems that can interfere with your quality of life. In many instances the death of a person begins in the intestines!!!
HOW MANY TIMES PER DAY SHOULD I POOP?
According to the medical doctors, once every three days is okay, but on the fourth day you are considered constipated.
This is, obviously, incorrect, because according to every single primer/research on human physiology and functional digestive disorders, ideally you should move bowels after EACH MAJOR MEAL, but not less than once a day.
If you fail to do so, you are affected by a condition called “latent” constipation.
LATENT CONSTIPATION PREDISPOSES YOU TO ALL MAJOR COLORECTAL DISORDERS, FROM ENLARGED HEMORRHOIDS TO COLORECTAL CANCER.
Depending on your diet, the amount you eat, age, and daily activity, bowl movements vary from person to person however you should at least have one bowl movement per day.
HOW LONG DO YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
You can learn a lot from your poop, including the time you spend on the toilet. Some people only need to sit for a few minutes and its out; others have to wait for half an hour to a whole hour or even more. Experts say that more than 10 minutes of sitting is already too much as it is unhealthy. Normal poop should just take a few minutes, without the need to strain or push.
WHAT KIND OF POOP DO I HAVE?
When it comes to Poop, there’s more to talk about than just the frequency of your visits to the lavatory per day.
The shape, colour, size, and behaviour of your poop says a lot about the overall health of your digestive system.
Researchers at the Bristol Royal Infirmary—a hospital in Bristol, England—developed a visual guide for stools. It is called the Bristol Stool Form Scale, or BSF scale for short. It helps skittish patients and doctors to distinguish normal stools from abnormal without getting embarrassed over personal details.
IN ORDER WORDS, IT’S A TOOL TO TEST YOUR STOOL ;-).
ACCORDING TO THE BRISTOL STOOL SCALE THERE ARE SEVEN TYPES OF STOOL:
Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass); also known as goat faeces (INDICATE VERY CONSTIPATED)
Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy (SLIGHTLY CONSTIPATED)
Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface (NORMAL)
Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft (NORMAL)
Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily) (LACKING FIBRE)
Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool (INFLAMMATION)
Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid (INFLAMMATION)
Types 1 and 2 indicate constipation, with 3 and 4 being the ideal stools (especially the latter), as they are easy to defecate while not containing excess liquid, and 5, 6 and 7 tending towards diarrhoea.
HOW TO USE THE BRISTOL STOOL CHART?
The Bristol Stool Chart should be used as a guide line only and in conjunction with a two week stool dairy that includes the frequency, character or shape, color and passage of stool.
Your poop should be the colour of peanut butter (sorry to be so graphic). Poop that is too light (pale grey or white) may signal disease in the body and similarly green or black tar-like poop is a cause for concern. Any changes in poop colour that seem drastic (if you haven’t eaten bright or dark coloured foods) should warrant a visit to the doctor.
IN THIS ARTICLE I WANT TO FOCUS ON TYPES 1 AND 2.
WHAT IS CONSTIPATION?
Chronic constipation is a condition of infrequent bowel movements — and difficult passage of stools which does not go away. In some cases, CC may BE CAUSED BY AN UNDERLYING MEDICAL CONDITION.
Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints, it occurs when the colon absorbs too much water or if the colon’s muscle contractions are slow or sluggish, causing the stool to move through the colon too slowly. As a result, stools can become hard and dry.
WHAT CAUSES CONSTIPATION?
There are many causative factors to consider but they are usually classified into three different categories.
Poor diet/ inadequate diet (Pre-packed, processed foods, take-away, lack of fresh fruit and veggies.
Not enough water or fiber in your diet.
Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which some people do because of hemorrhoids, or the uncomfortableness of using public toilets etc.
Not being active – Lack of exercise not only causes weight gain and other health problems, it can also affect digestion.
Frequent travel and holidays – “Any time you leave your general habitat, it’s throwing your gut microflora off balance,” says Brooke Alpert, a New York-based registered dietician.
MENTAL FACTORS – A study, by Chattat et al, showed that constipated patients had higher psychological distress than healthy subjects.
Stress – Chronic and sporadic stress disrupt regular bowel movements and contribute to constipation.
Anxiety – constipation is a symptom of anxiety. In fact, anxiety can cause both constipation and diarrhea.
Depression – Psychological well-being is known to be intertwined with gastrointestinal health, and new research suggests that women with chronic constipation are more likely to be anxious or depressed than women who don’t have bowel problems.
But constipation also has other, less-well-known causes, including certain medications and supplements, as well as potentially serious medical conditions.
Some medications can cause constipation as a side effect. Most medications assessed, particularly aluminum-containing antacids, diuretics, opioids, antidepressants, antispasmodics, and anticonvulsants were associated with a higher risk of chronic constipation.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Diabetes: Constipation is common for people with this condition.
Neurological diseases: Constipation is more common in people with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal injuries, and the neuromuscular disease muscular dystrophy.
Colon cancer: Constipation and/or a change in the color or shape of your stool can be a sign of this cancer. If it’s red, maroon, or very dark, you could have blood in your stool.
HOW DO YOU TREAT CONSTIPATION?
Don’t let constipation become your life‘s permanent companion, take action NOW!
I always advocate to first and foremost treat constipation the natural way.
Using laxatives bought at your local pharmacy may make things worse.
The treatment of constipation aims to regulate the frequency and quantity of stool in order to promote successful defecation. Most often, constipation can be treated through dietary and lifestyle changes, which relieve symptoms and help prevent the condition.
NATURAL TREATMENTS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
INCREASE YOUR DAILY FIBER INTAKE!
What are good fiber sources?
FLAXSEED/FLAX FLOUR (Available from bid or buy).
Flaxseed/flax flour has been known as one of the best ways to relieve constipation for centuries. The whole seeds contain anywhere from six to 12 percent mucilage. Mucilage is a slimy, gum-like compound that provides a temporarily soothing and protective coating along the entire digestive tract. It provides both bulk and softness to the stool. These properties make it an excellent tool to relieve constipation, as well as stomach and intestinal inflammation.
Milled flax flour contains fiber and protein, and is very high in omega 3 essential fatty acids.
DOSAGE AND HOW TO TAKE:
Pregnancy/Lactation – The use of flaxseed and flaxseed oil during pregnancy and lactation is not recommended.
Flaxseed has been given in clinical trials at doses from 15 to 50 g/day. Flaxseed oil supplementation equivalent to 200 mg of ALA content has been given.
Add to your cereal, yoghurt, smoothies, or sprinkle over salads, soups, and vegetables.
PSYLLIUM HUSK (Available from bid or buy).
Psyllium husk is a rich source of fiber. Being a soluble fiber, psyllium is able to pass through your digestive system without being completely broken down or absorbed. Instead, it absorbs water and becomes a viscous compound that benefits constipation, diarrhea, blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight loss.
DOSAGE AND HOW TO TAKE:
Caution Notice – Psyllium should be taken with water acutely, and placement of psyllium powder or husk into the mouth without water may result in sapping of saliva and subsequent choking.
On the lower end of dosing, 5g of psyllium is taken once with meals alongside some form of liquid (200mL of water or more) and can be taken at every meal if desired; coingestion of psyllium with a meal is not mandatory although coingestion with water is highly advised.
Acute doses of up to 30g appear to be well tolerated assuming enough water (in these instances, around 500mL or so) are also coingested.
If using psyllium for the fecal forming properties, a daily dose of 15g (thrice daily dosing of 5g) is a good starting point and then the dose can be titrated up or down depending on its effects on fecal formation.
NATURAL MOVES – EFFECTIVE NATURAL HERBAL LAXATIVE REMEDY.
Using herbs which are strong enough to treat even stubborn constipation, yet gentle enough not to cause unpleasant diarrhea and cramping, Feelgood Health Natural Moves Tablets can be used for both chronic and occasional constipation, depending on the dosage used. The herbs used in Natural Moves Tablets promote healthy digestion and also act as an effective liver tonic, therefore avoiding the risk of dependency and side effects associated with some other laxative products.
DOSAGE AND HOW TO TAKE:
For Occasional Constipation: Two tablets when needed taken with a glass of water or milk at night will easily help to produce a normal bowel movement upon awakening. Make sure that you allow yourself time the next morning to enjoy a natural bowel movement before beginning your day!
For Chronic and Stubborn Constipation: Take 1/2 to one tablet every morning and two tablets at night. For added benefit, use together with our Triple Complex Digestion Tonic.
SOLGAR ADVANCED ACIDOPHILUS PLUS: PROBIOTICS FOR HEALTHY INTESTINAL BALANCE.
Excellent supplement for digestive & intestinal health, probiotic for gastrointestinal health & balance, Contains beneficial micro-organisms Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains that are essential for gastro-intestinal wellbeing. Assists with candida balance and helps to prevent recurring thrush & yeast infections, Wonderful supplement for people with digestive complaints like IBS, indigestion or reflux.
May prevent negative effects of antibiotic treatment, Balanced intestinal flora contribute to a strong immune system, Contains no preservatives or artificial flavouring, Dairy-free, wheat-free, soy-free & gluten-free, Suitable for vegans
DOSAGE AND HOW TO TAKE:
As a dietary supplement for adults, take one (1) veggie capsule once or twice daily, preferably at mealtime, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.
CREDE ORGANIC COCONUT OIL (COLD PRESSED).
Coconut Oil really is a miracle! It can be used as a beauty product, a health supplement or for cooking. In fact, it has so many uses that no home should be without it!
Coconut Oil cures constipation. In fact, eating coconut oil is the best natural laxative that helps to relieve difficulty in pooping or infrequent bowel movements.
Coconut Oil contains (MCFAs), which is the secret for constipation relief. MCFAs provide quick energy for your intestinal cells that boost their metabolism and hence, stimulate your bowel movements. MCFAs help to soften your stool too.
DOSAGE AND HOW TO TAKE:
Coconut oil (also known as coconut butter) is a great vegan butter or cooking oil substitute and is also Banting-friendly. It is very stable and can be used for frying and in any dish where you would use olive oil.
I have replaced all oils in my household with coconut oil and I use it in almost everything, from mashed potatoes, frying eggs, roasted veggies, replacement of margarine on bread, deserts, baking etc.
Avoid too much Calcium by itself which may lead to constipation.
Never overuse laxatives as this can actually cause constipation in the long run!
Get active – Simply getting up and moving can help constipation. A regular walking regimen — even 10 to 15 minutes several times a day — can help the body and digestive system function optimally. If you are already fit, you might opt for aerobic exercise: running, jogging, swimming, or swing dancing, for example.
Drink more water – Drink plenty of water. Since constipation is related to dehydration in the colon, you need to make sure you are drinking lots of water. When your body is properly hydrated, less water will be withdrawn from the colon. This will keep your stool soft and easy to pass.
If the problem continues for three weeks in spite of increased fluids, improved diet and physical activity, and reviewing any medication, there may be an underlying problem such as a blockage in your bowel. You should make an appointment with your GP.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.