Bathroom Knowledge: How Well Do You Know Yours
Holistic Living

"Oh Shit!" How Well Do You Know Yours - Take the Test!

Posted

22 May 2015

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So how much do YOU really understand your poop and do you think that you have the right bathroom knowledge? Here are some frequently asked poop questions. Take a look and see how you get on:

Q1: How long does it usually take for something you ate to come out in your poop?

a) A couple of hours
b) 24-72 hours
c) About a week

Answer: b). The average body takes between 18 to 72 hours to convert food into poop and pass it out. With this in mind and according to modern medicine, there’s no need to panic if you go only once in a 24 – 72 hour period.

In Naturopathic medicine, however, since we encourage the consumption of veggies, whole grain and fibrous fruits as your main diet, passing a stool 2 – 3 times in a 24 hour period is common. Meat and processed foods can take up to 3 days to show up in the toilet as it takes more energy and enzymes to break these down.

Q2: Does an everyday poop mean I’m not constipated?

a) No
b) Yes
c) Not necessarily

Answer c). This also depends on the overall quality of your poop (see the PurelyB poop infographic) and that’s why it’s always important to really understand your poop.

For instance, passing out a hard dry stool or even small bunny like droppings that cause you to strain are both indications of constipation. On such occasions drinking more water, eating more greens and exercising will all help.

On the other end of the scale, if your poo is not solid and watery, or if you can still see the food that you ate the day before, you might have diarrhoea, an imbalance of gut bacteria or other gut issues such as food intolerances or celiac disease that you may need to investigate.

Q3: The colon is an “S” shape. Doesn’t this mean my poop should be an “S” shape?

a) No
b) Yes
c) Not necessarily

Answer: c). Stools come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It depends on how much fibre and water you have had over the course of the day, as well as how fast things move along in your colon. However, a healthy stool should be smooth but firm, soft and effortless to pass through.

Screen Shot 2015 05 21 at 2.00.52 PM

Q4: I eat a clean, healthy diet packed with fresh veggies. Shouldn’t my poop smell like freshly cut grass?

a) No
b) Yes
c) Not necessarily

Answer: a). Unfortunately all healthy poop really have to smell bad. It’s actually a good sign that your gut is abundant with bacteria that are working hard to keep you healthy. Your intestines are swarming with trillions upon trillions of bacteria that enhance digestive and metabolic processes. They are the reason why poop smells. It’s a direct result of the bacterial activity in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Q5: Should my poop reflect the colour of the foods I’ve been eating?

a) Yes
b) No
c) Not necessarily

Answer: c). Brown poop is a pretty good sign you are healthy, although certain foods like beets or dark food colourings can have an effect. Poop is brown due to bile from your gall bladder being metabolised by the bacteria in your intestines. This results in a by-product called stercobilin, which, in turn, makes poop look brown-ish. Without this stercobilin, your poop would typically look grey-ish/white and this would be a sure sign you are having problems with bile production. This could be due to a blocked bile duct by a gallstone or something more serious like pancreatic cancer, so in this instance you should check with a doctor.

See the PurelyB Infographic for further information on poop colours.

Q6: Is blood on my toilet paper a sign of cancer or serious disease?

a) No
b) Yes
c) Not necessarily

Answer: c). Although you might have rectal bleeding for some reason, the most common cause is hemorrhoids. Sometimes the bleeding can be caused by straining too hard. Another possible reason could be also that you are just wiping too enthusiastically. Once again always check with a doctor if occurrences like this persist.

Screen Shot 2015 05 21 at 2.01.03 PM

Q7: Will increasing my fibre intake relieve constipation?

a) Yes
b) No
c) Not necessarily

Answer: c). When it comes to constipation, most people will attribute the problem to lack of fibre. This is not always the case however as it could be due to an inbalance in your gut bacteria or dehydration. Your own mobility can also be a cause, for example sitting still in an office for too long. Your own lack of movement can contribute to that of your bowels also.

It is is also a good idea to avoid too much insoluble fibre such as ‘psyllium’ in some circumstances. (See poo type 4 – the bulging beast in the PurelyB infographic). If you have an enormous and hard poo, the chances are you are extremely bloated at the same time. Too much fibre at this point is going to make things worse, as the fibre will absorb water and swell up in the colon. Then, when there is no room for the fibre to expand, you could end up extremely bloated with pain, but still with a blockage at the other end. This is definitely something you want to avoid.

So apart from trying out some fermented food with good bacteria or to increase fruit and veg for natural fibre, it’s always good to start with increased water intake when you are constipated - and to get yourself moving to get things moving.

Q8: Is diarrhoea a good thing because it flushes toxins from the colon?

a) No
b) Yes
c) Not necessarily

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Answer: a). Diarrhoea is caused by irritation in the intestines, resulting in the bowel passing its contents too fast for any water to be absorbed. There can be several causes, including infection by bacteria or viruses, irritation caused by unfamiliar foods, food allergies, chronic illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, lactose intolerance, medication and nervousness. Therefore, watery stools do not equate a toxin cleanse from your colon. Furthermore, a serious side effect of diarrhoea is dehydration, so if symptoms persist, please see a doctor.

Q9: Is it pointless eating sweetcorn as it always seems to exit exactly as it went in?

a) No
b) Yes
c) Not necessarily

Answer: a). Sweetcorn is actually digested. When you see corn in your poop, this isn’t the whole kernel, though it may look like it. What you are actually seeing is the outer yellow part, which is mostly cellulose and indigestible fibre. The inside of the kernel will have been digested as it is primarily starch.

Q10: Whenever I eat lots of fresh fruit and veg I get runny poop, should I avoid them?

a) Yes
b) No
c) Not necessarily

Answer: b). Fruit and vegetables are good for your health as they are high in fibre and other nutrients. Despite this however, humans are actually unable to fully digest the main component of plants which is the cellulose in the cell wall. So, if you suddenly increase your raw veg intake, depending on your constitution, it may result in loose stools. This will mean that you are not fully benefitting from the nutrient profile in the food and are also likely to feel bloated. If this is the case, try to take on this type of food more gradually, or cook the veggies slightly before eating. If problems like this persist, it’s worth checking for food intolerances.

SO, HOW DID YOU GET ON?

8-10 Correct Answers: SHIT! You’re good
4-7 Correct Answers: Not bad at all – and we hope you learned some good things from our quiz (always good for parties)
1-3 Correct Answers: That’s a bit shit, sorry

In summary, optimal, healthy poop should be soft yet solid, easy to pass, non-floating, slightly smelly, and brown in colour. Movements ideally should be daily. Of course everyone and every day is different, so realistically there will be deviations from the norm. The bottom line is to take notice of the things that are not normal for you, especially if they persist.

Finally, observing your stools everyday, you will also start to identify the foods that cause bowel issues for you so you can avoid or moderate them. We can guarantee you that this learning experience will be something you will not forget and will help you make better choices for better health in the future.

Download our guide to knowing your shit here

Poop

Now, go share these with your friends, it’s for their own good.

 


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