You probably read the title and laughed, YES I am being serious! So get those giggles out now, because as funny as it may seem, your bowel health is no laughing matter. When our intestines are in a twist it can leave us feeling really uncomfortable, and we can't always be sure why. Did you know that your poop is an indicator of how well your body is working to absorb nutrients, eliminate waste and keep everything flowing smoothly (see what I did there)? So if your poop is an indicator of how well your body is going, you might start to ask yourself "What is abnormal?". Using the Bristol Stool Chart we are going to take a closer look at the contents of your toilet bowl. Before you get totally grossed out, I will be using chocolate examples to show you what I mean. And yes girls, this is the only time you will see me writing a whole blog with picture upon picture of chocolate, so enjoy!
Use the examples below to figure out where you sit on the poop chart. Types 1 & 2 are considered to be constipated, Types 3-5 are considered normal and Types 6 & 7 are diarrhoea.
Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
Sausage shaped, but lumpy.
Like a sausage, but with cracks on its surface
Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
Soft blobs, with clear cut edges passed easily
Fluffy pieces with a ragged edges, a mushy stool
Watery, no solid pieces - entirely liquid
So now that you know what each type of poop means, the two most important things you need to know about maintaing a healthy bowel include water and fibre. Seventy five percent of healthy poop is made out of water, which means you need to stay on top of your water intake and drink at least 2 litres daily. The ideal poop would be a Type 4, if yours isn't like this it could be due to a lack of water and also fibre. Fibre and water work hand in hand and if you don't get enough of either of these two, constipation can happen. I love getting my fibre from various sources such as veggies, fruits, legumes and whole grains! Remember the more fibre you eat the more water you have to drink so that you can keep the balance and your body happy.
If you have Type 6 or 7 poop you have diarrhoea, uh oh! This usually happens if you eat too much fried fatty foods or foods high in artificial sweeteners. If you have diarrhoea it could also be a sign that you are ill or have a virus. As this is mainly water being flushed out of your body always make sure to stay extra hydrated so that you don't feel even worse!
If you find that you have bowel trouble often try to exercise more, stay away from caffeine and eat probiotic foods which are all great for a healthy digestive system!