Our poop can actually determine if we are healthy or not! Learn how here
Digestion is one of the many natural processes happening inside our body. As food enters our mouth, the teeth will break it down into smaller pieces. It will then pass through the esophagus and goes into the stomach. Digestion will continue with the help of the enzymes secretes by the pancreas and the liver, and then it will go to the small intestine for the digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It will then continue to the large intestine, and the unneeded or excess will be removed from the body as stool.
Many people are not comfortable when it comes to talking about stool. Although it shouldn’t be the topic of discussion most of the time, still, there is nothing wrong with talking about it. It is part of a natural process after all. As Dr. Eric Esrailian, the section head of General Gastroenterology of David Geffen School of Medicine have put it, bowel movements are important for your health because they are the body’s natural way of excreting waste from the body. If the stool didn’t come out then the body will surely be full of toxic wastes which can be harmful to your health. Do you know that the size of the stool can give us a hint on how healthy are we? Yes, you read that right. The appearance of the poop can reflect our health.
A person’s health affects the natural processes in the body, including digestion an bowel movement. Try to observe the appearance of your stool sometimes. Do you notice if it has the same appearance as before? It may change due to the fact that your health improved or worsen compared to the last time you had your bowel movement. Maybe it happened because you changed your diet, or because your body is guarding your from a virus or infection.
First off, Dr. Bernard Aserkoff of the GI Unit in Massachusetts General Hospital explained that the color of the stool is the way it is because of the excretion of bile made by the liver. Brown is the normal color as he said. Aside from that, its physical appearance should be long and uncut, and are smooth around the edges. It’s texture should be equal. These are the normal characteristics that you would usually see on a stool. Any different from that indicates something about your health.
- Small, hard, and lumpy. This appearance of poop may be because of the acute inflammation of the small intestine. You may have experienced having this kind of waste that are solid and small, about a couple of centimeters in size, usually when you are under a prescription of antibiotics that could slightly affect the intestinal bacteria. Because the stool becomes small and solid, you may have a hard time taking it out. Sometimes even lead to anal bleeding. To avoid this from happening, don’t force it out and just do the deed slowly. Drinking lots of water will also help you be hydrated.
- Sausage-shaped. A person who has regular bowel movement everyday may notice that his stool has a soft texture and a smooth appearance. This is a good sign that you are healthy, and there are no bacteria or virus threatening you health. This “normal” look can happen if a person will continue to have a balanced diet and has a regular bowel movement.
- Sausage-shaped with lumps. If you are not drinking enough water and is often dehydrated, your stool may look like this. It can be about three to five centimeters in length, solid, hence may also cause anal bleeding. This is usually the poop’s appearance of people with irritable bowel movement or IBS. If not taken out, it will lead to constipation, loss of appetite, back pain, and other worse to worst condition like colon cancer.
- Sausage-shaped with cracked surface. A normal appearance of poop will have a kind of “S” shape. Here, it is still the same but you’ll see some cracks through that “S” line. It’s not as solid compared to the one with lumps so you will have an easier time taking it out. And again, this happen because of not drinking enough water and dehydration.
- Soft blobs with defined edges. This appearance of the stool means your metabolism is very active. People who go to the rest room every after a meal will notice that this is the appearance of their poop. Although it’s a bit troublesome to eat and then go to the comfort room afterwards, it’s a great way of protecting yourself from colon cancer.
- Diarrhea type. Having a watery stool isn’t always because of diarrhea. Sometimes, it is because the body is sick with a disease or other health issue. Of that’s the case, the appearance of the stool will look similarly with that of diarrhea, but it is partnered with constipation. The color and the odor will still stay the same though.
- Fluffy poop with ragged and torn edges. If your blood pressure is high or when you are under a great amount of stress, you poop will look like this with a soft texture. Relieve your stress, take a rest and take care of your hypertension, see your stool go back to its original appearance.
- Pale brown or white. If your poop look like this then go see a doctor immediately. You probably have either a pancreatic disease, hepatitis, or cirrhosis.
- Yellow-colored. Having this kind of stool indicates that you are having issues on you gallbladder.
- Black or bright red. Once you see this color on your stool, go to the doctor as soon as you can. Bleeding is never a good thing, blood on stool may be because of cancer. Otherwise, it may also be because the stool is making your stomach, intestines, or your gastrointestinal tract bleed. Consulting a doctor is a must.
Aside from the appearance, how frequent do you go to the bathroom also tells something about your health. If your bathroom trip is becoming more frequent then you should check what you’ve been eating lately. On the other hand, you should drink some tea or take some probiotics if you do not defecate. Meanwhile, stool naturally have a not so good odor, but not to the point of it being too strong.