6 Reasons Why You Should Care About Your Poop!

So while this may not be the most glamorous article in the world, it’s incredibly important information when it comes to understanding your personal health.

Have you ever been to the doctor with some issues with your gut and they ask you for the dreaded “stool sample”? First of all, can we just call it like it is? It’s POOP for goodness sake. No one gives a sh*t! (pun intended). Mr. Doctor, please don’t ask me to take you seriously when you say words like, “feces” and “stool”. Ummm what? I’m a mother of three and in our household we say things like….

“Your tummy hurts? When did you poop last?”
“Your poop liked like what?”
“Clean the poop off the freakin’ toilet seat, child!”
“Yay! Max pooped!” In reference to my newborn filling his diaper. Mommies, you know what I’m talking about. The celebration of baby poop is almost like throwing a massive birthday party that begs for an upbeat and catchy poop song.

Ok, now that we have the awkward opening to the article out of the way and you rare bought in to learning more about this necessary body function, here we go!

Let’s talk about what your poop should look like…

If you have paid any kind of attention to health professional in the last 10 years, you would know that your poop should essentially look like the inside of your colon. Long, smooth and buttery soft. HA! Sorry, I had to throw that in there for effect.

Ready to get real about the quality of your poop?

You can tell a lot about your eating and overall lifestyle, just by turning around and looking down after you’ve done your business.

There are many different kinds of poop, here we go…

RED ZONE poops, aka THE NO-GO Poops

“Ouchy Poops” Small, hard pellet-like and difficult to pass
“Niagra Poops” Watery and loose

CAUTION poops, aka DANGER IS APPROACHING poops

“Sausage Poops” Lumpy and typically shorter
“Raggety Poop” Very small, fluffy/mushy pieces, often with ragged edges

YIELD Poops, aka BE CAREFUL Poops

“Dry Sausage Poops” Lumpy shorter but cracked
“Tater Poops” Small and Soft with defined edges

WINNING Poops, aka POOP MASTER 2000

Sausage shaped, smooth and soft! Congratulations, your GI tract is happy and healthy!

Now that we know all the fun shapes and textures you can have to your poop, we can talk about what your poop is trying to tell you! If you fall under any of the categories other than the WINNING POOP MASTER 2000 poop, your nutrition and lifestyle may be damaging your health. Try some of these fixes below. If problems persist, talk to your doctor.

6 Things Your Problem Poop Could be Trying to Tell You

1. YOUR GUT ISN’T FUNCTIONING WELL
There are many causes to this but the most common are blood sugar irregularities, nutrient deficiencies, aging, not enough sleep, microbiotic imbalance, medical procedures, autonomic nervous system problems, chronic disease like Crohn’s or Colitis and medications.

FIX IT!
• Start by increase the amount of whole foods like fruit, vegetables and fresh meats so you get in rich nutrient sources into your diet.
• Eat slowly and mindfully. The slower you eat, the more time your body has to absorb the nutrients it needs to become healthier.
• Get more sleep! Sleep fixes nearly everything.

YES, IT MATTERS!
GI disfunction can be linked to an enormous amount of scary health issues and can lead to even scarier stuff than just feeling backed up and bloated.

2. YOUR MICROBIOME IS OFF-BALANCE
Your microbiome is your collection of healthy bacteria, with Grand Central Station being your gut. Many things can throw your microbiome off, including travel, poor diet or change in diet and even taking antibiotics.

FIX IT!
• Eat a wider range of fresh and minimally processed foods.
• Spend time gardening, where diverse bacteria flourish.
• Consume pre-biotics that boost your body to do what it is supposed to. Great sources are beans, legumes, fruits, starchy veggies and tubers and whole grains.
• Consume probiotics to boost your microbiome population with live colonies from kefir, yogurt, mold-enhanced cheese and fermented products like sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi.

YES, IT MATTERS!
If your healthy bacteria is off, you could be on the struggle bus with producing critical digestive enzymes, breaking down carbs and a lot more!

3. YOUR DIET ISN’T WORKING FOR YOU
There are a few main causes that can indicate that your diet is failing you. You may be fiber deficient, have food sensitivities or be eating too many processed foods.

FIX IT!
• Keep a food journal to track what you eat and when you have symptoms to an unhealthy tummy, even track your poop!
• Increase your fiber intake with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies
• Consider an elimination diet to help you discover the culprit behind a hurt tummy.

YES, IT MATTERS!
Even the minor dietary issues can make you feel awful, drain your energy and lead to severe health issues.

4. YOU’RE DEHYDRATED
We have been talking about water for the entire month of June and you should know by now how incredibly important water is to all bodily functions. Here are all the reasons you may be dehydrated…You are not consuming enough water (duh), you are not consuming enough water-rich foods, heat exposure, intense workouts, some medications, stress and even a low-carb and/or high-protein diet.

FIX IT!
• Drink more water! (obviously)
• Check in with your workout routine. Find a little balance!
• Use strategies to reduce stress
• Eat more water-rich foods like fruits, veggies and whole grains

YES, IT MATTERS!
All bodily functions and systems will suffer when dehydrated! Nothing will work properly.

5. YOU’RE OVERLY STRESSED
Yeah, we get it! You are busy and balancing everything is nearly impossible. There are so many causes of stress but the main ones are stressors at home and work, lack of the great outdoors, weak support network and even an inability to cope well.

FIX IT!
• So many fixes to reducing stress! Ready?
• Take a walk outside, get some sun, listen to music, get a massage, deep breathing, yoga, laugh, snuggle a loved one of pet, take a bath or jump in the hot tub, play games, have sex, meditate and so many more!

YES, IT MATTERS!
Chronic stress can cause a multitude of ailments, physical and mental. These ailments become a MAJOR barrier to you and your goals.

6. YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE ISN’T WORKING ANYMORE
This is the classic “too much” or “too little” problem. You may have an imbalance of high-impact exercise with active recovery. You could be overtraining by working out way too much (yes, it’s a thing)! Maybe you have an imbalance of cardio versus weight training. Or you simply, just barely move with a sedentary lifestyle.

FIX IT!
• Find ways to be active and moving your body in a way that you like! So you don’t dread your workouts.
• If you think you may be overtraining, keep a journal with your workouts and how you may be feeling with your energy, muscle fatigue, aches etc. Then add in recovery days and notice how these symptoms change.

YES, IT MATTERS!
Finding a fitness routine you enjoy, keeps you in balance and free of injury will help you to feel great!

Okay, let’s circle back…

Now you know what kind of poop you want to have and some ways you can make that happen. If you are concerned or feel so inclined, start keeping a journal. Yes, a poop journal to track your habits, nutrition, water and much more. If you want more information, consider getting a microbiome test to see what is going on in your gut.

Bet your going to be checking out the toilet a lot more, as you should! Happy pooping!

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