Om Integrative Medicine

POOP


What does your poop tell you about your health?


You are what you EAT, DIGEST, ASSIMILATE and ELIMINATE. While it may not be the most glamorous part of your day, taking a good look at what you eliminate can offer you extremely important insight as to what’s going on inside your digestive system.



Lack Of Bowel Movement Every Single Day


This is considered constipation. There could be various reasons for this. Lack of fiber and water in the diet, lack of exercise, diet high in refined foods, food sensitivities, hypothyroid, not listening to our body’s natural signals to evacuate are the usual ones. It may be new to many people, but from an Ayurvedic perspective, a person may not be eating enough oils/lubrication and/or not drinking enough water. Constipation has a major effect on all aspects of a person’s mood and demeanor and abilities. Unreleased emotions can also cause constipation.



Undigested Food


This signals a sluggish metabolism, lack of natural digestive enzymes or eating food you can’t digest with ease. It may be because you are eating foods you are intolerant/sensitive to.



Frequent Loose Stool/Diarrhea


Clearly, you are not absorbing vital nutrients. Loose watery stools may also indicate that the body is trying to get rid of something toxic usually microbial in origin. That needs to be encouraged. Your bowel is obviously irritated by something. Make sure you take note of concurrent fevers, abdominal cramping, frequency and duration and see your doctor if it last longer than 36 hours and stay hydrated.



Alternating Diarrhea And Constipation


Classic sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). A naturopath is your best friend in this scenario and can most definitely help you.



Hard Stool (Such As Small, Dark Pellets Or Balls)


A sign of constipation. Look at the above discussion on constipation. Dark tarry stools need to alarm you. It might be sign of something serious like digested blood, the source of which needs to be promptly evaluated.



Blood and/or Mucous


Signs of IBS/IBD and needs help of your physician. It is often a sign of something dramatic and systematic. Most commonly removing some food groups from your diet and altering your food habits helps dramatically. Don’t forget to check if you might be anemic as well.



Mysterious Color


Yellow, black, red, blue, green? Many reasons for this, and we should have a talk if this is you.



Sticky Poop


Too much internal heat from faulty food habits, food intolerances, inefficient digestion.



Odour


Very strong, putrid, acidic? This are signs of poorly digested food. Need to look into many things like stale food consumption, disagreeable foods, foods you might be intolerant to. I love it when people eat food that’s best for your blood type. I will try and post something on that soon too.



Shape


Small, thin, pellets, no shape/watery diarrhea: Again digestion needs help. Many of the reasons I have already stated above.



Specific Gravity


Sink or Float? Sinking stools suggest a heavy meal that may not have not have been optimally digested. Floating oil on the water suggests either too much oil that did not get absorbed in your diet or malabsorption.



Finally the Ideal Poop!


It is ideal to have 1 to 3 well-formed, easy to pass, medium brown, not disintegrating on touching the water, non bloody, non mucous-y, non offensive smelling bowel movement. Roughly the size of a banana is a good sign for the stool. If this doesn’t generally describe your elimination processes, chances are good that your digestive system could use some looking into by a good naturopath. From an ayurvedic point of view, ideally you should have a bowel movement first thing in the morning after waking up. If you are in optimal health, your need to evacuate might be why you are pulled out of bed. Remember, your poop is your best messenger of your digestive health.