There’s some debate about how many times a day you should poop and what a healthy bowel movement looks like. Let’s put an end to all the questions and set the record straight. Every day your body tells you how well it’s functioning. One of the best ways is through your poop!
Causes of Unhealthy Poop
If a normal poop eludes you, it can indicate a number of health concerns including:
- inflammatory bowel disease
- a less than optimal gut bio-terrain
- food allergies
- nutrient deficiencies
- enzyme deficiencies
- electrolyte imbalance
- overall acidity in the body (a known precursor to cancer)
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- intestinal infections
You can adjust what you eat to have a healthy bowel movement, but before you can do so, you must first understand what’s healthy and what’s NOT.
What Is Your Poop Telling You?
Watch this video and learn what your poop is saying about your digestive health.
Your number 2 is your number 1 tool to use so you can see what your body is up to. For example, my sister was lactose intolerant growing up and it took her years to discover this because she did not know that it wasn’t normal to have diarrhea every time you ate ice cream or drank milk.
You have to look at your poo every time you go to the bathroom, don’t just cover it up with toilet paper and blindly flush every time. Otherwise, you are literally flushing an opportunity down the toilet that gives you insight into your health that can help prevent chronic illness years before it starts.
You can use your #2 tool every single day of your life to get feedback about the choices you made yesterday, the day before that, or the week before that.
Learn what a perfect poop looks like In my Gut Rebuilding® Program. My gut rebuilders affectionately call it the Golden Doodle.
What Is A “Normal Poop” Experience?
A normal healthy bowel movement should be brown, formed, and pass easily. It should take only a minute or two from the time you sit down to fully release a complete stool effortlessly.
You should have a clean break, which means there is no real need to wipe. And once you are finished, you should feel elated, light, complete, and joyful. You should enjoy this experience 1-3 times per day, every day.
There shouldn’t be pain, straining, and effort. You shouldn’t be using half a roll of toilet paper each time and you shouldn’t feel like there is still some left inside. Nor should you feel drained and gross afterward. These are all signs that something isn’t working quite right in your digestive tract.
Let’s Back Up The Tract A Bit…
When you chew food and swallow, it goes down into your stomach. It moves on to the small intestines where bile is added. Then the food goes into the colon where all the bacteria live.
The colon is where your food actually gets digested, so, hopefully, you have a healthy dose of good bacteria present so you can get the best digestive results. If you have bad bacteria living here, they will produce toxins which you will absorb into your bloodstream.
Anything in your intestines can be absorbed by the bloodstream.
Your body uses this very thin membrane, your intestines, and soaks up whatever is there. If your food is moving too slowly through the colon, the waste products that should be leaving, are getting reabsorbed into the blood.
Then your liver filters these waste products again which creates a negative feedback loop of toxicity between the colon and the liver. Over time this constant cycle will make your body toxic and you will start to see it in your skin.
This toxic cycle is also linked to SIBO, which is exacerbated by slow motility in the colon, aka, constipation. SIBO is often associated with rosacea (redness on your face or chest), allergies, food sensitivities, and a highly reactive state in general.
The 7 Different Poop Types
Type 1– Separate hard lumps, like nuts and hard to pass
Type 2– Sausage shaped and lumpy and usually pretty dry. Indicates that you are most likely constipated. If they are separate hard lumps it indicates a very constipated state.
Type 3– Is sausage-like but has cracks on the surface, which is normal.
Type 4– Soft sausage or like a snake. One smooth long piece all connected.
Type 5– Soft blobs with cut edges that passes easily. This is not normal and often indicates that you are lacking fiber.
Type 6– Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, which is a clear sign of inflammation in the body along with a number of other things that could be going on.
Type 7– Watery with no solid pieces, basically straight up diarrhea—another sign of inflammation.
Poop types 1 and 2 are signs of constipation. If you fall in this category you most likely poop once or less per day or as little as once a week. This is a very uncomfortable position to be in because your food is not passing through your body as it should be and toxins are getting reabsorbed into the colon.
As far as poop types 5, 6, and 7 go, these types are diarrhea. If you have one of these types, you most likely struggle with inflammation, which can show up in many ways in your body. Some examples are arthritis, allergies, hives, and food allergies.
Some people fluctuate all over the stool chart and this is a sure sign of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Your stools should be fully digested. There should not be any discernable food left over. If there is, it shows that you are not chewing your food well enough if you can see whole pieces of it in the toilet.
Let’s Talk Color…
Your poop should be brown. The color brown in your poop is often caused by food that is mixed in with the bilirubin from your bile as well as the bacterial fermentation occurring in your gut.
Did you know that the bacteria ferment your food and create a slippery substance that allows your poop to move through your intestines easily and effortlessly? So having the right bacteria is crucial to prevent constipation.
If your poop changes color, it can indicate various things about your health.
If your poop is green, it can indicate that your food is moving too quickly through your digestive tract. Green poop can also occur when you start eating more veggies or if you start adding chlorophyll.
This is okay for a few days but if it persists, you need to improve your digestion so that you are breaking things down properly. Otherwise, you are missing out on nutrients that are moving right through you before your body has a chance to absorb them.
Light color or white stool can indicate issues with bile production or an obstruction of the bile duct, which can be more serious. Some medications may cause this too.
Sometimes stool can be covered in a white cobweb-like mucous, often caused by Candida in the intestines or an intestinal infection.
Black and red poop indicate blood and this is not ideal. It can also be caused by iron supplements or eating too many beets. Really pay attention to what you've been eating and contact your doctor if this color persists.
Yellow stool indicates an inability to digest fats very well and can point to liver or gall-bladder issues. You’ll notice this when your poop is foul smelling and greasy.
Now Let’s Talk Odor…
It’s normal for your poop to not smell like roses, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be overpowering or nauseating.
This type of odor indicates that the bacteria in your gut are fermenting your food improperly which is caused by having the wrong bacteria living in your gut.
These foul odors can also be from not having the right enzymes or the right pH in your gastric juices. The right bacteria can grow if your gastric juice pH is correct.
When you work on getting the right bacteria to grow in your gut, getting the bad bacteria or yeasts out, getting your digestion stronger, and increasing your mineral absorption you will automatically improve your body's pH.
Doctors Get Why Looking At Poop Is So Important
I just couldn't resist a little laugh. Seriously though, the message of “it all starts in the gut” is loud and clear.
What To Do When Your Poop Isn't Perfect
Many people turn to over the counter drugs to deal with constipation, diarrhea and other digestive upsets. All of the typical digestive aids just mask the symptoms of bad digestion.
When you use these drugs, you are not listening to your body or using its messages as a way to heal, which is exactly why you are receiving them in the first place-to alert you that something needs fixing.
Masking digestive symptoms can lead you further down the path of chronic symptoms and this is where it can get intense. Science has uncovered a ton of information in the past couple of years showing the correlation between an unhealthy gut and certain chronic conditions.
Autoimmune disorders, obesity, asthma, allergies, type 2 diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and hormone imbalances all stem from the gut.
Maybe you're not dealing with these complex issues, but things aren’t looking so great in the toilet. These chronic problems could be headed your way if you don’t start to make a shift, or you find yourself using over the counter drugs to mask your symptoms.
Do Your Poop Detective Work
Over the next 24 hours note the color, smell, and types of stool you have based on the Bristol stool chart.
Write down your answers to these questions.
- Is it effortless?
- Do you strain?
- How many times are you going each day?
- Do you have a clean break?
- How close are you to the Golden Doodle?
Don’t judge, just pay attention and look with fresh eyes. Gather your data. There's no right or wrong answers, just awareness. Start there. Once you have the data then you can start to make improvements on it.
How To Get Your Poop Right
If your data shows that you're dealing with regularly less than perfect poo or you have chronic digestive symptoms or diseases that result from poor digestion, your next move to get your smooth move is my Gut Rebuilding® Program.
This program has helped thousands successfully heal their digestive symptoms and chronic health issues, and I'd love for you to be my next success story. I will actively coach you to help you rewrite your story of what great gut health looks like.
Check out my free webinar to learn more about the program and also how to avoid The 3 Mistakes Most People Make When Trying To Health Their Gut (And What To Do Instead).