let's talk about poop

As someone who has experienced a range of gut issues, gut health and poop is not a laughing matter, but sometimes a little joke or two can help with taking the edge off a sometimes embarrassing subject. So…did you hear about the constipated accountant? He just couldn’t budget.

If you visit a nutritionist or a naturopath, you are likely to be asked questions about your poop (or stools, or number 2’s, or poo, or bowel motions or bowel movements). This may make some people feel a little uncomfortable, but I’m just going to poop it out there (pun intended), it really is very important when looking at overall health.

By the way, did you hear about that movie, Constipation. Oh wait it’s not out yet (hahaha). Ok now that my hilarious jokes have loosened you up a bit (pun intended), let’s get on with the important stuff.

What should it look like?

What goes in, must come out and how it comes out can tell a practitioner so much about what is going on in your gut. So does your poop look like rabbit droppings, a bunch of grapes, corn on the cob, a sausage, chicken nuggets, porridge or gravy. Go to Google images, type in ‘Bristol Stool Chart’ and you’ll find a whole selection of diagrams to help you get familiar with how poops are charted.

A normal bowel motion should be firm, moist and easy to pass, and look a bit like a sausage or a banana or number 4 on the Bristol Stool Chart. Some people may have one to two bowel motions per day, and some have one motion every two or three days.

What could cause concern?

Blood smears, back stools or cream coloured stools could indicate an issue. So can poop that comes with immediate urgency, is persistently or often watery (porridge, gravy) or hard and difficult to pass or requires straining or comes with pain (rabbit droppings, grapes, corn).

These symptoms may come and go and change depending on what you have been eating or drinking, what exercise you have been doing, what gut conditions you may have or what medication you have been taking.

What should I do if I am concerned?

If you think that your poop may be a little different than normal, then make an appointment to see a practitioner (a doctor, naturopath, nutritionist etc) and have a chat about it as they can help rule out any serious conditions and discuss different natural ways to get you back on track.

Perhaps you could remind yourself of this joke before you head in to the appointment to make you feel more at ease: Did you hear about the sequel to the movie Constipation, called Diarrhoea? It was leaked so they had to release it early (…come on it’s funny right?!).

References

  • Better Health Channel, Bowel motions, viewed 1 July 2016, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/bowel-motions
  • Bladder Bowel, Looking after your bowel, viewed 1 July 2016, http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au/assets/doc/LookingAfterYourBowel.html
  • Continence Foundation of Australia, Bristol Stool Chart, viewed 1 July 2016, http://www.continence.org.au/pages/bristol-stool-chart.html