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THE LOG BLOG: WHAT GOES IN, MUST COME OUT

I spend a lot of time at CK Elite talking about what you should be putting in your body. But I spend hardly any time at all (for obvious reasons) talking about what comes out.

Yep. Hold your nose, guys—we’re talking about poo.

It might sound strange, but paying attention to what comes out of your body can be a really useful indication of how healthy your diet is, and just how well your body is dealing with what you’re putting into it. So. This isn’t going to be pretty, but we’re going round the U-bend—this blog is all about what your poo can tell you about your health.

Blog about Poo

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

Loose, watery poop is usually a sign that something you’ve eaten hasn’t gone down too well and is wreaking havoc on its way out of your system. If it is something that you’ve eaten that’s causing the problem, then you can expect things to stay that way for a day or two. But if it’s a regular occurrence, there could be something really not right.

Always, always, always get any long-lasting poop problems checked out with your doctor, of course. But if you’re passing watery poops fairly regularly, the problem could be something as simple as missing out on some much needed fibre in your diet. Try adding some whole wheat to what you’re eating—high fibre, low sugar breakfast cereals or pulses, like lentils and beans, are great—and see if that helps things get back to normal.

But remember, your body uses up water when it digests fibre, so make sure you stay hydrated if you’re increasing your fibre intake.

 

via GIPHY

 

ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER

At the other end of the scale, lots of hard dry pellets of poop that can be difficult to pass are a sure sign of either dehydration or constipation. Same goes if your poop looks like lots of small balls of poop smushed together, like a nutty chocolate bar. So if it looks like you’ve dropped a packet of Maltesers or a Lion bar in the toilet, you need to be looking at drinking more water and increasing the fibre in your diet to ease the situation and get you moving again.

You might also want to try adding some magnesium-rich foods to your diet: magnesium has long been used to treat constipation, so just adding some avocado, leafy green vegetables, bananas or fish to your diet might help loosen things up!

 

OATMEAL IS GREAT. JUST NOT IN THE TOILET…

The oats in that bowl of porridge you had this morning are a great, high-fibre source of slow-release energy, with a decent dose of protein added for good measure. But if what you’re dropping in the loo afterwards looks like porridge too, there could be a problem.

If your poop is more of a splat than a plop, fibre is probably the key. Insoluble dietary fibre not only helps regulate blood sugar levels, but is what provides bulk to your poop, holding all the waste in your bowels together so that you can pass it in one movement. For that, you’re looking at adding raw vegetables, wholegrain, and protein-rich nuts and seeds to your diet.

Splattery poops can also be caused by bacterial imbalance, so if increasing the amount of fibre in your diet doesn’t help, try some natural protobiotic yogurt to restore some harmony to your gut. But as always, if this kind of poop doesn’t sort itself out, get yourself checked out by your doctor.

 

STRIKING OIL!

Oily or greasy poop that’s often pale in colour, stinks to high heaven and doesn’t flush away easily can be a sign that your food is moving too quickly through your gut. And if you’re dropping the kids off at the pool too soon, your body won’t have time to take everything it needs from your food, which can lead to nutritional problems and dietary imbalances.

So what causes the poop train to fly through the station without stopping? Well, too much fat or alcohol in your diet could be to blame, so try holding back on the booze and takeaways and see if that helps. But if this kind of poop—known as steatorrhea, if you really want to get really technical—keeps happening, there could be a more serious a problem behind it, like gallstones or Crohn’s disease. If improving your diet doesn’t help, best talk to your doctor.

 

SINK OR SWIM

If your poop floats on the surface of the water, you might have excess gas in your gut. Floaters in themselves aren’t a bad thing: changes to your diet, eating certain foods like raw veg or fruit, and even not chewing your food enough can all cause gas to build up. If you are changing your diet expect things to change at the other end, and no matter how hungry you are, make sure you chew your food plenty of times before swallowing. (Remember saliva contains digestive enzymes, so the digestion process starts the moment you put food in your mouth!)

But excess gas or floating poop could also be a sign of bacterial imbalances in the gut, or even gastrointestinal infections. So although the odd floater is nothing to worry about, if it keeps happening get yourself checked out!

via GIPHY

 

PASS WITH FLYING COLOURS

Poop is brown. Except when it isn’t. Depending on what you’re putting in (and what’s going on inside) your body, your poop could be anything from a pale yellow to purplish or even black.

The odd colour change is nothing to worry about and is likely down to the food you’re eating making its way out the other end. Eating beetroot or lots of fresh tomatoes can give your poop a reddish or purplish tinge, while spinach and other iron-rich foods can darken your poop and make it look greenish or even black. But bleeding from somewhere in your gut, like from a stomach ulcer, can also make your poop look black. Problems with your gall bladder or pancreas can make them look yellow, or even whitish. If your poop changes colour and doesn’t change back, there could be something going on below the surface. So always have a chat with your doctor if you think something’s wrong.

 

via GIPHY

 

POOPHORIA

So when all is said and done, what’s the perfect poop? In the 1990s doctors at the Bristol Royal Infirmary produced the Bristol Stool Chart, an index that classified patients’ poops into one of seven categories. The chart has since become a standard system for pooppraisals: the lower the number, the harder and more constipated the poop, while the higher numbers corresponded to looser, diarrhoea-like poos. Somewhere in between, rated 3 or 4, were the ‘normal’ poops—sausage shaped, perhaps only with a few cracks on the surface, pale or chestnut brown in colour, and easy to pass.

In a healthy person, dropping a 3 or a 4 rather than a 1 or a 7 is all down to diet and exercise. Fibre rich foods will help keep things moving and help keep your stools in one easy piece, while drinking enough water will help keep them soft enough to drop without too much effort. Getting plenty of exercise will keep things working as they should, and keep your insides as healthy as your outside!

 

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