What does your poop say about your health?
by Dr. Jennifer Burns —
Looking at your own poop seems weird and unusual and is something that people just do not talk about. But since the gut is the “second brain,” there is a lot to be said about how a person’s poop looks in relation to their health. Let us look at a few differences and what they mean.
- Normal poop — A normal stool should be brown, well formed with no foul smell, and a good length, not broken up.
- Loose stool — These stools can go from being slightly loose to full-blown diarrhea. It could mean that there is malabsorption, inflammation or infection in the gut. Gas, bloating and a foul odor are usually present.
- Pencil thin stool — This type could signify stress or anxiety. Other symptoms for this could be fatigue, gas, bloating, foggy brain or undigested stool.
- Constipation — This condition often signifies stress, not enough water intake, gut inflammation or not eating enough fiber. Usually, a person should have a bowel movement at least once a day. To identify what your bowel retention time is, eat raisins, beets or something that will make your stool a different color; then see how long it takes for it to come out a different color. If it is more than one day, you may need to add some extra fiber to your diet.
- Rabbit pellets — Some stool can come out looking like rocks, and a lot of straining is involved during elimination. Also, it may be accompanied by pain in the abdominal area, gas, bloating and spending a lot of time in the bathroom. This usually means there is not enough moisture in the colon. Increasing your water intake and/or fiber can help. Some people on high-protein diets can have rabbit pellet poop, and certain medications can cause constipation.
- Mucus — Mucus in the stool means inflammation or infection in the colon — the lining of the colon is so irritated that it is coming out. You might want to get checked for IBS, IBD, Celiac disease, etc.
- Floating stool — This type could mean that you have a lot of fat in your stool. Adding more fruit and veggies will help to clear it out.
A lot more is revealed in your stools than you realize. If you have tried a few home remedies and nothing is improving, please see your health care provider.
Dr. Jennifer Burns is a naturopathic physician who specializes in gut-related issues, using both Eastern and Western medicine to help people to optimal health. She is owner of The Bienetre Center and is a member of AZNMA, NAPW and a professional affiliate of Arbinger Institute. 623-252-0376 or thebienetrecenter.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 5, October/November 2014.