As a gut health nutritionist, I always emphasize the importance of investigating your stool, as it can give us a ton of insight into your overall health, especially the health of your Gut.
In this blog post, we will delve into the key factors that define what I call the “Perfect Poop”. From colour and shape to texture, consistency, smell, and ease of passage, we will explore how each aspect provides valuable insights into your health that you should definitely pay attention to!
# 1) Colour
Ideally, a healthy poop should be a rich chocolate brown colour. This results from the breakdown of bile in the digestive process. Deviations from this norm like green, yellow, black, or red may signify underlying issues that require attention. Monitoring the colour of your poop can be an effective way to detect potential imbalances in your digestive system.
When it comes to the shape of your Poop, we are looking for something that resembles a Type 4 on the Bristol Stool Scale (a smooth, long, banana-type shape). This indicates a healthy balance of fibre, water, and muscle contractions in the colon. Hard lumps or loose watery stools may indicate issues like constipation, diarrhea, nutrient malabsorption, bacterial imbalances, etc. that should be addressed.
#3) Texture and Consistency
The texture and consistency of your stool can provide important insights into your gut health. Ideally, your poop should be soft and well-formed, indicating a healthy balance of water and fibre. It should be easy to pass without straining, and you shouldn't feel any type of urgency, either. Hard, dry stools can be a sign of dehydration, insufficient fibre intake or low levels of healthy flora (probiotics), while loose or watery stools may indicate issues with digestion, gut infections or food intolerances.
PS. It might surprise you to learn that your stool should actually be Paperless, meaning you need little-to-no toilet paper after you go.
While it may not be the most pleasant topic, the smell of your poop can provide valuable information about your digestive health. A normal, healthy poop should have a mild odor (no matches or poopery required!). Strong, foul-smelling stools may indicate poor digestion (especially poor fat digestion) or imbalances in gut bacteria. This is especially true if the smell of your stool is Sulfuric.
#5) Ease of Passage
The ease of passage refers to how easily your poop moves through your digestive system and out of your body. The perfect poop should be easy to pass without straining or discomfort. Difficult or painful bowel movements can be a sign of constipation or other underlying issues. Ensuring an adequate intake of fibre, staying hydrated, and maintaining regular physical activity can contribute to smooth and effortless bowel movements. If you've tried these things and are still straining, check out my Constipation Guide.
Understanding the characteristics of the Perfect Poop can provide valuable insights into your health. By paying attention to the colour, shape, texture, consistency, smell, and ease of passage of your stool, you can identify potential issues and take proactive steps to improve your digestive well-being!
Remember, individual variations exist, and what may be "perfect" for one person may differ for another, but it's important to observe patterns and changes in your bowel movements over time. If you notice persistent deviations or have concerns about your digestive health, book a complimentary consultation so we can get you on track to finding your own perfect poop.
Embrace the opportunity to decode your poop and use it as a tool to optimize your gut health. Your digestive system plays a vital role in your overall well-being, so prioritize its care and listen to the messages it sends you!