What Your Poop Says About Your Health

While not considered appropriate for polite conversation, poop is an important part of our overall health. Also referred to as bowel movements, poop is the result of our bodies taking the nutrients that they need from our food and eliminating what is left over. They can range in color, size, shape, and frequency, and what is typical for one person might be different from somebody else. When analyzing pooping patterns, it is essential for poopers to know what is ""normal"" for them in order to make determinations about their digestive health. Here are several tips about what your poop says about your health.

There is a popular saying about toilet flushing: ""If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."" While brown is the most typical color, there are a few shades of the rainbow involved in the process of digestion. Typically, food takes three days to travel from mouth to the toilet, and is usually brown because of the bile produced by the liver that helps extract nutrients. If poop is green, this simply means that the waste has spent a shorter time in the digestive process, because green is one of the first colors of stool. Black or red poop can be a serious warning sign that something is wrong internally, and that a visit to the doctor is in order.

While unpleasant and far from the smell of roses, poop tends to smell bad. At its most basic level, poop is essentially waste produced by the human body. In fact, the worse the smell, the better that the bacteria in the digestive system is working. Size and shape of the poop, however, seems to be irrelevant to overall health. Thin or thick, pooping is just good for digestive health, no matter how often or seldom it happens as long as it is normal for those concerned. Some individuals go as much as twice a day; others go once, and still others go every other day or a couple of times a week. The issue of frequency only becomes a problem when it is out of the ordinary at any time; for example, if a patient goes twice a day like clockwork but then experiences long bouts of constipation.

Problems with poop - including constipation - result in discomfort that includes gassiness and a bloated feeling. Increased water and fiber intake can help patients to improve constipation, but if these don't help, it's important to see a doctor about the issue. Other digestive issues include diarrhea and blood in the stool, which can indicate more serious problems like hemorrhoids or cancer. Due to the serious nature of these possible conditions, these signs should be checked out right away by healthcare professionals.

Keeping everything flowing smoothly is important for overall health, and can be accomplished with a diet of whole foods, plenty of fiber, regular exercise, and a lot of water throughout each day. Only poopers know the truth about their poop, especially regarding what normally presents in the toilet each day. Individuals should definitely visit a physician if stool drastically changes color or odor, if there is a change in frequency, or if there are any other problems with their digestive health.

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