This post is going to delve into an area that most of us are neither interested in nor comfortable talking about – bowel movements. I know, its a gross thing and you don’t want to think about it. Unfortunately its an important topic, because it is something we all do (yes ladies, guys know you drop a load, so stop pretending as if you don’t), and we need to keep our gastrointestinal system healthy.
How often do you poo poo?
Once every 3 days?
Every other day?
2-3 times per day?
Whether you crap, shit, poop, drop a deuce, or go number 2, it is important that you have some form of regularity.
*TMI ALERT!* For me, I consider myself healthy if I go once per day, sometimes twice if I’ve been eating a good amount of fiber. But then there are those times when I don’t go for 2-3 days (that 3rd day is when I take a laxative because my plumbing is obviously backed up and I’m pretty uncomfortable at that point).
Most medical doctors will consider your bowel movement consistency “normal” if you regularly go no more than 3 times per day, and no less than 3 times per week. But don’t worry if you don’t fall within this range quite yet.
If you notice a change in your frequency, it may be due to something harmless such as a change in diet, increase/decrease in water consumption, or a side effect of medication you may be taking. But severe constipation (when you don’t go for several days longer than normal), or diarrhea (watery poop that occurs 3 or more times in a day) are signs that your GI system is out of whack. Most of the time this is temporary.
So now that we covered frequency, let’s talk poop texture.
Ugh, did I just say that?
A large, hard poop can make it difficult to go number 2, forcing you to push harder than you should, and potentially causing damage to your rectum. This can sometimes be caused by lack of hydration. Drinking plenty of water should help with smoothing out your poop, making it easier to go.
On the other side, a watery poop – otherwise known as diarrhea – is no good either. It can be cause by eating something bad (spoiled cheese for example), eating too much fiber, or could signify a bigger problem such as a virus or other problem within your gastrointestinal tract.
Your poop should feel like hard ice cream coming out.
And how do your loads look?
Yeah, I know. This is not a sexy conversation.
When you eat, your food has to get from your mouth and go through your esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and out the anus. From top to bottom, that’s about 90 feet of sailing down your system over a period of a couple of days.
In that time, your poop interacts with all sort of digestive juices, predominantly bile, which will give your poop a brown color (like milk chocolate, but please oh please don’t try to eat it). However, if you are on medication or vitamins, those can change the apparent color of your poop, anywhere from green to Black. But be careful. Black poop can also signify that there is blood in your poop, and that could mean big problems.
Essentially, your bowel movement should look like a sausage – brown and smooth.
How does your bowel movement smell?
Bad. Next Question.
So that is basically it. I wrote this post in response to a conversation I overheard in the restroom of a restaurant a couple of weeks ago. I young woman was telling her friend that she hadn’t taken a shit in over 2 weeks and was feeling bloated. BLOATED!!!??? I’d be out of my mind and very sick if I hadn’t crapped in that long. Good God Woman, go to the doctor!!! So this is my PSA to you.
The best way to make sure your dropping that load regularly and that it is healthy is to eat right (25 grams of fiber daily), exercise (30 minutes or more daily), and drink plenty of water (8 glasses or more daily).
For more info on gastrointestinal health,you can try any of the sites below: