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How Your Poop Says Much About Your Digestive Health

How Your Poop Says Much About Your Digestive Health

As Hippocrates once said, “All disease begins in the gut”, and there is so much truth in that as evidenced in very concrete studies being carried out. Our gastrointestinal system is said to be like a second brain to our bodies because of the 100 million nerve endings that line our gastrointestinal tracts. According to Dr. Douglas Lord, any problems that arise in our gastrointestinal system might impact a great deal of many things such as our moods, memory, and even our immune system.

One way to find out whether our gastrointestinal system is functioning optimally is by simply looking at the color of our poop. Different colors can indicate whether our intestines and the overall digestive system is healthy. However, color itself is not the only indicator of digestive health, even the frequency, shape and odor of your poop are important things to look out for when determining whether your gut is healthy. Below, are the different colors and what they actually mean.

Poop Color:

1. Black stool

According to Mayo Clinic, if your stool is black in color, it could mean that there is a bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, most probably in the stomach area. Possible dietary causes might be due to iron supplements, black licorice or even bismuth subsalicylate, an anti-diarrhea medicine known to cause black stools.

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2. Green stool

Green stool is an indication that your food might be passing through your intestines too quickly and that the bile does not have enough time to be broken down. Possible causes of this could be too much leafy vegetables or ingesting too much green coloring.

3. Light or white colored stool

If your stool is white in color, it could mean that there is not enough bile produced in your stool and it might indicate that there is a blockage in your bile duct. This might be caused by anti-diarrhea medicine or other medications.

4. Yellow or greasy stool

Yellow and greasy stool and sometimes even foul-smelling can be indicators that there is too much fat in your diet. Or it could also mean that there is a malabsorption disorder which is caused by lactose intolerance, intestinal damage or even celiac disease – which means your body is hypersensitive to gluten, hence resulting in a difficulty to digest food.

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5. RED STOOL

If your stool is red, do not panic. It could simply mean simple issues such as hemorrhoids (enlarged veins near the rectal area bursting) or anal fissures which are caused by the tear of the anal canal linings. These issues can be easily solved through over-the-counter medications. But just to make sure, it is best to check with your physician.

Poop Shape:

bristolstoolchart

    Another great way to find out whether your digestive health is optimal is through understanding the Bristol Stool Chart.

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    Problems such as constipation can be looked out for if you come across stool shapes in the form of Type 1 and Type 2 where the stool is lumpy and hard or sausage like respectively. To deal with constipation, you might want to engage in exercise regularly, ensure that you’re drinking enough fluids and also making sure that you’re ingesting enough vegetables, fruits and fiber.

    Your digestive health is normal if the shape and texture of your stool are like Type 3 and 4.

    For Type 5, this would be an ideal shape for people who has a bowel movement 2-3 times daily, especially after major meals.

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    For Type 6 when the stool is of mushy consistency, it is considered a borderline normal situation as such kinds of stool could be an indicator of a hyperactive colon or the body is in a stressed state, hence releasing more water and increasing blood pressure. Too much spices in your diet and possibly consuming too much water with high mineral content can cause your stool to be shaped as such.

    Lastly, Type 7 is of course, diarrhea. Constipation in the large intestine can cause the liquid contents from the small intestine to go nowhere else but down to the rectum while only a small amount of water is absorbed. Hence, people who experience diarrhea might also experience dehydration.

    Poop Odor

    Poop odor can also tell a lot about your intestinal health. You should know that stinky poop odors are normal and that you’ll hardly get poop that doesn’t smell. But having unbearably smelly stool frequently could mean an underlying problem with your intestinal health and stool usually come runny and soft. Causes of such stool could be malabsorption, an infection in the intestines, or even allergies. If your stool is always foul-smelling, it’s best to get it checked with a physician.

    Poop Frequency

    According to Doctor Mercola, having bowel movements 3 times a day or 3 times per week is considered normal. Constipation occurs if there is no bowel movement for 3 straight days, of which Doctor Mercola has instructed people who suffer from constipation to get into the squat position which can help. And of course, more than 3 times a day would be considered as diarrhea.

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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