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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 December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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