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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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