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Your Personal Doctor: 20 Forms of Pee And Poop and What They Mean for Your Health

Your Personal Doctor: 20 Forms of Pee And Poop and What They Mean for Your Health

The state of your pee and poop can tell you many things about the state of your overall health. So it makes sense to know what to look for when you go to the toilet. Pee is generated by your kidneys to get rid of toxins and other things that might cause you to become sick if left in your blood. Healthy pee is straw-colored and is odorless. Your pee characteristics can highlight serious health problems including urinary stones, gallstones, infections, kidney problems, metabolic disorders, diabetes, pre-clampsia, pituitary disorders, and even cancer.

Your poop characteristics can also highlight serious health problems. These include celiac disease, hepatitis, gallstones, mal-absorption disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and cancer. When assessing your poop, look at is it’s size, shape, smell and shade. You can also look at how often you poop, and how easy it is to pass.

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So what does a normal poop look like? In the chart below, numbers three, four, and five are considered normal, although number four is ideal. A normal poop is easy-to-pass and has a rich brown color.

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    What to look for with your poop

    1. Small & hard-to-pass: If your poop is small and hard-to-pass you are likely to be constipated. The most common reasons are a lack of fiber and water in your diet. If you think you might not be getting enough fiber increase your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. You should be pooping daily, if you are not pooping for days you are likely to be very constipated.
    2. Loose: If you experience loose poop you could be suffering from celiac disease, crohn’s disease, bowel cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation of the pancreas, or have a viral, bacterial or parasite infection.
    3. Black or bright red: If you have black or bright red poop, it could be that something in your digestive system is bleeding. Common reasons for that include hemorrhoids, a stomach ulcer, or colon cancer.
    4. Floats instead of sinks: If your poop floats instead of sinks it can indicate your body is struggling to absorb fat from the food you eat. This might be due to inflammation or infection of your pancreas which prevents digestive enzymes breaking down fat. Or, it could be a food allergy or infection that is damaging the lining of your intestine which means the fat is not being properly absorbed by your body.
    5. Smelly poop with diarrhea: If your poop smells like eggs (or sulphur), and you have diarrhea, you could have the parasite infection, giardia. If you have this infection you might feel fine apart from having the smelly diarrhea.
    6. Pencil-thin: If your poop is pencil-thin it could mean you are constipated, or it could be an indication of a bowel obstruction. Bowel obstructions can be caused by a prostate enlargement, and colon rectal or prostate cancers. Healthy poop is considered to be one to two inches in diameter.
    7. Seaweed green color: If your poop is a seaweed green color, and you have diarrhea, you could have the bacterial infection clostridium difficile. This bacteria is a normal part of the flora in your digestive tract but taking antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria that normally keeps it in balance. As a result, the bacteria may grow out of control leading to the green poop.
    8. Yellow color: If your poop is yellow it may indicate problems with the gallbladder and liver. Bile salts from the liver give poop its brown color so when there is a lack of bile, it often first appears as yellow stool. It could also indicate the parasite infection giardia.
    9. White or gray color: If your poop is white or gray it may indicate a lack of bile which may suggest a serious problem such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, a blocked bile duct, or an issue with your pancreas.
    10. Increased mucus: If your poop has increased mucus in it, it can be an indication of crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or colon cancer.

    What to look for with your pee

    1. Dark brown: If your pee is dark brown it generally indicates extreme dehydration. However, it can also indicate a whole series of other health issues. If you are drinking enough water and your pee is still dark brown, it makes sense to get it checked out by your doctor.
    2. Always having to go: If you are peeing more frequently than usual it might mean that you have an infection, diabetes, or an overactive bladder.
    3. Stinging pain: If you experience pain upon peeing it could be that you have an infection or have kidney stones.
    4. Pungent  smell: If your pee is smelly (like ammonia) you could have an infection or urinary stones, or you may simply be dehydrated. Dehydration causes your pee to be more concentrated, and therefore it may have a stronger smell than normal. Other reasons for having smelly pee include some sexually transmitted diseases.
    5. Sweet smell: If you smell something sweet after you pee it can indicate diabetes. If you are pregnant, changes in the kidney filtration system can result in the presence of sugar in your pee, too (gestational diabetes).
    6. White or colorless: If your pee has no color it suggests that you are drinking too much fluid. Drinking too much fluid can lead to sodium levels in your blood becoming too diluted. Symptoms include confusion, headaches, nausea and bloating. In severe cases, it can lead to seizures, organ failure, and even death.
    7. Cloudy: If your pee looks cloudy you could have an infection, or a problem with your kidneys, pituitary gland, or metabolism.
    8. Red or pink: If your pee is red or pink it can indicate there is fresh blood in it. This can be caused by an infection, kidney stone, or cancer. Some foods and medications can lead to red or pink pee, for example beetroot.
    9. Foamy: If your pee looks foamy it can indicate it has protein in it. This can be caused by diabetes or hypertension.
    10. Sediment: If your pee has sediment in it, it can also indicate you have protein in your pee, which again can be due to diabetes or hypertension. It can also indicate an infection or kidney stones.

    If there is anything that looks a bit unusual about your poop or pee, please consult your doctor for a proper assessment of your health.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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