Let's Talk About Poo!
Today we're talking about poo! We're all adults here (with IBS) so we shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about it. After all, "everybody poops".
Some Quick Poo Trivia
75% of poo is water, the rest is dead and alive bacteria, your dead cells and undigested fibre.
The average American poos around 150g per day, thats around 5 tonnes in a lifetime!
Cows, kept for unnecessary products such as milk and meat, produce around 160x more poo than humans. In fact 2500 cows will produce that same amount of mature as 411,000 humans! Which pollutes our rivers and seas.
The Perfect Poop Criteria
Solid, smooth and log-shaped
The frequency depends on so many things (diet, exercise, stress), so 3x a day and 3x a week are both normal and not a cause for concern, unless it is a sudden, unexplained change.
Chocolate brown in colour, although this can naturally vary a lot depending on what you eat. For example, iron supplements can make it very dark! And beetroots or lots of leafy greens can also add an extra hue to your poo. (It’s very, very important to quickly see a Dr if you stool become very dark or reddish if you’re not expecting it because it can indicate a GI bleed).
It should sink, NOT float. Floating could indicate there is too much fat in it.
It shouldn’t actually smell that bad at all!
Soft, bulky and you should be vary aware of the fact you need to go... and it should exit easily, without leaks.
Insoluble fibres in foods such as corn, oats and carrots and often not digested by your body, and it’s perfectly normal and healthy to see them again into your poo, perfectly intact, within 24 hours.
It should be pretty big! Think the diameter of your wrist & several inches long.
It shouldn't require you to wipe more than once.
It should be easy and effortless to pass.
You should get a very clear signal form your body it's time to poo.
It should be feel complete and satisfying. Like you know you’re done!
The Bristol Stool Chart
I actually worked a nursing assistant a few years ago and this is the category system used to monitor the patients bowel movements. This also means your doctor or dietician will know what it means and you'll have a clear way to discuss it.
So have a look at the chart below and familiarise yourself with what you're aiming for.
Tracking Bowel Movements In Your Symptoms Diary
The date and time
The stool type (1-7)
The rough quantity (estimate in whatever volume unit makes sense to you e.g. ml or cups)
How easy and satisfying it was out of 10
If the experience working in a hospital taught me anything, it's that you can't underestimate just how much our bowel movements effect our overall well being. It's really hard to feel energetic and happy about anything if you haven't pooed for days or you feel like you could go any second. It would genuinely transform people mood if they had a good bowel movement, which we all deserve every day!