We know that poop is an awkward topic to read and talk about, but it is one that is so important. It really is like a window into your health!
Next time you take a trip to the bathroom have a look into the toilet to see what your stool has to say about your digestive system. Is your stool soft and sausage-like or is it hard and rocky? Is it loose and mushy or even entirely liquid?
“Your stool matters as it indicates whether or not your digestive system is working correctly.”
Your stool matters as it indicates whether or not your digestive system is working correctly. A healthy digestive system is of paramount importance. It controls your body’s ability to get rid of the by-products of digestion which is critical for detoxification.
At a glance your stool can give you a hint if 1) you are digesting and absorbing nutrients and 2) the diversity of your microbiome.
So what does the perfect stool look like?
- Banana shaped
- Consistent in contour
- Passes easily
- Light brown
- Natural smell
- Floats but does not need several attempts to flush
If you have a healthy looking stool, this is a good sign that your digestive system is running fairly smoothly. This also indicates that your balance of microbiome is in favour of the good guys.
If yours does not resemble the ‘perfect stool’, it is time to find out how you can support your digestive health. Let’s take a closer look at what the three main types of bowel movements that are associated with digestive issues.
Loose stool or diarrhea is when you have more than three bowel movements a day and your stool is unformed (or literally loose).
“Loose stool or diarrhea is when you have more than three bowel movements a day and your stool is unformed (or literally loose).”
If you are experiencing diarrhea this could be due to one or a combination of these reasons; food intolerances and allergies, a damaged gut lining, an imbalance of bacteria or an invasion of pathogens in your gut. Diarrhea is one of the ways your body gets rid of pathogens and toxins as quickly as possible and is a sign of impaired digestion and absorption of nutrients.
We also see people who are ‘going’ every day but it is actually sitting in their system for too long (more than 24 hours). To figure out your transit time, eat corn or beetroot and record what time you ate. Keep an eye out each time you go to the toilet and take note of when the corn or beetroot evacuates.
“People who are ‘going’ every day but it is actually sitting in their system for too long.”
When fecal matter sits in the digestive tract for too long, our body begins to reabsorb the toxins that our body is trying to actually get rid of. Any longer than 24 hours and essentially you are becoming toxic from the inside out! If it sits in the digestive tract for too long and gets dehydrated it can actually get stuck, which can interfere with absorption of nutrients. It also pushes the balance of bacteria in favour of the bad guys.
“Any longer than 24 hours and essentially you are becoming toxic from the inside out!”
Constipation is a massive problem in the modern world and often people are not even aware of it. We often hear of people who pass a stool only every 2 - 3 days, but this is how it has been their whole life so it is the ‘norm’. It is important that you become aware of what is going on with your digestion - as it has a flow on effect further downstream. Why is constipation such a problem in the modern world?
- Hydration - this is the big one. Chronic dehydration means that your bowel will also be dehydrated, leaving you with a slow transit time.
- Lack of digestive enzymes - the inability to break down foods.
- Lack of microbiome diversity
- Thyroid hormone imbalance
“Constipation is a massive problem in the modern world and often people are not even aware of it.”
What does it mean for our health if we are constipated?
Constipation leads to a shift in your microbiome as the unfriendly bacteria outcompete the friendly bacteria, leading to something called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis has also been linked to leaky gut syndrome (increases intestinal permeability) which can lead to malabsorption and increased immune responses.
Lack of Energy
When the liver becomes loaded this can have a massive flow-on effect for your energy levels. If you have fatigue for no reason - take a look at your bowel movements.
When our liver is loaded, this often leads to hormone imbalances. This is because when the loaded liver is loaded, it makes it harder for your liver to detoxify hormones.
Unprocessed hormones and toxins have to go somewhere. With no other options, our body will store them within fat cells and will be stored there until your body gets a chance to handle them (if ever!). Excess oestrogen is usually stored around the hips or the thighs. If that is where you are holding your weight, this is a sign that oestrogen dominance could be a concern for you.
What can you do to get your bowels moving?
Drink more water. Staying hydrated means your stool will also be less likely to become hard and compact (which makes it harder to pass).
Avoid gluten and processed foods. For many people, processed foods and gluten often lead to gut dysfunction. Try going gluten free for 1 month and take note of how you feel.
Consume flaxseed and chia seeds. This will boost the amount of fibre you are eating, which is critical to a great stool. Try this No-Bake Digestive Granola Bar!
Avoid processed refined sugar. Sugar feeds bacteria of the non-beneficial kind, leading to an unbalanced microbiome.
Include a high strength digestive enzyme supplement. This supports your body to break down foods so you can absorb nutrients. We recommend a digestive enzyme support like BePure Gut Assist.
BePure Gut Assist is an all in one, high strength upper digestive support. Formulated with powerful active digestive enzymes to reduce bloating and effectively break down all carbohydrate, fat and protein foods in your diet for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
Include a quality high strength probiotic. Probiotics support the diversity of beneficial gut bacteria, which are essential for great gut health and in turn a great stool. We recommend BePure Gut Renew Probiotic to support to your body with a powerful dose of beneficial bacteria to promote optimal gut health.
Consume fermented foods. Fermented foods also help restore the correct balance of beneficial bacteria in your gut. .
Supplement with magnesium. Magnesium encourages water into the colon, which softens your stool.
Colonics. Clearing out accumulated waste and toxins with a colonic gives the body a chance to restore balance.
Practice yoga / exercise daily. Movement is important to stimulate your bowels. We recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Find out what exercise is right for you here.