Yep, we’re going to get real down and dirty today. It’s been on my mind a lot, and I’ve tried to deny it, but it’s time. Time to talk about poop. This is not a topic anyone wants to readily discuss, but when it comes to you diet and health, this information is crucial. There are so many issues today like IBS, dairy and gluten intolerance. If you are one of these people; learning about whats going on in your body could be helped by keeping your eye on what’s coming out
People often see overweight people and assume they are unhealthy. This isn’t always the case, however. It doesn’t matter what shape or size, you can still have serious underlying health issues.
One major way to make yourself aware of these issues is through poo.
It seems so simple really; what comes out represents what goes in. If your poop is coming out in an unhealthy way, chances are something unhealthy is going down in your digestive tract. No matter what’s coming out, chances are you have some form of leaky gut going on.
This is a condition that affects the lining of the intestines. Damage that is done over time to the lining of the intestine essentially breaks down their ability to filter properly. This can cause waste that would normally be absorbed into your system to instead “leak” out into your blood stream.
Scary thought isn’t it?
Leaky gut can lead to an array of autoimmune reactions such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, brain fog, tiredness, joint pain and skin problems. It’s also believed that having a leaky gut can either cause or trigger certain autoimmune diseases such as Celiacs, arthritis, and Chrone’s.
One symptom you don’t hear about too often but I find incredibly interesting is depression. Our enteric nervous system (ENS) located in the lining of our gastrointestinal is often referred to as our “second brain.” This ENS connects directly to our brains. In other words, those gut feelings we’ve heard about our entire life are actually quite accurate. This is referred to as the brain-gut axis. Our brain and gut communicate about things like hunger, worry and stress. If you have ever noticed when you feel nervous you feel it in the pit of your stomach? That is your ENS hard at work.
So, naturally it makes sense that if something is off in this area of our bodies, our brain can just as easily be effected with a symptom like depression.
While I could go on about this, because it is something I am truly fascinated by, let’s continue to focus on what all these symptoms could mean should you experience any of them.
If you find yourself having one or many of these leaky gut symptoms, read on to find out how your poop could be offering up ideas on how to fix the underlying issues.
As you can see by the chart, there are 7 different classifictions of stools. This Bristol Stool Chart is used by the medical community to classify different types of stools.
Now, bear with me as we break them down a little. (Pun intended? No? Too gross?)
This type of stool is referred to in our house as rabbit poop because it comes out in small, hard pellets. Even though they are small, they can often take the most effort to pass. This is considered constipation. If you find this type of poop in the toilet chances are you are lacking fiber and also need to hydrate yourself.
Similar to type one, this lumpy sausage shape is still more likely to cause you straining problems. This is also considered to be in the constipation category. While you may be still pooping consistently, this type of poop is still a sign of a system in trouble. *For these two types of stools, having floating poo is an additional sign that your are eating very nutrient lacking foods.**
These three are considered to be in the healthy range for stools. However, Type 4 is ideal and shows the highest functioning bowel movement. I bet you never thought you would set goals to have good looking poop. If you do, this is the kind to aim for. What Type 4 shows is a smooth moving stool that easily exits the body. This type can even come out in a snake shape which is basically following the shape of your intestines. Smooth move all the way.
Alright, if you aren’t already cringing, get prepared.
These two types of stool are more liquid and most likely come out easy. Maybe too easily. This is a sure sign that your stool is passing so quickly through your digestive tract that your intestines aren’t able to absorb much nutrients at all. While this could be a sign of a disease like Celiacs, there are many other things to consider as well.
If you are seeing stools that resemble a Type 1 or 2 or a Type 6 or 7, you may have some work ahead of you. So just what is your body telling you it needs when you are seeing these?
Start your mornings off with room temperature lemon water. I know, not everyone is a fan of luke warm water, but I promise this will be a gently start for your system first thing in the morning. Keep this habit throughout the day. Aim to get your recommended amount of water (about 12 cups a day.) Try to avoid any sugary drinks or caffeine.
To get started you may consider a diet similar to that of a mono meals diet. Start your day with fresh fruits or veggies. Fruits like berries, apples and mangos are quick digesting and after your morning lemon water will help kick start your intestines and begin the smooth moving process. Ensure you eat all the raw fruits and veggies in the morning or afternoon before you introduce cooked foods or proteins.
Speaking of protein; consider a diet with less meat consumption. Meat is a slow digesting protein that if consumed too much can clog up the digestion of the rest of your foods. To help get your system back on track, I would suggest cutting your meat portions in half and double the intake of vegetables. Make sure you are doing these together, too. Your veggies will help the digestion of your meats and give your intestines a much deserved break.
Don’t mix your proteins. For example: if you are eating chicken, don’t add beans or hummus to your meal.
I would also recommend clearing gluten and dairy from your diet as both of these things could be backing up your system. Introduce them slowly back in and one at a time to ensure the easiest transition.
First of all, these runny types of stool can be a big indication of a dairy or gluten intolerance. If you are considered this may be Celiacs, get yourself tested before cutting either of these foods from your diet. Celiacs can only be identified with gluten currently in your system.
If this type of stool is a reaction you are having quickly after a meal, then seeing a doctor is my first recommendation. Besides reacting quickly to a meal, if you find your loose stools are also floating at the top of the water in the toilet, this is a sure bet that you are eating too greasy of foods and your body has no fiber to absorb.
However, (TMI warning) I personally had my run ins with 6 and 7 during my stint as a gluten free, vegan. Clearly neither gluten nor dairy were the culprit in this case. These weren’t quick bouts after meals, they had become a typical day in the life.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, let’s start here.
First of all, while this may seem like you are perfectly hydrated, your poop may be telling you that your body is expelling a lot of the liquids it has. To ensure that you are remaining hydrated, it is essential to make sure you are drinking the recommended amounts of water and then some.
Also, your body may be telling you it needs a little more time to absorb the foods you’re giving it. My first suggestion would be to check your grains. If you are eating a lot of white breads or pastas, put those babies on the back burner. Or just throw them in the trash. Too many sugars will you get in trouble. Instead, get yourself some high quality grains.
If you consume wheat and gluten, start with Ezekiel bread. This sprouted grain bread is your safest bet when it comes to healing your gut. Sticking with other high quality grains like quinoa and brown rice are also great ideas. Just make sure you are keeping your portions accurate.
If you are consuming meat, keep it at small amounts. Always ensure that your vegetable content is twice the size of your proteins and grains should be about the size of your fist.
Temporarily avoid raw fruits and vegetables with the exception of bananas. Raw foods like these are quick to digest and you want to help slow your system down and allow for optimal digestion. Starting your morning off with a banana and an un-buttered piece of toast would be a great idea.
Now that you know a little bit more about what to look for when it comes to bathroom time; do what you can to make necessary changes.
Like I said, this goes far beyond just having esthetically pleasing stool. Your poop could really be telling you a big story about what’s happening inside of your body. It’s crucial to act on these warning signs before we find ourselves in a more dyer situation.
Stopping leaky gut in it’s tracks is the best way to help avoid any autoimmune struggles and prevent future flair ups of any current issues you are facing.
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