The average person generates up till 5 Tons of stool in a lifetime! Yet, with this amount of ‘output’, any discussion on poop can turn the most macho grown up man into a red faced 12 year old.
However, it is critical to talk about poop as the shape, size, color, and other fecal features can tell us a great deal about one’s overall health, how your gastrointestinal tract is functioning, and even give you clues about serious disease processes that could be occurring, like infections, digestive problems, and even cancer.
Typically, water makes up 75% of your stool. The other 25% is composed of solid matter which contains undigested fiber, fats, inorganic matter and bacteria.
So, how can we decode the secret health messages contained in our stools? These are the 7 types of stools which everyone should be weary of:
1. Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
2. Sausage-shaped but lumpy
3. Like a sausage but with cracks on the surface
4. Soft blobs with clear-cut edges
5. Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
6. Watery, no solid pieces. Entirely Liquid
7. Soft and sticks to the side of the toilet bowl
Here is a useful info-graphic to provide you with more information. Credits to healthworks.my.
5 winning ways to healthy bowels
1. Never suppress the need to go
Do not build up the bad habit of delaying your bowel movements. Any delay causes stools to remain in your colon longer than they should leading to excessive dehydration and formation of hard stools.
2. Always drink sufficient water
Liquids are important to move stools along the entire length of your colon. Insufficient hydration can cause stools to form while still far away from the rectum, causing constipation.
3. Eat plenty of fibre-rich foods
Fibre helps to move waste material through your large intestine by adding ‘bulk’ to the formation of stools. A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains ensures high fibre intake.
4. Maintain a healthy balance of friendly bacteria in your intestinal tract
Friendly intestinal bacteria help to ensure optimal digestion and occupy space and resources, thereby helping to prevent infection by harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Foods that contain these friendly bacteria includes miso, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir.
5. Reduce stress in your life
Digestion is controlled by the enteric nervous system, which is closely connected with the central nervous system. Stress typically affects the central nervous system resulting in reduction of blood flow, lesser movements of digestive muscles, and decreases secretions needed for digestion.