IBS and Elimination: Learn To Listen To Your Poop
For IBS sufferers, consistent, easy elimination is often elusive. While there are a few different schools of thought on what’s ideal, most practitioners agree that you should have at least one bowel movement per day, maybe one for every large meal that you eat. To clarify, going to the bathroom should be easy, with no straining involved. Your poop should slide out effortlessly and leave no residue.
What’s Your Poop Telling You?
Your poop is an outstanding gauge of your gut health. With this in mind, you should always check to see what it is telling you!
Rabbit pellet pieces and sausage-like lumpy poo that is difficult to pass indicates that you have constipation. This type could be telling you that you need more fiber, but it could be because you have an infection, a health condition like hypothyroidism, or take a medication that causes it.
Sausage-like poop that either has cracks on the surface or looks like a snake is perfect! Even soft blobs with clear-cut edges that pass with ease are ok.
If your food moves through your digestive tract too quickly, you may experience fluffy pieces of mushy stool or watery, liquid poop. That can happen for several reasons, such as H.Pylori, yeast overgrowth, food reactions, etc. We’ll talk about this in more detail in our upcoming blog posts this month.
Just a note here that if your poop is pencil-thin, it indicates narrowing in your colon, rectum, or anus. Narrowing of the rectum or anus can happen when men have an enlarged prostate or if a person has anal fissures, rectal ulcers, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, trauma, or surgery. It can also indicate colorectal cancer, but that often comes with other symptoms like weight loss, abdominal discomfort, and bleeding.
What Do All Those Colors Mean?
The other thing to pay attention to is the color of your stool.
Brown poop is normal. The bile from your liver turns your poop brown.
Green poop can indicate that your food is moving through your digestive tract too quickly or that you ate a lot of leafy green foods or green food coloring.
Yellow feces that’s greasy and foul-smelling means there’s too much grease in your poop. It often occurs with malabsorption disorders like Celiac Disease.
Black stool can indicate the presence of old blood, meaning that it’s coming from somewhere at the beginning of the digestive process. Bleeding ulcers and cancers turn poop black. But it could also be caused by supplements containing iron or over-the-counter products like Pepto-Bismol.
White, pale-yellow, or clay color can indicate that something isn’t right with your gallbladder. It may mean an obstruction or that your gallbladder is no longer ejecting bile into your digestive tract.
Finally, blood-stained or red color could indicate cancer but could also be hemorrhoids or anal fissures. Blood can also be difficult to visually detect, so screening tests with your physician are a good idea.
Therefore, if your poop is consistently black, red, pale, green, or yellow without any viable explanation, it’s a good idea to see a gastroenterologist to get checked out and make sure it’s nothing more serious. For more information on how your digestive tract works, check out our first IBS post, IBS? Don’t Stress!, in which we discuss how your belly works. Next week, we’ll talk about what IBS is and isn’t. I will also share the things that can mimic IBS and should be ruled out.
What Can You Do Next?
The state of your digestive tract directly impacts your brain health. Additionally, many people with IBS struggle with symptoms of anxiety and depression. To learn more, you can read my blog post: Is Your Depression and Anxiety Diet Related or Five Ways to Nourish Your Gut For a Healthy Mind.
For most people, minor lifestyle changes will make a big difference. However, there are times when the problem runs deeper, and you need professional help. If you’ve tried to figure this out on your own, or you feel like you’re lost in a maze of information and aren’t sure which path to take, don’t give up hope.
We have a range of different approaches that will help you figure out the root cause of your dysfunction and stop the cycle of sickness so you can feel better now. Book your free 30-minute Breakthrough Strategy Session today.