Hey, your shit is your shit
Throughout the years we’ve lived, we have all learned how to shit (literally take a dump). We used to go whenever nature called and run to a toilet, and eventually mastered the art of holding it in (but only when completely necessary, of course). We have our own routines; some of us read, others play games and there are those of us who crouch, crap and clean.
To each their own, right?
But while we’re willing to let you do your business the way you want to do your business, there are things you should watch out for when you shit your shit.
Does it look like a snake?
Some great people from the University of Bristol published a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, which helps us figure out how our poop is doing. The ideal? Type 4: like a snake, smooth and soft.
We know your shit probably doesn’t always resemble a snake, but hopefully you stay between types 4 and 5. Otherwise, you’re either constipated (and need some fiber) or experiencing diarrhea.
Are you going every day?
Some of us defecate more often than others—there’s no doubt about that. I have a friend who proudly says he goes at least three times a day; I have another that’s happy when she passes something once a day. It’s all good as frequency depends on a number of things such as diet and the person’s size. But how often we go can also be a sign for how healthy your bowel movements are.
The rule of thumb is you need to go every day, anywhere from 1 to 3 times a day.
What color are we looking at?
The color of your shit depends on your diet and how much bile (a yellow-green fluid that helps digest fat) is actually in it. So your stool should reflect a mixture of the food you intake and bile, meaning that most browns and even some greens are alright.
Do keep your eye out for some reds though. If you haven’t been eating too much red items, it could mean bleeding in your large intestine or your rectum. On the other hand, yellow is often taken as a sign of too much fat (if you are currently no longer a breast-fed infant).
Is it taking too long to come out?
Generally, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of minutes to finish on the toilet. More importantly, it shouldn’t be difficult.
Ideally, you should be spending less than ten minutes on the seat, as it means that you aren’t straining your bowels too much. Remember, kids: pushing too much could lead to hemorrhoids.
Does it float?
You’ve probably heard that floating stool is cause for alarm—and sometimes it can be. But when it happens one day out of the week, you don’t have to book an appointment with your doctor just yet. One usual reason that poop floats or lacks in density is simply from an increased amount of gas or water.
That said, if floating shit is your normal, it might mean malabsorption syndrome, which is when your small intestine isn’t able to properly absorb the nutrients from your food.
Don't take your shit for granted, folks It's an easy way to tell how your body is doing. So before you flush next time, how about a little look-see?
Art Alexandra Lara