Updated: Feb 6
This stuff can be difficult to talk about, but even more difficult to pick a blog banner pic for, so I opted for cute.
There's nothing worse than suspecting your poo is not 'normal' but being too embarrassed to ask. When I ask the question in a workshop setting, the silence is deafening. So I thought I'd do a bit of straight talking.
This is the sort of talking I do with ALL my clients, regardless of what they are coming to see me about. That's because it's an important factor in all aspects of health. So I ask about frequency, colour, smell, consistency and shape of bowel movements. A deep dive into the toilet bowl.
Now first of all. Normal is different for everyone, so the main thing you should be aware of is if there are any changes (changes for you), in colour, consistency or frequency. To be aware of the changes, you first of all have to observe what is happening. So get into the habit of checking every so often. I check most days.
Wee side note here - if you ever notice blood or mucus in your stool, pop along to the doctor and get it checked out.
Here are a few characteristics to look out for (from MedicalNewsToday):
Pain-free to pass: A healthy bowel movement should be painless and require minimal strain.
Soft to firm in texture: Passed in one single piece or a few smaller pieces (long, sausage-like shape of poop is due to the shape of the intestines)
Medium to dark brown in colour because it contains a pigment called bilirubin, which forms when red blood cells break down.
Strong-smelling as bacteria in excrement emit gases that contain the unpleasant odor associated with poop.
Passed once or twice daily: Most people pass stool once a day, although others may poop every other day or up to three times daily. At a minimum, a person should pass stool three times a week.
It's also a good idea to check your transit time every so often. A healthy transit time is considered to be around 12-24hrs.
Home Transit Test – Eat a good amount of Beetroot or Sweetcorn – note the first time and last time you see the sweetcorn or notice the change in colour (poo will be red).
If you first notice the corn or beetroot 24 hours later and then are still seeing bits of it 72 hrs later then things may not be moving fast enough. That means you could have a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast and at the very least have bloating and gas and constipation with potential for more serious consequences if this is a regular occurrence .
Constipation can be at the very least uncomfortable and painful but can often lead to more serious consequences. It can also be a symptom of some other imbalance in the body such as stress, thyroid or food intolerences. All things I can help with.
The Bristol Stool Chart below can be a good guide for you and then you can decide if it's something you'd like to address.
In many cases, with a few simple adjustments to food and lifestyle and some short term supplement support, corrections can be made that can signifcantly improve the quality of life. I've had clients message me saying it's the first time they've had a regular/smooth bowel movement in 10 years. Music to my ears.
If this is something you'd like help with, you have 3 options
Book a 1-2-1 Consultation with me
Register for the Love Your Gut Webinar on 12 August (will be recorded)
If you're not sure which option suits you, I offer a free 10 Symptom Checker Call you can book via my Facebook Page Janice Tracey Nutrition.
Lets get you feeling better.