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What does your pooh say about your health?

Believe it or not, even though it is not a topic anyone likes to discuss, your poo is the window into your body and can tell you a lot about about your health.

THE COLOUR

Anything other that brown is suspect and should be paid attention to.

Bright red – there is bleeding somewhere near the anus. It could be hemorrhoids or anal fissures (cuts).

Dark red  or black – Make sure you haven’t eaten red velvet cake, red colouring, beetroot, cherries or activated charcoal tablets. This could be a sign of bleeding in the stomach or intestines. This could be a result of a stomach or intestinal ulcer or something more serious like cancer. See your doctor asap.

Seaweed green (with explosive diarrhea) –  You may have a Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection. It’s becoming more common and usually occurs after a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria allowing this bad bacteria to take over and cause infection. Call your doctor immediately. If you’re still taking a course of antibiotics, find out if you should stop.

White or clay-coloured – there could be a blockage in your bile duct. This should be attended to immediately.

Silver – this is very rare but could mean a tumor has latched on to the opening of the bile duct. This should be attended to immediately.

Yellow or green – this is most probably due to something you ate and should clear up the next time you go to the loo.

THE CONSISTENCY

Your poo should be something between peanut butter and window putty.

Hard balls (like rabbit pellets) – You are constipated and should drink more water, correct your diet and take some herbal supplements. Use COLON SUPPORT

Soup – Something is irritating your colon. If it is short term you may have eaten something that does not agree with your stomach and you should let it run its course and eliminate the culprit….just watch out for dehydration. If it is more of a long term problem this could be an intolerance (normally gluten or dairy) or a severely irritable bowel. Use IBS SUPPORT

Thin –  This could be an indication of many things including constipation, hemorrhoids, or even cancer. If you notice pencil-thin stool for a day or two, it’s probably not an issue but if the issue is ongoing, it could indicate rectal cancer. With rectal cancer, the tumor is fixed and rigid and encircles the rectum so there’s less space for stool to squeeze through so it appears very thin and stringy. Make an appointment with your doctor. A colonoscopy can evaluate what’s going on.

FLOAT OR SINK

Float – You either have excess gas or fat in your digestive tract. “If you’ve been eating lots of beans, sprouts, cabbage, or very large meals, it’s perfectly normal for stool to float because of gas, and it’s not a cause for concern. If floaters become more common for you or you spot an oil-slick appearance, it could mean something is preventing your body’s ability to absorb fats from food. For instance, inflammation or an infection in your pancreas or liver could prevent you from producing enough digestive enzymes. A food allergy or infection could be damaging the lining of your intestines that’s affecting absorption, too. Ask your doctor for a stool sample test to see if there’s fat that shouldn’t be there. Use DIGEST ENERGY AND HEPATIC SUPPORT

SMELL

No matter what, poo is going to stink but the smell quality of your bowel movements does change depending on your diet. The more veggies you put in, the less it will smell. Very bad smelling poop may indicate that you are not digesting food properly.

Smells like eggs (diarrhea) – You could have giardia. The parasite tends to hang out in fresh water, so if you went swimming in a lake, have gone camping, or drank unpurified water recently, you may have picked up the bug along the way. The issue isn’t always as obvious as you may think. You could have diarrhea for weeks or even months, but otherwise feel fine. Your doctor can run a stool sample test to diagnose it, and certain antibiotics can treat it.