Peek-a-POO, I See You ?

When we potty trained our children it was a celebration when they “made poo poo” in the potty right? We looked at it, admired it, and showed other family members before flushing it away;)

Today, as an adult, the idea of celebrating your bowel movement (much less looking at it) seems a little over the top…but perhaps we should! Huh??

Yes! Take a peek at your poo! Now we’re not saying bring the family in… Amazingly, your poop can say a lot about your health! Besides the obvious, (hey you’re constipated!), what you leave in the loo can actually be insight to disease states such as liver or gall bladder disease, autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s, and even cancer. We love the book, What’s Your Poo Telling You? (Richman/Sheth), because it gives a humorous but informative breakdown of just what your poo (the size, shape, frequency) is trying to tell you;)

We talk (a lot) about the gut because your gut reflects so much about your well-being! We digest and absorb our food in our small intestine, taking the nutrients from our food to maintain our health. Our colon, or large intestine, has a huge responsibility of taking what’s left (the wastes and toxins) and removing them from our body. The process results in passing a stool…so take a look and compare it with the Bristol Stool Chart {click to view}. It’s a quick guide to who’s who in poo;) Are you digesting your food properly? Are you dehydrated? Are you experiencing irritable bowel symptoms? This chart is a wonderful way to recognize what’s going on in your gut! It’s vitally important to “take out the trash” on a regular basis…removing toxins and wastes from our bodies contributes to our overall wellness! And if the waste stays in your colon too long, you suffer…you’re bloated, gassy; you may experience abdominal pain, and yes, constipation 🙁

Why are we a constipated society?? What does it even mean to be constipated? Constipation means there is difficulty emptying the bowels, and typically is associated with a hard, pellet-like stool. It can happen to anyone, young and old alike. At Two Hoots we always ask why? What is our root cause? Let’s consider three things: Diet, Stress, and Medications.

So about our diet…Trade your box meal, supersize soda and Happy Meal toy for real food! Dairy can also be constipating, as can products with gluten. Certainly processed foods are unhealthy for you, so choose wisely! We’re talking about leafy green veggies and fruits. It’s summer! Shop the farmer’s market for fresh, local organic foods:) Adding the fiber found in fruits and veggies in addition to drinking water will keep you hydrated and keep things moving:)

Got stress? As we discussed in our post, Is Stress Slowly Killing You?, if your body keeps elevated levels of cortisol all day long, then it’s not tending to normal daily functions (like the bathroom) because it assumes you’re getting chased by a tiger…priorities right? Ha! Take control of your stress…make time for your spiritual self, make time for “you and the loo”…and add exercise; the more you move, the easier your bowels move!

Finally, look at your prescriptions…the number one culprit is opioid (pain) medications, but did you know certain blood pressure medications known as diuretics can leave us dehydrated and depleted in magnesium, a major cause of constipation. Other blood pressure meds, Calcium Channel blockers, can interfere with the muscular movement of the colon, making passage of your stool slow and infrequent. Antidepressants called Tricyclics and SSRIs, birth control pills, post-antibiotic use, as well as mineral supplements such as calcium and iron may also contribute to the problem. And did you know that laxatives can also CAUSE constipation? It’s true! Your colon goes “on vacation” when you take a laxative. If taken chronically, your colon has a difficult time “getting back to work” after you stop. The result? You get constipated…again! Ugh!!

So how does our modern medical world respond? With more drugs of course! Miralax, Exlax, Senokot…And the new ones: Amitiza, Linzesse, and the newest, Movantik. These newer drugs may cost you over $300! Ouch! Why do we need to ‘pop a pill’ to help us poop! Look at the root cause of your poo perplexity!!

So check your diet, add fiber, eliminate processed foods. Check your medications…can you stop or change something if constipation is a real problem for you? Remember we are taking control of our health! Have you started your probiotic, multivitamin, and magnesium? These supplements will benefit your gut health and improve your bowel habits! And let’s add one more thing…drink WATER! The benefits of water (which deserves its own post) keeps you regular, flushes out toxins and improves digestion. Drink filtered water, not tap, and drink half your weight (in ounces) each and every day! Until next time, may the force of a great poop be with you ? and remember we give Two Hoots about (your) Health!

Share this!