Is My Poop Normal?
Is My Poop Normal?
Yes, I'm serious! (And don't you sometimes wonder anyway?)
You already know that your poop can reflect your physical, and sometimes even emotional, health.
You may get constipation or have diarrhea when you eat something that "doesn't agree with you," or when you're super-nervous about something.
And what about fiber and water? If you’re not getting enough, it’ll probably show in your poop.
What about the all-important gut microbes? If they're not happy, it'll probably show in your poop.
Here’s a trivia question for you:
Did you know there is an “official” standard for poop? I mean a university-created chart! One that is used to help diagnose conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
Meet the Bristol Stool Scale
The Bristol Stool Scale was created at the prestigious University of Bristol in the UK back in 1997.
You can see the chart here.
The scale breaks down type of poop into seven different categories ranging from type 1 which is very constipated, to type 7 which is diarrhea:
1 - Separate hard lumps (very constipated).
2 - Lumpy and sausage-like (slightly constipated).
3 - Sausage shaped with cracks in the surface (normal)
4 - Smooth, soft sausage (normal).
5 - Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (lacking fiber).
6 - Mushy consistency with ragged edges (inflammation).
7 - Liquid consistency with no solid pieces (inflammation).
Other “poop” factors to consider
You probably guessed that the shapes described in the Bristol Stool Scale are not the only thing to consider for poop health.
Think about how often you go. At least once per day, up to 3 times per day is pretty good. Less than one, or more than three can mean there is something going on.
What about how hard you have to try to go? You want it to be as effortless as possible.
And the color? It should be brown from the bile that you need to break down the fats you ingest.
And if it’s green after a day of massive veggies, or red after that large glass of beet juice, you’re just fine.
But if you see an abnormal color, like red or even black, that you can't explain based on what you ate or drank in the last day or two, you probably want to get that checked out.
If you are concerned that there is something going on, let’s jump on a call so that I can better assess what’s happening and give you some pointers on fixing it.
What do you do when you have "imperfect" poo?
Well, the first thing to consider is how imperfect it is, and how often it is like that? Once in a while, things aren't going to be perfect, and that's A-OK.
If you know you need to get more fiber or water, then try increasing that.
If you haven’t had enough probiotic foods, then try getting more of them.
If you’re super-stressed, then try deep breathing, meditating, or having a warm bath.
Oh, and don’t forget the two most basic pieces of nutrition advice:
First, eat a variety of nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods, including a lot of fruits & veggies (and their “fibrous” skins, wherever possible). The fiber in these is not only helpful for pushing food through your gut, but they also feed those millions of amazing helpful critters that live there (your friendly gut microbes.)
The second piece of advice is to eat slowly, and mindfully, chewing thoroughly.These are good habits for anyone and everyone, even when you have perfect poop!
Of course, long-term issues might require a more thorough review with a qualified health care practitioner. Don't suffer from poop issues for too long before seeking help.
What does poop have to do with your migraines?
If you’re not pooping at least one time per day then your body is storing toxins and releasing these toxic chemicals back into the blood stream resulting in headaches/migraines (nature’s alarm clock to alert us to the problem it is facing)
Constipation and migraine are linked to each other due to the involvement of serotonin. Low levels of serotonin not only causes depression but also migraine pain. And, if you’re constipated it can decrease your levels of serotonin and vice versa, which decreases levels of serotonin in the brain and causes migraine pain.
Your poop tells you a lot of what is happening in your body. Rabbit pellets? You are likely dehydrated and hydration is for migraine support.
Is your poop always loose? If so then you might be eating something you are intolerant to. This causes increased inflammation in the body which works against your goal of keeping those nasty migraines at bay.
Super-Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt (dairy-free probiotic):
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
2 probiotic capsules,
1. Open the probiotic capsules and empty contents into the blender. Blend with coconut milk.
2. Transfer to a sanitized glass jar (make sure it’s not still hot - you don’t want those probiotics to die).
3. Store it in a warm place for 24-48 hours. If it's not thick enough for you, you can let it ferment for another 24 hours..
4. Add your favourite yogurt toppings, and store the rest for up to a week in the fridge.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Fermenting food is not an exact science. If this doesn’t work out as you’d like it to, try different brands of coconut milk and/or probiotics.