You might be thinking that this is a bit of a crap topic but let’s talk about poo.
A bit of background first. I’m on a big health kick at the moment. It’s not a diet (that is just die with an extra T for terrible). It’s a lifestyle change.
After my recent endometriosis diagnosis, I made an appointment with a gynaecological specialist and an appointment with my naturopathic dietician.
My first specialist appointment was a fail. He wasn’t interested in answering my questions and me feel like, well, poo. I decided I’d rather see another specialist. I’ll probably get the same treatment options, but I’ll be much happier handing over a large wodge of cash to someone who listens to me and is interested in involving me in my own treatment. Who knew?!
My naturopathic dietician has set the goal of reducing the inflammation in my body, reducing pain and increasing my energy. There’s a big reason that my naturopathic dietician is part of my health kick regime.
You see, when I received my autoimmune disease diagnosis more than 9 years ago, I saw a rheumatology specialist, who managed my symptoms with medication – which helped relieve the pain and symptoms. I have undifferentiated connective tissue disease – similar to rheumatoid arthritis. I spoke to him about whether changing my diet would help.
I had done some reading that inflammatory foods might make my inflammation worse. For example – I had experienced the upswing in symptoms after I had a glass of wine. I couldn’t get out of bed the next morning and walking more than a few metres was incredibly painful. This gave weight to the theory that if my disease was inflammatory, then eating a diet low in inflammatory foods would help.
My lovely old school gentleman rheumatologist told me that he believed changing my diet wouldn’t make a great deal of difference, but that if it made me feel better, it was definitely worth a go. As my symptoms had incremental improvements over the ensuing months, and then dramatically improved over a year or so, he started referring his patients to naturopathic dieticians too!
Now, let’s get back to the topic. Let’s talk about poo.
One of the biggest signs that your body can give you about the state of your health is your poo. It’s not really something we want to talk about (or look at and certainly not smell) but it is super important.
Let’s talk about poo | normal poo
First, let’s check out what is normal when it comes to poo
- approximately the size and shape of a banana. Oprah and Dr Oz call it an S shape poo. My doctor calls it a toothpaste poo.
- anywhere from three times a day to three times a week
- colour from coppery brown to Mission brown
- leaves the body easily without discomfort or straining
- should enter the water without sticking to the bowl
- the consistency of toothpaste
- should be a floater (means you’re eating enough fibre – go you!)
- easy to clean up – both your bottom and the loo
Let’s talk about poo | abnormal poo
What’s not normal when it comes to poo and how to fix it
- undigested food – take more time when you’re eating. Remember what your Grandma said – chew slowly!
- slimy poo – a healthy bowel has mucous membranes to make pooing easier. But if your poo is slimy, then your bowel may be inflamed. It might be colitis, a gluten sensitivity or an infection. Go and see your doctor!
- sheep droppings – if your poo looks like pebbles, or sheep poo, then your bowel is a bit stressed. Add some magnesium to your diet, which will help relax the bowel muscles. You’re probably stressed and feeling tense t0o – the magnesium will also help the rest of your body.
- submarine poo – turn your sinkers into floaters by adding healthy fibre, wholegrains, legumes and more fruit and vegetables to your diet.
- dark poo – can be a sign of constipation but also a sign of bleeding in the bowel. It can also mean you’ve eaten a lot of kale and spinach, so if your poo is dark and tarry and you’ve not eaten lots of greens, then go and see your doctor!
- sticky stinky poo – if your poo sticks to the bowl and smells vile, then your liver function may be impaired. Skip alcohol for a while and go and see your doctor
- blood when you wipe – it could be a little tear from straining, or it could be a sign of bowel cancer. It will always need treatment so go and see your doctor.
- changes in poo – if you notice changes to your normal poo routine, and you haven’t made dramatic changes to your diet, then this can be a cause for concern. This was one of the signs that sent me to the doctor and lead to my diagnosis of deep infiltrating endometriosis. It is also one of the signs of ovarian cancer. Go and see your doctor!
I’d say that I’m sorry that I’ve talked shit today – but I’m saying pooh pooh to that.
I wrote off my poo symptoms for a long time as being related to my food allergies. It was the perfect storm of other symptoms, combined with my poo symptoms, that made me realise that something wasn’t right. It made me go and see my doctor.
Poo isn’t pretty but it is important. Let’s talk about poo!