The most revealing health question I ask my patients is:
What does your poo look like?
Most people get skittish with this question and hesitate to disclose all the fine particulars, but when it comes to your poo the devil is definitely in the details. The form, the size, the colour, the frequency, and all the other lovely associated symptoms may seem too personal to reveal, but these stool specifics convey important information about your health and should be openly discussed with your doctor or naturopath.
What your poo should look like
Your stool definitely tells a story of what's happening in your body and is generally a direct result of your diet, fluids, medications, lifestyle, and levels of healthy intestinal bacteria.
I often refer to this handy chart (above) with my patients to get a better understanding of their stool health.
Every person will have different bowel habits, but the important thing is that your stools are formed and easy to pass – like types 3 and 4 above.
If you fall in the unhealthy categories, come and see me for a full GI health review - we should get to the bottom of this ;).
My favourite supplement for healthy stools
As discussed in my previous blog post, the majority of people who suffer from poor bowel health or "IBS" have an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in their intestines causing their symptoms.
In order to restore normal bowel function, I often recommend specific antimicrobial herbs which help to eradicate these bad bugs. The supplement Ultra MFP Forte (above) is my go-to remedy for a lot of these cases.
Caution: I strongly advise consulting with myself or another naturopathic physician before taking this supplement or any other natural medication.
Note: I have no affiliation with Douglas Labs or any company.
Super food for super poo
Regular healthy bowel motions require a balanced diet high in water, fruits & vegetables, and most importantly - fiber!
To increase dietary fiber, most people reach for fiber-rich cereals like All Bran, or supplements like Metamucil. While these products can be effective, they are often highly processed, harsh on your intestines, inflammatory, and contain added sugar.
For a potent hit of dietary fiber I recommend chia seeds. 2 Tbsps of chia seeds contain as much fiber as an entire plate of veggies or cup of beans. It also has the benefit of being high in omega-3 fats for better cardiovascular and brain health.
Sprinkle it on your morning yogurt, make a chia pudding, or have it on smoothies, salads, or soups.
And ditch the processed bran - you don't need it!
Keep an eye on your stool health
- With every bowel motion, it is important to examine your stool to ensure you fall in the healthy range of the Bristol scale, and that there is no blood or mucous present.
- Food intolerances like those to gluten and dairy can interfere with stool health and should be properly assessed or tested by your health care provider.
- Remember, your bowel health is a direct reflection of your general constitution - openly discuss your poo with your doctor.
- For a complete gastrointestinal health overview and to ensure your diet is contributing to your optimal health, please book an appointment.