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Written by Zoe Knight,

Poop. It’s kind of a taboo topic. Unless you like grossing people out and making them feel uncomfortable! But poop is a super important topic to be at least a little bit educated on. Why? Because it can tell you a lot about your health, your gastro-intestinal tract, and your physical and emotional well-being.

But how?! We all focus so much on what’s being put INTO our body, but not so much on what is coming out. And the difference between the two, can tell us A LOT about what’s going on with our digestion, and the whole process that occurs from when we put food into our mouth, until we poop it out.

Poop, what do we WANT to see in it?!

  • poopWell formed

What this means is that is the same size all the way through with a taper at each end. A well-formed poop means you have a good combination of soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in addition to your normal diet. You also don’t want it too hard or too soft! An extreme either way can also mean you aren’t functioning well.

  • Light brown

But not too light as that could indicate a lack of bile, which is a fluid secreted by the liver that aids in digestion.

So in contrast, the below are a list of things that you do NOT want:

  • Discolouration

Such as black or green as this could indicate upper gastrointestinal bleeding if black, or that your food may be moving too fast through your large intestine if green. Keep in mind however that some things may change the colour of your poop, like if you’re drinking a tonne of green drinks or eating a lot of beetroot.

  • Undigested food

There are some foods that are indigestible – like corn! But if you’re constantly seeing large portions of undigested food in your stool, it means you aren’t breaking down the food you’re eating and getting all the nutrients out of it that you need. This is usually due to low HCL and digestive enzymes.

  • An offensive smell

Poop is RENOWNED for smelling bad. But really bad smelling stool can be an indicator of there being something not quite right. Poor diet, malabsorption, some medications and supplements, or infection (bacteria, parasites or viruses) can be a cause of offensive smelling stool. Often offensive smells come teamed up with diarrhea, bloating, and/or flatulence.

Some of these symptoms you may have had for a long time and pass off as being ‘normal’, but pay close attention to what comes out of you, and be aware of what it could be telling you! Your poop doesn’t lie!