What Your Poop and Pee are Telling You About Your Body [Infographic]

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Today’s topic may seem gross, but it’s important so I’m writing about it anyway. As someone prone to anal fissures, lately I’ve been reading up on bowel movements. I wound up learning more about poop than I had bargained for. ?

We pee every day and poop almost daily, so they may seem like mindless activities not worth examining. However, did you know that your poop and pee can provide useful insights to your health? Here’s a useful infographic to understand more about your poop and pee:

What Your Poop and Pee Are Telling You About Your Body [Infographic]

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I want to draw your attention to the more serious parts:

  • Ideal poop should… (from: About.com)
    • Be medium brown, the color of plain cardboard
    • Leave the body easily with no straining or discomfort and is the consistency of toothpaste
    • Be approximately four to eight inches long (that’s about 10 cm to 20 cm)
    • Be sausage-like in shape. Refer to the Bristol Stool Chart below:
    • Enter the water smoothly without sticking to the toilet bowl
    • Have little gas or odor
  • Bristol Stool Chart
    • The Bristol Stool Chart is a medical aid used by some doctors to track GI (gastro-intestinal) health among patients:
      Bristol Stool Chart

      Bristol Stool Chart. Image from Wikipedia.

      Generally Types 3 and 4, especially 4, are considered ideal. Types 1 and 2 represent constipation, Types 5 and 6 are making their way to become diarrhea, while Type 7 means you’re having diarrhea (argh)! Use this as an aid to assess the condition of your bowel movements.

  • Passing pellet-like or hard poop?
    • With Types 1 and 2, you are lacking dietary fiber. Introduce more fruits and vegetables and water into your diet. Increasing fiber intake without sufficient water intake will still cause constipation. And that doesn’t mean eating two bananas and drinking one more glass of water and declaring yourself done — you need to make this a permanent lifestyle shift, unless you enjoy being constipated, which none of us do!
  • If your poop is dark red or black, not black specks but entirely black stool, there’s a case for concern. While these colors may be diet-related (black stools can come from consuming certain medications, supplements or black licorice while red stools can come from eating beetroot, tomatoes, cranberries and food with red colorants), they can also be a sign of bleeding in your gastro-intestinal (GI): lower GI like the small and large intestines if your stool is dark red, and upper GI like the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum if your stool is black as it suggests blood that has been mixed with digestive juices and has been in your body for a while. Bleeding may be an indication of serious conditions like esophageal varicespeptic ulcer, diverticular disease, or even colon cancer. Please see a doctor to be safe.
  • If you sometimes see specks of blood after wiping (from a bowel movement), it may mean an anal fissure. This happens to me sometimes. Anal fissures aren’t a case of concern, but they certainly aren’t comfortable. Again, include foods with more fiber like fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods; drink plenty of water; have regular exercise (to keep your body healthy); and use a soft brand toilet paper or if you use wipes, avoid those with fragrances or alcohol. Read more on WebMD: Anal Fissure.
  • If your poop is sticky and takes many wipes to clean off, it may be due to a high-fat diet and/or lactose/gluten intolerance. Consider reducing the fat content of your diet and/or eliminating foods with lactose/gluten from your diet. Read more: Foods to Avoid if Your Stool is Sticky.
  • Dark pee is often a sign of lack of fluid intake, so drink more water.

Generally the problem for most of us is a lack of fiber and fluid intake. While there are fiber supplements out there in the market, I recommend natural solutions, i.e., eating the real thing, anytime any day. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake isn’t hard — it’s about making a commitment.

Some useful links about poop:

Remember, take care of your body — it is the only place we have to live.

Check out more infographics here | PE manifestos here

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