The discrete business of pooping and the connection to your health (and brain)

Pooping, toilet paper, health
“Happiness is found in pooping, not merely possessing.” – Napoleon Hill

What your poop tells you

No one wants to talk about it but we all have to deal with IT. We’d rather be alone and have no witnesses when IT comes. When IT appears we want it to vanish as soon as possible. Some of us prepare for soft, soundless water landing by organizing a bed of toilet paper layers in the bowl. Others perfect the skill of synchronization of the estimated time of landing with pushing the flushing handle of the toilet. This technique provides for an un-delayed transfer into the darkness of the plumbing system.

Your poop can say a lot about your health

Why can’t we face the brown turd? Is it because it smells sometimes, even stinks? Is it because it’s considered dirty? Is it because we’re simply not proud of our creation? Well, this creation doesn’t say much about our overall creative abilities but for sure it does say something about the health and efficiency of our digestive system.

There are many charts and infographics out there in the Internet world that explain what the ideal poo should look like. Go ahead and print one out and use it as a template every time you visit the loo. If you’re out of ink (just like I am) you could train your observation skills first. We should not wonder if there are some skunk genes in the family tree. Nor should we think of switching our profession to brick making. Something is terribly wrong when we can’t quite distinguish if we’re actually peeing of pooping. And how come there are sesame seeds floating in the bowl? They just went in and out without our body making use of all the beneficial calcium in them.

We eat healthy but does our body use the nutrients?

Our digestive system is the shipping and receiving department of our body. Here is where it’s decided if nutrients are absorbed and processed or sent straight to the disposal department. We can buy and eat all the expensive and healthy stuff but it’s a waste of money if the digestive system can’t turn it into gold. It’s like you sending your friend an expensive gift. The delivery guy drops it off at the neighbours and the neighbour throws it into the garbage. Not good. The digestive system is the first gateway to a healthier and happier you. If we don’t monitor our creation (aka. poo) then we might ignore the first signs of our body telling us that something is out of whack.

The gut and the brain start out as a single organ during fetal development

Here is an example that it is important being regular. Have you ever been a patient in a hospital? Do you remember the nurse coming into your room in the morning? After a brief greeting all she wanted to know was if you’ve been to the toilet yet! Being regular and having a good looking poop is an indicator for health. Everything in our body is connected. If our gut has to work in shitty conditions it will communicate it to other departments like our immune system or the brain. As a matter of fact, the gut and the brain start out as a single organ during fetal development. They divide but remain connected and continue “talking” throughout our lives via a cord called the vagus nerve. This connection goes both ways. Start thinking about a delicious cinnamon bun and the digestive system will start making digestive juices. Start thinking about the worries and troubles in life and your digestive system will be in distress too. If one in the family is not happy, others can’t be happy either. Imbalances in our body set the stage for disease.

So next time you’re excusing yourself to seek that private silent place, don’t you dare just flush IT away without paying some notice to it. Does it look and did it feel right to you? Did it hurt, was it smooth or was it like a major evacuation? Did it look like something a bunny would leave behind? Was it purplish, yellowish or greenish? Did it sink or float? Do you look down on quality or quantity? Is it something you could be proud of? If not, then it might be time to change something. What your poop tells you:

Frequency
Some say, when one meal goes in, another should leave. But just with everything there is no number you can put on “normal”. The average bear goes once or twice a day. Just be mindful, the longer IT lingers around in your digestive tract the more likely things that were supposed to leave could be reabsorbed. Constipation, which could be caused by a combination of too many gummy bears and popcorn is not something we like.

Color
Medium to light brown is the color to go. If it’s red you might have had beets for a meal. You definitely don’t want it to be black, white, grey, yellow or red (if you never eat beets). In that case talk to your physician right away.

Shape
You want IT to look like a nicely formed and smooth sausage. It should NOT remind you of puree, dough or peas nor should it feel like passing bricks or eliminating water. Soft stools could be caused by lactose intolerance or as a result of ingesting sweeteners. Hard stools could be due to a lack of fiber and/or water or too much protein.

Smell
Eating lavender or rose petals will not change anything. IT is meant to smell – at least a little. That’s the work of your gut bacteria. But if the smell often is obnoxious and even drives hungry flies away then it is time to investigate the cause. It could be due to undigested fats. By the way, if you’re out of air fresher lighting a match will do the trick, too (but don’t light the toilet paper on fire!!!!!).

Stay tuned for recommendations on how to glamorize your poop and therefore improve your health and happiness on Making Ernst.

The discrete business of pooping and the connection to your health (and brain) by
Tanja Knapp
About the Author
Tanja Knapp

Tanja Knapp is an Explorer, Adventurer and Happiness Hunter currently camping in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. Her roots are in Germany where she grew up on a remote farm. A colony of abnormal cells in her cervix taught her the lesson that would change her life forever. Life doesn't get better by chance, it get better by change. She truly believes in creating happiness & health through constant adapting, growing and evolving. Her super power is curiosity. With her blog she likes to inspire others to explore uncharted territory.

If she is not busy writing, running, swimming or cycling, she is expanding her knowledge, exploring the World, and taking on new challenges.

She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and graduated with an Honors diploma in Holistic Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2013. She obtained a Hospitality certification in 1998 and a Marketing Communications diploma in 2004. She has worked both in Europe and North America.

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