We often don’t feel comfortable talking about relieving ourselves, and it certainly makes a lot of people uneasy. But today I am going to discuss bowel movements, because they are such a good indicator of how healthy your gut is. Don’t worry, we all do it and it is nothing to be ashamed of! Did you know that a healthy digestive system will mean you ought to be visiting the toilet multiple times per day? In this blog I will tell you about different types of poo, the reasons behind disturbances in bowel movement, and give you some tips for improving your digestion.
What Goes In Must Come Out
In an earlier blog post we discussed the gut, and I explained the connection between what you eat and how well your intestines work. What you put into your body has to come out, naturally. When does your gut work optimally? Your bowel movements are a great indicator. If you can produce something of a good size and consistency one to three times a day, with minimal wiping, then the chances are that your digestive system is doing well.
Reasons Behind Disturbances in Bowel Movement
Nine out of ten people have problems going to the toilet. This can vary between constipation, diarrhoea, or degrees of pain and discomfort when on the toilet. So what could the reasons behind all this be?
- Mood: People who struggle with controlling their moods, or even depression, often keep their feelings and emotions pent up. The bottling up of feelings and frustrations often translates to the physical level, and can result in difficulties with bowel movements.
- Not drinking enough: Your brain orchestrates the signs in your body that tell you that you need to drink more. The older you get, the less efficient your brain becomes at communicating this to you. Older people rarely drink enough water, often resulting in their gut not working optimally. But young people can, of course, also ignore the signs that their body requires more liquids, resulting in negative consequences.
- Disturbances in the intestinal tract.
- Parkinson’s: This disease wears your body down, and can result in blockages in your intestines.
- A slow-working thyroid: There are more and more people who actually do not eat enough carbohydrates, which can result in an imbalance in the thyroid gland. In effect, you are retiring your thyroid when you do this. This can have negative consequences for your digestive system.
- Waiting too long to go to the toilet: In our busy, hectic lives we often postpone our visits to the bathroom. We don’t always have time, we tell ourselves, or we need to get something done before we can spare the valuable minutes to head to the loo. Keeping it in, though, can be very damaging for your digestion. If you do this frequently, your body might stop sending you the required signals, because you won’t “listen” to it.
- Not eating enough fibre: To keep your digestive system in good shape, you should aim to eat eight portions of fibre per day in the form of vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts. In the Eat Wright Plan this is exactly what we do.
- Processed food: Supermarket food is often heavily processed. Try to avoid packaged and pre-prepared food, as these often contain ingredients that can disrupt your bowel movements.
- Finally, alcohol and cigarettes certainly do not help.
The Route to Healthy Intestines
When you start the Eat Wright Plan, it might be that the first few days are somewhat difficult in terms of your bowel movements. But don’t worry, this is good for you, so let me explain why. The interior of your intestines is covered in villi. These are small protrusions that increase the surface area of your intestinal wall, allowing you to process the food that you digest. Residual food waste can often get stuck between the villi, in the same way as it might get stuck between your teeth. We call this residue mucoid plaque. This is rubbish, and rubbish needs to be thrown out! This is where the Eat Wright Plan can help. Your poo might well be somewhat separated, lumpy, or dark in colour at the beginning of the programme. It might smell worse then before. We help you to get through this phase as quickly as possible, but it is necessary for cleaning your gut!
7 Types of Poo
Yes, this might be a little bit of a distasteful read, but it is important to know how to “read” your poo. Knowing this can often show you what kind of problem you have. All poo can be broken down into roughly seven categories:
- Separate hard lumps, like nuts, which might be hard to pass. You are not eating enough fibre.
- Sausage-shaped but lumpy. Not enough fibre, too much stress, or medication.
- Like a sausage but with cracks on the surface. This is almost a healthy product.
- Like a smooth sausage, requiring minimal wiping. The healthiest!
- Soft blobs with clear-cut edges. Too much animal fat, too much sugar, or too much alcohol. Often directly follows an unhealthy meal.
- Mushy stool or fluffy pieces, a lot like soft diarrhoea. Stress, parasites, allergies or intestinal problems.
- Watery, with no solid pieces. Similar to the reasons behind type 6, but more serious.
Get Rid of Diarrhoea with the Eat Wright Plan
I remember a young father who came to ask me why he was suffering from such frequent bouts of diarrhoea. It was so bad, at times, that he felt he couldn’t go to work, or even leave the house to do things with his children, because he couldn’t risk being too far away from a bathroom. The doctors didn’t know what to do about it and there seemed to be no medical reason behind it. He was at a loss, until he began the Eat Wright Plan. After just a few days he rang me to tell me that his diarrhoea had gotten a lot better, and within a few weeks it was completely back to normal. I was so pleased for him! With the right foods, he was once again able to enjoy life with his children, in comfort and security. No more staying indoors!
Just Call Auntie Leonie!
Do you also suffer from problems with bowel movements? Just ring me! My programme has already helped many people to live a healthier life. With me as your coach you will receive a huge amount of tips on how to change your lifestyle for the better. Don’t hesitate to be the healthiest you can be!
A Few More Tips for a Healthy Gut
- Drink enough water. This is a key focus of the Eat Wright Plan.
- Get moving! Go for regular walks, and avoid sitting down for long periods of time.
- Drink herbal and ginger tea.
- Start your day with Himalayan salt.
- Get to the toilet when you feel you need to go.
- Chew your food slowly and properly.
- Eat a variety of different foods.
- Try squatting for a “number 2,” just as our ancestors did in the woods (but perhaps avoid doing it in the garden!)
- Try a delicious linseed smoothie. Blend together 200ml of kefir, 1 spoonful of vegetable amino acid complex, 2 spoonfuls of ground linseed, 1 teaspoon of Arabica instant coffee, 2 tablespoons of hazelnut oil and add some drops of stevia to taste. Give it a whiz in the blender and it’s ready to go. This will get your gut moving!
To Better Health,