blog listen to your gutYour gut health is crucial to the overall health of your body! Hormone regulation, your immune system, and even your mental health are just a few things that are directly impacted by your gut health. 

If we want to know how healthy our gut is, all we have to do is listen to our body. Paying attention to our poop is a great way to tell how our digestion is doing. But many people don't know how to read the signs that their bodies are giving them.

Let’s take a look at this issue and learn what your poop is trying to tell you!

The Basics

Since we don’t often talk about poop we may not know if what we are experiencing is a sign of health. It is important to shake the awkwardness of the conversation, so that we can listen to the messages our body is sending us.

When we talk about poop, we will be looking at the form, frequency, color, and smell. Each of these aspects can give us insight into our digestive health. 

When we consider the form of our poop, one of my favorite charts is from the book “Practical Paleo.” Take a moment to look at the chart and consider what you tend to experience!

An Ideal Poop

Ideally, we will have smooth soft poop that doesn’t fall apart when the toilet is flushed. The poop should be a chocolatey brown color (like that of a Hersey bar). Bowel movements should not have a very strong odor or be difficult to wipe. 

Since bowel movements are one of the body’s ways of eliminating toxins, it is important to have one to three bowel movements consistently each day. It should not hurt to poop, and you shouldn’t have to strain.


Trouble Signs

  • Form - Having poop that is too soft could mean that you are simply not eating enough fiber, while poop that is too hard it may indicate that you need to drink more water. 

  • Color - Poop that is very dark could indicate bleeding in the GI tract, while poop that is too light may indicate malabsorption.

  • Frequency - Less than one bowel movement a day is a sign of constipation, more than three bowel movements indicate diarrhea. These are important indicators of gut health and should be discussed with your doctor.

  • Smell - Poop doesn’t smell lovely, but it shouldn’t smell terrible either! Terrible smelling excrement could be a sign of a heavy toxin burden. 

Our bodies are amazing! They send us so many signals to let us know how they are doing and what they need. We just need to learn how to listen to the messages they are sending!

If you are experiencing any of these trouble signs you will want to identify the root cause of the problem. There are many other things that it could indicate - bacteria, parasites, thyroid trouble, malabsorption issues, etc.

I’d be glad to help you figure out what is happening with your digestive health. Sometimes there’s an easy solution, while other times it can take a little more digging. Either way, your body will thank you for listening to what it’s been saying!

Dr. Jamie