Now when it comes to intestinal health, it’s important to have adequate healthy bacteria in your intestinal tract and to maintain that in order to decrease bad bacteria. When unhealthy bacteria takes over, there may be potential for conditions to develop such as candida, parasites or leaky gut.
When talking about intestinal health, we can't forget to talk about our poop. Yes, that is right, our poop is a key indicator of health and it is important to know how often you have bowel movements, what colour they are and the shape.
According to the Bristol Stool Chart here are some key indicators of healthy stools:
- sausage like with cracks on the surface
- like a sausage, smooth and soft
- soft blobs with clear cut edges
- your stools should be a medium/dark brown colour
And here are some key indicators of potentially unhealthy stools:
- separate hard lumps
- sausage shaped but lumpy
- fluffy pieces with ragged edges
- watery, no solid pieces
What could be causing your poor bowel movements?
Poor diet (low fibre, consuming sugar, processed foods), hormones, stress, other illnesses
How often should I be pooping?
Well it depends on who you ask. Some medical doctors may say at 3 times a week whereas other health care practitioners say 2-3 times a day is ideal. Now, before you get worried, not everyone is going to fall under the 2-3 times a day category but it's good to have at least one healthy bowel movement a day.
You know that pooping 1-3 times a day is considered normal but this should be without needing to drink coffee and without laxatives. You also should NOT have to strain to have a bowel movement.
Causes on constipation:
- Low fiber diet
- lack of movement
- lack of hydration
- poor quality diet
- gut health imbalances
- magnesium deficiencies
- hormones - some women notice changes throughout their cycle and during pregnancy
What should you do?
- use a squatty potty
- increase water intake
- increase fiber intake (falx, psyllium husk)
- increase food bacteria with fermented foods or probiotics
- address gut health imbalances and infections
- consider supplementation - magnesium, digestive enzymes or bitters, vitamin C
Having chronic diarrhea can be from various infections, certain foods, some medications, lactose intolerance, bad water sources, as well as IBD, IBS, an so on.
Diarrhea is a way for our body to get rid of unwanted food and toxins so if we have food poisoning or ate something that doesn't agree with us, this can be a common symptom. In this case, you may address it by adjusting your diet for a short period of time, hydrating and rest but when it's chronic it's important to address the underlying causes.
Some testing options include:
- comprehensive stool analysis
- lactose and hydrogen breath tests
- food allergy and sensitivity tests
- increase fibe intake
- avoid foods that may be triggering reactions
- supplementation such as zinv adn goldenseal
- stress management
- and more
Gluten-Free Breakfast Cookies to help boost your fiber intake!
- 1/4 cup crushed pecans
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 shredded apple
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 banana mashed
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup natural almond or peanut butter
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Mix egg, nut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, carrots and apple
- Mix pecans, oats, flax, and baking soda
- Combine everything
- Place on a lined baking sheet and form into cookies
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they start to brown
Need support with your gut health? Check out the Gut Rescue Program and email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free discovery call!