Are you a healthy pooper? Here is a checklist to determine if you are a healthy pooper.
FREQUENCY – Eliminate at least once per day (but not more than three times)
SHAPE – Have poops that are smooth and about the shape of a banana, not too hard and not too soft.
COLOR – Color should be an even medium brown with no visible bits of food, fat, blood or mucus.
SMELL – Smell should be fairly neutral, not overly unpleasant.
The more points you answer “yes” to above, the better your poop health is! Ideally you will experience a mix of floaters or sinkers on different days, along with some that just hover in the water and don’t go to either extreme.
Sinking poops can be a sign of chronic constipation. Constipation can occur when a person doesn’t have enough digestive motility (i.e., the intestines are not working to push the waste along). There are many causes of constipation, such as poor diet, anxiety, lack of exercise and not drinking enough water.
While many sources seem to indicate that sinking poops are preferred, others suggest that floaters are a sign that the diet contains a good amount of fiber. This is because those who eat more fiber, also known as prebiotics, have greater colonies of bacteria in the lower gut. This leads to poop that contains more gases produced by the bacteria. The gases make waste less dense and cause poop to float.
Regardless of whether you are seeing floaters or sinkers in the toilet, make sure that your diet contains lots of vegetables and lots of water and ensure that an adequate amount of fiber is being consumed. The goal is to get at least 35 grams of fiber each day.
Common solutions are to drink more water to help hydrate the bowel and the stool, take magnesium supplements to relax the intestine and take a probiotic daily. All of these steps are known to improve elimination.
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