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The Scoop on Poop and Probiotics

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The Scoop on Poop and Probiotics

The Scoop on Poop
I am reluctant to talk about poop. I confess that find it an embarrassing and very personal subject, not one I generally broach publicly. But let’s face it — we all poop and there are important things we should know about poop if we want to understand our own health.

Fortunately, there is someone who is decidedly not embarrassed to talk about it. She even manages to do so with humor. “Poop is my passion,” says General Nutritionist Consultant and Digestive Care Expert, Brenda Watson.

Author of eight health books, Brenda has just announced her fourth PGS television special, The Road to Perfect Health–Balance Your Gut, Heal Your Body, an in-depth look at how chronic diseases start with an unhealthy digestive system, as well as the release of The Road to Perfect Health–Balance Your Gut, Heal Your Body: A Modern Guide to Curing Chronic Disease, a 660-page natural health reference book coauthored by Leonard Smith, M.D., Rick Sponaugle M.D. and Jamey Jones B.Sc.

Let me apologize in advance if you find the topic uncomfortable, but it is important. So what does Ms. Watson want you to know about poop? Here’s the scoop:

  • Noise: Healthy poop barely makes a sound when it hits the water. Quiet and gentle is a sign of good health.
  • Size: Size does matter. The longer, the healthier, and it should be an effortless process.
  • Color: “Fashionably golden brown,” says Ms. Watson. Certain very colorful foods can temporarily change the color of poop, but if yours is consistently yellow or green, it could signal health problems.
  • Consistency: It should be soft and solid, not hard. If it floats, splashes, or sinks like a rock, it’s a sign that something is not quite right.

“I do look into the toilet every day. If something looks a little scary, I might even get a spoon and check it out,” explains Ms. Watson. “If I don’t like what I see, I’m not likely to rush out to the doctor, but it does depend on what I see.”

“For most of us, we might see color variations, small stools, hard stools, liquidy stools, or sometimes nothing at all! Often, in a day or two it will return to normal, but some of us experience chronic problems. Most of the time, the answer is to eat more fiber, which is vitally important for healthy poop and a healthy body. Fiber is what makes our stool big, soft, and easy to pass. It’s like an exercise machine for those massive colon muscles. When the colon has the right amount of fiber (I recommend 35 grams a day) it automatically contracts and pushes the stool on down the colon and out of the body. However, if you have been sick, are weak, or very young or very old, a bad bowel movement may be something that you should take seriously and even go to the doctor about.”

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Diet & Nutrition, General Health, Health, Women's Health, , , , , , , ,

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87 comments

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7:39PM PDT on Sep 6, 2014

ty

2:54PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Thank you---I love kefir and yougurt and eat/drink them often!

2:36PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Interesting article with lots of useful information. Thank you.

2:21PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

I eat kimchee, very good tasting. Good necessary article. Thank you.

1:43PM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

Thank you for an interesting article.

2:18AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

I should add that a growing number of experts are urging us to make and use our own fermented foods to help balance our gut microbiota. Try listening to this week's The Splendid Table podcast with host Lynn Rossetti Kaspar interviewing one of these expert chefs (Noma) on the techniques and benefits of fermented foods. It's outstandingly clear, surprisingly simple, and simply entertaining.

2:08AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

The only problem with taking probiotics is how expensive they are and how tiny a dose we get even from the highest-dose probiotic products, in comparison to the vast numbers of microbes in our guts. If we want to tip the balance we may need to do microbiome transplants. Another way, according to scientific experiments, is to switch to a vegan diet for as little as a few days, which can transform the proportion of beneficial to bad microbiota very quickly. Wish I didn't need animal protein because of my food sensitivities. let everyone become more aware of how our bodies react to foods and other factors & we will become more capable of regulating our nutrient intakes for health.

6:22AM PDT on Nov 1, 2013

ive been irregular for a couple of months now, and have had good days and bad...was going along fine with nice firm movements, but now most of them seem to be soft. i added metamucil, started eating more fiber, etc, that seems to help, but the pro biotic i take, seems there is a laxative type effect as the movements are still soft, compared to the firm ones i used to have....is this normal?

6:00AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

This should not be uncomfortable subject because it's so important. (Dr. Oz has helped greatly by making it open topic on his show. lol. Wasn't so long ago that it was shocking to say "pregnant" - sssshhhhh you were "in a family way".) This is helpful article - thanks. I have been buying a commercial yogurt with probiotics but trying to find better alterative.

11:06AM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Adding probiotic's to any diet is beneficial to overall health.

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