Let’s talk about bowel movements.

If you’ve never been asked detailed questions about your bowel movements, you’ve never seen a naturopathic doctor.

Here’s why we like to talk about poop:

  • It tells us about the health and function of your digestive tract, which is essential for your whole-body health
  • It gives us insight into how you are digesting and absorbing your food, which also helps us understand if you are well-nourished
  • It can tell us about the state of your liver and gallbladder
  • It helps us to know if your body is excreting waste appropriately
  • It can tell us if we should be concerned about gut issues or problems
  • And much more

Basically, your stool tells a story.

Here’s what generally characterizes “normal” for most bowel movements:

  • Frequency: 1-3 times daily
  • Passing stool: no or minimal straining; no pain
  • Time to pass: less than 1-2 minutes
  • Form: solid
  • Shape: log
  • Appearance: no blood, mucus or undigested food
  • Color: varying shades of brown
  • Odor: none or minimal

We go through all this and more during a naturopathic appointment. If you know your bowel movements aren’t as described above, mention it to your healthcare provider during your next appointment.

One point to emphasize:
Daily bowel movements are essential for good health. If you’re not having a full daily bowel movement, your poop is literally sitting in your colon for too long. When this happens, some of the toxic waste products in your poop start to get reabsorbed by your body. This means your body has to deal with processing an increased toxic waste load. Typically you’ll also experience straining, as stool looses water the longer it sits.

If you’re not having daily bowel movements, talk with your doc about making that a priority for your health.

As always, you’re an individual and your own healthcare provider knows you best, so always check with them.

May you be well.

This blog and website do not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Always check with your own healthcare provider before taking a new supplement and before making any significant diet, lifestyle, exercise or other changes. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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