This feces article will discuss the smell, frequency, buoyancy, healthy and unhealthy, number of pieces, and formation of feces as well as a healthy digestive system, accompanying with effective and practical tips to help improve your bowel movements.

As you all already know, your stool is a good indicator in diagnosing one’s health, more precisely, your feces tells the health status of your bowel movement, gastrointestinal health as well as your digestive system. The end result of your daily feces reflects what you have been eaten or drunk recently. After all, what you eat or drink is what your feces looks like. From the clue here, you may have to adjust your daily diet to improve your bowel movement. Besides the clues regarding your diet, your feces also tell you how high the levels of your stress, anxiety, pressure, anger, and depression are. Generally, you won’t get good shape of feces, if you’re stressed at the moment, and in most cases, you will get watery feces instead of solid feces.

How Are Feces Formed?

Before we go any further, let’s get the info on how your feces are formed. While putting food into your mouth, the saliva is secreted to embark a chewing campaign to shred the food into smaller pieces before it goes down your throat. This involves the presence of bacteria, digestive enzymes, bile, hydrochloric acid, involuntary contractions or peristalsis of gastrointestinal muscles and other secretions as well, to work on each food to a consistency of mud-like soup. Meanwhile, your digestive cells absorb the essential minerals, fats, nutrients, trace elements, vitamins, starches, and sugars they need for a better cell performance. Next, the waste products continue to glide down the digestive tract; and when they are in the colon, the entire leftovers will be mixed and combined together and they are partially dehydrated in nature. After this process, the remnant or feces which include undigested food (e.g. tiny seeds, corn), intestinal secretions, water, living and dead bacteria, indigestible fiber, bile (refer to worn-out red blood cells in bile giving the distinctive brown color to your feces) and sloughed-off dead cells are then being eliminated out of your anus.

Do Healthy Feces Have Smell?

Healthy bowel movement should not be eliminated with much smell. A little smell of feces is normal as you are passing degraded foodstuff, bacterial and methane but the smell should not be too strong and pungent like rotten egg or dead mouse smell.

How to Know If My Feces are Healthy?

Generally, healthy feces should be brown to light brown in color, quite bulky, fully formed but not hard and compacted, cylindrical in shape but not flatten, very easy to pass, little smell, full-bodied and textured but not too messy/watery. Ideally, your feces should be tapered at its end with torpedo shape and banana size coming out in one piece for each bowel movement. It is not necessary to have one well-formed feces just like a log as it will be broken down or dispersed in the toilet water. Nevertheless, variations in intestinal bacteria, digestive idiosyncrasies and other factors can influence on the different standard for a healthy feces.

If you are having at least one bowel movement each day, you are letting go of harmful, unnecessary waste out of your body for a better physical health. Three bowel movements a day are still considered normal but more than 3 bowel movements a day indicate unhealthy bowel movements. Normally, within 2-3 hours of a major meal, one may have a bowel movement. Also, 2-3 times a day is the right frequency.

Should Healthy Feces be Floated or Sunk?

Most healthy feces should sink and touch the bottom as this indicates that they are heavy in fiber content and their bulky nature. Having said this, some scientists argued that the feces should float on the surface of the toilet water to show their buoyancy characteristics, and it is also an indicator that one’s body has fully absorbed minerals and other nutrients contained in the food that these food ingredients are no longer contained in the feces. Whether the feces sink or float they make minimal or no difference, so you should not concern yourself much.

When Should I Be Concerned About My Feces?

Here, I will give you some insights regarding the condition of your feces and which feces are considered ok and which are not.

Very Dark Brown or Darkened Brown Feces: You may have taken too much salt in your daily diet, or you may have not taken plentiful amounts of fruits and vegetables in your every day’s diet or you may have taken red wine the previous night.

Clay- or Pale Looking Feces: You might have minimal amount of bile being secreted that is packed into your feces. Perhaps, you are having problems with your liver or gallbladder. You are advised to check with a doctor especially your gallbladder and liver.

Extremely Bad-smelling Feces: It means that you have eaten too much animal proteins which can putrefy deep into your digestive tract or your intestinal bacteria are in an imbalance situation.

Floating and Bulky/large Feces Accompanying Greasy Film on Toilet Water: Your digestive system is unable to get full use of the entire nutrition or nutrients contained in the food. This is an example of malabsorption.

Magenta and Glowing Red Colored Feces: You have eaten too much reddish foods including beets.

Round, Hard and Small Pellets: These feces are common among those who are suffering from constipation, even though you have a frequent bowel movement. When your feces stay too long in the colon, the more metabolic products (including estrogen) that have been excreted in the bile will be reabsorbed, and this is unhealthy condition that supports hard, difficult and infrequent bowel movements.

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal ailments people nowadays are facing, and in a chronic situation, it may lead to colon cancer, autoimmune disease or breast cancer. Over the years, we have seen an increased risk of breast cancer in women with a history record of constipation.

You might have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or you have not taken plentiful amounts of fruits and vegetables or you have eaten too much animal protein/ dry food or you might have abused the laxative or you might have not drunk enough water. Try any remedy that suits you best in my article entitled effective home remedies for treating hard feces/stool problems, constipation and irritable bowel movement. If after trying these remedies, your constipation still persists 3 or more days, please check with a gastro specialist.

Light Green Colored Feces: You probably have eaten too many vegetables and fruits but lacking of enough grains or you may have consumed too much salt or sugar.

Ribbon-looking or Pencil Thin Feces: A possible cause is the presence of a growth or a polyp in your colon whereby narrowing the passage for feces. It is better to get yourself checked with a doctor.

Alternating and Frequent Bouts of Constipation and Diarrhea: This chronic bowel situation is a typical example of irritable bowel syndrome. The consumption of alcohol, sugar, red meat, grilled and baked foods, sugary foods, spices, sea foods, dairy products, allergy causing foods, in addition to chaotic relationship, lacking of fibers and irregular meal hours may aggravate or worsen the existing situation of IBS. You should talk to your doctor.

Mucus- or Bloody Covered Feces: Possible causes are an overgrowth of certain bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, inflammatory bowel disease (also called Crohn’s disease), colon cancer, hemorrhoids, or inflammation in the colon (also known as colitis). Black blood is partially digested blood coming from an ailment higher up your digestive tract, in contrast to that; red blood comes from an ailment located near to the end of the digestive tract. In this situation, please seek medical assistance immediately.

Sticky, Black and Tarry Colored Feces: This is indicative of the presence of bleeding in your upper digestive tract. The black or tarry color you saw is actually originating from your digested blood cells. You should check with your doctor promptly!

Watery, Loose Feces, and Sometimes with the Presence of Undigested Foodstuffs: This is a typical example of diarrhea. If this condition persists more than 3 days, please see a doctor. Possible causes include stress, travel, environmental change, food, anxiety, dietary changes, food poisoning, antacids, irritable bowel syndrome, antibiotics, inflammatory bowel disease, or lactose intolerance.

How to Improve My Bowel Movement?

In regards to improving bowel movement; exercise, fluids and fiber are three fundamental requirements that must be present for healthy bowel movement as well as healthy digestive system. If your feces do not meet the healthy profile, you may consider the following steps:

Take plenty of dietary fiber from whole foods, in particular, fruits, vegetables and grains. Fiber is vital as it lets the waste substance passing through your digestive system quickly and smoothly. When you suddenly increase adding higher amounts of fiber to your daily diet, you will have bulky feces and this condition also leads to the emission of gas. Therefore, you should take appropriate amounts of fiber to facilitate a better physical health.

When you feel the urge to poop, go to the bathroom and poop. Do not hold your feces back for longer hours. Otherwise, you may encourage constipation.

Pay special attention while eating your food. Chew your food properly but do not gulp down your food. Ideally, chew your food 10-20 times to help reduce the burden of your digestive system. Do not stand while eating, but sit down. Look at the food you eat, but do not read the newspaper or turn on the TV or talk over the phone or listen to the radio as this act may not improve your digestion.

If you have a frequent bowel problem, do not use a sitting toilet. In this case, try squat on the rim of the toilet with your stocking or bare feet. Research shows that squatting straightens the recto-anal angle and opens it widely making it easier to poop. However, do not force elimination while squatting especially for those who have high blood pressure as this may give rise to the blood pressure. Also, elderly people age 60 and above are not encouraged to use a squatting toilet. Also, do not squat right away when you have an urge to eliminate in the middle of night. This is because when you woke up right away from the bed, your blood pressure tends to be lower, and squatting may cause dizziness or may cause one to faint.

Make an effort to reduce your stress, depression and anxiety via a stress-reducing technique either by praying to God, doing yoga or meditation. It is not good to keep your stress, pressure, anger, anxiety or/and depression, as this will promote diarrhea, constipation causing you to have irregular, or less-than-perfect bowel habits.

Drink plenty amount of water but avoid sugary and carbonated drinks. By doing so, you help your body prevent intestinal blockage caused by the excessive fiber.

There are foods that stimulate the flow of digestive enzymes, so you should eat these foods regularly. These foods include pungent foods like ginger, onions and daikon radish, as well as brown rice.

Try eating fermented foods such as soybean cakes (or tempeh), and soybean paste (or miso in Japanese) as this aids to replenish beneficial bacteria in your gut which help facilitate your bowel movement.

Mix one tablespoon of pure GMO free Oligo with water, stir and consume it in the morning. Oligo promotes the growth of healthy probiotics which are useful to help maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora.

Exercise regularly and constantly. Even a brisk walking, climbing up stairs may help stimulate bowel regularity.

Reduce or refrain from the consumption of laxatives, refined foods, canned foods, grilled and baked foods, coffee, caffeinated drinks as all these foods and drinks will interfere the regularity of bowel movements. Similarly, certain prescription drugs including birth control pills and antibiotics can also promote irregularity of bowel movements. If you are suffering from constipation, talk to your doctor, ask if he or she can reduce the dosage and change the type of medications you are taking to help improve your bowel movements.

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