Updated: Jul 21
Our toilet habits and number twos may not be an ideal topic fit for the dinner table, nevertheless it is a completely natural and essential bodily function, and can also tell you a lot about your gastrointestinal and digestive health. Poo consists of waste products that are eliminated from the body including undigested food particles, bacteria, bile, salts and other substances and can vary in colour, texture, amount and odour. The frequency of bowel movements also varies, depending on the individual and circumstances, human beings may go several times a day, every day or once every two or three days.
The Perfect Poo
The Bristol Stool chart is a fantastic reference for determining the health of your poo. Your poo should ideally look like number 3 and 4 below..
Source: Global Healing Center
It is vitally important to speak to your doctor if you notice prolonged changes in bowel habits or movements including dark black or red colored poo that also contain specks of blood. If you need to strain excessively or do not feel completely empty, you may be constipated or experiencing fecal incontinence.
The Perfect Posture
Your position and posture on the toilet is equally as important when emptying your bowels. Do not hold your breath, relax and sit comfortably on the toilet, having feet apart on a foot stool can aid the passage of stools, elevate your knees adopting a squatting position, lean forward and rest elbows on your thighs, tighten your abdominal muscles and concentrate on relaxing the back passage.
Aim to drink at least 2 liters of fluid daily as staying well-hydrated is a key part of keeping things moving. Try to limit coffee and alcohol as this can irritate the bowels as well as causing dehydration.
Fibre helps keep our digestive system healthy and helps prevent constipation as it bulks up stools, making stools softer and easier to remove and passes waste through digestive tract more quickly.
Exercise can help improve bowel habits as it aids to stimulate the bowel to work regularly whilst also letting gravity do its work.