Mishelle Knuteson, M.H.

I was thinking that Christmastime probably isn’t the best time to write this newsletter, then I thought, there is never a good time to write about…….poop. So here it goes anyway, sorry about the “itch factor”. In a person’s lifetime they will generate about five tons of poop. So it deserves some attention. Hopefully every morning, at least, you are having a bowel movement. The shape, color and form of your poop (stool) can be an indicator of your overall health. So before flushing it away you may want to take notice.
 
Poop is the measure of your digestive health. It is 75% water and the rest is dead and live gut bacteria, protein, food waste, cells, fat, salt, stuff from the intestines and liver and any food that the body was unable to digest. The job of the intestines is not only to absorb the good stuff but to keep out and eliminate the bad. Even your immunity is connected to your poop.
 
So what makes up a perfect poop? In the book Guide to Colon Health by Dr. Christopher it states, “A healthy bowel movement is soft and unformed, not hard or watery and it should break up when the toilet is flushed. It may have some texture but it shouldn’t have much if the food was chewed correctly to begin with.”  Think of “soft serve”, one long smooth piece. The consistency is soft and dough like. A perfect poop should be passed without effort or straining and doesn’t leave residue on your derriere or sides of the toilet. It may have an earthy smell, but won’t emit an offensive odor that requires the bathroom fan or air freshener. It will float on the surface of the water, sink slowly and have the color of cinnamon brown. A healthy poop will leave you feeling clear and satisfied.
 
Signs of an unhealthy poop are stools that are loose, muddy or watery. This type of poop will leave a person deprived of nutrients. Stools that are small, dry and hard, “pellet poops” can be difficult to pass without straining. Straining can cause hemorrhoids and other such problems. A stool that is a hard log with deep cracks or lumpy surface indicates dryness and is not healthy, as well as pasty poops that are difficult to clean off the derriere.  Narrow pencil or ribbon like stools can indicate an obstruction in the colon. Black tarry stools or bright red may indicate problems in the GI tract. White, pale or gray stools may indicate a lack of bile, which may be caused by issues in the liver or pancreas. Yellow stools can mean problems in the gallbladder. The presence of undigested food can indicate issues with digestion or simply not chewing your food thoroughly. Stools with mucus can indicate inflammation. Poops should fall into the toilet with the slightest little “swoosh” and not make a cannonball splash down or sink heavily to the bottom of the tank. It is normal to have gas, yet excessive gas and really smelly poop indicates stools that have stayed too long and are rotting in the intestinal tract.
 
Many factors can affect the regularity of moving your bowels, such as medication, travel, diet, hormone fluctuations, stress, amount of exercise and so much more. It is best to eliminate at least once a day and Dr. Christopher says even 2 to 3 times a day. The average body takes 18-72 hours to convert food into poop and pass it from the body. If the process is shortened then this creates diarrhea; if it is lengthened then constipation results. The most important factor is the ease in which your bowels move ~ moving your bowels should take no more effort than urinating or passing gas.

Here are a couple of tips to help keep your stools soft and easy to pass. First and foremost stay hydrated with fresh, pure water and get plenty of fiber in your diet. A diet rich in vegetables will also be full of fiber. For added fiber grind flaxseed and add it to your food. Slippery elm or psyllium are other good sources. Psyllium will help soften hard stools as well as form up stools that are too watery. Again be sure you have plenty of water in the diet to help flush the added fiber through the system. Probiotics are important for gut health and elimination. Get adequate sleep and exercise, reduce stress levels and address any emotional challenges. To help get the bowels moving from a constipated state try Dr. Christopher’s Lower Bowel Formula or Quick Colon Formula. For more information on how the whole digestive system works, pick up Guide to Colon Health by Dr. Christopher.
 
Mishelle Knuteson is certified in Rapid Eye Technology (RET) an emotional release therapy, teaches classes in The Art of Feminine Presence and a Master Herbalist ~ graduate of The School of Natural Healing. Mishelle currently works as an Educative Master Herbalist (MH) for The School of Natural Healing and as Office Manager of Christopher Publications.