Do you know the condition of your alimentary canal, the quantity and quality of its end product, determine the health of your body? This tubular passage, also known as the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), functions in digestion and assimilation of food, and elimination of residual wastes from your body. These wastes, which come out in various forms, will tell the health level of your body.
Hard and dry The transit time has a great impact on the consistency of your stool. Normally it takes approximately 18 hours for food to go through the body and be eliminated. When stool stays longer than that in the intestines, the colon will re-absorb fluid or moisture from the fecal matter, making it dry and hard resulting in constipation – a symptom of a larger picture that many doctors have not seriously taken into consideration yet.
Causes of constipation are: intake of certain medications; body dehydration; high intake of dairy products; lack of dietary fiber and lack regular exercises. All these factors slow down the functions of the GI tract that could lead to chronic bowel problems.
Loose or watery Your body secretes around eight liters of fluid during the course of a day-from the stomach, salivary glands and pancreas-to help in the digestion process.
In a normal and healthy condition, most of that fluid is absorbed along the way, resulting in soft, fluffy stools. However, if food passes through too fast without sufficient time for all of that absorption to take place, the stool emerges in a too-soft or watery form.
The reasons for such expressed transit could be a sudden increase in fiber intake, or a bacterial or viral infection whereby the body produces toxins and this causes water to be released so as to get rid of these virus or bacteria from the body as quickly as possible.
Thin stools Bowel movements that come out thin are usually not a good sign. This could be a symptom of colon cancer, or its precursor, polyps in the colon. Should you pass out thin stools on a consistent basis, you should see your doctor.
Little round pellets An ideal stool has the texture of bananas. It should be large, soft, and easy to pass out. But when conditions are less normal, example a long transit time, the stool may come out like the stools of goats, in round pellets. Fecal wastes in a sluggish colon lose water content because the fluid is being reabsorbed by the colon into the body .
If you are on a weight-loss program that puts you on a diet of high protein and low carbohydrates, you definitely lack fiber. Since fiber holds water, a lack of it in the stool will give you hard fecal wastes and difficult elimination.
It floats and stinks When your body is not absorbing fats properly from the food you eat, fats will be excreted in your stool – as yellowish color, greasy in consistency, foul smelling, and floats in the toilet.
Certain conditions like celiac disease can cause mal-absorption problems and some essential nutrients can be lost along with the un-absorbed fat. These fatty foul stools are also one of the side effects of eating foods that contain Olestra (the faux fat found in some chips and various fried snacks) or of taking weight loss drug like Xenical and other over-the-counter medications.
Light grey color Normal stools come in a range of colors depending on what you eat. Example, it will be yellow when you are on B-complex or red when you take beet root. But if your stool has a yellowish or light grey tone, or like chicken soup, it is likely your digestive system is not working properly.
Bile from your liver helps break down fats. Bile also adds color to the stool. But if there’s a blockage in the liver or in the bile duct, the stool may appear pale. But, if you have a pancreatic disorder, the stool might look gray because it does not have the color of the digestive enzymes produced in that organ.
Bright red If you see red-colored stool in the toilet, first recall what you have eaten a few hours before. It might just be beet roots or dragon fruits. However, if it is truly a streak of red blood in the stool or on the toilet paper, then it is a sign that you are bleeding — somewhere inside.
It could be a hemorrhoid or a small fissure caused by straining using a sitting type toilet. It is best to discuss with your doctor if you are straining often since it can lead to painful hemorrhoids. In any case, it is definitely worth having a check with your doctor or healthcare professional to rule out serious issues -like colon cancer.
Black stool If your stool suddenly turns black and looks tar-like, it could be your vitamin pill or iron supplements. But if you are not taking extra iron and you see this change, you should go see your doctor.
Bleeding in the stomach or esophagus can also cause black colored stools. In either case, do go see your doctor should you see blood in your stool.
Not going How frequent and how much is considered normal, you may wonder. Depending on the food you eat, it is normal to have at least 2-3 bowel movements a day. According to Dr John H Kellogg, you should eliminate the residue of each meal 15-18 hours after eating.
But if you notice a change in your normal pattern, then you need to look at what is causing it. If you find yourself suddenly going too much, it may be due to a high fiber diet. That is a good thing, and it takes a while for your body to adjust to the change. And if you suddenly experience constipation, first look at what changes you have made to your diet. A lack of fiber or skipping your meals may also contribute to constipation because when we eat, there is peristaltic action which moves food to the colon and sigmoid.
Conclusion Keeping your colon clean and in good tone is the best way to avoid the grip of disease and sickness. Colon cleansing is a simple way in achieving this.