If you haven’t heard about gut bacteria, you are missing out on some exciting information.
Your gut is like a garden where there are plants that you need, and there are also weeds. Like in any garden, when the weeds overpower the plants, there is a problem.
It is therefore essential that you take care of your gut by eating right and introducing probiotics into your diet.
But why should you keep thinking about your gut?
Well, research has shown that your gut acts like your second brain. There is a connection between the brain and the gut called the gut-brain axis.
What happens in your gut can influence what happens in your brain. Stretching this thought, if you let the bad bacteria run amok, you are likely to affect your brain negatively. You may also be able to undo the damage to the brain by healing your gut.
Take for instance research done on patients with Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is a condition that impairs the brain and leaves patients with limited cognitive ability. Normally, when someone has Alzheimer's the condition is irreversible.
But as the research found, when patients were given probiotics for 12 weeks, their cognition improved significantly.
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What about the poop?
For something that we should all be doing every day, pooping is not something we talk about a whole lot, but we should.
There are questions you should always ask about your poop that will enable you to know if your health is good or if something is wrong.
You should always ask yourself
We are going to look at all these questions one by one. And at the end of this article, you should be able to know what your poop is telling you about your gut health.
How often do you poop?
This might be surprising, but a startling number of people do not know how often they should have bowel movements. Some people imagine that a few times a week is ok. But is it?
The truth is, you should poop twice every day, and it is even ok to poop thrice.
Yes! You heard that right.
Poop is waste, and the more of it goes out regularly, the better.
Imagine that you have a toilet and you keep going to it and doing your business, and you do not flush it. Can you stand the smell or the sight at the end of the day?
If your answer is no, then you know why you should always “flush out waste” from your body daily.
But what does not going to the bathroom as often as you should say about your gut health?
If you have bowel movements once or twice a day means that you are eating the right things, you have a fast metabolism, and your gut bacteria are very healthy.
In the same vein, there is such a thing as having bowel movements too frequently. If you are pooping more than thrice a day, you are leaning towards diarrhea, and you have a problem that you should have checked out.
What does your poop look like?
How your poop looks can fall into seven categories. Each category tells you whether your gut is healthy and if there is something you aren’t doing right.
Type 1: This type looks like pebbles and is really hard and uncomfortable to get out. It is a sign of constipation.
Type 2: It is sausage-like but also lumpy. Like type one this also indicates constipation.
Type 3: This one looks sausage-like but has cracks and is less lumpy than type 2.
What does this mean for your gut?
The above types one to three indicate that you may not eat enough fiber, are too stressed and possibly do not take enough water as well.
You are consequently not feeding the good bacteria in the gut. You could be allowing the harmful bacteria to take over and you know you won't like it if you keep on in that direction.
The most probable reason for you not being able to pass waste comfortably is that you are not consuming enough real foods, but you often binge on processed and junk food.
To improve the situation, you should add flax seeds, vegetables, prebiotics, probiotics, magnesium and more water to your diet as they help make the digestion process faster.
Type 4: It is sausage like, smooth and long. It also doesn’t break up when you are flushing.
If this is what you are expelling, you are in a good place. This is what you should be seeing every day.
It is an indication that you are eating the right type of food, drinking enough water and most importantly feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
It wouldn’t hurt, however, to send a sample for microbiome testing to see if you need any probiotic supplementation for an even healthier gut. A popular testing company is Viome.
Type 5: Soft blobs with noticeable edges
Type 6: Light, small pieces
Type 7: Liquid
If you start noticing that your poop is going to the consistency of type 5, 6 and 7, you are in the diarrhea zone.
This means that you lack fiber in your food. It may also mean that you are not absorbing nutrients properly.
Most of us do not give a second thought to our poop and with good reason. If you are having constipation, you have probably had it for too long that it becomes your usual and you see nothing wrong with it.
The same goes to the other kinds of poop.
We hope that after reading this article, you have a better picture of what your poop says about your gut health. It is also our hope that you will pay attention to what is going on in your gut and work on improving its health.
Getting a microbiome test is one of the best ways to know what is in your gut and if you need improvement.