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What your bowel movements say about your health

What your bowel movements say about your health

We live in a time where digestive problems is almost normal in every individual. Chronic constipation seems to be reigning high amongst the older generation, while indigestion, flatulence and a weak digestion system is found more so amongst the youth. No matter what age, a healthy digestion is the one of the most components to a disease free life. This however is overlooked and taken for granted almost always.

Our digestive system is the most undervalued function of our body and conversely the most important! 

The way our bowels function can tell us a tremendous amount about our health. Bowel movement changes can also be a major sign of colon cancer. While other colon cancer symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Red and black blood in stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramps
  • Excessive bloating

Colon cancer symptoms vary depending upon the position of the tumor. The right side of the colon is wider and the left side of the colon is narrower. If the tumor occurs in the left side, it causes partial or complete obstruction and the symptoms include diarrhea, narrowed stool, constipation, bloating and cramps. On the other hand, if the tumor occurs in the right side, it might lead to iron deficiency syndrome due to loss of blood.

As mentioned above, the look and feel of your stools can be a great indicator of your health. This is a visual aid of what is going on and even though it’s considered all ‘hush hush’, knowing the differences is vital.

What your poop says about you

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Looking at the Bristol Stool Chart, a normal stool looks like type 3 and 4. About 75% of faecal weight consists of water. The other 25% includes protein, undigested fiber and solidified components of digestive juices, bacteria, fat and inorganic matter.

Pay attention to bowel movement changes!

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Constipation and diarrhea lasting for a long period of time can signify certain health problems.

Bowel movement frequency will differ from person to person. Such as if it’s usual for a person to have two bowel movements in a day and suddenly the switch is to one per day or alternate days, for a long period of time, such changes can signify certain health problems.

Colon cancer can be treated if it’s detected early. Colon cancer treatment options are many but some of them include colonoscopy, Flexible sigmoidoscopy, Double-contrast barium enema, CT colonography, Guaiac-based faecal occult blood test (gFOBT) and faecal immunochemical test (FIT), Stool DNA test, and camera pill.

Maintaining bowel movement consistency

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  • Apples have high levels of pectin and a lot of fiber which will remove all the toxins from your body and helps in flushing the faeces.
  • Drinking plenty of water on an empty stomach will improve bowel movement.
  • Complex carbohydrates are a great source of fiber.
  • Flax seeds is a digestive stimuli.
  • Starting your say with warm water and lemon kick starts your digestive system.
  • Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates and sugars.
  • Aloe vera is a powerful tool in healing the damages stomach lining and improves bowel movement.
  • Eat adequate amounts of food which will stimulate stretch receptors in your stomach which triggers normal and mass peristaltic waves in your small and large intestines.
  • Exercising is a great way of stimulating the digestive system.
  • Above all, don’t control yourself when you have the urge to poop.

We don’t recommend you to keep a detailed track of your bowel movements but it’s always safe to know the changes in the frequency of the bowel and observe the odour and colour of defaces, as all depicts the health of your digestive track.

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