What Your Poop Says About Your Health (Part 1)

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If you’re reading this article while sitting on your porcelain throne, you’re not alone! Around 75% of people check their smartphones in the loo! And while you’re at it, why not take some time and check the precious logs you’ve dropped in the bowl? 

 Since childhood, we’ve been taught that everyone poops! But sometimes people just don’t feel comfortable discussing it. While poop might not be a table talk, it’s a perfectly normal and essential bodily function – and something that we should always pay attention to! How many of you have ever analyzed their stool? No matter how gross it might sound, your feces’ color and shape can reveal a lot about your health.

 Even though these checks are not as sophisticated and detailed as a fecal immunochemical examination or colonoscopy, visual signs can help you determine if something is abnormal and allow you to arrange an appointment with your physician in advance. Stool gets its characteristic color from two things: the bile secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder and the food we consume. Imagine the famous poop emoji. Your logs should be this color – brown. Sometimes the change in color can indicate a medical problem. Here’s a quick checklist of the color you find in the bowl can mean for your health. See your doctor immediately if you find a problem. 

It’s Almost Black

Did you eat a big steak last night? Your stool may have a darker color. Red meat contains myoglobin, which is rich in iron. Therefore, it can cause darker stools.

You can also produce dark stools after taking medicines such as bismuth, charcoal pills, iron supplements, or after ingesting food and drinks such as blueberries and dark beer. But if you haven’t done any of these things, black stools can indicate bleeding in the digestive system, usually in the upper part.

The color is due to blood mixes with the intestine’s digestive juices, causing it to turn black before it passes out. Black stool can be associated with bleeding stomach ulcers or any stomach or intestine disease that causes bleeding, including cancer. If black stools cannot be attributed to medicine or food you have recently eaten, visit a physician as soon as possible as it could be a sign of bleeding!

It’s a Little Pale

A whitish, grayish, or clay-colored stool indicates a lack of bile. It can mean liver and gallbladder problems, as they are organs that produce and store bile. This may range from obstruction of the bile ducts and gallstones to cirrhosis. White mucus on brown stools can be a sign of Crohn’s disease.

It Is Red

Urban Dictionary: Author King Boo JP

Your diet generally influences red stools. Beets, colored drinks, tomatoes… just think about what you’ve eaten recently. But if you see bright red, it can sometimes indicate bleeding hemorrhoids. The blood from hemorrhoids doesn’t pass through the intestine to turn black and can be seen on the toilet paper or stool surface. Bright red blood in your stool can also be a sign of inflammation, polyp, or even colon cancer.

It Looks Yellowish

Poop Smell GIF by Psychrome - Find & Share on GIPHY

Yellow stools can be a sign of blocked bile ducts and low-fat absorption. Another reason is the pancreas’ lack of enzymes, which may suggest chronic pancreatitis, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis. But don’t panic! Yellow poop can also indicate that you have eaten too many carrots or drunk a lot of yellow drinks.

It’s Looking Green

Poop Sticker by Bleed Gfx for iOS & Android | GIPHY

Again, think back to what you’ve eaten in the last 24 hours: Are you in such a healthy salad phase? Maybe that’s the reason for that unusual color. But if the only vegetables you eat are the garnish on your plate, green poop can be a sign of infection! If it’s always green and unrelated to food, it may be a sign that you need to pay close attention to your health and see a doctor.

Wondering what your poop shape says about your health? Check out the second part of this article here!

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