Is Your Poop Trying To Warn You About Something?
When you’re done handling your business in the bathroom, you probably just want to get up and go. Nobody really wants to hang around and evaluate what happens, let alone look inside the toilet bowl. But, the truth is that one of the least pleasant things we create also gives us some of the greatest insight into our health. Obviously, going number two is never going to be pretty, pleasant, fun, or glamorous. But that’s not to say that you should just accept if it’s painful, unbearably pungent, and noticeably uncomfortable. Some health experts would even say that very healthy feces are odorless, and give you little trouble when they come out. If you’ve just been living with the fear of going to the bathroom, something might be up. So, is your poop trying to warn you about something? Here are things to look out for.
If your stool is shapeless—like diarrhea—but doesn’t come with the discomfort and urgency of diarrhea, it’s possible that you have Celiac disease. Most people who have it, don’t know it, but it can make it difficult for your stool to retain shape.
Sporadic and unreliable
Ideally, you have a somewhat regular poop schedule. If yours is unreliable—with some days when you go several times a day then some days when you don’t go at all—you’re probably eating something you’re intolerant to. This can cause your bowels to freeze up, essentially halting activity, until you’ve consumed so much of the irritant that they release everything.
So stinky you need some caution tape
Do you need to put some caution tape on the bathroom after you’ve used it? It’s quite possible that you’re lactose intolerant, but still consuming dairy. When your body can’t break down lactose, it releases some funky smells in your feces.
So stinky, part two
There’s a second reason your trips to the bathroom could be so smelly that people need to wear gas masks: your body isn’t properly absorbing nutrients. If you’re also experiencing weight loss and fatigue, see your doctor.
Black stool can be the sign of a bleeding ulcer. If yours is accompanied by pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, see a doctor right away.
Sticky and difficult to move
If your poop is sticky and difficult to move, you may have just eaten too much red meat, and not paired it with enough fiber and fluids. You need to add fiber like whole grains to your diet to help pass stool.
Sharp and difficult to pass
If your stool is sharp, difficult to pass, and even causes small rips in your rectum, then you’re likely massively dehydrated. It’s also possible that your body is having a hard time pushing fluids into your colon, and something like Metamucil can help.
Sometimes, sharp, dehydrated stool can cause a little bit of blood. But if you’re seeing more than a teaspoon of red, go to the doctor because you may have hemorrhoids.
Not moving at all
Are you terribly constipated? It’s time to reevaluate your diet. Even if you were eating something to which you were intolerant, you’d still get bouts of diarrhea. Severe constipation can come from a diet that’s heavy in carbohydrates, meat, and fat, and missing grains and produce.
Diarrhea shouldn’t last more than two days if it’s simply due to a little food poisoning. But if you mostly have diarrhea, see a doctor. This can be a symptom of several serious conditions.
Floating poop just means you have too much gas in your system. That isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it’s probably uncomfortable for you on a daily basis. Consider switching to the low FODMAP diet, to eliminate foods that cause your intestines to act up.
A smell of rotten eggs
Your poop should never smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. This is a sign of a parasite called giardia, which is quite dangerous and picked up in fresh water.
Super thin stool
Pencil-thin stool for a day or two is okay, but if you get it on a regular basis, this can be a sign of rectal cancer. If there is a tumor blocking the passageways through your intestines, stool will become thin as it tries to pass it.
Seaweed green and rapid fire
Do you feel like you’re going to project off the toilet when you go? And is your poop seaweed green? This can be a sign of a C. diff infection, which may come after taking antibiotics. If left untreated, it can be very dangerous, so see a doctor right away.
Poop that is very light brown—almost grey—or yellowish can be a sign of too much fat in your diet.