Yes, poop talk is commonly a very uncomfortable topic, not to mention gross and disgusting, however your poop can tell you alot about the health of your digestive system as well as what kind of shape your gut is in! It is common sense that eating improperly will create digestive issues, but what if you have adjusted your eating habits, are eating quality foods, getting to sleep on time, managing your stress, etc., but are still not feeling quite like yourself? Look at your poop…9 times out of 10 the answer will be starring you right in the face!
The health of your digestive system typically begins with the bodies ability, or lack there of, to digest and absorb nutrients. Digestion begins in the mouth and ends in the large intestine, however, many things can go wrong in the interim.
What are some common causes and symptoms of poor digestion?
Common symptoms include:
neck,shoulde, mid/lower back pain
fatigue following a meal
1.The first, and most overlooked, common cause of poor digestion begins with hydration. Once dehydrated you are unable to adequately produce the saliva that contains the enzymes necessary to begin the digestive process as the body will scavenge from vital organs, all of which play a key role in the digestive process. In addition to the this, not properly chewing your food results in food particles that are too large for the stomach acids to break down and kill the unfriendly fungi and parasites hiding inside, ready to set up shop in your small intestine and often begin the debilitation of the immune system.
2. Another cause of poor digestion is a toxic bowel. The most common culprit leading to toxicity is constipation. Constipation is often a result of poor diet that consists of processed foods, pasteurized dairy, processed juices, dehydrogenated fats, tap water, caffeine, and recreational or medical drugs . Just think of what would happen if you let your garbage sit for several days, now imagine this same process occurring in your warm, wet intestines?!
3. Stress!! Anytime we experience stress, and let me remind you that your body does not differentiate your stress, or what you think may not be your stress, all it knows is that you are now in “fight or flight” immediately activating the sympathetic nervous system. We must remember that our digestive systems were not developed yesterday…it has taken millions of years for the human race to evolve and nothing about who we are or how our bodies function is by accident. So, let me ask you…if you were being chased by a tiger, would you feel like poopin?
How to recognize a healthy bowel movement…
A healthy bowel movement should be easy to pass, well shaped and consistent in contour, light brown in color, as well offer a sense of relief. It should not make your nose hairs curl or your pets frown, as well you should consider yourself green friendly as you should not feel the need to use the entire roll of t.p. ! One more thing…you should be passing at least 12 inches a day. This can happen all at once, but having a healthy bowel movement after each meal indicates a healthy digestive system!
How to identify a irregular or dysfunctional digestive system…
Anything that deviates from the above guidelines could indicate a problem. Several things to look for include: food in your stool, diarrhea and/or constipation (fluctuation between the two once a month or more within a years time could indicate a problem), poops that resemble that of a rabbit or sheep (another common occurence of altered states between peristalsis and dehydration), large hard to pass stools (common if eating dehydrated foods ex. protein powders), grayish or lighter in color (indicates undigested fats), and last but not least the bowel movement that, as mentioned above, will make your pets frown and your nose hairs curl!
If you feel your digestive system might need some help below are some guidelines to help you begin the process:
1. Talk to your doctor or wellness practitioner about your symptoms. This will allow them to design a gut healing plan specific to you. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you could have a parasite, and no matter what you do, until you rid thet gut of these pesty critters, you don’t stand a chance!
2.Avoid watching T.V. or read while you are eating unless it is something that makes you feel good!
3.Drink two glasses of clean, chlorine free water 15 minutes before meals and avoid drinking anything while eating.
4.Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks before meals. This can lead to leaky gut syndrome and food intolerances.
5.Avoid foods that you are intolerant to or allergic to and ALWAYS chew food to liquification!
6.Eat smaller meals more often as it the body is only capable of breaking down so much food at one time.
7. Never suppress the urge…according to Dr. Tom Benteen, you can change the timing or teach, any physiological systeminas little as 7-21 days.
8. Begin all meals with raw foods as they contain the enzymes required for proper digestion.