Do you think you know everything you should about pooping? Do you keep a check on its consistency and color? It is not a topic you can discuss with people but an important one nevertheless. How you poop and what it looks like is a good reflection of your health.
Poop isn’t just something your body is getting rid of; not something that’s “out of sight, out of mind.” Knowing all there is to know about pooping can help you take care of your health. So, to start you off, here 7 facts on poop.
1. Poop Is Brown Because Of Bile
Poop gets its brown color from a compound called bilirubin, which is formed by the breakdown of red blood cells in the liver. It is normal for poop to be brown, dark brown, chocolate brown, or any other shade of brown. Your poop can sometimes even be green in color, but don’t freak out. This might simply be because of you eating green leafy vegetables or green food coloring.
However, if your poop looks anything but green or brown, visit a doctor at the earliest as it may be a sign of an underlying health issue.
2. You’ll Poop Even If You Don’t Eat
If you don’t eat at all, what’s there to poop? You might be surprised to feel the need to poop even in such cases. Eating less results in lesser poop, but poop you will. So where does it all come from? In addition to eliminating the food you eat, your body also removes living bacteria, cellular lining, fats, salts, and the substances released from the liver and intestines.
3. Poop Is Mostly Water
Although you might feel like there’s a lot of water only in poop when you’re suffering from, let’s say, diarrhea, healthy poop also has 75% water. However, it may vary from person to person based on how long the poop stays in the intestines. Due to this, you pass loose and watery stools when you suffer from health issues like diarrhea as the stools pass through the intestines quickly.
4. Poop Floats Due to Fat And Gas
If the food you eat is digested in the right manner, it sinks to the bottom of the toilet. This happens because your poop is heavier than water. On the other hand, when your body’s ability to absorb fats and nutrients is impaired, the amount of fat in your poop will increase. This makes your poop float as fat is less dense than water.
Furthermore, eating foods that cause gas can increase the gas content of your poop, making it lighter and therefore float in the toilet. In this case, consider visiting a doctor as floating poop may be a sign of a gastrointestinal infection.1
5. Squatting Reduces The Strain
The human body is made to sit and poop. Originally designed for the disabled and royalty, the sitting toilet was considered an easier way to poop and only the commoners pooped in the squat position. However, this latter one is the ideal posture as it ensures easy bowel movement by relaxing the anal muscles. Studies suggest that squatting results in much quicker and more complete elimination of poop.2
Adding to it, the modern day toilet, although comfortable, can strain the anal muscles. This pressure on the rectum and anus can lead to hemorrhoids.
6. Poop Transplantation Is Real
You’ve heard of kidney transplantation, but what’s poop transplantation? As strange as it may sound, transferring fecal matter can be a lifesaver. In this procedure, fecal matter from a healthy and tested donor is transplanted into the patient’s colon.
Use of antibiotics suppresses or kills the good bacteria and increase the number of bad bacteria in your colon. Infections that need to be treated using antibiotics are often associated with diarrhea and fever. In such cases, a fecal transplant will replace the lost good bacteria.3
7. You Poop More On Your Period
Prostaglandins, the hormone-like compounds released during periods, are responsible for triggering the uterus to contract. Unfortunately, their activity is sometimes not restricted only to the uterus. Some stray prostaglandins may move into the bowel, causing the bowel to contract. Not all women are affected by this – while some experience nausea and diarrhea, others remain unaffected.
Knowing about your body, even about your poop, can help you keep a check on your health. Understand when things can go wrong and ensure you visit your doctor at the earliest if you notice any change.
|↑1||Stools – floating. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||Sikirov, Dov. “Comparison of straining during defecation in three positions: results and implications for human health.” Digestive diseases and sciences 48, no. 7 (2003): 1201-1205.|
|↑3||Bojanova, Diana P., and Seth R. Bordenstein. “Fecal transplants: what is being transferred?.” PLoS biology 14, no. 7 (2016): e1002503.|