What Is Your Poop Telling You About Your Health?

By Jake Schroeder
C3idyjekufajx4q1r6utzaotygur8akx4stivipx6mckvgup3440t89x2bl9oc0 Pmsg9 Hg3lkm Wdlmooa2r3 Uve4q5f82alwombg52b7qcez4gfynbksr8 Eul4wlhw6rp Ffrw0rlxhg
Photo Courtesy: Sincerely Media/Unsplash

Everyone poops, as Taro Gomi, author of a children’s book by that very name, knows well. However, few people talk or think about their poop even though it’s a necessary and even vital part of human life. Adults could learn a thing or two from Gomi, however.

People need to be comfortable discussing defecation, particularly with doctors, and understanding what’s happening in the toilet can make that process much easier. So without further adieu, let’s talk about poop!

Sulfur-Smelling Diarrhea

If your poop smells like rotting eggs, then you may need to go to the doctor. It’s possible that you picked up Giardia, a single-celled microscopic protozoan parasite that lives in bodies of freshwater like lakes and streams as well as unpurified drinking water.

Mlznsc Fsylii6gufekidit0knkxdw Ddhu3j Bpgl29az5ysm91c1gh2ejxaicy8humk0tllmsgah2fc6yg4wwtgxnnsd4ztmqaekqybt6 Tqonohlfrzunf5wdl5blb5oigchokq2b5hdlwq
Photo Courtesy: Eva Nohýnková/Wikimedia Commons

Giardia can also be picked up through contaminated surfaces, soil or food. This tiny one-celled animal can even survive chlorine, so it’s possible to get Giardia from a pool as well. When you have watery diarrhea, you can become dehydrated and lose a lot of essential nutrients quickly. Luckily, Giardia can be treated with an antibiotic.

Pencil-Thin Poops

If you have consistently pencil-thin poops or patches of dark blood in them, then you may have colorectal cancer. Your rectum is the last part of your large intestine (or colon) before the anal canal and anus.

M7gkz40tkfpzbh6hadjlrwxxs Wycop5rdlb4yp0tzlzca7n3pbwqbtwisyq9rr4doxbo1bnaovroomy4c34zvzmtyjyyofwqcbjslgtlpd 0k54n M7kmechqg94buaw70yxz Sx91z0qz Qa
Photo Courtesy: Plush Design Studio/Unsplash

Small, cylindrical poops that only happen for a couple of days might just be a sign that you need more fiber in your diet. However, when these stools become the norm, you should visit the doctor, because this is one of the first signs of a troubling blockage in your rectum.

Green Poop

If you haven’t consumed an inordinate amount of green food coloring, leafy greens or iron-rich foods, then your green diarrhea may be full of bile, which isn’t good. This is particularly worthy of concern if it’s a regular occurence.

Nnlqssr9t8klklw7b7ykbjzdu8zatyx0j6txax68rdza4i6i7 25whtwoyd Q4stuesjslw 0uef6uwsgvkwl6usnsmva Hupvvynawq98bmrtp3xczcuwxsld5mty Rpibfbp 9s0b2rk3ta
Photo Courtesy: Patrick Fore/Unsplash

If your poop has bile in it, it means that it’s passing through your system too quickly and the bile isn’t having time to be broken down and absorbed. That also means that you aren’t getting important nutrients from your food. Either way, it’s worth a trip to the doctor’s.

White or Clay-Colored Stool

White or clay-colored stool means that your bile ducts may be obstructed. While passing through the digestive system, your food may not be getting the benefit of bile to help it break down. That can lead to infections or a buildup of bile in the liver and waste products in the blood.

Sj20ouykb5wgevoxb2gbtltqlzyecfdy Zypskpel4l9lkl8yhvgscsauijiwgos7satmsy99z6 Oi6nu9dsh3dgsqgygxuh4e7stueznf6tq Jo2cwydxqbto5vxvjqdjy 5bovopqzj9tizg
Photo Courtesy: ParentingPatch/Wikimedia

Some medications, such as Pepto-Bismol and antidiarrheals, can have the same effect. If you have a clogged bile duct, you should know that the problem can become serious and should be resolved through your doctor.

Hard Little Nuggets

Small, hard stools are usually connected to constipation, not enough fiber, too many simple carbohydrates or sugars or dehydration — or all three. If your poop is small, hard, dry and difficult to pass, you probably need to seriously rethink your diet.

Jcvucitluhau2gsgvla3zzz3j83c8xtv6omrwlogqsfswmp2h0c3gycc4ehslsyu38r 71yoo0bahx4rvva6atah7z9oxyq0vcpqfbkoc4l1m5g0eoqjb59thcjmm6ucadw Sjif3kxzxn2jgw
Photo Courtesy: Chantel Garnier/Unsplash

Ways to combat uncomfortable constipation are to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. In short, eat more plants. Meat and dairy are yummy, but humans are omnivores, and your body is designed to eat a little meat and a lot of plants. If you’re not doing that, your toilet time will suffer.

Black Stools — Straight to the Doctor!

If you haven’t eaten a pound or so of black licorice in the past couple of days and you're not consuming large amounts of iron, but still have black stools, go to the doctor’s office. Black poop is a sign of digested blood, meaning that your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract is bleeding.

Wlr2 Xavum Acqk4razvukm3qzcpzwurnjoki1 Rajpnvhk2phiek0ljropbphjdvwxsudep7bjabmj6h1g5291rjraomzvfrehlmq9m7fv2jf0hionuifnhkkxeowdn24m8vfjsvwsmzgiifq
Photo Courtesy: Mikael Haagstrom/Wikimedia Commons

That can be caused by an ulcer in your stomach, alcoholism combined with excessive consumption of ibuprofen, similar drugs or antidiarrheals, to name a few scenarios. Whichever one of these it is, it’s a serious problem and needs to be remedied immediately. Inflammation and internal bleeding in the GI tract is no joke.

Explosive Seaweed-Green Liquid Poop

If this sounds unpleasant, it’s even worse to actually experience. If you’ve got uncontrollable, dark green, liquid poop, a bacterial superinfection called Clostridium difficile (C. diff) may be the culprit. Superinfections happen when a normal bacteria such as C. diff runs rampant after healthy bacteria are killed by an antibiotic.

5lvdfoixlyiv8ixplilsqxsjxrsum4fqhiey60xgfmhfw8wo8ffylotja3gv59tu95xljktj0dz4i50vfjfo9nsdtgtjfxuxzymh9vcknehhkygvfnzwgpocr0p8hzl5w2kuvktqd9hpm0cmvq
Photo Courtesy: Lauren Probyn/Unsplash

Without good bacteria to balance out the gut, C. diff can run rampant, causing severe cramping as well as the above-listed symptoms. Liquid diarrhea can cause dehydration and even death pretty fast, so it’s very important to stop the antibiotic that caused the superinfection and get treated at the hospital immediately.

Bright Red Poop

While fresh blood in poop is usually from hemorrhoids or somewhere in the lower GI tract or rectum, if it’s ongoing, it needs to be addressed. The exception is if you ate nine red popsicles or similar foods in large quantities.

En7aukoeihgkubxdk2wwnzwtip7ht2lsv6hg7k7qmvspiemij4i Z Vcoysiezmfms4jdjjrxnaymr5 Uhbd7bxtv 8ey7wuzk53zyh 0bozkjdb7xvqkwmw I80y3eoksg7gwls5ern F7gea
Photo Courtesy: Erol Ahmed/Unsplash

Natural substances such as cranberries, beets or tomato juice are a common source of the problem. If the red color is actually blood, however, it could be caused by an anal fissure, which is a small tear around the anus. This condition is painful and can be fixed with medication or surgery.

Loose, Yellow, Foul-Smelling Stool

Celiac disease is characterized by a gluten intolerance in which consumed gluten causes damage to the small intestine. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that occurs when the immune system is hypersensitive to gluten, which is found in barley, wheat and rye.

Son8lp4sx3eefxuw Eqe0em8d Gvu6bm2nmv1bvn1uxz69qh3h19dlqp4qdaixtcxmfouxhtky8ffnculyt053yh7uqx9rgvycvbd4r Nxh7gbdvti Qvq0nrndvido1cm7fv 12sebxyr7etw
Photo Courtesy: Emma Van Sant/Unsplash

Unfortunately, gluten may also be found in vitamins, skin and hair products, some makeup and toothpaste. Symptoms of Celiac disease include irritability, abdominal pain, loose, greasy, yellow stools, frequent bowel movements, depression and fatigue. If you continue to eat gluten with Celiac disease, you are putting yourself at risk for malnutrition and cancer.

Greasy Floaters

It’s normal to have some poop that floats, especially if you’re into foods like sprouts, beans or cabbage. What isn’t normal is if your floaters are oily, which can mean that your body isn’t absorbing fat properly.

Jwxiul7xlyce4r0h8kdu I0wwf Ttepmda6srtfyw3w Lq8rqm39rdh7jcnfzdagrihrhc7x6u1ktyp3bbxbmpk 0tcjolkvjt1srg0fzjb3068kuiec1yqlh2hqicgawwbognwwawadr7qzvq
Photo Courtesy: FOODISM360/Unsplash

This is a problem and could be an indication of a food allergy or a pancreatic issue, such as inflammation or an infection. Pancreatic problems like pancreatitis can be very serious, very painful and even fatal, so if you see that your stool looks like it has an oil slick on it, get to the doctor ASAP.

Regular Floaters

Floating poop can also be a sign of high-fat content in your diet, which may be a sign of malabsorption. Malabsorption happens when you cannot absorb the fat and other nutrients from the food you’re eating, which is not normal.

Bznlnoasf Tsbru7jyi61w6ozlxxfwuq4sfye7jckog969 Feurpgt Yhuvxsezxoysyrk6bq3gi1cigoseuirqyrfm9f Ojvz06d1rqs1zjwfsqeylzbfxe8ycolgczi8unom6ogankbsj4cg
Photo Courtesy: Adrian D./Unsplash

Floating stools may indicate Celiac disease or chronic pancreatitis, both of which are serious and require a doctor’s care as well as a serious change in diet. It is always better to eat high-fiber, plant-based foods than processed, refined foods with high sugar content and added preservatives, dyes and chemicals.

Flatulence

It turns out that passing gas 8-10 times per day is healthy and normal, although depending on where you are when you do it, it may be embarrassing. Farting is the result of your gut bacteria doing its job in your intestines and breaking down your food into nutrients and waste.

Pbdhimxmssn0fqkualubtsezqdaarx3h2yyfegv0bek D2oib31cmzvoyjmpfjntbgkyclafrtbdgp7mygo6xsh3v86gmczz02 1uu0xrjqxhorfcyyirgb9ggepr9zv Tgiprlydpaod71noq
Photo Courtesy: Austin Chan/Unsplash

The gas is a normal by-product of the microbial waste management system in your large intestines. Digestion can sometimes be a smelly business, but rest assured that you are an average human being if you fart up to 18 times per day, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.

Poop Transplants

Yes, poop transplants are a thing. At least, fecal microbiota transplants are real and have proven to effectively treat problems like recurrent C. difficile bacterial superinfections and even inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There are trillions of good bacteria working hard in a healthy person’s gut to keep them that way.

Ci5fazprdfztuwn0lhv5 9eorvy Juysam8akrbs0khbzyyhzlowl 82xylauszzbgvtky4gbiqesnfd0rl2lhs1dcvnduqpgjii66lxtxkemh05wfxbmdkrcmowu9j7ftny03lcmxu7kcoelw
Photo Courtesy: Online Marketing/Unsplash

Antibiotics can disrupt the good bacteria in your intestines to such a degree that it causes pain and other unpleasant GI symptoms. If probiotics don’t work, your doctor may suggest that you ask one of your friends to be a poop donor for you. Hey — sharing is caring, right?

Your Bathroom Is Not Your Office

It may seem like a weird thing to study, but researchers have found a strange but strong correlation between time spent in the bathroom reading on the toilet and hemorrhoid development. The theory is that the longer you are sitting and straining, the more pressure it puts on the anal area, increasing the risk of swollen, irritated blood vessels.

Qv6pu3zuj5yxk1dn2wmr0y2q5uscomjfm3axebg2788n9cxye9oy9nwgn5qkjvnwpu H7s1wlyi3nyj10msvfvmtmhn6hz9t Qo Lwwda2h1b6x9q8svaxzsk52omkffnhsr0fkputpuivhxyw
Photo Courtesy: Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash

Usually, a low-fiber diet is to blame for this problem. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, which promotes regularity and prevents constipation. Most people fall short of the recommended 30-35 grams of fiber per day recommended by doctors.

Cell Phone Poop

Everybody knows that the best way to prevent disease transmission is to thoroughly wash your hands after every bathroom use. If you don’t, feces particles and the accompanying germs can get on everything you touch, which is not just gross, but can also make you sick.

Zzuuohsrvtbfvnblrdfe6mucq5bhhqqunybmefaduykm5sougfo2vexd 9jkk9kazvjodaqbmzicicp6wjskqoy58ka2jklov1pliantmogsneb1ecspf Riwrwyserwrk6ma0iextrazvvw2q
Photo Courtesy: Todd Jiang/Unsplash

In 2011, researchers from the United Kingdom found that as many as one in every six cell phones had traces of poop on it. Think of all of the places your phone has been today — most people keep a phone on their person at all times. E. coli and other GI bacterial diseases are commonly spread that way.

What Is a Healthy Poop?

Dr. Oz made poop history when he said that a healthy stool "… should be in the shape of an S, and you want to make sure the color's normal because the color of the poop tells you a lot about how you made it."

Jg8knuu9sw2ul6jvfbgsjuicil52r1s9u5luwl0b3vpgnxvc Hl0qpknor8nykwqltsygupqyd3d3paqfkfa8ro Dn9r26msvzqfy2iucx0q J Vipxgq2aszrqgmn17k67btu85qegaeuazqa
Photo Courtesy: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Michael Cheng, a gastroenterologist, noted, "Healthy stool is usually considered a soft, formed bowel movement that is typically brownish in color." You should seek help from a doctor if you have any chronic, recurrent GI symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

The Bristol Stool Scale

Surprisingly, poop is about 75 water water and 25 percent indigestible food, inorganic substances and dead bacteria. The time it takes for the average person to consume a meal and then have a bowel movement is approximately three days.

0n8hrh2u5meeer9ztnkwxbp95m9npjlagq0z0rnrqg4zgjscfotat J8jbvkd Zydjq9bf1mb7lbzs2goitmejf K8jrcgb4k236aeukmf1uscp 97mejzppoqcgii5brv9 Rsk4qdujgr2uw
Photo Courtesy: Franch V./Unsplash

The Bristol Stool Chart rates stools on a variety of qualities and categorizes them into seven types of stool based on size, color and texture. Types three and four are the normal ones, with soft, "sausage-shaped, snake-like," stools that are easy to pass and flush easily. This chart also notes that a normal stool stays intact when flushed.

Amount of Poop

You should have no more than three bowel movements in a day, and the total amount should equal less than 200 milliliters or 200 grams of stool. 200 grams is a little less than half a pound, so if you’re going more than this, you should evaluate your diet.

V5 Mapsrdmekdtbuwq0nl H4tvdd2iry3im5djpd4w7afarcri8v4pdsktgnkif2f71p4v1wyulmu07nhqutzpngde7xt0fskgq691vchvtdin4dkvgrwylxfu 5ljp6bbxpsgcyokle2 K5gq
Photo Courtesy: LoSchmi/Pixabay

As far as volume goes, 200 milliliters is a little less than a cup. If you’re producing more than that amount of diarrea a day, you should go to your doctor to figure out the cause.

Constipation

Hard, dry stools can be a sign of constipation. This condition is reported fairly often in the United States, with 4 million people experiencing it frequently. The problem with constipation is that it can be painful, cause impactions and hemorrhoids, and is usually preventable.

Tradkgz Oolqhaj Z8a Nqrduaqumtgt3lp42t Lbprqbkn0hyqqh5hobhajkihbukike7cbxnwwuuttherx78lbk 8qpym55m Ypcfm2pxrxmwf11viw3y7ef0bpa9cu845ytemfwrbcpwp1w
Photo Courtesy: John Arano/Unsplash

The best things you can do to prevent constipation is to eat more fiber — particularly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and berries — drink lots of water and get enough exercise.

Medications Affect Your Bowels

You might not know this, but a lot of medicines can cause constipation. Some medicines affect the nerve and muscle activity of the colon and bind intestinal liquid, so you should take care to do your research before taking a new medication.

4ogbmicswlfsit6b1huny Eam Ywkkbe5fy6rjbk7upxxgzlmbpw129pnhnz1mwfiof80xq4gc7rhejgyr9bhcxtsb130eghk8upqpot Nst Fvjaunakkzu7kp Nwfhgbmzngcliv77ywevtw
Photo Courtesy: Freestocks/Unsplash

Some drugs also slow colonic action, which can be serious if gut motility stops completely. Some of these medications include opiates, antacids, antihypertensives, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, diuretics, bile acid sequestrants, calcium channel blockers and iron supplements. Be sure to read any product information included with your prescriptions to determine possible side effects.

Worms

There are many types of intestinal worms that humans are capable of getting, including flatworms, such as flukes and tapeworms, and roundworms, like pinworms and hookworms. Common symptoms of a parasitic worm infestation are pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, fatigue and unexplained weight loss.

Aehpznhqwsyqxlc1k4tybazt2ykhnz07glgt6e5ajvzlyte7ipfshvzjxxr2v Wvu8jqyrz0fapqgi1wj3tbbrowhec2xjzuzqhz9xifgcqnnvmklg Ppkql3imfqgjhsn6h5is6xdnykx8q Q
Photo Courtesy: Bill Craighead/Unsplash

One way to get intestinal parasites is to eat the undercooked meat of an infected animal, but you can also get them from ingesting contaminated water or soil, contact with feces, and poor sanitation and hygiene. Fortunately, such parasites are usually treatable with medication.

Pus in the Stool

If you are unfortunate enough to experience food poisoning, you may see pus in your stool as a result of the bacterial invasion and subsequent white blood cell response. There are many bacteria that can cause GI tract illnesses, such as campylobacter, salmonella, shigella and yersinia.

Kuxm 0sle1anawkkey9fqzd2qfjmx5ytamwzvd0v3jep0mo829zxv Gk6wy1 66xy2uy88mh79en Pqvbfpfpw0kjqnpc9ao1lo2ep6lkc Od G6bp Imh B Ldjnnxmtvt1mnfy2lyo1rbfq
Photo Courtesy: Pawel Czerwinski/Unsplash

All of these bacterial invaders can cause cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and diarrhea. It’s important that your doctor get a culture of your stool to determine which bacteria are affecting you, as there are different antibiotics for the treatment of different bacteria.

Mucus During Chemo

If you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, be aware that gastrointestinal mucositis, the severe loss of mucus from the gastrointestinal tract, can occur. Unfortunately, if you experience this condition, you may need to be hospitalized until your digestive tract is back to normal.

7akwztyav8cmyb4oldx3lqzal7ovn6r4dcowyle1m8eupo8zpakxozthtjengiqpwxhojejj8gsfxurrp2 Ewpv Qej4jrjvmqp1tezgt0pbevq Cgchdafsdbews8lvu Bceljsa5iseh7twq
Photo Courtesy: Kendal/Unsplash

Gastrointestinal mucositis causes inflammatory lesions of the oral or GI tract. This condition is treatable but may reoccur during future chemotherapy or radiation treatments. The pain from this condition can be severe.

Coccidia

Coccidia infection, or coccidiosis, is a GI infection caused by the sporozoan parasite coccidium. Coccidiosis is characterized by watery diarrhea that sometimes alternates with constipation, pain in the abdomen, fever, nausea, headache, loss of appetite and weight loss. After the microscopic spores are ingested, the symptoms show up after about a week.

Aderb604bm9r7dxmuvdaelxmpliibf9 Plzvxmbtu8qc9mgu69y7 Ndooqznfxpu6z5vqnfr0gprp6lkgitq0kqyysop5iundqbnhtcw0vtyzcs2b5hxfdrqmrgfxnr0y82uuslieoxchpkhwq
Photo Courtesy: Joel Mills/Wikimedia Commons

Coccidiosis in humans usually clears up spontaneously after 1 to 4 weeks, and sanitization and good hygiene are key to keeping it at bay. Dogs and cats can be infected by coccidia and may give it to a human. Coccidiosis that does not subside is treated with sulfonomides.

Timing Your Poop

Since there’s a correlation between how long it takes a person to defecate and hemorrhoids, doctors proposed guidelines for how long it should take to produce a healthy bowel movement.

Wumjblhehfujns7g1toudhgg2fb6tqkrveb Ygqm4rpqmxjto7ofcdovj Nanramcky9uynh Fi5243xelutu9a6rck6bsjc5jjfq11z Jsjwguhkdjonymdx4zevbnmifsjdz1ow0dxgzsefq
Photo Courtesy: Malvestida Magazine/Unsplash

According to healthline.com, a healthy poop should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Additionally, while the average person poops anywhere from three times per day to once every other day, any less than that warrants a trip to the doctor’s office.

Soft Little Nuggets

Fiber, fiber, fiber! Fiber is essential to your digestive health, and soft, small, easily passable stools are a dead giveaway that you need more fiber in your diet. If you have this problem, bust out the veggies, nuts and berries and go to town.

Xbhcj8bgj04hao7qgbl432hows9cbejxu8lk I Hatub9tftdcjom4rub7apygrbsf5cibvjcyfdlhxq1jcoam 7sb Xm A 7hoogrn3lzaoafvxqwoczxctjzcn2al8b1cmp1umfxihautrgq
Photo Courtesy: Maksim Shutov/Unsplash

If you’re on the fence about going mostly vegetarian, consider that vegetarians and vegans have an 8-year longer life expectancy than the general population, which is the same as the difference between smokers and non-smokers. That raises the question: if you smoke but are a vegan, do you have a normal life expectancy?

Sausage Shaped and Lumpy

If a stool has the right shape but is too lumpy, it could indicate constipation. This type of poop is type two on the Bristol Chart, and passing it can be uncomfortable. Nobody wants to pass a big, rock-hard, lumpy stool, so eat more greens, drink more water and exercise every day.

Cibkesgy3kvrdl4al78hlztvse8vyctwa3b5mdp2jvhkmxiuf4iif02myu6r4gqasyzequq4iurw03ji5scwc Aps1xpc4ecpsb6kfz0aw7gdbyglos1p10fcpdzcpivt5a8www0wtjaf1ogdw
Photo Courtesy: FOODISM360/Unsplash

Constipation can interfere with your daily life and work, so it’s important to figure out why you’re constipated in the first place and treat the underlying cause instead of masking symptoms with a laxative or stool softener. When your poop is trying to tell you something, you should definitely listen!

Sausage-Shaped With Cracks

Cracks in an otherwise normal-sausage-shaped stool are nothing to worry about. In fact, they fall under type three on the Bristol Stool Scale, making them close to the epitome of poop.

V 0o Aiwa18bzvnt9a G Yrzxmkkd3zqun0tvvpgt4itrixahugwvwfmlp8lvl94ko4abygllbycyxfrybnkmzczysekyiibbwzms6ttslpndlav5 Ud9w Shc0nh1pnctwr3pemetvsu9icma
Photo Courtesy: Veri Ivanocha/Unsplash

As long as you have a bowel movement every one to three days, this kind of poop is ideal. It make take a little more effort to pass than a type four, but it’s still no cause for concern. Just make sure that they maintain their shape and aren’t too watery.

Soft Blobs With Obvious Edges

This type of stool is at risk of becoming diarrhea and is comprised of soft blobs with clear-cut edges. While it’s usually easy to pass, it doesn’t retain its shape well and signal future problems in the bathroom.

Ffx8sqsjfqp0syucna2q Repaolg1gmntatxlw8x1jvijrsg1titpef9i9 Qewtdbywedpyhoemfeg4iic3bweyq4bzjwi4ckpbijfrfyxk6rhjl2wocos Dd2esjzy71mpwulg5ryczw Oag
Photo Courtesy: Curology/Unsplash

This stool is type five on the Bristol Chart. It may come with a sense of urgency when it’s time for it to exit the body, and it’s essentially a precursor to diarrhea. Even so, as long as there isn’t a larger underlying condition, it usually goes away in a few days and is no big deal.

To Wrap It Up

The size, shape, color, and consistency of stool do matter, it turns out, and they matter a lot. How often you have a bowel movement matters too — some people go every day, while others go every couple days, and both are normal. What you want to pay attention to with frequency is if it changes — then it becomes significant.

Mqwgvld26famd2bdx00fxam6qt0zn7rnb9vmpglbgrjqapcpzsapsaivsj8qbrcc8jzqezezjhnz Rfzgx2hwyzhz1qhrvznxxdp05ljkfximy Q3vtqbpigczs1pkn9cgnw1jm Iuavwgqeqa
Photo Courtesy: silviarita/Pixabay

To keep your GI tract healthy, eat a high-fiber, balanced diet, be sure to get enough exercise and drink enough water every day, and get a colonoscopy if you are over 45 or have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.