Remeber the first time you ever looked back into the toilet bowl?
It was probably after a hefty meal, or your stomach felt a bit upset, and you spent an extended period of time either rocking back and forth on the toilet seat until you expelled your load, or simply praying for the flood gates to close as your bowels took a scatter gun approach to emptying it's contents into that white porcelain bowl.
You carefully reached for the precious toilet paper and tidied yourself up as best you could, you then did the unthinkable. Before you tossed that scrumpled pile of tissue in, you decided to take a glimpse at your creation. You wanted, no, needed to witness just what the hell had come out of you, what on earth was it that caused you so much distress.
With warrior like courage you peered back and were overcome with feelings of both disgust and admiration at that which you created. Now you maybe wondering,
"Cj where exactly are you going with this?" And that would be an appropriate question to ask at this time. Look, let me be frank, I believe we need to get our priorities in check.
Your sh*t can tell you so much about your state of health, and whether your current diet is working for you or not. It's simple, It's free and often overlooked (or looked at for different reason!)
The Bristol Stool Scale , often refered to as the Meyers Scale in the UK, categorises seven different types of stool (it's like the world wide gold standard for poo). It was devised by Dr Steven Lewis and Dr Ken Heaton at the University of Bristol as part of a diagnostic treatment. Take a peek and see if any of these look familiar to you.
So what does it all mean?
Types 1 has spent the longest time in your intestines, with Type 7 the fastest.
Ideally you want your stools looking like Type 4 - Type 5. These are typical of someone who passes
3 - 4 times a day after eating meals. Getting enough fibre, water and other nutrients in their diet, and their gut bacteria are pretty much on form. If this is you, give youself a hi-five.
Types 1 - 3 are typical when you may be on a low fibre diet (not getting enough plant based wholefoods in) and eating a lot of processed foods. It can also mean that there is an imbalance in your friendly gut bacteria. These stools have spent around 1 - 2 weeks in your intestine rather than the usual 72 hours. If this is you, well, you need to literally fix your sh*t. But what are some of the problems associated with this?
These type of stools can cause damage to intestinal wall or rectum. Lead to the wrong type of bacteria growing. Inadequate absorption of nutrients to name but a few, (which can lead to disease) and lets not forget to mention the pain. You ever tried passing these when you are on the toilet? You're in for a world of hurt.
This type of stool is often difficult to control the urge to pass. According to the Bristol Stool Scale this type of stool is indicative of a hyperactive colon, excessive potassium in the diet, or sudden dehydration with a spike in blood pressure related to stress (Interesting Fact: both cause rapid release of potassium and water into the intestine from the blood hence rapid release of stools).
I don't need to tell you the potential issues with this one.
This is clearly diarrhea and can be caused my many things, but you'll probably want to go and see a medical professional if you are experiencing this regularly. If this is you, then you've got some serious problems my friend.
Is there such a thing as an ideal poo? Dr Lewis and Dr Keaton seem to think so.
What Type of Stool Is Best?
As a coach people always ask me, "What's the best diet to lose weight?" or if this new fad diet is better than the last new fad diet? After you've been asked the same question by various people for the past 17 years, it's easy to become hardened to their pleas. Not me. I place a comforting arm around their shoulder and simply insist,
"If you want to know if your current diet is working for you or not, check your sh*t."
You can download the full details Bristol Stool Scale [Here]. If you want to learn more about all the parameters that you need to know for successfully creating a nutrition plan that works for you, breaks bad habits and boosts body image contact me [Here] to be the first to learn about the WPU Nutrition Project starting later this year.