It’s POO TALK time!
So let’s get down and messy with the bowels. It’s gut health month at Kismet Health. Most people don’t often feel comfortable talking about poo because obviously it’s gross and personal. Poo talk is however so important and so is taking notice of your poo. I’m talking about taking notice of the colour and whether it’s easy to pass, fully evacuated and how many times you go a day.
I have noticed that many patients and people who I talk to don’t really know what is normal and what isn’t. This is why this blog post has been written. Digestive issues are common and therefore a lot of people will have friends and family who also experience the same symptoms and leave people thinking that these symptoms are normal, however they are not.
Below are the top 5 most common signs and symptoms that I see that are NOT okay and require further investigation and treatment:
1. Slow bowel movements:
If you are not using your bowels every day this can be a sign of a sluggish digestive system. Ideally we should all pass a stool at least once per day and ideally around the same time of the day. Some people may even go two times a day and this is also ok, it will be slightly different for us all. When we don’t move our bowels every day you are suffering from what we call constipation. This means your also not getting the best from the food your eating and also not eliminating waste often enough. Constipation can cause bloating, gas, skin issues and headaches. Furthermore, these can also be signs of a few different conditions such as SIBO, IBS or food allergies/ intollerances.
2. Too many bowel movements:
This one is the complete opposite to what I just discussed above. When your going to the bathroom 3+ times per day this is not quite right. When this is combined with frequent urgency and loose/watery stools there really is something that is right in your bowels. Loose and frequent stools are a sign that your digestive system is trying to remove something and that it’s irritated and inflamed. Ongoing diarrhoea can cause dehydration, nutritional deficiencies and can also be signs of conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, SIBO, parasites and food allergies/intollerances.
3. Blood or mucus in your bowel movements:
If you have blood in your stool you should always get this investigated further. Now a little blood from perhaps a small tare around the rectum may not be a huge concern but if your noticing large amounts quite frequently then please speak to a health professional about this. Also take note of the colour of the blood, is it bright red or darker? Mucus in the stools can be sign of inflammation and is often linked with food intolerance and chronic intestinal inflammation.
4. Excessive wind and bloating
I’m pretty sure we all tend to get a little windy, and a little bit of flatulence throughout the day is normal. However, if you have wind that creates stomach pains and just keeps building up and needs to be expelled constantly, then this too is a sign that your gut isn’t happy. Excessive wind is often due to gut microbiome imbalance, food sensitivities and general gut inflammation. Like wind we can also sometimes feel a little bloated. This is very common for women just before they are getting their period. Bloating should however never cause you excessive pain and discomfort. Excessive bloating is a sign of gut microbiome imbalance, yeast overgrowth, SIBO, IBS and food allergies/intolerance’s.
5. Reflux and Indigestion
Do you ever get a burning sensation in your stomach, behind your sternum or in your throat? Do you ever regurgitate your food? If you are, your likely to be experiencing reflux. This is often caused by stress, low stomach pH due to ongoing gut inflammation, SIBO, poor diet, medications and lifestyle.
If you are currently experiencing any of the symptoms/signs above please understand that these are actually some of the most common symptoms reported to health professionals and ones that I am already seeing at the Kismet Health Clinic. When given the correct and appropriate treatment by a trained professional your digestive issues can be improved!
At Kismet Health we will aim to help you achieve a well formed stool, passed once to twice daily with ease, no blood/mucus, with no excessive bloating, pain, burping, wind and/or indigestion. We also refer to other health professionals if there is the need to ensure your receiving appropriate management of your individual case. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss your digestive issues you can do so here!