It happens for most of us once a day. Some of us more, some less. I’m talking about a trip to the porcelain throne. For me, its a daily science experiment to see how well my microbes are working. Yeah, thats when you know you’re obsessed with gut health.
The toilet bowl is the eye to our guts. Paying attention to your stools is a good indicator on what exactly is or isn’t happening in your gut. Here is the poor man’s guide to seeing what is going on with our digestion.
1. Oil Slick
In the peak of my butter coffee experiment/VLC, I experienced many different changes in my cognitive functions. My neurons were firing on all cylinders. For around 3 months, I was in the ZONE. Then the walls began to crash around me. Fibromyalgia, brain fog, mini bouts of vertigo. Its apart of ketosis, I’d tell myself. More like warning cannons being shot off by the last remaining bits of bacteria I had in my gut.
HEY! FEED US!
What really got me scared, was my inability to digest fats. This was clear when the toilet bowl was left with the distinctive oil slick mark. I was stubborn, thinking I just needed Ox Bile and more Digestive Enzymes to solve the problem. The end result was my gut flora was all sorts of screwed, which left me with imbalances all over the place.
While Digestive Enzymes and Ox Bile can be useful short term, (for instance, getting your body acclimated to a new diet) this was a deeper problem. Since this happened nearly 4 months after my VLC experiment, I didn’t want to depend on these. Solving the root problem, fixing my flora has left me with white shiny bowls upon my exit.
2. Undigested Foods
People who change their diets usually need a little bit of help along the way. This can be pointed out by lack of digestion of foods in their stools. This goes deeper than the staple joke when eating corn. If the stool decides to implode on itself upon splash down, and looks like washed up seaweed, your not breaking down your foods properly. Graphic enough for you? When your eating whole foods combined with the proper flora for your GI tract, stools should look like # 3-5 on the bristol stool chart. If not, Digestive Enzymes, an increase in HCL acid, and the use of probiotics should be implemented to help better break down your foods until you, ahem, Restore the Flora.
3. Bristol Stool Chart
Is that a 2? Nah, thats def a 4.
England came up with the Bristol Stool Chart. This is the the guts version of the Ten Commandments.
With its detailed drawings and descriptions, we are given a clearer picture of what healthy stools should look like. Meal to meal, our stools change. This is due to different bacterial groups ebbing and flowing throughout our digestive system. For the most part we should be in the 4-5 range for most of our visits to the bathroom. No need to freak out if you find yourself bouncing around on the chart. Keeping an eye on this chart, and noticing certain patterns can better help you in finding which foods cause certain stool changes. An example: After having a SAD diet, and then implementing a salad fast will most likely leave you with leafy green remains in the toilet thanks to the improper digestive players in your gut.
4. FOUL Smells
If the sight test isn’t enough for you, flare out those nostrils and get a good whiff. Gas is good! But not when you’re clearing out rooms.
Flatulence is just another sign that our digestive system is a fermentation hose being powered by trillions of microbes. Normally gas is odorless. Or can even have a healthy earthy smell. Its when the gas has the paint peeling off the walls stench. Rotten eggs, dead cabbage, road kill skunk…Thats when you should have some concern. Obviously its something you ate. But what happens when its a constant occurrence. This means you are out of balance, and these are the byproducts of unwanted microbes or undigested foods allowing for an abnormal growth of microbes.
5. No Clean Breaks
You’ve done your business, and its now time for clean up. With a healthy stool, minimal TP is needed. In fact, you know your in good shape when you have NOTHING on it. I like to call it Uno Wipe.
On the other hand, if you find your toilet paper spilling out like you hit the jackpot at Dave and Busters, there is a bit of attention needed on why you aren’t digesting properly. When all systems are go, the acids from our stomachs break down our foods to the point where the rest of our digestive system does their part. If our foods aren’t properly processed, it puts a burden on the rest of the system, leaving more food to be left for our microbes to ferment and chow down on. Too much of anything is bad.
Personally, whenever an excess of simple sugars are consumed, it usually means I’ve lost my patented Uno Wipe.
What are your culprits? Are you in a constant battle with one of these 5 signs? A good way to start to improve your healthy eating is by following the foods from my Free e-book Simple Foods. Don’t forget to check out another related post, 12 Signs Your Flora is F*cked.