Bowel Movements. A topic to me that is much like the weather as an NTP. It’s what I talk about every day. If it isn’t the actual movement it is about frequency, duration or whatever symptoms lead to (or not) the actual movement.
I know it’s a weird topic for most people but here is what YOUR BOWEL MOVEMENT says about your digestive health.
Signs of Great Digestive Health
If you are entering the bathroom, have a bowel movement, are completely finished in a few minutes and there is no struggle, it isn’t loose, and it’s a normal shape that we all imagine as poop, you are digestively healthy. It shows a lot. You might have some other digestive symptoms, and nutrition, that need addressing, but generally you are starting from a good place.
These types of bowel movements should happen between 1-3 times per day. This is a personal motility and detox variation. Any more and any less indicate other digestive things.
As I mentioned you can still have some burning sensations in the stomach, reflux feelings, perhaps even gas or other similar lower digestive issues, but still have normal bowel movements. However, I would be willing to bet there is variation in those movements based on the other symptoms you have. Eventually the other signs will lead to variations in the movements and changes if they are also not balanced out.
Signs of Digestive Imbalance
1- Loose bowel movements.
This can be loose, but partially still together or diarrhea in nature. Any type of bowel movement like this can be an indicator of food intolerance, to allergy, to sensitivity to microbe imbalance. That would need a practitioner’s guidance. But loose bowels, especially repetitively is a sign that something needs changing nutritional for you.
2- Frequent bowel movements.
If you are having more than 3 bowel movements per day this is a sign that your transit time is a bit fast. This can be an issue because you may not be absorbing nutrients if they are passing through so quickly. There is imbalance in similar areas as loose bowels above. A practitioner can help you sort it out.
3- Less than one bowel movement per day.
This is a problem because this is THE WAY our body eliminates wastes and toxins from our digestive track. If we do not eliminate it our body has to do something with it – so it starts reabsorbing and as you can imagine the last thing you want is all that waste going the other way. There are many nutritional ways to balance this out, open those detox pathways and get things moving again.
4- Difficult to pass or long bowel movements.
If you cannot get the waste to leave and have to spend a lot of time getting it out this is not good for balance either. This includes needing to stay at the toilet for long periods of time whether it be to make it come out, or because you feel you cannot leave it because there is more to come. This type of imbalance is also related to the same causes as all the others. Addressing them and targeting your nutrition at them is how to get to the root cause, and a practitioner can help you find the targets and work at them.
How do you know when it’s time to get help?
Sometimes we will eat something out, or at home that we are sensitive to without knowing. Sometimes it is as simple as a night with improperly prepared food, or something new that didn’t work out, but if you are experiencing any of the signs of imbalance listed above, and it goes on day after day, and it lasts more than a week – it’s time to reach out. The longer you let the signs and symptoms above go on the more imbalance happens and the longer it takes to really get things back under control. Working with the right professional will help you find your targets of imbalance, and correct those.
What are some ways to help this
1- Eat Real Food
Begin to eliminate all the boxes and bags in your life. It doesn’t matter that organic label on a box, or that non GMO, if it is a processed food it probably has other additives and chemicals that might be effecting you and your digestion. Moving to whole food snacks, like fresh fruit, fresh vegetables (where the organic label does help), as well as nuts, and then properly sourced proteins and healthy fats. This will greatly decrease your food sensitivities that you might not know about, and will put you on a track for being able to identify real food triggers as well (which there may be some).
2- Cook your own meals
Eliminating fast food, restaurant food and more from the majority of your day will make a huge difference in how you feel and your digestion. These types of foods are made from chemicals, poor products and oils and more. Sure you may have something that is decent from these places at times, or as a special treat, but it shouldn’t be the majority of your meals each week. Even once a week might be too much. If you start by decreasing by 50% with these foods, and then down to 25 and then down to less than 10% you will see what I mean and you will have improvement (and you might lose weight if that is also a goal for you).
3- Choose good food sources
Check out this post about reading labels, and food sourcing to learn more. However, if you do find that you are making most of your meals at home, but still experiencing issues it’s time to look at quality of food. Again, whole food is best, and no more boxes and bags. But it is important to start choosing organic vegetables and fruits, and meats if you need to go conventional. If you can go to a market, or even just above the the label of organic, having grass fed, pastured animals is always better. Same with dairy if you can still consume some (this would be an elimination food for awhile if you have digestive issues). Organic eliminates chemicals and pesticides and also has MORE nutrients. In terms of animals, conventional animals are fed a lot of waste foods, they are fed foods they wouldn’t eat in nature, and it changes their nutritional value to you. They have higher chemical loads from how they are raised and treated (with drugs and more), they do not have the healthier fat make up of their properly raised counterparts, and their nutrient value is lower as well. You don’t need to think about the “fat content” of grass fed and finished beef. It is naturally lower fat, and naturally better fat content for your body. The same will apply to other animals raised properly. The more “wild” the better their makeup will be for your nutritional need and digestion.
If you are struggling to stay out of your bathroom, to go to the bathroom, and to feel comfortable digestively these are a few ways to start on your own. If you feel overwhelmed or you feel it’s been too long, or you researched and just do not understand what is going on – that is why I am here. I do FREE consults to help you figure out what YOUR ROOT CAUSE is and we get rid of the triggers and get balance back.
What has made a difference for you?