The need of good gut health is talked about everywhere, but knowing what is regular isn’t so clear—especially since don’t like discussing the subject of what happens in the bathroom. Asking a friend if it’s “normal” to have stool that is soft or hard is not something that is talked about. Really what happens is that most people just keep it to themselves.
Doctors such as gastroenterologist probably have seen it all when it comes to digestion, stool and everything that comes from the gut. There really is no dumb question.
What is normal anyways?
1. Regular discomfort after meals
Medical professionals recommend that if you feel bloated, constipated, or have diarrhea after eating on a regular basis, it is time to see a gastroenterologist. This is due to some sort of damage done to your gut due to antibiotics, OTC or prescription drugs you may have taken.
Doctors say that people with leaky gut have trouble digesting foods such as high-fiber fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. The foods that may be the most difficult to digest and process are actually the most important for healing the gut. If we eliminate them entirely, our gut will actually become weaker. Healing the gut can be tricky, which is why it’s a good idea to book yourself a doctor’s appointment for professional advice.
2. You have to push to poop
Regular bowel habits should be effortless, complete, and regular evacuation of your stool. Anything else indicates stress.
You shouldn’t worry about having more than one bowel movement per day. It is common if you are receiving enough fiber. However in the United States, most people are fiber-deficient so we think once daily is normal.
3. You visually see some undigested food in your stool
Some foods, like peanuts are going to be coming out the other end as formed. That is a sign that your food isn’t getting digested completely and your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients. Often times, these are signs of some sort gastrointestinal disorder.
4. It floats
When your poop flaots, then it has too much fat in their diet. If it’s a one-time occurrence, don’t worry about it. It could just mean that you ate a high fat meal. But if it is a regular occurrence, you should see your doctor to check that there isn’t more going on.
5. Your stomach hurts
A sharp pain in the upper right portion of the abdomen could be an indication of gallstones. However, if you have pain around your belly button, it could be a sign of appendicitis (or it could be another sign of gallstones). Lower abdominal pain may be intestinal inflammation. You should always get any sharp pains checked out by your doctor.
6. You have diarrhea
Diarrhea on a regular basis is never normal. You’d want to find out what is causing the inflammation. This is a time for your doctor.
7. Feeling super tired daily.
Chronic fatigue is always a sign of some sort of distress. Excessive fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath with slight exertion could indicate underlying anemia. You want to get a blood test to make sure there isn’t some sort of internal bleeding somewhere. Most people learn to live with low energy levels but it could be an indicator of a larger health problem.
8. There is blood in your stool
Both doctors say having blood in your stool should definitely raise an eyebrow. This is red flag to go get it checked out. Sometimes it is just hemorrhoids but other times it can be something more serious.
The rule is if there is a digestive related symptom, then you don’t have to ignore it. Either way, a simple phone call or visit to a doctor is all you need to make sure it is not something serious.