What’s the Scoop on your Poop?

Being the father of two little girls, I know I have my work cut out for me. I have come to accept that there are lessons that I can teach my children and there are others lessons they will simply have to learn through personal experience. One of the lessons I constantly remind them of is that regardless of anyone you meet, movie stars, political leaders, school teachers, superstar athletes, etc., we all have one thing in common; we all poop. Sure, this always gets a snicker out of them, but they quickly recognize that indeed, we are all the same. Considering that we are all adults here, I thought I would take a moment to expand upon this life lesson with all of you by pointing out something that you may not have considered to be an effective way to monitor your own health. Look at your poop.

Go ahead, get your childish ‘snicker’ out of the way. But trust me, when your bowels are misbehaving, it’s really not too funny. Beyond being the ‘butt’ of many jokes, our poop can tell us if our body is working to absorb nutrients, eliminate waste, and keep everything, well, moving. That might make you wonder, what’s abnormal? What looks/smells/feels off base? Are you ready to take a look in the toilet?

Since we all just celebrated Halloween, I thought I would use some items that are likely to be in abundance around your home right now. Perhaps after reading this, you may lose the temptation to indulge.

Below is a chart I created that is based off of an actual chart known as the “Bristol Stool Chart”. My images are much more fun than those found on these charts (Google it if you don’t believe me).

candy-poop-chart

As you can see from the chart above, there are several different types of stools you should know about. Types 1 & 2 are what we know as constipation. Types 3 & 5 are within the norm. Type 6 & 7 have crossed over into the diarrhea realm (never fun). Type 4 is the sweet spot. So, how do we get our number “2” to be like number “4”? The Institute of medicine recommends that we take in 25 grams (men) and 38 grams (woman) of fiber per day. Most Americans get about 15 grams per day (I suppose that explains why there are so many irritable people out there). Many experts recommended bumping it up to 40 grams per day. Next, healthy poop is about 75% water. If your body senses that it is dehydrated, it will suck every last drop of water from your food, leaving you with, well, let’s just say we are in ‘Milk Dud’ territory! Even if you are taking in plenty of fiber, when you don’t stay hydrated, you’re looking at dealing with something resembling a ‘Payday’.

If either of these elements is shortchanged (too little water, not enough fiber) constipation can happen. Constipation is also a common side effect of high-protein diets, so don’t confuse “Paleo” with “meat-tastic” and don’t forget to load up on fruit, veggies and H2O!

On the other end of the spectrum we have the unwelcomed guest; diarrhea a.k.a. Type 7; the chocolate milkshake. This will typically occur when your body completely rejects what you are putting in. Things like fried fatty foods are normally not appreciated by your body. Dairy, fructose, and artificial sweeteners are typical triggers too. Viruses and illnesses can trigger this response as well as certain medications.

In the ‘end’ (sorry), you should be vigilant about what you are ingesting so that your body can maintain a regular pattern of movements. If your poops are fluctuating between ‘Milk Duds’ and ‘Milk Shake’s’, you may have a case of irritable bowel syndrome. Check with your doctor immediately if that is the case.

Of course things such as exercise and stress reduction will also help keep your body functioning optimally too, so don’t forget to incorporate these into your daily habits as well.

Well, I hope I have not completely ruined your appetite or the craving for the candy in your kids trick or treat bags. Until next month, stay safe. Have a Happy Halloween and try not to think of me every time you poop.

Please Hold the R.I.C.E.

By Drew Freedman | December 3, 2022

Please Hold the R.I.C.E. I have been in the rehabilitation field since 1992. Since the very beginning I was always told that when treating an acute injury you should follow the age old acronym of R.I.C.E. or Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The concept was originally introduced by one of the most respected names in…

Have a Brettzel!

By Drew Freedman | November 30, 2022

Have a Brettzel! In the world of flexibility and stretching, there are a bevy of stretches that have likely been shown to you over the years. It’s hard to remember them if you don’t consistently do them and the ones you likely DO recall are the ones that are probably easiest for YOU to perform.…

Take 5: A Stress Break

By Drew Freedman | November 4, 2022

Take 5: A Stress Break I will be the first in line to inform you of the benefits of a 60 minute massage treatment. However, what if your massage is not scheduled for another week or worse, not even scheduled? Well, as a firm believer and trumpeter of self-care, here is a pretty neat trick…

Is it a Muscle Cramp or Muscle Strain?

By Drew Freedman | November 4, 2022

Is it a Muscle Cramp or Muscle Strain? Last week when my daughter walked in from cheerleading practice, I noticed her limping. When I asked her why she was limping, she went on to explain what I often hear and have seen from my athletes.  Having been fortunate to evade serious injuries until this point…

Work From Home Hacks!

By Drew Freedman | April 13, 2020

With so many of you experiencing a new work environment, you are probably starting to notice that many of the chronic aches and pains you had experienced in the past at work on a daily basis, have seemingly disappeared. In their place however, are a new set of sensations we are experiencing due to such…

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

By Drew Freedman | February 14, 2020

Have a ‘sheety’ Valentine’s Day! Today is Valentine’s Day, otherwise known to most as a #greetingcardholiday.  As I walked out of CVS this morning, I laughed at the people who were fighting for position in the greeting card aisle.  Valentine’s Day is about showing love for someone in your life, not elbowing strangers while cursing…

Happiness is Contagious

By Drew Freedman | December 10, 2019

Happiness is Contagious Maybe mom was right. Research suggests that surrounding yourself with friends and family who are happy can actually increase your own happiness. Scientists at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, found that emotions, particularly happiness, have a viral effect in how they spread from one person to another. For…

De-stressing the Commute

By Drew Freedman | October 31, 2019

De-stressing the Commute Turning Road Rage into Road Sage The average American commuter spends an hour a day driving to and from work. During this stressful, stop-and-go time, it’s likely that blood pressure increases, adrenaline begins pumping, and muscles constrict and tighten. By the time you get home, you’re wiped out and grumpy, and you…

What’s the Scoop on your Poop?

By Drew Freedman | October 31, 2019

What’s the Scoop on your Poop? Being the father of two girls, I know I have my work cut out for me. I have come to accept that there are lessons that I can teach my children and there are others lessons they will simply have to learn through personal experience. One of the lessons…

Halloween Hacked!

By Drew Freedman | October 2, 2019

Halloween Hacked Check out these simple hacks! Who among us doesn’t love Halloween. If I am being honest, it used to be me!  You see, I typically found myself in trouble around this time of year when I was in grammar school.  Let’s just say that I wasn’t always motivated to do what was asked…