What Your Poop Might Mean About Your Health

Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

By Jessica Hamlin

Everyone poops. There’s even a children's book with that exact title.

We may not take time to think about something so natural but our poop can actually tell us a lot about our health.

What’s up with your poop?

Other than how often you poop, the size, shape, color and texture of your poop can be a clue to what’s going on with you. So check it out—seriously.

Helpful graphics like this one below can give you an idea of what your poop could mean and what habits may need to change so you can be healthier and better able to deal with daily life. See what your poop may be telling you and check out our tips below. 

Credit:  HealthWorks

Credit: HealthWorks

What to do now

Via  Giphy

Via Giphy

More water: If you identified your poop as one of those above that indicate you may need more water, make it easier and check out our tips on How to Drink More Water.

More fiber: If you have poop that signals you may need more fiber in your diet, check out this list of 20 high-fiber foods you can try out. Need some easy recipes for these foods? Try one of our 7 easy meals in a bowl or create your own with a combo of your fave high-fiber foods.

More movement: Movement also helps get things moving inside our bodies, so if you need to get moving more, find something that works for you. Here's a bunch of our ideas for how to get moving, and do specific workouts, whether you're on a playground or having a Netflix binge.

Squatty Potty: You've probably seen the bizarre but memorable Squatty Potty commercials with a unicorn excreting rainbow-colored poop (see GIF above). While unicorns and the color of their poop may be fictional, some health professionals and everyday people swear by the benefits of using a Squatty Potty stool that can put your body in a better position to more easily evacuate your bowels and relieve constipation. In fact, it's the norm in many non-Western countries to have squat toilets, some of which are just drains that you squat over. That was the case for me when I traveled in Morocco several years ago. Thankfully, when using a Squatty Potty stool with an average toilet in the U.S. we don't have to worry about our feet possibly getting a little too close to our, um, business. 

More stuff to look into: Stress, medications, or a serious illness may also be the reason your poop looks a certain way or you have discomfort when trying to go, so consult a health professional with any other questions or worries you may have. 

(Thumbnail photo: ivan101/iStock)

Jessica Hamlin is an LA-born and bred journalist and editor who started taking pictures of food back when everyone used film cameras. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s health coach training program, she’s passionate about wellness and enjoys making and discovering delicious and healthy food. Her work has appeared in Clean Plates, NPR affiliate KPCC, AOL, and Eater LA.   


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