Primitive Diva

My photo
Three Goats Farm of Montgomery, Texas
Melissa is a former beauty queen, personal trainer and certified holistic health coach. Melissa founded Queen Bee Wellness to specialize her coaching practice towards Women's Wellness and Beauty. She helps women focus on finding their own natural beauty from a integrative approach of balancing Mind, Body and Soul. Melissa believes that what we put in our mind is just as important as the nourishing food we put in our bodies and products on our skin. She strives to coach women to balance a healthier body image, approach to wellness and authentic living. With her passion for a clean lifestyle, Queen Bee Wellness therapeutic skin care products were born- to help women enhance their natural glow, without causing harm to their health from chemical laden toxic products. Melissa's philosophy to real beauty is summarized in "Wellness is Beauty". Melissa resides on a 10 acre farm in Montgomery, Texas with her husband and teen aged children. In her spare time she is chief goat wrangler and milker of her "Queen Bee" herd of dairy goats at Three Goats Farm.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The SCOOP on POOP.....!

Why is it, that one of THE most important indicators of our health and digestive status, is so difficult and embarrassing for adults to talk about?  I mean seriously… have you ever parented a young boy? That’s ALL they want to talk about, well,  that and farts, toots and stink bombs also. They have a lot of silly names for it: BMs, caca, doo-doo,dump, turds, and of course, poop. The fact is, fish do it, frogs do it, cats, dogs and elephants do it, yet poop is one of those subjects we find difficult to talk about with a straight face.Here is a cute little article as to why this topic may become so taboo. In my opinion we SHOULD be talking about what comes out as much as what goes in, right? But theres that inner DIVA in us all, that pretends we don’t do such vile, nasty and smelly things, haha! There are even books titled Girls Don't Poop. But asking some important questions about your bowel movements might give you some insight into your gastrointestinal health. I wanted to raise a stink (pun intended) about the questions that nobody will ask but all want to know. I did some research and found some pretty good information to share. So, here's the scoop on poop.

POOP 101: Bowel movements are the end result of your body taking the nutrients it needs from the food you eat and eliminating what's left. Bowel movements are important for your health because they are the body’s natural way of excreting waste from the body.When it comes to frequency, color, shape, and size, a general rule of thumb is that normal bowel movements are defined as what’s comfortable for you. But being knowledgeable about your digestive process can help you identify when normal goes awry. Its a fact that EVERYONE poops 410lbs a year or so they say.....!

Frequency: There is no normal when it comes to frequency of bowel movements, only averages. It’s average to go once or twice a day. There are some very efficient “poopers” out there that go after every meal and a few that stay pretty scheduled at every other day with no distress symptoms.

Color: Bowel movements are generally brown in color because of bile, which is produced in the liver and important to the digestion process.The food you eat typically takes three days from the time you eat it until it finishes its journey in your toilet. If it takes a shorter time, the result may be greener stool because green is one of the first colors in the rainbow of the digestive process. Remember color can be a red flag when it’s a drastic change. If stool is black, it can mean that you are bleeding internally, possibly as a result of an ulcer or cancer. Stool that is black due to bleeding is also "sticky" (tarry) and smells bad. However, black stools are common when taking a vitamin that contains iron or medications that contain bismuth subsalicylate. Keep a close watch and seek the advice of a physician if you suspect something is off. Likewise, a stool that is light in color -- like grey clay -- can also mean trouble if it’s a change from what you normally see. Although it doesn’t happen often, very light-colored stool can indicate a block in the flow of bile or liver disease/disrupted fat metabolism.

Size and shape: Your poops should fall in balance with the amount of food  you intake. A healthy adult eating plenty of fats, protein and plant matter, should be eliminating a soft formed “snake”- Sorry, thats the way the research chart below describes it ( I am giggling as I type this)---of approximately 10-12 inches.* Not hard/compacted and there should be no straining.

Odor: None if you are DIVA, right?  WRONG!  Bowel movements smell. But is it normal if your trips to the bathroom mean that the rest of the family has to avoid that part of the house for an hour or two?The answer is yes. It’s normal, and probably a good sign that your gut is abundant with bacteria that is working hard to keep you healthy.Your intestines are swarming with trillions upon trillions of bacteria that enhance digestive and metabolic processes. They are also the reason why poop smells -- a direct result of the bacterial activity in your GI tract. So although it's no bed of roses, it is normal for your bowel movements to stink.

Need More Bathroom reading.....?


Poop Problems

So what happens when your poop process gets out of whack? The first sign that your intestines aren’t up to par is a shift from your normal GI routine, and as a result, discomfort below the waist.

Constipation and Diarrhea

Constipation is a concern when you normally have a bowel movement once or twice a day, and that changes -- maybe you haven’t gone in three days, or more. However long it’s been, you now feel gassy, bloated, and generally uncomfortable. When you try to go, you have to push and strain, and what comes out is a whole lot of nothin’.

Constipation can have many causes. It might be that you’ve had a shift in your diet, maybe because you’re not drinking enough water each day, or because your physical activity level has decreased, slowing your metabolic processes down, including digestion. Certain medications (such as narcotic pain medicines and iron supplements) can also cause constipation problems.

Although constipation causes one set of problems, diarrhea can also mean digestive disaster. Whether it’s caused by a meal that just didn’t sit right, or a harmful bacterium or virus, it's categorized by loose stool, and another hallmark of GI trouble -- discomfort. Diarrhea can be caused by any number of factors. But the problem with diarrhea, in addition to the obvious, is that it can cause other health problems, like dehydration, if you’re living with it for more than two or three days. Generally, you recoup from a bout of diarrhea or constipation in a day or two. If not, it’s probably worth a trip to the doctor for further GI troubleshooting.

Blood in the Stool

One of the most significant warning signs when it comes to bowel movements is blood in the stool. Blood in your stool could be a symptom of something as significant as cancer and warrants a call to your doctor right away -- even if you think it could be hemorrhoids, or tiny tears in the anal tissue, as a result of constipation and straining. If you’re over 50, OR if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, a colonoscopy is probably in order.

Your guide to Perfect Poop Health

Tricks to keeping your poop on track are simple ones: a healthy diet of natural whole foods, lots of water, and regular exercise.

1) Eat plenty of coconut oil and other high quality saturated fats: Fats are our bodies natural lubricants. They provide a feeling of satiation so you are less likely to overeat.

2) Eat plenty of veggies, including green and leafies, and moderate amounts of fruit: If you happen to be eating less fruit to avoid the sugars (like I suggest), DO make sure to get plenty of plant material each day. Plants provide a good ratio of fiber to water that is generally easy on the digestive system.Magnesium rich foods can help with peristalsis (YES, Diva's Chocolate/Cacao is loaded with magnesium).

3) Stay hydrated: Water helps keep the cells flushed and will keep the body from experiencing dehydration and constipation. One of the reasons for the common “travelers constipation” is a decrease in fluid intake and limited mobility- Keep fresh plant foods and pure water

4) Eat and drink plenty of probiotic foods and beverages: As our bodies age, we naturally produce less digestive enzymes. Our digestive systems slow down (and sometimes even stop – not good). Live culture foods and drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented salsas and chutneys, kombucha, kefir, and kvass all help “jump start” your digestive system and often contribute to the healing of many digestive ailments. “All diseases begin in the gut.” - Hippocrates, 460-370 BC

5) Avoid highly processed foods: When I was researching the scoop on poop, I came upon a relevant homeschool science experiment. In this experiment, samples of different foods were chosen and subjected to “digestive forces”. They were soaked in vinegar, “smushed” in a plastic bag, and finally forced through on old nylon stocking. The foods examined were; a piece of meat, a piece of apple, some celery, some oatmeal, and saltine crackers. Results: the saltine crackers, basically coated the inside of the stocking like glue. The same thing happens in your guts—Eeeewwww!

6) Keep moving to keep things moving: Exercise helps elimination by decreasing the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, thus limiting the amount of water absorbed from the stool into your body. Hard, dry stools are harder to pass. In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate. This helps to stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles. Intestinal muscles that contract efficiently help move stools out quickly.

Here is the Bristol Stool Chart. that I discovered on Wikipedia.  Researchers at the Bristol Royal Infirmary—a hospital in Bristol, England—developed a visual guide for stools. It is called the Bristol Stool Form Scale, or BSF scale for short. It helps skittish patients and doctors to distinguish normal stools from abnormal without getting embarrassed over personal details. I have also shared a little explanation of why us Diva’s get more constipated than our male counterparts

You just look at a the above chart, point to what approximates the content of your toilet bowl, and your doctor (or this page) tells you whether the form is right or wrong.

» Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts

Typical for acute disbacteriosis. These stools lack a normal amorphous quality, because bacteria are missing and there is nothing to retain water. The lumps are hard and abrasive, the typical diameter ranges from 1 to 2 cm (0.4–0.8”), and they’re painful to pass, because the lumps are hard and scratchy. There is a high likelihood of anorectal bleeding from mechanical laceration of the anal canal. Typical for post-antibiotic treatments and for people attempting fiber-free (low-carb) diets. Flatulence isn’t likely, because fermentation of fiber isn’t taking place.

» Type 2: Sausage-like but lumpy

Represents a combination of Type 1 stools impacted into a single mass and lumped together by fiber components and some bacteria. Typical for organic constipation. The diameter is 3 to 4 cm (1.2–1.6”). This type is the most destructive by far because its size is near or exceeds the maximum opening of the anal canal’s aperture (3.5 cm). It’s bound to cause extreme straining during elimination, and most likely to cause anal canal laceration, hemorrhoidal prolapse, or diverticulosis. To attain this form, the stools must be in the colon for at least several weeks instead of the normal 72 hours. Anorectal pain, hemorrhoidal disease, anal fissures, withholding or delaying of defecation, and a history of chronic constipation are the most likely causes. Minor flatulence is probable. A person experiencing these stools is most likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome because of continuous pressure of large stools on the intestinal walls. The possibility of obstruction of the small intestine is high, because the large intestine is filled to capacity with stools. Adding supplemental fiber to expel these stools is dangerous, because the expanded fiber has no place to go, and may cause hernia, obstruction, or perforation of the small and large intestine alike.

» Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks in the surface

This form has all of the characteristics of Type 2 stools, but the transit time is faster, between one and two weeks. Typical for latent constipation. The diameter is 2 to 3.5 cm (0.8–1.4”). Irritable bowel syndrome is likely. Flatulence is minor, because of disbacteriosis. The fact that it hasn’t became as enlarged as Type 2 suggests that the defecations are regular. Straining is required. All of the adverse effects typical for Type 2 stools are likely for type 3, especially the rapid deterioration of hemorrhoidal disease.

» Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

This form is normal for someone defecating once daily. The diameter is 1 to 2 cm (0.4–0.8”). The larger diameter suggests a longer transit time or a large amount of dietary fiber in the diet.

» Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges

I consider this form ideal. It is typical for a person who has stools twice or three times daily, after major meals. The diameter is 1 to 1.5 cm (0.4–0.6”).

» Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool

This form is close to the margins of comfort in several respects. First, it may be difficult to control the urge, especially when you don’t have immediate access to a bathroom. Second, it is a rather messy affair to manage with toilet paper alone, unless you have access to a flexible shower or bidet. Otherwise, I consider it borderline normal. These kind of stools may suggest a slightly hyperactive colon (fast motility), excess dietary potassium, or sudden dehydration or spike in blood pressure related to stress (both cause the rapid release of water and potassium from blood plasma into the intestinal cavity). It can also indicate a hypersensitive personality prone to stress, too many spices, drinking water with a high mineral content, or the use of osmotic (mineral salts) laxatives.

» Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces

This, of course, is diarrhea, a subject outside the scope of this chapter with just one important and notable exception—so-called paradoxical diarrhea. It’s typical for people (especially young children and infirm or convalescing adults) affected by fecal impaction—a condition that follows or accompanies type 1 stools. During paradoxical diarrhea the liquid contents of the small intestine (up to 1.5–2 liters/quarts daily) have no place to go but down, because the large intestine is stuffed with impacted stools throughout its entire length. Some water gets absorbed, the rest accumulates in the rectum. The reason this type of diarrhea is called paradoxical is not because its nature isn’t known or understood, but because being severely constipated and experiencing diarrhea all at once, is, indeed, a paradoxical situation. Unfortunately, it’s all too common.

So, that was the scoop on poop....



  1. I think I just learned more about poop in 5 minutes than the previous 28 years. Thanks for taking on such a delicate topic!

  2. Your welcome Tony! It is funny how "delicate" the topic is. It is a critical part of our human health...well even animals health too. Glad I could educate ;-)