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Identify a Healthy Bowel Movement_Final

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>> Hey there. Now this may seem a little forward, but when was the last time you had a conversation about your poop, the shape, the color, the size, how you sit? In most settings, poop talk is pretty taboo or considered down right gross. But with health coaching, one of the best tools for understanding what's happening in the digestive process is to talk about what comes out the other end. For most people, coaches and clients alike, it can be an awkward conversation to begin. But once you open the door to a judgment-free discussion and get past that initial moment of awkwardness, you might find that your clients enjoy or even feel relieved to have someone to share their most intimate details with. Our well-mannered societal norms can keep us in the dark about what a healthy bowel movement is or isn't. When we don't talk about what's going on, we can't compare notes. We don't know what's normal, and we may not even know if there's a problem. Like anything else, what stays behind closed doors is more likely to lead to suffering in secrecy. So in this lecture, we're going to get comfortable talking about poop, and in the process, we're going to explain what's healthy and what isn't. What's a bowel movement? Let's get right into the gritty details. In a healthy bowel movement, water makes up 75% of stool. The remaining solid matter is composed of 25% to 50% microbes along with mucus, fibers, and exfoliated gut lining. As you can see, a lot of our bacteria comes in and goes right back out. You may be thinking, "All those probiotics down the drain?" But just as snakes shed their skin, we refresh ourselves and the bacteria in our microbiome. It's an important part of the process. So what does a good, healthy bowel movement look like? There's some variation, person to person, but many clients don't know what it looks like to pass a good stool. Luckily, there is a do-it-yourself test for this, which is a good place to start. It's called the Bristol Stool Scale, and it was developed by two doctors at the Bristol Infirmary in England. They determined that the shape of one stool varies depending on transit time. Why? Because the longer something takes to move through the colon, the more water is reabsorbed, which makes for a harder stool. Conversely, a transit time that's too short leads to diarrhea. So then it follows that this test requires looking at your poop from afar to assess the shape and consistency to gauge transit time in the colon. The Bristol Stool Scale categorizes bowel movements into seven distinct types. We are about to go throw them all, so I recommend waiting on having your lunch. The seven categories of stool, according to the Bristol Stool Scale are as follows. Type one, separate hard lumps that look like malt balls or nuts. Type two, sausage-shaped but lumpy, like the shape of the colon. Type three, also like a sausage but with cracks on its surface. Type four, like a snake or banana, long, smooth, and soft. Type five, soft blobs or pieces with clear-cut edges. Type six, fluffy pieces with ragged edges and mushy stool. And type seven, watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid. Let's break each of these down. Type one stools are hard lumps that are hard to pass and look like malt balls. They signify a very slow transit time. This person is constipated and leftovers are staying in the colon a long time before exiting. The colon is soaking up all the extra water and drying up the stool, making it hard to pass without straining. A person who consistently has type one stool is very likely dehydrated and has some microbiome bacteria imbalance. Bacteria hold in water. You need water in your stool so that things keep moving through. When your bacteria is wiped out due to antibiotics, constipation can occur. Ultimately, it can occur if a person is on a low-carb diet or a poor diet, low in fiber, because the stool lacks the fibrous material that retains the water. Type two, sausage-shaped lumpy stool is also a sign of constipation. As we mentioned, stool that's been in the gut longer looses water. Type two stool has a slow transit time, typically several weeks. But it isn't as slow as type one. So that little bit of extra water and bacteria compacts the stool into one sausage-like lump that reflects the shape of colon. These stools may be painful as they take an extra push to get out. This can lead to other problems such as hemorrhoids or diverticulosis which is a condition of pockets in the intestine. With this type of stool, rather than pushing out too hard, it's better to consciously relax. Straining too hard can disrupt the response of the internal sphincter which is supposed to respond involuntarily. The external sphincter is voluntary but any contraction should be released once things get moving. Ideally, a healthy stool takes very little coaxing. Adding fiber is not helpful in this case as the colon is already full. Type three is sausage-like with cracks on the surface and is similar to type two but with shorter transit time in the colon, about one to two weeks. This type is associated with minor constipation but is in the range of normal. It has more water than type two but is dry enough for some cracking to still occur on the surface. Type four, drum roll please, is the ideal bowel movement, long like a banana or a snake, smooth and easy to pass. This type usually takes about three wipes or less to clean. This type of bowel movement shows that a person is going regularly, has good transit time, about 72 hours, and ample water and bacteria. This is the gold star of stools. Typically, the larger the movement, the more fiber in the diet, which implies that the person is eating a lot of fruits and vegetables or whole grains. Type five looks like soft blobs with clear cut edges. Many consider this also to be in the normal category. It can be considered an ideal stool for a fast digester but may also be indicative of a mild case of diarrhea. Type fives usually occur when a person is going more than once a day and the compaction that creates one long movement doesn't have time to occur. This type of stool can also occur as the result of not having enough fiber in the diet to bulk up the stool. A person who consistently has type five stool should consider if they are fast digesters or if they need to up their fiber intake. Type six is mushy stool that has fluffy pieces with ragged edges. This kind of stool is hard to keep in, a type of diarrhea. When it is ready, it's ready and it can be a bit explosive. This means things are moving through the colon too quickly either due to stress, spices, or stimulants. This is the type of stool that can result from taking herbal laxatives. This can also happen when a person drinks water with a high mineral content as the minerals can have a laxative effect. Type six can be messy and may require some extra wiping or cleaning. Type seven is considered diarrhea, full of water, no form, and no solid pieces. This can be dangerous as a lot of fluids are lost in the passing of this type of stool. However, under appropriate circumstances, this is the body's intelligent way of protective itself by quickly eliminating unwanted pathogens or toxins that have been taken in. Since bacteria contribute to fluid retention, this is also why many people might experience loose stool after taking antibiotics. Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, is a condition we'll get into in great detail in another module. But for now, just know that it can involve chronic constipation or diarrhea. Individuals who have IBS with constipation experience type one or two more than 25% of the time while those who have IBS with diarrhea experience type six or seven more than 25% of the time. All right, let's recap what we covered so far. The Bristol Stool Scale categorizes stool into seven categories based on their shape and consistency, which is reflective of transit time through the colon. Types one, two, and three imply a slow transit time and are reflective of constipation, dehydration, and gut dysbiosis. Type six and seven stools move too quickly through the body, creating too much water loss and result in dehydration and nutrient malabsorption. Types four and five are considered ideal healthy stools. Don't worry about memorizing this all. We've included a chart in your handout called the poop log. It is included in this module for your own reference as well as provided as done-for-you handout in your business toolkit to share with your clients. Now that we've gone over the Bristol Stool Scale, let's talk about how to take all of this information and use it in a purposeful way when speaking with your clients about their bowel movements. The four main points you'll want to discuss with clients are form, which is what we discussed in the Bristol Stool Scale, frequency of your client's bowel movements, color of their stool, and behavior of their bowel movement. We just went over form, so let's skip ahead to frequency. When we're talking about taking trips to the bathroom, what's too often and what's too infrequent? You'll find that many of your clients have been misinformed due to a lack of awareness about what's normal. The answer is that this varies from person to person. But again, how often we go depends on transit time in the colon. Ideally, you want to go every day at least once, even up to three times a day, after every meal, is acceptable. Any number outside that range may be considered constipation or loose stool. Clinically speaking, constipation is defined by having a bowel movement less than three times a week. However, many people find that missing even one day can be uncomfortable. Constipation can affect a person's skin or breath as the body is looking for an exit for all those accumulating toxins. Another thing to consider is that movements should be smooth and painless. They should not require much pushing or make a person feel flu-like. Either of these indicate a stool that has been in transit too long or is moving too slowly. Like the highway, you can't go too fast or too slow or it disrupts the flow of traffic. Next, let's talk about the ideal color of bowel movements. Simply put, poop should be brown. The reason it's brown is because of the bile that's excreted from the liver. Too much bile in the stool can make it look green or yellow. This implies the stool moved through too quickly and the bacteria in the gut did not have time to break down the bile creating its normal brown color. As a result, the body isn't absorbing fats well. However, if a person is eating a large amount of veggies or spirulina, their stool can look green as a result, and this is no cause for concern. But if the color is not due to consumption of a substantial amount of greens, you want to suggest that the clients speak with their doctor about taking herbal bitters or HCL supplements to help break down the fat and bile in their stool. How about red? This is totally normal if a person recently ate beets. But if they didn't, this implies a problem. If a client tells you they have red stool but didn't consume beets within the past several days, encourage them to contact a doctor immediately. Same goes if their stool is black. This may signify old blood in their stool. This is blood that has been processed which can cause the heme molecule to be oxidized, affecting its color. Since bleeding up in the stomach, esophagus, or small bowel has so much more time to be processed, it tends to be black. Bleeding in the colon or from hemorrhoids tend to be red because of the shorter transit time. What if there's a clear of foggy substance in the stool. This stringy material is mucus. Recall that mucus is part of stool but a visible amount may signify dehydration or constipation. It can also be a sign of inflammation in the body. If a person must wipe more than three times to clean themselves, this may imply that there's too much mucus in the stool. Now I know we're getting pretty intimate here with these details, but this is useful information to know. The goal is also to remove stigma from having these conversations with clients which starts right here with us. Now let's talk about behavior. The thing I'm referring to, by this, is floating stools. This means there's no plop at the bottom of the basin. A healthy stool goes to the bottom of the basin, it doesn't float on top. Floating stools are almost always associated with high fat content due to malabsorption or infection. A person who eats too much fat in their diet may have a lot of floaters. But if their fat consumption is not higher than average, this could be a sign of an issue. Less often, floating stool may just be filled with gas either from swallowing too much air or from bacteria. What about remnants of a person's last meal coming out the other end? Undigested food can be normal, especially with corn and seeds. But if a client reports this happening regularly, they may want to talk to their doctor about this as it can signal that their digestion or their bacteria aren't breaking things down properly. Also, any food passing sooner than 24 hours implies that transit time is too fast and that a person may not be absorbing their nutrients. This may be a sign of IBS or some larger issues like an autoimmune condition and should be evaluated by a licensed healthcare practitioner. Remember, just because you have the knowledge to know that something may signify a problem doesn't mean you have the authority to diagnose or try to treat it. Finally, what does a healthy stool smell like? There's a common saying that everyone's poop stinks. But it can actually be odorless or it can have a scent. This varies from person to person and meal to meal. Here's another myth debunked. Gas is actually a natural part of the digestive process. While it's considered rude to pass gas, it's a healthy bodily function. This is another way for body to excrete toxins. Think of how natural this is for babies to do. But if a person's gas is constant and uncomfortable, it may be a sign of an overgrowth, an unwanted bacteria, eating too fast, or consuming too many hard-to-digest foods. Feeling bloated is a sing of excess gas. To recap, when inquiring about a client's bowel movements, you want to ask about the form, frequency, color, and behavior. There are signs for what typically is and isn't normal. But we encourage you to avoid jumping to conclusions. Like everything else, a person's bowel movements are unique to them. A microbiome is like a personal fingerprint. What's most important to consider is what is regular for that person. When a change occurs, it's a sign that something has shifted with that person's digestion. That can be due to bacteria, something they ate, or even stress. When a person mentally tightens, they physically tighten, and that includes a tightening of the bowels. This can hold things in and narrow the passage way. Alternately, have you ever experienced a time when your bowels were loose due to nerves? This is because when you contract, this can also push things through, making the transit time too short and the excess water unable to be reabsorbed. The health of our bowel movements may not be an easy thing to discuss, but they're an important sign and symptom of many digestive issues. They say so much about our bacteria and our hydration. Constipation affects 20% of the population, and diarrhea is a serious condition that can lead to hospitalization if chronic. These are not small issues, and they may affect many of our clients every day. Through these difficult conversations, you can help your clients identify and act on small irregularities which may help prevent them from becoming larger issues. One of your jobs as a Health Coach is to provide a safe space where the uncomfortable becomes comfortable. A major goal of this lecture was to pull back the veil on poop. That way, you can do the same for your clients. But also keep in mind that you'll encounter clients who are shy and reluctant to have these conversations. They may consider it to be bad manners to talk about what goes on behind closed doors. You never want to force a conversation a client doesn't want to have. Just explain to them briefly why you think that these are important questions and how this can be helpful to discuss. And if they don't want to go there, leave it at that. As Joshua likes to say, "You can't force open the petals of a flower to make it bloom." Our clients will open up to us only as they're ready. Until then, lead by example, by confidently embracing difficult topics without judgment. And remember, a little appropriate humor can go a long way. This week, we encourage you to track your bowel movements, paying attention to the four factors we discussed, and recording how they rate on the Bristol Stool Test. In the meantime, head over to the Facebook group and join the discussion. How comfortable or uncomfortable were you viewing this lecture? Let us know. We'll see you over there. Bye for now.

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Duration: 19 minutes and 39 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 21, 2018

Identify a Healthy Bowel Movement_Final

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