Ana Theresa Williams BSN RN
Let’s talk dirty today: It means, about poo-poo. Did you do your No. 2?
Among us Filipinos, we don’t call them as No. 2. It’s simply a poo-poo whenever there’s a call for you to do it. Maybe if you’re embarrassed to say it, just say “Oh, I’m going to have my No. 2 now!”
But how well do you know about doing No. 2? Do you feel giddy whenever you have your bowel movement? How often does the average person pass gas?
Your poop doesn’t always have to be an S-shape. Despite what you might have heard on the morning talk shows, healthy stool comes in all sorts of shapes, such as curvy, sausage, snake-like, and more.
How it looks depends on how much fiber and water you have all day, as well as how fast things move along in your colon. Please make an appointment with your gastroenterologist or medical doctor who is dedicated in training and unique experience in the management of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver especially if your stool looks thin and narrow like a pencil for several weeks because this can be a sign of a GI or gastrointestinal problem.
THIS IS A MYTH: If you do not poop every day, dangerous toxins can build up in your body. This misconception has been so widespread that some people are obsessed with regularity by over-relying on laxatives or using risky colonic machines. But your colon is pretty good at fighting bacteria. After all, its job is to get rid of toxins. Besides, you’re probably more regular than you think.
Three or fewer bowel movements in a week is a sign of constipation. So don’t be concerned unless you go less than every other day, have pain, trouble going to the bathroom, or there’s a change in how often you go.
Ever feel energized or elated after a bowel movement? For your information, a bowel movement can make you giddy. Here’s the explanation: Passing a large stool can stimulate the vagus nerve in the brain. That triggers a drop in your heart rate and blood pressure. This whole bathroom event can cause you to feel a tad lightheaded and giddy.
It usually takes 1 to 3 days for something you ate to come out in your poop. Because digestion is a poky process, it usually takes about a day before a meal starts showing up in the toilet. And it can take up to 3 days before it’s fully digested.
Of course, food rushes through much faster when you have diarrhea. Your body may not be able to absorb much fluid or many nutrients in this case. That’s why people with ongoing diarrhea are at risk of dehydration and malnutrition.
Gas is what makes stool float. It’s because food that’s digested in the lower intestine creates excess gas in the form of hydrogen or methane. This gas makes stool less dense and more likely to float. Floaters are pretty common and generally nothing to worry about.
Do you know that healthy stools come in a variety of colors such as yellow, tan and green. The most common causes of an unusual stool color are medications or foods. Tomatoes and fruit punch can turn stools red; spinach and leafy vegetable scan make them green; and grape juice can darken things to black. Color changes can signal a problem such as bleeding (from red to black), liver problems either it’s color white or gray, or diarrhea with color green stools.
Remember that an average person will pass gas at least 14 times a day. Gassiness is typically caused by air that gets swallowed while eating or drinking or undigested carbs in the digestive tract. See your medical doctor if you regularly clear rooms or if you have gassiness along with bloating because you may be lactose intolerant or have another GI disorder.
Of course, when you do the No. 2, poop should be stinky! It contains all sorts of nasty things such as undigested foods similar to rotten vegetables, gas, bacteria, water and salts. Most of the bacteria in there are good because they help digestion. But viruses and some harmful bacteria also can be passed in stool. Thus, the bad smell naturally warns us to stay away!
HEALTHWATCHING: Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. Proverbs 9:8-9