What is a Healthy Bowel Movement?
Ask A Healer Colon Health Articles
Are your stools normal - what to look for in healthy bowel movements
by N J Howell
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What does normal stool look like?
Normal stool does vary from person to person, to some small degree yet there are common characteristics that a healthy bowel movement and the resulting stool will have. In evaluating stool, one must notice color, smell, consistency, difficulty in evacuation and the degree of hardness. Healthy stool is honey-colored. Dark stool is not normal unless you have eaten something that will temporarily discolor stool, such as beets or chlorophyll.
Other qualities of healthy, normal stool:
1. Stool evacuates easily and in one loosely shaped and long piece, without crimped areas of pinched off areas. If you have to take a puzzle book into the bathroom and work several puzzles before you go, you are constipated and whatever comes out will not be a normal stool.
2. Stool is soft, not hard and slips out easily without excess straining.
3. Normal stool does not include a lot of gas during evacuation and has no overly offensive odor.
4. Healthy stool is LARGE. If you are eating right and drinking sufficient water every day, a typical stool may be as long as two feet in length.
What causes abnormal stool? Diet makes a big difference in how we eliminate. So does stress. A lot of stress can cause constipation and abnormally hard stool. So can eating a lot of heavy meats like beef and pork. Other causes may include lack of exercise, a sedentary job or lifestyle and an undiagnosed medical condition affecting the colon. Based on color, shape and consistency, abnormal stool may point to several different conditions which might warrant further consideration.
When I eat vegetarian, my stool is quite large, softened, almost no smell, and honey-colored, the color I associate with a healthy stool. The stool is one, long smooth evacuation if the colon is not spastic, impacted, constipated or dehydrated. When I say "vegetarian" however, I do not just mean that I eat vegetables. I mean that a good portion of those veggies are raw or steamed, not cooked or nuked. >Fully cooked veggies are not the same as raw or slightly steamed because cooking kills the digestive enzymes in foods. A diet high in cooked vegetables would probably not contribute a lot toward healthy bowel movements although it's certainly better than eating mostly cooked meats.
What is Healthy Stool? - Intro