To end the detoxification series, we NEED to talk about healthy elimination! This is something that most people aren’t comfortable talking about, but what’s coming out can tell you A LOT about what’s going on inside!
Let’s talk about healthy elimination! Remember: common and “normal” does not mean healthy!
Ideally, you should be having 1-3 bowel movements per day. Any less than one bowel movement per day is considered constipation. Why is this a big deal? When waste sits in the colon the toxins will be reabsorbed into the bloodstream, as a more condensed version meaning, they will be even more toxic than they were previously. Secondly, as the stool sits, the water will be reabsorbed into the body, leading to an even harder stool. This will cause further constipation and back up, as well as pain when trying to go to the bathroom, as it will have a hard time passing through. This can also cause bleeding and hemorrhoids.
Bowels should be easily moved without pain. Strain, pain, gas and cramping are all signs that something digestion is not where it should be.
Stools should be large in diameter (2-3″). Skinny stools tell you there is intestinal inflammation.
Stools should hold together. They should be smooth on the outside, and similar in shape to the colon. Loose stools could be due to the liver, gallbladder, or infection. Chunky stools indicate incomplete evacuation. Lumpy stools or pellets indicate dehydration or inability to break down protein.
Stools should bob. Sinking stools (sound heavy and drop to the bottom of the bowl) indicate undigested protein. Floating stools indicate undigested fat.
There should be very little to no odor. Strong odor indicates fermented carbohydrates, rancid fats, or putrefied proteins.
The color should be brown. All shades of brown are considered normal and indicates a healthy breakdown of food and red blood cells. Green is a common color from green vegetables, especially spinach. Excessive green could indicate undigested green vegetables, iron supplements, infection or food dyes. Yellow can be caused by bowel hyperactivity, or from an infection. White is often caused by a lack of bile (produced in the liver), or from medications. Red can indicate bleeding in the lower digestive tract or rectum, but can also be caused by red vegetables such as beets. Blue can indicate infections in babies, or can be the result of blue food dyes. Black may be caused by bleeding in the upper digestive tract. Oily (oil in the water) indicates undigested fat.
The tissue should be clean. When you wipe, there shouldn’t be much if anything on the toilet paper. Needing to excessively wipe says stools are not well formed, possible infection or liver/gallbladder issues.
Digestion is a north to south process meaning, if you are experiencing issues in the colon, the cause is up north – in the stomach, liver, gallbladder, or pancreas.
What can you do to support healthy elimination?
- Chew thoroughly! This not only starts the breakdown process but also gets the saliva and amylase going (the carbohydrate enzyme).
- Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day (add lemon too!)
- Limit or avoid dehydrating foods and beverages such as; refined sugar/carbohydrates (“white” foods), salty foods, coffee, alcohol, soda, and energy drinks.
- Eat your fruits and veggies for fiber and water – especially leafy greens and apples!
- Try to consume foods that are alive! As in, foods that still have water and enzymes. Think fresh, raw or lightly steamed.
- Consider avoiding gluten and dairy. Gluten is glue-like, and acts that way in the intestines, which can cause constipation. Dairy can be constipating for people who are sensitive (not necessarily diagnosed as allergic) to the protein in milk (casein), or the sugar (lactose).
- Be mindful of heavy protein. Many people don’t have the ability to break down animal proteins, or might not do well with certain types like chicken, beef, etc.
Healthy digestion is key for a healthy body! If you find yourself relating to the unhealthy symptoms, we should talk!