The Power of Pooping: What Your Stool Reveals About Your Health
Ayurveda talks a lot about poop, all about poop. And in case nobody ever mentioned it, I am here to tell you, you should poop every day! And ideally in the morning.
It’s not glamorous but it’s important to talk about poop. The only way we can tell what’s happening on the insides is by what comes out. And, why is it so important? Because it is a direct reflection of our digestion!
If poop doesn’t come out, that means we are keeping the garbage inside. If we poop too much, we might not be absorbing the nutrients from the food like we should. So look at your poop! It’s important.
Now that I’ve broken the ice and we are in poop mode, let’s go into it a little more.
Ideal Poop: Ideally you should go in the morning after waking up. If you are really healthy, your need to go might even wake you up. That’s awesome. The poop should float and should be one solid piece – like a big brown floatey banana (oh come on, you can handle it). However! If there are any fats/oils in your poop or floating in the water, that is not at all good. That means there is so much fat/oil in the body that it’s coming out in the poop.
Sinking Poop: If your poop sinks, you ate something that’s too heavy or off harmony with your natural balance. It could also be a sign of toxins, but that’s not always true either. You can correct sinking poop mostly by changing your diet and eating foods that balance your dosha(s). For example, a pitta person might eat salads and their poop will float. A vata person might eat salads and their poop will sink. It’s per your individual balance.
Seeing food in the Poop: This means that your food is not being digested or absorbed. It’s going in and coming right out. A main cause is not chewing the food properly. Our stomach says, “I dunno what to do with this…I don’t have teeth. I’ll just send to the intestines and colon and let them deal with it.” And out it goes. So chew your food!
Constipation: Constipation is a vata problem because of the dry and light qualities. The colon is the seat of vata and a good clue that someone has increased vata is that they can’t poop. It’s mostly due to dryness where the little stoolies get all hard and can’t move. A person may not be eating enough oils/fats (lubrication) and/or not drinking enough water. Constipation has a major effect on concentration, moods, and can cause headaches. Literally the crap stays inside and it toxifies the enitre system. Unreleased emotions can also cause constipation. So for the sake of pooping, learn to let it go.
Diarrhea: According to Ayurveda, if someone has diarrhea, let them have it! The body is trying to rid something, so let it work itself out. The problem occurs when it just turns to water and then it needs to be stopped. For the most part though, the body is angry about what’s inside and it needs to get rid of it. As long as it’s not frequent, just let it happen. If it’s frequent, a nutritional (and maybe emotional) check is in order.
Loose Poop In Pieces: Pitta types usually experience poop in pieces. And they tend to poop more than once a day. Their fire and water elements cause the poop to lose it’s form a little and can be too watery. Healthy amounts of fiber would help dry it out a little so it sticks together in a nice poo form. Sometimes pittas feel like the poop wasn’t complete – like they still have to go. That could be because the pieces are breaking off and not coming out all the way.
Big, Lots o’ Poop: Kaphas will have a very healthy poop (probably why they are always so happy) and there will be a lot of it. Kaphas have to be mindful that there is no excess oil or mucus in their stools. If there is, it means that there is too much heaviness in the body and is a sign of ama. Kaphas need to keep up with their fiber and veggies to get their poop to float.
Really Smelly Poop: That’s not a good sign. It’s a sign of ama and/or a sign that the food didn’t get absorbed all the way. Perhaps the body cannot process what was eaten.