Eliminating waste and toxins is crucial for our well being. The fact of the matter is that our bowels show a lot more about our current health status than we are aware. Maintaining good bowel health is necessary for us to make energy and maintain vitality and critical for us to fight off infections and illness. A properly functioning digestive system is needed for absorption of vitamins, minerals and water as well as removal of toxins we gather from modern living.
Despite this, our bowels are rarely the topic of discussion in our ‘civilized’ society. Many of our clients have gone through the first 20 or 30 years of life without knowing how often one should be eliminating, nor what a healthy bowel movement should look like. We’ve met people who were eliminating only once every 3 weeks!
Though it many be very uncomfortable, if you feel like your bowels are less than ideal (refer to list below), consider seeking help to reestablish one of the most fundamental functions of our digestive system.
A daily bowel movement is the minimum frequency that you should be experiencing. If you’re eating more than once a day, you should definitely be eliminating more than once a day. It is possible that a single bowel movement be containing all the waste from your last 3 meals, but why wait that long? The longer your waste products sit in the colon, the more time there is contact between the walls of your colon and waste products which can easily be absorbed into your bloodstream. We like our clients to have at least 2 bowel movements a day.
(Note: On the flipside, if you have to run to the bathroom after every meal, that’s definitely a problem. Your body needs time to break down, absorb and assimilate nutrients from your meals, about 4-6 hours.)
- A clear (but not sudden) urge telling us when ready for elimination
- Slips out easily – should only take a few minutes
- Needs no coaxing
- Is well formed – should look like a brown banana with a point at one end or take the shape of an ‘S’,
- Should be thick – ideally the girth of your opened mouth. Opening your mouth while eliminating can help as opening the mouth opens the rectum.
- Is well hydrated – if it looks like little balls wadded together it has been in the colon too long
- Having no urge or infrequent urges
- Pain, tearing, blood
- It takes a long time
- Is always loose and fast
- Is stringy
- Looks like little balls or pieces
- Presence of mucus
- Identifiable foods present – shows incomplete breakdown
- Drinking lots of water first thing in the morning will help keep your bowels to be hydrated and thus easier to eliminate.
- Cutting out coffee (dehydrating thus can harden bowels), refined sugars (feeds and breeds bad bacteria) and anti-biotics (kills good bacteria), and processed foods (adds toxic load) will help make your bowel movements healthier and more regular.
- Many people are low in good bacteria – probiotics – in the small bowels. Consider a high quality probiotic supplement.
- Low stomach acid and digestive enzymes are the culprits for not only constipation but other digestive signs such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, pain, acid reflux, etc. You may need some assistance with hydrochloric acid and/or enzymes while finding and clearing the root problem.
Even if you don’t have any digestive symptoms, if you’re always tired or in a bad mood or have foggy thinking, you’re probably not getting the nutrients you need nor ridding toxins effectively and thus overloading your immune system and liver. Healthy bowels is a sign of healthy bodies and when our bodies are working well, so are our minds.