Monday, July 1, 2013

My Waste is the Wrong Colour! What Your Poop Reveals About Your Health

"It's funny but there's something wrong
with  my tummy..."
Pellets, sweetcorn, the fireball and the sticky. Humanity has a habit of baptising our waste with demonstrative nicknames, promoting colourful language and a sense of humour. Aside from toilet jokes and farts cracks, nobody talks about waste in everyday conversation, reserving our concerns for the next check-up or a visit to Doctor Google. A basic search using the phrase, “why is my poop that colour”, reveals approximately 807,000 results; evidently, the health of your nuggets is garnering more action online than off. How do you know you’re healthy from just looking in the toilet bowl?

The next time you pass a successful bowel motion, have a look. What colour is it? Does it float? Is it solid or crumbled? While these questions are considerably more awkward than a light hearted paragraph about poop, the answers divulge the inner workings of your digestive system. If you can’t seem to squeeze out what you need to, maybe you’re just constipated and need Dulcolax fast acting laxative but for other situations continue reading.


Congratulations, you’re doing well and taking care of your gastrointestinal tract. Brown waste is a sign of healthy bile flow; brown is not an inherent colour but a result of a pigment called bilirubin –when this pigment hops the blood stream into the intestines, bacteria forms in our waste and feasts, turning our waste brown.


Red can mean one of two things. You’ve been eating a lot of beets or your lower digestive tract is bleeding; this means your large intestine, rectum and anus may be torn or irritated. Though the scenarios are mutually exclusive, assess your diet and digestive history; if in doubt, call your doctor.


Green is generally reviewed as a neutral colour; before raising a red flag and freaking out, green waste can signify an avid vege eater or a recent inclusion of antibiotics in your daily diet. Conversely, and quite dangerously, green waste can signal undigested bile or Crohn’s Disease – red and green waste both require an attention to diet and a possible doctor’s appointment to rule out anything health threatening.


Waste on the yellow spectrum switches between completely harmless and incredibly serious. Quite simply, an owner of yellow waste may not break down as many red blood cells as brown waste representatives, changing the colour. The other option is a particularly nasty parasite called Giardia, a contagious and dangerous critter with a taste for intestines.


Albino waste is symptomatic of antacids, liver disease or pancreatic disorder. Needless to say, if your waste blends into the porcelain background, hot-foot it to a doctor.


If there’s a colour waste isn’t supposed to be, it’s black. An excess of iron CAN cause a discolouration and lead to a midnight by-product, but if it looks tarry, see a doctor ASAP. Skip the fast acting laxative and make an appointment with a reliable GP. Why? Black waste can indicate intestinal bleeding, an ulcer or cancer.

It’s not a polite or desirable topic to discuss even in the doctor’s office. Though we’d die without our digestive functions, waste colours and consistencies are considerably disgusting to touch on. Though you’d rather not, keep an eye on the colour of your poo – there’s so much it can tell you, with only a glance.

Author Bio: John is a health consultant and has been for the past 2 years. In his spare time he likes to write blogs about health, fitness and all round well-being.

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