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Monthly Archives

August 2020

What does a healthy poo look like?

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What does a healthy poo look like?

Just like us, poo comes in many shapes and sizes but how do you really know if your poo is healthy or not? Here is a quick guide to find out if you’re on top of your poo-game.

  • Form: Your bowel motion should be like a smooth log or snake – some cracks and fluffy edges are ok, too.
  • Feeling: You shouldn’t feel pain in your stomach or anus and it should slip out easily with no straining. We also need to feel like we’ve fully emptied at the end.
  • Frequency: Ideally at least once per day and up to 2-3 times per day is healthy as long as it is of a log or snake-like appearance.
  • Smell: We all know poo stinks right, but if it’s really foul then that’s definitely not right and can indicate digestive issues.
  • Residue: You shouldn’t need a lot of toilet paper to clean yourself up, and there shouldn’t be any remains on the toilet bowl either.
  • Buoyancy: Sink, not float. Floating poos can be a sign of extra gas in your digestive system.
  • Particles: No food particles should be visible. But occasionally corn will peep through, and sometimes sesame seeds too, that’s nothing to worry about.
  • Colour: It should be medium-brown in colour. Pale or clay-coloured stools may mean bile issues, dark brown can indicate dehydration, and red or black poos can mean bleeding in the digestive tract (unless, of course, you’ve had a charcoal smoothie or beetroot in the last day!), so make sure to see your GP if there’s colour concerns.

So how did you go? Are you ticking all the healthy poo boxes or are there still some goals you need to hit? Please get in contact to have a chat, I’d love to know where you’re at.


Stress & Your Gut

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Stress & your gut: how to switch off the SNS

There’s no doubt about the connection between the brain and the gut – butterflies in the tummy, gut feelings, and the rush-to-the-toilet nerves. What happens is that the stress hormones that our body produces has a massive effect on the microbiome, motility and digestion.

Fun fact: there are more neurons in your gut lining than in your spinal column.

So we can see that if we are in an ultra stressed state then our digestion shuts off. But what about long-term worry and anxiety? We need to switch ourselves out of the Sympathetic Nervous System state and into the Parasympathetic Nervous System. From fight or flight, to rest and digest. Remember, there’s a highway between your brain and gut, and it goes BOTH ways.

Here are a few things you can try at home to make the switch:

  • Deep breathing – 3 minutes of deep breathing lowers your cortisol and your blood pressure
  • Breath-based movement – Qi gong, yoga and pilates all incorporate deep breathing
  • Talk it through – process what you’re going through by jumping on the phone or a video call, sometimes all you need is to talk it out and move the emotion through
  • Journaling – penning what’s on your mind is super therapeutic, and you can up your game by including 3 things you are grateful for each day.

Remember, if you’re struggling please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 and/or speak to your GP.