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Girls Don't Poop? - Who are we kidding?

29 Mar 2019

 

When we’re aiming for optimal health, a better looking belly and fat loss, poor bowel function will hold us back every time.

 

Girls don't poop has to be the biggest load of crap I have ever heard.  It seems to be something that gets imbedded in our psyche over time.  

 

Boys are smelly, they fart and poop and are generally disgusting.  Not girls though.  Girls don't poop.  Poop is disgusting and if girls DO poop; they definitely don't do it anywhere else but home!

 

Honestly, how ridiculous!  

 

Yet whenever I'm out an about, and I feel the need to go for a number 2, I get anxious.  

 

"What if it smells?"

"What if it's noisy?"

"What if someone knocks on the door mid poop?"

"Don't use the cubicle next door, now I have to wait for you to finish!!" 

"Why does the cleaning lady come around NOW?!"

 

 

Reason number 1 for holding onto your poo is that it's going to make you appear fatter than you are.  If you're backed up with poo and/or gas, it's going to distend your stomach, making your jeans feel tighter or the old lady on the bus pat your belly and ask when you're due.  Neither are a comfortable experience.

 

Holding Onto Your Poo is Bad For You

 

Imagine your bowel is like a conveyor belt that only travels one way.  As your digested food travels through your small intestines, all of the nutrients and water get absorbed or eaten by microbes.  Gradually, all of the goodness is taken out of the food and all that is left is waste.  This is then excreted out of your anus as poop.  

 

This conveyor belt is constantly moving.  Packing all of the waste together until it eventually gets evacuated.  

 

There Is No "Bladder" For Your Bowel

 

Your bowel doesn't have a storage system.  Unlike your bladder, which fills up and then empties.  Your bowel can't store it's waste 

 

Also, while the fresh faeces is a nice texture right now (see the bristol stool chart below), with just enough water to help it to pass, it won't stay that way for long.

 

As I mentioned earlier, your bowel will absorb all of the nutrients and water from your food.  If you hold onto your poop, the bowel is going to keep absorbing any water that is left.  Leaving a hard stool that will be much more difficult to pass when the time comes.  

 

It can then act like a plug.  Blocking the exit of future poos until the blockage is clear.  Leading to constipation, bloating, gas, extra farting, possibly diarrhea as the wetter stuff seeps around the impacted matter, and at worst, disease and cancer.

 

Think of it like a blocked drain full of leaves.  If the drain is blocked, you get back up and overflow.  Not pretty.

 

 So, Apart From Pooping When Nature Calls, What Else Can I Do?

 

According to https://www.bladderandbowel.org/

  • Eat a balanced diet - Whole Fruits & Vegetables will keep you hydrated & provide enough fiber to help keep everything moving.  

  • Drink enough fluids - Nobody likes a hard stool.  If your stools are hard an difficult to pass, have a look at your fluid intake.

  • Limit the amount of alcohol you consume - Alcohol dehydrates the body, making the stool harder.

  • Chew your food well - Digestion starts at the mouth.  The main digestion & nutrient absorption event happens in the bowel. Give it a head start by chewing well.

  • Don’t miss meals. - This slows down the bowel movements simply because there is nothing coming in therefore, not much going out.

  • Exercise - Aim for approximately 30 minutes a day.  Exercise keeps the blood pumping and helps with muscle contractions through the bowel.

 

 

Key Factors that Affect the Bowel include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Travelling - A change in time zones is going to affect when you eat, making your metabolism a little sluggish while it gets into a new routine.  Sticking to your at home diet may be a little difficult and sometimes it's a matter of eating what you can get.  International cuisine can affect the bowel too.  Go easy on the new foods if you are prone to diarrhea.

  • Antibiotics - You gut is full of micro biomes.  This whole civilisation is responsible for looking after your body.  When you take antibiotics, it kills of some of the good bacteria which means that some nutrients won't be absorbed as well as they used to.  If you're on antibiotics, I recommend taking a probiotic as well to try and counteract the damage to the gut.

  • Sleep - Poor sleep patterns have been linked to increased constipation and increased IBS symptoms

  • Alcohol - Alcohol is a bowel and bladder irritant.  Your body also gets dehydrated faster due to increased urination.  Alcohol causes the body to release more water than it consumes, which can mean either dryer stools, or really wet ones.  Either way, it's not pretty.

  • Stress - Ever had the nervous trots?  Where you've been preparing for a speech and your tummy is gurgling.  Before long you have to rush to the toilet and empty the lot!  Welcome to your fight or flight response.  It's the same as when fear can make your urinate.  The body is letting go of any extraneous waste in preparation for you running for the hills!  If you're in a constant state of stress, it's going to wreck havoc on the bladder and bowel.  

  • Smoking - Smoking is bad full stop but when it comes to your bowel there is much debate.  According to studies, it has negative effects on ulcerative colitis but could have positive effects on crohns disease.  Either way smoking is already a proven health hazard and should be avoided where possible.

  • Dehydration - As mentioned earlier, your body is going to try and get fluid from anywhere it can and it will start with your poop.  Drier poo means harder stools, leading to constipation and possibly pelvic floor issues from bearing down.

  • Getting Older - The lucky among us will have the pleasure of getting older.  As we age, we lose muscle mass.  Our muscles in the bowel don't work as well as they used to and so our bowel movements slow as a result.  As mentioned earlier, a diet of whole fruits and vegetables will help to keep thing moving.  

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

Bristol Stool Chart

 

We should ideally be aiming for Type 3 or Type 4, every day or every other day at the least.  If your stool looks like any of the other types, it's time to look at ways to change it.  

 

 

 

 

Share this blog with your girlfriend who's scared of pooping in public!

 

 

 

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