Bowel Health

Stools and bowels, a sticky situation and topic. Not dinnertime conservation for sure

Bowel anatomy

As we eat, the food get broken down by the stomach. Then nutrients from the food is absorbed by the small and large intestine. Stools are the waste byproduct and are formed in the digestive tract and slowly move through the gut until it hits the rectum. When the rectum is full, our body signals to us that we need to empty. 

 

 

Everyone asks what is regular for the bowels? 

Regular bowels are actually where you have a sense of control and able to completely emptying without the need to strain. The look and appearance of stools should be sausage like and smooth. And you don’t actually have to empty everyday! Normal frequency of bowel emptying can be up to three times a day or every three days.

So you have irregular bowels?

Talking about your bowels can be quite confronting, but you shouldn’t be embarrassed. If your bowels aren’t ‘regular’ they may present in these ways

  • Constipation and frequent straining. Are your stools quite hard?
  • Do you need to take regular laxatives that you don’t want to take?
  • Are you not emptying properly or haven’t emptied in over three days
  • Poor bowel control and incontinence of faeces and/or diarrhoea. Have you noticed a stain on your underwear or are you having to use a lot of toilet paper to be clean? 
  • Do you feel like you are going too frequently?
  • Bloating
  • Pain with emptying your bowels and/or haemorrhoids
  • Difficulty controlling wind or excessive wind

Bowels can be influenced by several factors such as:

  • Medical conditions
  • Hormonal levels
  • Food sensitivities or intolerances
  • Medications
  • Stress and anxiety