Understanding Your Bowel Health

Digestion
Mar 18, 2015
Digestion It’s not really something to discuss at the dinner table, but understanding your bowel health could very well save your life. So it’s important to take the time to find out what’s normal – and what’s not – when it comes to bowel movements and health.

What’s a Normal Bowel Movement?

One of the most common question doctors are asked is, ‘are my stools OK?’ And ‘how regularly should I go to the toilet?’
 
It’s not an easy question to answer, because it depends on quite a few factors – what you eat and how your body processed food. And really, there is no ‘normal’ since we are all different.
 
Don’t worry about going once a day – a common misconception of healthy bowel movements. Instead, go as often as is comfortable. You should be able to make a bowel movement without straining. For some that’s twice a day, for others twice a week.
 

Is Diarrhoea a Dilemma?

If you’re constantly running for the loo with loose and ‘explosive’ motions, you have diarrhoea. It’s usually caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses. There’s not a whole lot you can do about it, except drink plenty of water and top up lost electrolytes with a sports drink or supplement. Of course, if the diarrhoea is ongoing or particularly painful, seek urgent medical attention.
 

How Can I Keep Regular?

There are a few things you can do to boost your bowel health. This includes:
 
·      Eating a high-fibre breakfast
·      Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal
·      Drink several glasses of water and/or tea each day
·      Get moving regularly to keep your digestive system ticking along
·      Don’t rush your toilet visits
 

Check Your Bowel Health

It may not be something you really want to do, but it’s important to check your stools for colour changes. If you spot blood, see a medical professional immediately as it could be a sign of bowel cancer, which affects 1 in 18 men and 1 in 26 women in Australia.

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