|Pretty Girls Don’t S**t
Dr. Michael Kane
When my youngest brother was in his adolescent years, he wrote a song with this title. It was an attempt to deal with his anxiety about talking to girls that he found attractive. The common ground was that just like him, they have bowel movements too. I encouraged him not to use this line of reasoning in opening up conversation for the first time. Luckily he took my advice.
In talking to young woman about digestive health many of the questions revolve around the character of their stool. The frequency of movements, the color, texture and ease of evacuation. The common reaction is one of embarrassment; as if the act is something to deny or avoid talking about. It got me to realize that there is a socially acceptable time to talk about such matters, apparently when we are very young or very old. But silence in these matters can be a concern, especially if digestive function is abnormal.
Your bowel movements (BM’s) can tell you so much about your digestive health. It is sometimes the case that these young woman have very abnormal bowel movements but are totally unaware of what normal is. Having one BM a week is not normal and neither is 6 loose BM’s daily. Some of us grow up thinking that what we experience is ” normal” because it is what we have always experienced. Education about ideal digestive function can come as a shock.
Frequency- 1-3 bowel movements a day
Color- Light to dark brown
Formed and easy to pass, observing an S curve in your stool is a good sign.
No urgency to go (not having to run to the bathroom when the urge arises)
Thickness- not pencil thin, 1-2 in diameter is about average
Good digestive function is dependent on a significant number of biochemical and physiologic events taking place. Stress can impact your digestive function significantly. Worriers or people with anxiety can often have digestive issues because their “fight or flight” response shuts down digestion.
If you have a child it is a good idea to have a “poop check in” on occasion to make sure they are aware of the importance of stool characteristic as an indicator for digestive health.
If you have questions about bowel changes or a digestive health concern, talk to your doctor at the Center.
Digestive Function is key for good health.