by: Ellie Hingson

Posted: May 24, 2024 / 03:22 PM EDT

Updated: May 24, 2024 / 03:22 PM EDT

TAMPA (BLOOM) – Our stool tells us a lot about ourselves. From nutrient absorption to how well our bodies metabolize medication, analyzing our poop can provide us with loads of information. Gayle Guyardo, host of the nationally syndicated health and wellness show, Bloom, sits down with board-certified pediatrician, Dr. David Berger, to discuss what we might learn from our visits to the restroom.

A few fun facts about our stool include it being 75% water, healthy stool should sink, and the color of our poop will change depending on what we’ve eaten.

Berger mentions what most doctors should find in a common stool sample. For example, maybe the patient has infections like salmonella or E. coli. These samples also provide doctors with the appropriate levels of microbiomes in our stool.

Additionally, testing can be done for inflammatory or digestive markers that let medical professionals learn the pH of the sample.

Berger emphasizes the importance of our poop being “healthy-looking”. He wants those listening to ensure their poop is a “nice brown log”. Perhaps our poop might have some undigested food particles, or maybe it changes day-to-day.

“Reducing Substances” is a test that can be done to find out if a person might be lactose intolerant. Berger says even determining the color of blood in our stool can actually let doctors know where the bleeding is coming from in our colon.

The integrity of the lining, or permeability, of our intestines can fluctuate depending on what we, as consumers, are eating or drinking each day. Our intestines act as a barrier. They only let certain things through. Berger discusses the term, leaky gut, which happens when the permeability of our intestines is not up to par. When this takes place, Berger discusses some things might be getting through into our stool that otherwise would have not.

Guyardo questions Berger on how to properly treat a patient who has a few negative findings in their stool. Dietary history is one of the first steps to finding a solution. Maybe the patient has low levels of good bacteria, so doctors can target those areas of weaknesses and recommend probiotics to get everything back on track.

Berger recommends that all parents who have a gut-feeling of something being off, to bring it up with their healthcare provider. He also says what our stool looks like tends to be more important than how often a person poops. All in all, our stool can act as a door to lots of medical information. It is important to monitor our restroom activity in order to live a healthy life.


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