What Your Poop Says About You

Yes, we hope you're not reading this while you're eating. But in The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging, Dr. Mike Moreno shares what you can learn about your health from a quick glance in the toilet. Aren't you just a little curious?

As a doctor, I think beyond the dinner table. I think about what happens in our bodies after we consume all that food. And ultimately, yes, I think about what happens when our bodies are done with it. Sometimes the best way for a doctor to figure out what's going on inside your body is to inspect what's coming out of your body. Yes, I'm talking about fecal matter, excrement, or what is more commonly referred to simply as "poop." It's not a subject anyone (well, except for my gastroenterologist friends) really enjoys discussing. But the clues your poop reveals can be such valuable information in deciphering the current state of your health. So, stick with me, and read on.

Hard or pebbly: Could mean constipation or dehydration; drink more water!

Dark black: Could be sign of bleeding in upper digestive system (such as from an ulcer). Also common when eating a lot of animal proteins or taking a lot of iron supplements.

Pudding-like or watery consistency: Unformed stool may point to intolerance or sensitivity to certain foods, or a viral or bacterial infection.

Red in color: Could indicate hemorrhoids, blood from the colon caused by diverticulitis, or even cancer. However, if you're eating a lot of beets or red foods, that can also be a cause.

Soft but formed: The "A+" stool. It should, ideally, be shaped like an "S."

Pencil thin: Can indicate a narrow bowel, which is caused by a blockage or colon cancer. Anytime you notice a change in your regular stools, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.

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