Bowel movements reveal your state of health. The type, color, shape, and consistency of your feces provide important information about your colon, small intestines, and your body in general.
A typically healthy stool is medium brown in color, well formed, and shaped like a banana. While this is the ideal stool, they will vary widely depending on diet, lifestyle, and your unique body type.
What causes a stool Imbalance?
The first and most important factor that will cause a stool imbalance is diet. For your stool to be healthy and well formed, your digestive strength needs to be strong. Digestive strength is weakened if you are regularly eating a diet that is inappropriate for your body type, or eating difficult to digest food combinations in your meals. Overeating also greatly strains the digestive system and can hinder the elimination of a healthy stool.
Dehydration is another major factor that can lead to a stool imbalance. Insufficient water leads to a dry digestive tract. A dry digestive tract lacks sufficient acid and enzymes to break down your meal, leading to an accumulation of phlegm and improperly digested food in your stools.
Quantity and quality of exercise will also impact your stools. Movement and regular exercise adds tone to digestive muscles, strengthening them and encouraging peristaltic contractions and regular elimination. Lack of exercise contributes to slower motility in the bowels, congestion, and stagnation.
Your mental health plays a significant factor in the health of your stool. Strong emotions such as anxiety, fear or worry can cause tension and constriction in the body, causing you to hold onto your stools too long. Intense emotions like anger, frustration or rage will weaken digestive strength and can lead to stools being eliminated too quickly, before the food has gone through the full digestive process.
Stools by Dosha
Excess Vata type stools
Excess Vata stools are dry, rough, hard, and dark in color and resemble goat pellets. To balance excess Vata stools first follow a Vata pacifying diet
Excess Pitta type stools
Excess Pitta type stools pass the digestive system too quickly, are looser in texture and can be yellow in color. This yellow hue occurs when bilirubin, the pigment found in bile, is inadequately digested by bacteria due to this faster transit time. When broken down properly, bilirubin gives the stool its normal brown color. To balance excess Pitta stools first follow a Pitta pacifying diet.
Excess Kapha type stools
Excess Kapha type stools are usually soft, and may contain mucus. Defecation is regular or can be slow. To balance excess Kapha stools first follow a Kapha pacifying diet.
Observing your stools
Checking your stools each day is one of the most important habits you can form to care for your body. Once you learn how to read your stools, you will know what your currant digestive strength is and deduct what may be the causes for it being stronger or weaker. It can even show some possible warning signs for future imbalances, allowing you to work preventatively. The best ways to ensure you have healthy and regular elimination is to follow a diet that is right for your body type, stay hydrated, strengthen your digestion by minding correct eating habits, and introduce regularity and routine to your daily life. The digestive system works on a clock, and thrives when it follows a consistent schedule.