The Right Stool: Getting Out of Our Comfort Zone and Into Good Health

by David DeHaas

The one organ system that can really make our lives miserable is our gastrointestinal tract, specifically our intestines and colon. Although not often discussed in public, how well we poop is directly correlated to how well we live, and how well we live is directly correlated to how well we poop. Many of the symptoms of “dis-ease” we experience may be reflective of whether we have proper bowel movements.

Even faced with a medical doctor, many patients still don’t feel comfortable describing their bowel movements. Because that information is so critical, though, doctors at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in England actually devised a chart in 1997, often referred to as the Bristol stool chart, that they could share with patients. The chart classifies stool as seven different types and gives basic illustrations, descriptions and diagnoses, ranging from severe constipation to severe diarrhea. The chart was so helpful in discussing bowel movements with patients that it is now used in several countries, including the U.S., and a quick internet search produces many useful versions of the chart.

Frequency is just as important as look when it comes to bowel movements. What is “normal” can vary by individual, but some of us should be having a bowel movement two to three times a day, as often as every time we eat. Not having adequate frequency of bowel movements can lead to brain fog, fatigue, skin issues, digestive problems and even increased risk of colon cancer.

Another result of infrequent bowel movements can be a colon that stretches well beyond its usual three inches in diameter to accommodate the backed up waste. This stretching thins the colon wall, making it more vulnerable to injury. It also causes a weakening of the muscles of the colon, affecting peristalsis, which is the action by which the colon moves fecal matter around the colon and out. Thus, not only is our stool backed up as a result of not eliminating frequently enough, but we’re also making our bodies even less capable of pushing it out.

Diet, exercise and stress reduction can help to a small degree; however, by the time people realize they have a bowel problem, colon hydrotherapy is the simplest method to restore bowel health. Colon hydrotherapy super-hydrates the bowels, dissolves old fecal waste and even assists with peristalsis by toning the muscles of the colon. Colon hydrotherapy involves lying on a specially designed bed and gently inserting a small, thin rectal tube into the rectum approximately one inch. Water is then turned on, allowing it to trickle into the bowels, hydrating and dissolving old fecal matter. Embarrassment is never an issue, since clients are completely covered up during the entire process and retain their privacy.

Dissolving old fecal matter and strengthening the bowel muscle are imperative to healing the body. So it’s time we change our way of thinking, and talking, about what many consider to be a very private subject. It involves more than just a comfort zone—it’s a critical part of good health.

David DeHaas is a colon hydrotherapist and naturopathic health coach at Living Waters Wellness Center, in Boise. For more information, call 208-378-9911 or visit June 2019.

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