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What are the properties of the perfectly formed stool?
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What are the properties of the perfectly formed stool?

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What are the properties of the perfectly formed stool?
What consistency should my poo be?

Ideally, it should be neither too soft nor too hard. It
should be flexible, smooth and slippery and should exit without the need to strain.

For effortless exit the desirable qualities of the perfectly formed stool are:

Lubricated and Smooth

The perfectly formed stool should have a good volume and weight. The bulk helps create distention or stretch in the wall of the colon and rectum and the weight contributes towards momentum during exit so that most of the work during the defecation process is done by the force of gravity, provided a clear passage is created in the ano-rectal canal for stool to pass by assuming the correct posture, which is the squat posture.

The perfectly or well formed stool should create the Urge to defecate and literally “fall” or “slide” out of the body due to gravity and the momentum created by the faecal mass. The momentum is created by the force of gravity, consistency of the stool, weight and bulk.

A clean exit can only be achieved if the stool is firm, solid and well bound. It should not flake off half way out of the anal canal.
The huge quantities of Bacteria in the stool hold on to water and provide the property of binding, solidity, firmness, slipperiness and moisture.

If the faeces or stool is LIQUID or SOFT, it will be squirted out as in diarrhoea.

Stool that has the soft and pasty consistency of porridge will fail to initiate the reflex contractions of the rectum when necessary and will not be expelled completely.
This type of stool fails to create a strong urge to go due to the fact that there is no bulk in the stool.
Lack of bulk means no distention in the rectum and no distention means there is no defecation reflex.

The result is constipation accompanied by the constant feeling of wanting to empty the bowels because of weak urges being created by the sticky consistency of stool adhering to the wall of the rectum and refusing to shift.

Our bowels are designed to handle the evacuation of a SOLID stool the shape of a BANANA or SAUSAGE.
The SOLID and BULKY stool is able to stimulate the stretch receptors in the rectal wall by distention or stretching and cause the reflex contractions which propel the stool nearer the anal exit.

Once the evacuation of this solid stool has been initiated by adopting the correct posture and relaxing the external anal sphincter by conscious thought, the force of GRAVITY and MOMENTUM created by the BULK and WEIGHT of the stool will maintain the gentle rectal contraction waves to expel the stool in its entirety, without flaking or breaking up. This will leave the rectum empty and anything at all to wipe!

If the faeces or stool are too SOFT due to too much fibre in the diet, it will be of a LOOSE and “FLAKY” consistency and will break off every so often on its way out before all the contents of the sigmoid colon and rectum can be evacuated.
This can create the feeling of “unfinished business” or the need to go again due to incomplete emptying. The anal area will be left wet and may need repeated wipes with toilet tissue, often leading to soreness due to the friction and abrasive action of dry paper against the skin. Anal Itching and inflammation may also be present in this situation.

If the Faeces or stool are SOFT, FIRM, BULKY, SOLID and SLIPPERY it will exit the anal canal as a continuous mass in the shape of a sausage or a banana (the shape determined by a healthy, circular and muscular tube that is your colon). The stool will not break up half way out because it is well BOUND together by mucus, mucilage, soluble fibre and Bacteria. The SOLID and FIRM consistency will create a momentum which will ensure complete evacuation without breaking off, within a few seconds of adopting the correct posture.

A BULKY stool is necessary to create the urge to defecate. The urge to defecate originates in the rectum and initiates the cascade of actions that lead to evacuation.

The muscular wall of the rectum is equipped with stretch or mechanoreceptors which can react to a stretch or distention created in the muscles and send messages to the brain via nerves located in the muscle to initiate the urge to go.

Since the rectal wall needs to be stretched in order for an “urge to go” to be created, Stool that is not BULKY will fail to stretch the rectal wall and as a result there will be no urge to go. This can lead to problems associated with difficulty emptying the bowel and CONSTIPATION.

How “healthy” your stool is will be determined by its consistency, Shape, Odour, Size, Weight, volume or Bulk and colour.
These factors vary considerably and depend largely on a person’s diet, general state of health and the strength of the muscles that make up the gastrointestinal tract.
The type of resident Bacteria that make up a large part of the Stool also determine the consistency of the stool since it is these Bacteria that are involved in digesting or “fermenting” the waste that has arrived from the upper part of the digestive system .

Fermentation of the undigested material by Bacteria leads to an increase in the population within the colon of these bacteria, contributing to the formation of the perfect stool.

A by product of Fermentation of certain resistant Starches and soluble fibres also leads to the formation of short chain fatty acids which are known to contribute to the health of the cells lining the Colon and the body’s  immune system.

These short chain fatty acids are also known to aid in the creation of the Urge to defecate by helping to generate mass contractions of the colonic muscles and increased motility.

The stool from a vegetarian diet is larger, softer and less smelly than the stool from a high protein diet. This is due to the fact that plant material is a source of soluble fibre, which is the preferred food source of the friendly bacteria in the colon. Fermentation of the soluble fibre by these Bacteria leads to the formation of the perfectly formed stool.

On the other hand, a high protein or mainly meat diet has no soluble fibre. This leads to other not so friendly Bacteria in the Colon to ferment the Amino acids instead. This not only leads to an increase in the population of undesirable, possibly disease causing bacteria, but the formation of gases such as Hydrogen Sulphide and Ammonia  which are known to be toxic to the lining of the Colon.

We tend to link the Colon with a waste disposal system but the colon is much more than this. The colon is a continuous part of the food processing unit that is our gastrointestinal tract. In addition to its main functions of reabsorbing any left over water and electrolytes from content arriving from the small intestine, it may be regarded as the colonic digestive system as well.

The colon carries on the digestive process of foods that arrive there from the upper part of the tract. These foods are usually made up of substances that the Stomach and Small intestines cannot digest due to the absence of particular enzymes needed to breakdown the molecules present.
The Colon plays host to millions of Bacteria and it is these Bacteria that finish the digestive process by breaking down the last remaining foods in the Colon.
By working on these FIBRES and RESSISTANT STARCHES present, the bacteria produce gases, short chain fatty acids (Acetic acid, Propionic acid, Butyric Acid) and large amounts of more bacteria that then make up the stool or faeces.

The gases are the main cause of odour of the faeces and so the odour depends on the type of bacteria one harbours in the colon and the type of food substrate for the bacteria to feed upon.

The short chain fatty acids are known to be the preferred fuel of the colonocytes (the cells lining the inside wall of the colon).
However, these by-products of Bacterial fermentation of soluble fibre are also known to work as chemical messengers or signalling molecules for communication between cells of the immune system and so may be regarded as immune system modulators.
This indicates how important the food you feed the resident bacteria is and how it may affect your immune system and general health.

The large amount of Bacterial cells created by feeding on the substrate arriving into the colon leads to the formation of what we call faeces.

It should now be quite apparent that in the well functioning colon food residue forms very little of the bulk of Faeces.

Bacteria make up (or should) the bulk of the faeces. The remainder is made up of dead Exfoliated cells, mucus and a variety of internal bodily secretions and fluids.
The Bacteria and left over soluble and insoluble fibre provide the water retaining and bulking property that is essential in the formation of a SOFT and BULKY stool.
The Bacteria contribute towards the property of BINDING, FIRMNESS and SOLIDITY plus the SLIPPERY, smooth nature of the stool that is essential for the perfectly formed stool to slide out of the body without much effort.
Gravity and the squat posture are the only essential requisites once the perfect stool is made.

How to heal and prevent Bowel disorders

Diet is not about what you should NOT eat, it’s about what you should include in the diet that matters.
As long as your diet includes the correct balance of plant foods containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch your colon will produce the perfectly formed stool. The important next step is to evacuate this stool without straining so that the body does not suffer from the pressures created each time the bowel is emptied.

In order to heal and prevent bowel disorders you need to make lifestyle changes that last the rest of your life time.

1. Include more fluids and plant food containing soluble fibre, insoluble fibre and resistant starch in the diet so that the perfectly formed stool will be made in the colon and beneficial bacteria will flourish and eliminate disease causing bacteria and fungi.

2. Evacuate the perfectly formed stool by adopting the squat posture to eliminate the need to strain during bowel movements.

It is not possible or safe to squat on the modern raised toilet seat installed in all western homes and it is impossible to squat for any length of time if you have not done this from childhood onwards. This makes the use of any raised platforms impossible to adapt to.

The SquattLooStool is designed to allow you to adopt the squat posture while seated comfortably on your raised toilet seat.
The single best and easiest lifestyle change you will ever make, leading to a healthier body.