Everybody Poops, Part 2: Every Which Way But Loose
Last week we took a look at what happens when your plumbing ceases to move with it’s normal ease and gusto. This week we’re going to focus on the opposite problem - when sprinting to the bathroom is your main form of your cardio. Since we are still talking about poop, let’s all take off our adult hats for a second and get our giggles out of the way. Poop is, after all, pretty funny sh*t! Okey-dokey, off we go.
Loose stools are not only an inconvenience and a potentially limiting factor in your life, they’re also a sign your body isn’t performing at its optimal level. What goes in must come out, but if it’s leaving the party too early, then you’re not getting everything you need from your food. It’s also a surefire way to end up dehydrated.
Along Came Polly brought the potential aftermath of urgent stools into the national conversation, and anyone who has spent any time in a third world country will tell you that they are a blast, but what causes them on a regular basis?
This week we’re going to break down our loose stools into two categories, urgent and non-urgent. Each situation has it’s own exciting attributes and both can be mitigated with some dietary changes.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the urgency accompanying a bowel movement as coming from an element of “heat.” Quite literally, this is the effect of too much spice or anything your bowel considers an irritant. If it burns on the way in, it’s probably coming out pretty fast. The irritation triggers your body to eliminate the substance as soon and as forcefully as possible.
When there’s not a big rush to get to your pants down, but your stool is consistently watery and poorly formed, TCM views this as a case of “cold” attacking your intestines. This happens when we’ve eaten too much ice cream, ingested two watermelon smoothies, or spent the weekend eating raw salads (TCM views raw food as cold in nature).
For urgent stools, adding millet, persimmon, and pineapple will help slow down your peristalsis. Removing any spices or other known irritants is a further benefit.
For non-urgent but watery stools, adding in ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon will warm your intestinal track up and add to the binding effect on the stool.
For both cases, adding the above ingredients to small amounts of rice, or adding barley, garlic, and yams to your diet is the best combination. The temporary elimination of honey, dairy, apricots, and the moderation of fat intake will also help. Eating a bag of cashews, along with two avocadoes will not help bulk up your stool. Fiber, especially in the form of small meals should always be your first step.