It’s a taboo subject, but we should get to know what’s normal and what’s not. It reveals a lot about the state of our health
How often should we go?
Anything from every other day to three times a day is healthy. What’s more important is the consistency of your stool — it shouldn’t be rock solid or liquid. Somewhere in between is normally a sign of good gut health.
Is this smell normal?
It is completely normal for your stool to smell. This is a sign that your gut is working hard to remove any bad bacteria, fibre, dead cells and toxins from your body.
Should it float?
Your stool should not normally float. If your gut is doing its job, you should be digesting oils and fats, which will make your stool sink. The odd floater is not an issue, but if it is a common occurrence, this can be a sign of poor digestive health.
How long should it take?
It is a common misconception that you should take your time passing a stool. However long you take, it should be easy and pain-free. Don’t strain because it will only cause abdominal discomfort.
What colour should it be?
It will usually be brown, but certain foods rich in colour such as beetroot and cherries will have an impact on the colour, which is normal.
Why is undigested food in there?
The majority of your stool is water. The rest is a mixture of fibres, dead cells and bacteria. However, some foods such as corn and carrots are filled with insoluble fibre, which is hard for your body to digest, so your stool may also contain undigested food. Again, this is normal.