Anyone who has ever been in hospital, will remember the strange question "Have you had your bowels open today?"      What business is it! - such an intimate topic - to anyone else but me? 

In ancient times - when we were children - there were such things as a Saturday dose of  caster oil.   My mother, a nurse, was a bit more enlightened and we got milk of  magnesia!  People seemed to have an obsession with "being regular".   Dad used "Ford Pills".   If we kids were lucky we might get "laxettes" (a chocolate aperient).   More recent research confirms that yes, the longer faeces remain in the gut, more water is reabsorbed making it harder to move it along.   With stagnation, more toxins are produced by the bacteria in the gut and these can find their way into the body, causing more problems.  So there was some wisdom in "being regular." 

As a nurse, learning how to read "poop" was part of our basic training.  Many diseases and other problems were portrayed in "the pot" and a nurse's duty was the inspection of a used bedpan.  Many polio patients well remember the embarrassment of either constipation and/or diarrhoea that accompanied acute polio.  Now we may be having problems with our nether ends again.

My husband had problems breathing if he didn't empty his bowels two or three times a day.  With weak intercostal muscles from polio, he needed abdominal space for diaphragmatic breathing.  He had a regime of apples and raw cabbage at certain times of the day to make him "go".

In hospital we used to use a variety of aperients, - agarol, senakot, coloxyl, durolax and glycerine suppositories, soap enemas, as well as dietary measures like hot water, prunes, allbran, figs, grapes, dried fruit, to name but a few.

In reality, if we have sufficient Vitamin C and magnesium, we will not have any problems with our bowels, because too much of either of these (or carnitine) gives diarrhoea.  So if we take supplements of both to bowel tolerance we need not ever have problems with constipation again.  As well our bodies will have sufficient of both of these for healthy immune, muscular & peristaltic function.  In other words, magnesium allows the gut muscles to push it along and Vit C makes it softer and hurries it along!

The other thing we need, is plenty of water to dilute the internal sewerage so it can flow.  8-10 glasses of water - not tea or coffee or soft or hard drinks.  Plain water!  Grandad always had hot water to move him!
1.  Drink 8-10 cups of water/day  -  to liquify the gut residue 
2.  Enough Vit C twice/day  -  to soften & keep it moving 
3.  Enough magnesium X 2/day -  for peristalsis (gut movement) 
4.  Exercise  -  if possible 

So what can we learn from our "poop"?

A normal stool should be soft, may be formed, effortless to pass and should be medium to dark brown in colour - does not float - but sinks to the bottom of the toilet bowl.

Constipation - hard pellet like stool, can be an effort or strain to pass; be painful, you can sweat or feel faint.

Diarrhoea - frequent, loose, watery stool; may have difficulty getting to the toilet in time.

SOME SIMPLE TREATMENTS - for vomiting & diarrhoea or food poisoning - boiled water only for 24 hours - may eat freshly grated apple - or sip a dessertspoon of white malt vinegar over 5 mins  - or take 60ml colloidal silver once or twice a day as needed.

Bright red stool Beetroot if eaten, or lower gut bleed
Red streaks on stool Haemorrhoids, anal fissures, cancer
Pale yellow, floating Too much fat in the diet
Canary yellow All milk diet e.g. normal for babies
Bright yellow If taking Vitamin B2 or multivitamins
Green Gastro-enteritis or food intolerance (new bile)
Pale Jaundice, liver disease
Clay colour Lack of bile production, gall bladder
Light brown Mixed meat & veg/fruit diet
Dark brown High meat diet, wine or stout
Black (maleana) Old blood i.e. gastric bleed, iron tabs
Jelly coating hard stool Irritable bowel
Ribbon shaped motion Bowel obstruction, polyps?, cancer?
See undigested food Need to chew more or avoid that food
Floating, greasy Ecess fat in diet, digestive disturbance
Loose or runny all day, may have tummy pain Gastro-enteritis, food poisoning, too much Vitamin C or magnesium
Loose for several hours Too much carnitine
Loose, blood, mucous, pus Ulcerative colitis, cancer?
Pale,bulky, greasy, foul Poor absorbtion, coeliac disease
Constipation, hard pellets Dehydration, iron tabs, low Vitamin C or magnesium, low fibre in diet, irritable bowel
Alternating loose & hard Bowel obstruction, cancer?
Long worm - segmented, head & body Worms - tape
Looks like earthworm Worms - round
Like white cotton pieces Worms - thread