As this blog post shows, the ABCs of pee are key! But there’s also plenty to gain from being No. 1 in the No. 2 business.

When it comes to toilet time, it’s important to note that the shape, size and colour of your poop. It is also important to follow the frequency of deposits at the porcelain bank since this can help you gauge your digestive health and even tell you when it’s time to see your doctor. Bowel movements, after all, are what happens when your body takes the nutrients it needs from food and shows the leftovers the back door. When these leftovers vary from the norm, it could be time to take action.

So, what exactly should men be looking for in a healthy poop? Read on!

Healthy poop colour

First of all, why are turds brown? Turns out they’re coloured by bile, a digestive liquid secreted by the liver. Food that takes the usual three days to get from mouth to toilet is typically brown, and if it’s extra speedy — owing to factors such as lots of fibre in your diet — it could come out looking greenish. Leprechaun poop is nothing to worry about. However, if your logs look extra light or dark, it could be a sign of trouble and you should visit your doctor if it continues.

Healthy poop shape

A healthy poop should look smooth (like a sausage or a snake), slip out easily, and hold the shape even when flushed.

When your poop comes out as hard, round balls, or is watery, that’s when it’s trying to tell you something’s up.

How to deal with constipation

Small, hard, pellet-like poops are typical of constipation. Suppose you normally go once or twice a day but feel bloated and uncomfortable after three days without relief. In that case, it could mean that your fibre intake has decreased, you’re not drinking enough water, you’ve become less physically active, or you’re taking painkillers or iron supplements. Address these causes; you’ll probably get relief in a day or two.

What to do for diarrhea

Loose, overly frequent dumps may be caused by something you ate, or by a bacterial or viral infection. If these are the causes, symptoms should go away within 48 hours. Remember to drink extra water, as persistent diarrhea can lead to dehydration. In any case, symptoms lasting more than a few days should be brought to your doctor’s attention, as they could be signs of the widespread irritable bowel syndrome or other more serious conditions.

How often should you poop?

There’s no “normal” rate of launching a butt shuttle. Some men launch several times a day, others just a few times a week. It’s when your launch routine changes drastically or causes discomfort that you need to take action.

Does healthy poop float or sink?

Healthy poop should sink. However, It’s okay if the occasional log is a floater. It could be that you have too much gas, have eaten too much fibre or fat, or, are not absorbing nutrients properly. However, if all your poops are floaters, you will want to have a chat with your doc about it since it could be an indication of something more serious.

There you go: all you ever wanted to know about dropping the kids off at the pool.

Do you have a savvy tip for staying regular? Share it with your buds in the comment below!

This blog was originally published on February 3, 2016.

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