If you’ve been a long-time reader of mine, you know I don’t shy away from talking about uncomfortable topics.
So, if you’re squeamish or easily offended, you might want to just look away.
Because today’s email covers one of those topics.
I’m talking about poop.
Specifically, poop myths.
Over the years I’ve heard many thoughts and opinions about poop.
Some turned out to be true.
Others were just a bunch of hooey.
I think the first poop myth I heard came from my mom.
She used to tell us that if our poop floated, it was a good sign that we were getting enough fiber.
Sorry, mom, that’s not 100% true.
Sure, a high-fiber diet can make poop float.
But it may also be a sign that you’re not absorbing fat and oil properly.
Gas, recent changes to your diet, and minor infections may also cause poop to float.
If you have the occasional “floater,” that’s just fine.
But if your poop always floats, you might want to see your doctor to rule out an infection.
Another myth I heard in my youth was that castor oil was great for curing just about anything… including constipation.
While it’s true that castor oil has been used to effectively treat constipation, it’s not for everyone.
In adults over 60, castor oil might make bowel issues worse if used over long periods of time, as regular use has been found to damage bowel muscles, nerves, and tissue.
And, castor oil can deplete the body of potassium.
For these reasons, I don’t suggest the stuff for older folks.
Has anyone ever told you that holding it in won’t matter?
If so, you were told a bunch of nonsense.
Not only does holding it make you physically uncomfortable, regularly ignoring the urge to go can lead to developing constipation.
When nature calls, answer it… as quickly as you can.
There’s a myth that all healthy poop is brown.
While it’s true that most regular, normal bowel movements are brown, poop color can easily be influenced by what you eat.
Eating lots of green vegetables like spinach and kale can turn your poop green.
Red or magenta poop can result after you’ve eaten beets or cherries.
If you eat too many peaches your poop might look light yellow.
And blueberries and black licorice can darken poop to almost an almost black color.
Of course, if you find blood in your stool… or you’re concerned about the color of your poop and you haven’t eaten foods that could have affected its color… be sure to check with your healthcare provider.
Ever been told that you need to “flush out your system” with an enema or colon irrigation to stay healthy?
That’s pure hogwash.
Your body is designed to have some amount of poop in it at all times.
Enemas can actually have the opposite effect they intended… especially for older folks… as research shows regular use can actually cause constipation.
And, colonic irrigation can lead to colon damage and other problems.
Please, leave your colon alone.
These are just a few myths I’ve heard.
There are certainly more.
What poop myths have you heard? Which myths would you like me to debunk?
Let me know your thoughts in the Comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!