Most kids just love to talk about their poop and kind it a fascinating topic.
Doing number two’s might not be the prettiest topic, but there’s a lot to learn from this mundane, yet mysterious, process. In the end (no pun intended), it’s simply a part of our functioning body.
Poop is mostly just undigested food, proteins, bacteria, salts, and other substances that are produced and released by intestines. Although everyone is unique in the size, shape, and smell of their poop, there are a few things that indicate a healthy (or unhealthy) poop.
Poop that floats
Gas is usually the cause for floaters. One cause is constipation where the wastes are gurgling and fermenting in the large intestine letting off gassy by-products.
Poop that sinks
Gold standard. When food has been properly digested poop should sink to the bottom of the toilet bowl.
Sticky and greasy poop
When oil floats to the top of the toilet bowl, this indicates your child is not absorbing fats from their diet. Restoring the health of the gut wall will improve its ability to absorb nutrients. One third of poop is fibre, when poop is sticky this possibly means the fibre portion is missing.
It’s normal for poop to have its distinctive odour which comes from the dead bacteria that makes up one third of the final contents. However, if your child’s poop is foul-smelling this could be caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria, infection or problems with malabsorption.
Mucous in their poop
There is a natural layer of mucous lining the gut wall that acts as a form of protection and lubrication. If you can see large amounts of mucous on a regular basis this may indicate something more serious such as an infection, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. A visit to your healthcare practitioner is advisable.
Passing gas is normal and a healthy child will pass gas around 13 to 20 times a day. Foods that can lead to gas in one child may not have the same effect on others. Passing foul smelling gas with greater frequency may suggest a problem with digestion, constipation or an imbalance where the friendly bacteria are outnumbered by the bad guys.
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