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Pooping: Your Awkward Questions Answered

Many people prefer to avoid talking about pooping, but the truth is that everybody poops. Defecating is a natural body function that plays an important role in our health. Additionally, pooping can feel good. But why? We’ll explain that and more in this article.

After we eat, our digestive tract absorbs macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and water from food into our bloodstream. 

Once our digestive system has absorbed these nutrients, it needs to get rid of what’s left over, such as dietary fiber. These remnants are fermented by bacteria inside our intestines.

Our digestive organs push food through the body in a process called “peristalsis,” which is a series of muscular contractions that resemble the motion of a wave. Once your rectum is filled with feces, nerves send a signal to your brain that triggers the urge to defecate. When we defecate, poop passes through two anal sphincters — internal and external — to exit your body. The internal anal sphincter is involuntary, while the external anal sphincter is voluntary.

Defecating can trigger pleasurable sensations for some people. Some individuals have reported having goose bumps or feeling relaxed or exhilarated after pooping. This phenomenon is colloquially known as “poo-phoria” and it’s actually normal. But why does it feel good to poop?

When you defecate, your colon and abdomen relax after being expanded by feces and gas. This can contribute to the pleasure and relaxation that you feel after defecating.

These sensations are caused by the vagus nerve, which helps regulate many bodily functions, including blood pressure and heart rate. In some cases, passing a big stool can stimulate the vagus nerve, which can cause chills and sweating. It can also temporarily lower your blood pressure, decreasing blood flow to your brain and making you feel lightheaded and relaxed. When you defecate, your colon and abdomen relax after being expanded by feces and gas. This can contribute to the pleasure and relaxation that you feel after defecating.

Poo-phoria is more common when you pass large stools. When a stool is too large and overstimulates the vagus nerve, a condition called “defecation syncope” could ensue.

There are certain situations in life when it can be very useful to know how to hold in poop. For example, there are cases when we simply don’t have a bathroom nearby. So how do we stop pooping in these moments?

First, avoid squatting, since this position makes it easier to defecate. Instead, try standing or lying down. You can also clench your glutes together, which will help tighten your rectum and anal sphincters. Avoid walking or moving too much, since movement can also increase the desire to defecate.

What happens when you hold in your poop is that your bowels continue to absorb water from the stool until it becomes too dry.

If you often have a hard time holding in poop until you reach the bathroom, you can try Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Some people feel an urgent need to poop after consuming certain substances, such as caffeine and high-fiber foods or prunes. Avoiding these triggers can help you hold in your poop.

But what happens when you hold in your poop is that your bowels continue to absorb water from the stool until it becomes too dry. This can make it harder to defecate once you make it to the toilet. Hard feces can cause fissures in your rectum, which can bleed and cause pain. 

If your feces become too dry and compact, a fecal impaction could occur. This is when a dry mass of feces becomes stuck inside your bowels, blocking them. This condition can cause health complications, and it may require an enema or manual removal of the impaction.

If your feces become too dry and compact, a fecal impaction could occur. In some cases, this condition can cause health complications.

In extreme cases, holding in poop too frequently can lead to a loss of sensation in your rectum. As a result, your rectum may not be able to tell when it’s time to poop. This can eventually lead to constipation, and it can require bowel retraining for you to regain normal bowel movements.

There are several factors that determine the color of your poop, including the foods you eat and the amount of bile in each stool. Bile is a fluid that is produced by your liver and stored in your gallbladder, and it helps digest food and fats. This substance has a yellow-green color and it becomes brown as it moves through your digestive tract because of the bacteria that lives there.

If your poop has recently changed color, it may be a good idea to visit a doctor to rule out any possible medical conditions.

Different shades of brown are normal. If your stool is red, yellow, pale, black, or green, it could indicate an underlying health problem. However, food dyes or naturally colorful foods — such as beets, tomatoes, licorice, and leafy greens — can also cause this effect if eaten in large quantities. Additionally, iron supplements can make your feces black.

If your poop has recently changed color, it may be a good idea to visit a doctor to rule out any possible medical conditions.

Let’s face it: poop doesn’t smell great. This smell comes from the degradation of the food you eat by the bacteria that are naturally present in your gut.

But if your poop smells particularly bad, it could be signaling problems with your health or diet. A diet that contains too much fat or protein can lead to rancid-smelling feces. Bowel infections can also affect the smell and consistency of your feces. 

Bloody feces tend to smell foul, too. If you pass red or black stool that smells worse than usual, you should visit a doctor promptly to determine whether you have blood in your stool and why.

The smell of poop comes from the degradation of the food you eat by the bacteria that are naturally present in your gut.

Conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose intolerance, and food allergies can also make your stool smell bad. This is particularly true if you have one of these conditions and recently ate foods that you can’t digest properly.

Everyone has a different normal bowel habit pattern. This pattern also varies with age. For example, babies poop more often than adults normally do, and seniors can easily become constipated. Your biological sex can also affect your bowel movements, and people may need to poop more frequently when they’re pregnant or on their period.

The average frequency can range anywhere from pooping three times per day to three times per week. Most adults know approximately how often they poop, and they can recognize when they’re pooping more or less often than usual.

The average frequency can range anywhere from pooping three times per day to three times per week.

If you’re pooping more often than usual, you could be suffering from diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by many things, from viral and bacterial infections to food allergies. This condition is characterized by frequent, loose stools, and it can lead to dehydration if left untreated.

If you’re constipated and poop less often than usual, these strategies can help you improve the frequency of your bowel movements:

  • Make sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Consume plenty of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, oats, whole grains, and seeds.
  • Consume substances that have a natural laxative effect, such as coffee, tea, and prunes.
  • Avoid holding in your poop for too long.
  • Exercise or go for a walk to help your bowels get moving.
  • Visit a family doctor or gastroenterologist for medical advice.

From wanting to know why pooping feels so good to whether holding in poop is healthy, it’s normal to have questions about this bodily function.

Everyone has a different bowel movement pattern, and what’s normal for someone may be unusual for someone else. But there are certain things that we all need to keep in mind, such as drinking plenty of water and eating fiber to maintain healthy bowel movements.

The frequency of your bowel movements, the way your poop smells, and how it looks can be good indications of your overall health.

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003971.htm

cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/constipation/gi-complications-pdq

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1379343/pdf/gut00573-0122.pdf

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261561418300037

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28762379

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