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Weight Loss May Come Down to What Is In Your Poop

A USA Today article delves into the subject of weight loss and the bacteria in your gut. Danish researchers analyzed stool samples and discovered a higher percentage of Prevotella bacteria in those who successfully lost weight. It turns out the analysis of stools can tell you a great deal about your health

Your bowel movements are an important health topic that deserves serious attention, regardless of the "ick factor." In fact, if you ignore what you deposit in your toilet, you could be flushing your health down the drain.

Although there certainly is a wide variety of stool colors, textures and forms that are considered "normal," there are definitely things that, if seen or experienced, warrant immediate medical attention. With this in mind, the overview that follows covers what you need to know about what's normal and not normal in the bathroom department.

Most gastrointestinal problems can be prevented or resolved by making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle. Simple strategies can help reverse constipation or diarrhea, in addition to helping prevent recurrences. 

First, remove all sources of gluten from your diet (the most common sources are wheat, barley, rye, spelt and other grains). Eat a diet that includes whole foods rich in fresh, organic vegetables and fruits that provide good nutrients and fiber; most of your fiber should come from vegetables, not from grains. Be careful to minimize your lectin consumption

Make sure you avoid artificial sweeteners, excess sugar (especially fructose), chemical additives, MSG, excessive amounts of caffeine and processed foods, as they are all detrimental to your gastrointestinal (and immune) function. You can boost your intestinal flora by adding naturally fermented foods into your diet, such as sauerkraut, pickles and kefir (if you tolerate dairy).

Plenty of exercise is important and staying hydrated is also crucial. Pharmaceutical drugs, such as pain killers like codeine or hydrocodone, will also slow your bowel function. Antidepressants and antibiotics can cause a variety of GI disruptions too.

A final tip is to consider squatting instead of sitting to move your bowels; squatting straightens your rectum, relaxes your puborectalis muscle and encourages the complete emptying of your bowel without straining, and has been scientifically shown to relieve constipation and hemorrhoids.
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