Many are uncomfortable talking about digestion, but changes in your bowel movements could mean something is wrong, so it’s important to understand and be candid about your digestive habits.
“The digestive tract contains more bacterial cells than there are cells in the entire body,” Dr. Jean-Pierre Raufman, a gastroenterologist at University of Maryland School of Medicine, told MyHealthNewsDaily last year. “It’s very important that our bowels work well to absorb necessary nutrients but also keep out any foods, chemicals and germs that could do us harm.”
Because poop is such a taboo subject, digestive issues are a bigger problem in our country than many realize. Up to 70 million people in the U.S. are affected by digestive diseases, with nearly 50 million needing ambulatory care visits as a result. Nearly 25,000 people get stomach cancer each year and more than 10,000 die from the condition annually.
Indicators to health problems can be found in your poop, so pay attention the next time you have a bowel movement. You maybe tempted to just flush everything down the toilet, but the chart below created by HealthWorks indicates when you should worry about your poop’s smell, frequency, or color.