It’s unbelievable. Over 31 percent of the typical mini-van driving, TiVo watching, Lucky Jean’s wearing, Prozac popping, spray-on-tan sporting American hasn’t taken a crap in the last three days! This is the same segment of the world’s population who insists that it is “civilized” because they have a functional public sewage system.

In the same regard, their personal sewage systems (digestive tracts) are backed up with putrid, foul, and festering feces. If only they were as concerned with the “colon compost collection” leaking through their gut wall into their bloodstream and wreaking havoc on their immune system, causing such avoidable diseases as arthritis as they are with catching a glimpse of Janet Jackson’s nipple during Super Bowl XXXVIII, they’d be in much better shape. It’s all about the poop!

Read on if you are kept up at night with a strange “gut feeling” (forgive the pun) that you are needlessly suffering from a plethora of irritating, yet manageable, but still nasty little chronic conditions such as:

  • bad breath
  • skin rashes
  • foggy thinking
  • poor energy or fatigue
  • headaches
  • excessive farting or burping
  • paunch belly (“bloated gut”)
  • joint problems
  • fungal infections
  • constipation

This list can go on for days!

You are very likely suffering from toxic overload due to severely dysfunctional digestion. Prior to our days of processed foods, proctologists and Prilosec, ancient physicians diagnosed the onset of disease by analyzing physical and emotional symptoms as well as urine and feces. They would smell, touch, and TASTE their patient’s poop in order to make a correct diagnosis as to the infestation of parasites or the presentation of blood or mucus. They also used the urine and feces to determine any internal imbalances.

Today, your doctor may ask you for a stool sample on rare occasion, but for the most part, patients and practitioners have lost touch with the essential art of fecal examination as a means for maintaining good health and diagnosing disease. If you are as obsessed as I am with maintaining superior health, strength, and vitality well into your middle and old age, you NEED to read and absorb this article and proceed with the practice of poop screening on a daily basis. If you are even going on a daily basis…we’ll discuss constipation in another article.

Know your shit! Paul Chek created the diagram below to help his patients understand what to look for in the bowl after an “excretion episode.” Study the pictures, and perhaps you’ll notice a character that looks like the creature staring back at you from the throne. Below the diagram, I’ve given a brief description of each poop animation, the cause for his existence, and a few tips on how to defend yourself against him.

Poopie line up (from left to right). This image is from Paul Chek’s, “How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy.”

Sinker n’ Stinker: This guy is named as he behaves. He is like a smelly piece of black coal that sinks to the bottom of the bowl after an arduous attempt to squeeze him out with tremendous force. His appearance is due to an overexposure to toxins such as processed foods, environmental toxins, and medical drugs.

The Swimmer: This guy is light in color and floats. He is a pain to flush. His appearance is due to a high content of undigested fat.

Bodybuilder: This dude is jacked! He is typically big and round. He makes you strain to get him out. If you pop a blood vessel in your eyeball when you poop, you’ve probably met this guy. His appearance is due to eating too many protein bars and shakes.

Pellet Man: He looks like rabbit poop. His appearance is due to altered states between peristalsis and dehydration.

Diarrhea: “If you’re sliding into first and you feel something burst…” This guy needs no introduction. His appearance is due to your crappy diet and your body’s attempt to purge you of it.

The Flasher: If you can identify what you’ve eaten by looking at your poop, you are being flashed! Undigested food particles making an appearance in your bowl are a sure sign that this guy has crashed your party. His appearance is due to food intolerance and an inflamed gut wall.

The Poopie Policeman: This guy is “the shit!” He is what all of our poop strive to look like. He is well-shaped (with a consistent contour), passes easily, is light brown in color, and smells earthy, not foul. Yet, he floats…but not too much. Mmmm.

In part 2 of this series, I’ll discuss “leaky gut syndrome” and why there may be poop in your bloodstream. I’ll also discuss more common causes of dysfunctional digestion. In part 3, I’ll answer the question, “Oh, my God Elliott… what the hell do I do about this?!” (This will be complete with an extensive resource section and recommend reading.) Stay tuned!