Why do I poop in the morning- VyWhy
Last updated on 2021-12-18 13:33:19
Why do I Poop in the Morning? That's a very good question! The Poo Doctor is here to Answer Exactly Why You Poop in the Morning and More!
Why do I poop in the morning? How many times should I poop each day? What is a normal bowel movement?
These are some of the questions you may have asked yourself or Google but never discussed with friends or even your doctor. That’s because most people are embarrassed to talk about poop issues. Consequently, the details of their bowel movements are kept secret.
But it’s important to talk about your bathroom habits. After all, the appearance and frequency of your bowel movements can indicate whether you have a gastrointestinal disorder. Changes in your stool and bathroom routine can also reveal digestive problems, infections, disease, and even cancer.
So…let’s answer some of the most common questions about poop, pooping, and bathroom habits.
Why Am I Pooping First Thing In The Morning?
Though you may not poop as soon as you wake up, it’s probably one of the top 3 things you do in the morning.
And the reason why some people always poop upon awakening makes a lot of sense; namely, while you sleep, your small and large intestine work to process the food you ate during the previous day. At least, that’s the accepted “wisdom.”
But this explanation is simplistic given that it can take around 2-5 days to eliminate (poop out) undigested food.1 So the real reason you poop in the morning is that your colon appears to be “wired” for it. That is, the colon starts contracting more intensely in the first hour after you wake than it does at any other time.2 Even then, it usually takes about 30 minutes after you awaken to have your first bowel movement of the day. 3
Incidentally, your colon also appears “wired” to hold bowel movements during the night. That’s because colon contractions are moderated by the circadian rhythm that in turn regulates your sleep/wake cycles. (This is why your sleep is usually not interrupted by a #2 run.) 4a
The same is not true for urination. After all, your bladder can hold only so much liquid before you have the urge to pee. (Isn’t the body an amazing machine?) To keep your sleep from being interrupted by your bladder, try to drink no water or other liquids two to three hours before bedtime.
Why Do I Poop After Drinking A Cup of Coffee?
Pooping after you drink coffee is quite common. After all, studies indicate that coffee promotes bowel movements in 30% to 40% of people.4b But why and how does coffee affect the bowels? The answer may surprise you.
Many people believe that caffeine is responsible for those morning poops. This implies that caffeine has a laxative effect. There’s only one problem: no scientific studies have ever confirmed this belief. On the contrary, a 1990 study in the journal Gut showed that decaffeinated coffee had the same effect as regular coffee on morning bowel movements.5 This makes sense. After all, do you typically poop after you drink a glass of your favorite soft drink? Probably not.
The coffee’s warmth or acidity level also doesn’t appear to play a role in its effect on your colon. So…what is the reason for those after-coffee poops?
Well…your colon is more active in the morning, so pooping after having your “cup of Joe” may be just a coincidence. But that’s not the only answer.
You see, studies suggest that coffee stimulates receptors in your digestive tract that causes contractions in your stomach and colon. These are the same contractions that push food through your digestive system, but drinking coffee seems to speed up this process.6 The reason coffee has this effect is unknown.
How Many Times Should I Poop Each Day?
Having regular bowel movements is important, but there is no set number of times you should poop each day. However, most experts agree that anywhere from three times a day to three times a week is considered normal.
Also, your body develops a poop schedule that is likely to remain fairly consistent. That is, you’ll likely poop the same number of times each day and at similar times of day or night. (Your poop schedule can vary with changes in your diet or exercise routine, though.)
What Is A Normal Healthy Bowel Movement?
A normal healthy bowel movement is one in which the stool is firm but smooth, S-shaped like a snake, and is easy to pass. If you have to strain to push the stool out, it’s a sign of constipation. Conversely, if your stool is runny, it’s a sign of digestion.
Constipation and diarrhea aren’t necessarily bad for your health. Rather, they are often caused by diet. For example, eating a high-fiber diet could be rough on your digestive system, causing runny stool. Similarly, eating too much cheese may cause constipation. But if they are a frequent bathroom occurrences, it can indicate many things, including:
- Poor gut health (An imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria)
- Digestive disorders, e.g., irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease
- Viral inflection, e.g. stomach flu
- Bacterial infection, e.g. e Coli
- Food allergies
- Food sensitivities, e.g. lactose intolerance
- Colon cancer
There are two ways to tell at a glance if your bowel movement/digestive system is healthy, too.
- Simply compare the shape and texture of your poop to those pictured on the Bristol Stool Chart.
- Ask yourself, “What does the color of my poop mean?”
What’s the Bristol Stool Chart?
The Bristol stool chart identifies 7 different shapes of human poop that range from constipation to diarrhea. The chart is used to help your gastroenterologist or other doctor diagnose abnormal bowel movements. After all, it’s more efficient and less embarrassing for patients to point to a picture that resembles their typical bowel movements than it is for them to verbally describe it.
The 7 types of poop pictured range from constipation (#1) to diarrhea (#7)
- Types 1 and 2 indicate constipation.
- Types 5, 6, 7 indicates diarrhea
- Types 3 and 4 are considered normal stool, i.e., firm but smooth.
How To Get to “Normal” Stool
You can can usually obtain “normal” stool if you eat plenty of fiber foods and drink lots of water. (Fiber absorbs water, which help to bulk up the stool, making it easier to pass.) This could reduce the symptoms of both constipation and diarrhea.
Keep in mind that it should only take you a few minutes to have a bowel movements. If it takes you a long time to finish your toilet duties, or if you have to strain to push out the stool, you’re likely constipated.
However, bowel issues are not always diet related. In fact, the shape and texture of your poop is an indication of your gastrointestinal health and could signal IBS or another disorder. Therefore, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor if you notice a change in your bowel movements.
What Does The Color Of My Poop Mean?
The color of your poop is another important important indicator of the health of your bowels and your body. The color of foods in your diet often shows up in your poop, but you should always talk to your gastroenterologist if you notice a change of color.
Here is a brief listing of what the color of your poop could mean and some of the causes.7
- Brown: All shades of brown is considered normal.
- Black: Bleeding in the stomach or other parts of the upper digestive tract. Black stool could also be caused by iron supplements, medication, certain foods, and other sources. This could be a medical emergency, so go to the ER is you notice black stool.
- Green: Foods may be moving through the digestive tract too quickly to be broken down by bile. This often happens with diarrhea. Foods such as leafy green vegetables often cause green stool. Green stool is generally considered to be “normal,” but you should check with your doctor.
- Yellow and greasy: This can be a sign of excess fat in the stole, as occurs in Celiac disease. See your doctor as soon as possible.
- Bright red: This is often a sign of bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract, such as the rectum, and may be caused by hemorrhoids.
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1- Rajan E.Digestion: How long does it take? Mayo Clinic. Dec 31, 2019. Accessed Mar 22, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/digestive-system/expert-answers/faq-20058340
2- Vinopal L. Why You Have to Poop in the Morning, According to Science. Fatherly. Mar 19, 2021. https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/why-do-people-poop-morning-time/
3- Vinopal L. Why You Have to Poop in the Morning, According to Science. Fatherly. Mar 19, 2021. https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/why-do-people-poop-morning-time/
4a – The Editors of Healthy. 9 Weird Pooping Habits, Explained By Science. The Healthy. Jan 26, 2021. Accessed Mar 22, 2021. https://www.thehealthy.com/digestive-health/constipation/pooping-habits/
4b- Feltman R. Here’s why coffee makes you poop. The Washington Post. Aug 10, 2015. Accessed Mar 22, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/08/10/why-does-coffee-make-you-poop/
5- Miller K. Why Does Drinking Coffee Always Make You Poop? Health. Dec 19, 2019. Accessed Mar 22, 2021. https://www.health.com/condition/digestive-health/why-does-coffee-make-you-poop
6- Miller K. Why Does Drinking Coffee Always Make You Poop? Health. Dec 19, 2019. Accessed Mar 22, 2021. https://www.health.com/condition/digestive-health/why-does-coffee-make-you-poop
7- Picco M. Stool color: When to worry. Mayo Clinic. Oct 10, 2020. Accessed Mar 22, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/stool-color/expert-answers/faq-20058080
01-04-2021 · Before you press the panic button, however, you should know that the average healthy person farts between 14 and 23 times per day. 1. What if you don’t toot anywhere near that many times? Don’t be so sure. Turns out, most people release during the day and at night while sleeping. 2 That’s how important “breaking wind” is to your health. That’s right…farting is healthy!
Flatulence. Tooting. Passing a fart. Letting stinkers. Breaking wind. Whatever you want to call it, farting is normal. Indeed, you likely fart several times per day.
But if you’re farting more than you normally do — and more than you think the average person does- it’s normal to be concerned. After all, excessive buildup can be a sign of a serious problem with your digestive system.
Before you press the panic button, however, you should know that the average healthy person farts between 14 and 23 times per day.1
What if you don’t toot anywhere near that many times? Don’t be so sure. Turns out, most people release during the day and at night while sleeping.2 That’s how important “breaking wind” is to your health. That’s right…farting is healthy!
What is Normal Farting?
Though the average person farts at least 14x a day, everybody is different. Thus, there is no standard by which to judge gaseous buildup and release. But if you’re breaking wind almost constantly, i.e. significantly more than 23x per day, it’s a sign of digestive distress that may or may not be normal.
Why Farting Is Healthy
Though it can be embarrassing, farting is indeed healthy. It not only reduces bloating, but it also helps the bowels move. This contributes to bowel regularity. In fact, research indicates that unreleased air may delay intestinal transit and lead to constipation.2a Indeed, releasing it is SO important that you can’t stop it if you tried. As mentioned above, your body will simply release it as you sleep.
Health information on Farting
Farting is actually a sign of healthy digestion, as it’s a byproduct of bacterial fermentation of fiber in the colon. You see, when you eat a meal, the soluble fiber absorbs water and other bodily fluids, which forms it into a gel-like material as it passes through the intestines. Once it reaches your colon, it is fermented by good bacteria.
That’s not to say that gas is always healthy. On the contrary, it can be a symptoms of a more serious condition. Let’s discuss some causes of excess gas.
Causes of Gas
Here are just a few of the most common causes:
Swallowed air is probably one of the most common causes of passing gas. Eating too fast. Chewing gum. Smoking. Sipping soda through a straw.
Eat slowly, taking time to chewing thoroughly. Also, throw away your straws and drink straight from a glass. Avoid chewing gum as much as possible.
High Fiber Diet
A high fiber diet increases gas and bloating because it increases the amount of bacterial fermentation in your gut. (The bloating is believed to be caused by an increase of beneficial fiber-ingesting bacteria that produce those stinky farts)3
Though dietary fiber is a necessary part of a healthy diet, it does have its stinky side effects.
Try to load up on carb-rich rather than protein-rich fibrous foods. Though research indicates that carbs and proteins both change the gut bacterial population, protein causes a more drastic shift in gut bacteria. Though healthy, this can also increase flatulence.4
A good way to reduce gas and bloating, a recent study suggests, is to eat more fibrous complex carbs — such as non-starchy vegetables and whole grains– and reduce your intake of high-fiber protein foods, such as beans, legumes, and nuts.5
Keep in mind that high-fiber protein foods provide many health benefits, so you should never cut them out of your diet completely. Plus, there are ways to prepare these foods that make them easier to digest. For example, soaking dried beans before cooking them makes them easier on the digestive tract.
Also, be sure to add fiber to your diet slowly so that the body has time to adjust to it. Increasing fiber intake before the body is ready for it is a common mistake that leads to painful digestive issues.
Taking Certain Medications
Medications are useful to treat a physical or mental health condition, but some of them can lead to gas. Here are a just a few of them.6
- Antibiotics: Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections, but they can also cause gas, diarrhea, and nausea. This is because antibiotics don’t just kill the “bad bacteria” in your body. They can also wipe out a lot of your “good” bacteria, creating an imbalance in your gut microbiome that can negatively affect the digestive process.
- Cholesterol drugs: These drugs help reduce serum cholesterol levels that in turn may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. But some of these drugs may also affect digestion, possibly leading to gas, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
- Opioid pain medications: Drugs such as OxyContin can cause poor digestion, thereby leading to gas, bloating, and other issues.
Solution: If you notice excessive gas after you start taking any of these medications, see your doctor. They may be able to prescribe something gentler on your digestive system.
A person with a food intolerance has trouble digesting certain foods or components of foods. Because food intolerances involve the digestive system, they typically cause gas and bloating, stomach pain, and other symptoms.
Some of the most common food intolerances are to gluten, fructose, and lactose. Gluten is a protein present in some cereals, such as wheat, fructose is a natural sugar in fruit, and lactose is the sugar found in dairy products.
According to the Mayo Clinic and other sources, carbonated drinks, such as sodas and beer, may increase gas in the digestive system.7 Other experts believe that artificial sweeteners in these beverages may be the real culprit.8
Solution: Avoid carbonated beverages as much as possible.
That’s right. Artificial sweeteners that are typically used in foods or beverages to reduce their calorie content may be a cause of excess gas. But even if you don’t consume these types of foods, you may still get gas. That’s because high fructose corn syrup — a cheap sweetener derived from cornstarch — may also lead to gas and bloating. (As you probably know, high fructose corn syrup is heavily used in the processed food industry.)
Solutions: Artificial sweeteners are common in low-calorie foods and beverages, and high-fructose corn syrup is a popular sweetener in processed foods. The solution? Try to reduce your intake of heavily processed foods and low-calorie fare. If you’re not bothered by the gas, though, enjoy!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) And Other Digestive Disorders
IBS, a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine, often causes gas. Other digestive disorders that have similar stinky symptoms include:
- Celiac disease: An immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: Chronic inflammation of the digestive tract that can be disabling and even life threatening. (There are 2 types: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.)
- Peptic ulcer: A hole in hole lining of the small intestine or stomach
Solutions: Most digestive disorders require an adjustment in dietary habits. For example, if you have celiac disease, you’ll need to eliminate all foods that contain gluten. With IBS, most doctors recommend that you increase your intake of fiber9 to ease the symptoms. But don’t make any dietary changes without medical advice.
Believe it or not, studies indicate that stress has a huge effect on the digestive process. Though the exact mechanism is unknown, stress is associated with several gastrointestinal diseases, including IBD and peptic ulcer.10 As noted above, digestive diseases may cause gas and other distressing symptoms.
Solution: Take some time to de-stress everyday. Meditation. Yoga. Taking a walk. All are excellent stress relievers.
When to See Your Doctor
While farting is normal, excessive farting can signal a digestive problem. It can also be painful and/or embarrassing. If you experience frequent painful gas and bloating, make an appointment to see your doctor.
But if excessive flatulence is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or go to the ER:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Bloody stool
- Inability to control bowel movements
- Unexplained weight loss
- Diarrhea or constipation that lasts more than a day
- Signs of blood poison or other infection, such as chills, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
These can be signs of serious issues with the gastrointestinal tract and may constitute a medical emergency.
4 Fast Fixes For Excess Gas
Passing gas is not only normal…it’s mandatory. Therefore, there is nothing you can or should do to completely stop the toots. But depending on the reason for excess gas, there are a few ways to minimize noxious explosions, making life more pleasant for you and everyone around you. Here is a short list of fast fixes for excess gas.
- Let go. Holding it back is never a good idea. Doing so often causes bloating, stomach pain, and cramps. Releasing gas, however, often brings immediate relief. So…whether you need to let silent farts or just let it rip loudly, let it GO!
- Slow down. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. This not only helps reduce swallowed air, but it also makes food easier to digest. Both reduce gas buildup in the digestive tract.
- Get moving. We’ve all heard that exercise is good for us, but did you know it also helps relieve gas? It’s true. Living a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to inflammation and other digestive issues.11 Conversely, exercise can release trapped gas bubbles in the digestive tract, allowing it to be released. How much exercise? Well, according to Fitness Magazine, just a 10-minute walk can do the job.12 There are also several wind-relieving yoga poses that help relieve gas, like the one pictured above.
- Take Viscera-3. You can help fix so many of your digestive and bathroom issues, such as gas buildup and bloating, and improve your overall health with this patented molecule that is backed by Harvard Doctor’s by clicking here! What do you have to lose except all that painful and embarrassing gaseous explosions!
2- Wilkinson J. When Should You Worry About Passing Too Much Gas? VeryWellHealth. Apr 18, 2020. Accessed Mar 30, 2021. https://www.verywellhealth.com/when-should-i-worry-about-passing-too-much-gas-796838#citation-1
2a – Triantafyllou K, Chang C, Pimentel M. Methanogens, methane and gastrointestinal motility. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014;20(1):31-40. doi:10.5056/jnm.2014.20.1.31
3- Preidt R. Why Some High-Fiber Diets Cause Gas — And What to Do About It. WebMD. Feb 5, 2020. Accessed Mar 30, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20200205/why-some-high-fiber-diets-cause-gas—-and-what-to-do-about-it
5- Preidt R. Why Some High-Fiber Diets Cause Gas — And What to Do About It. WebMD. Feb 5, 2020. Accessed Mar 30, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/news/20200205/why-some-high-fiber-diets-cause-gas
6- Khatri M. Which Medicines Can Cause Stomach Pain? WebMD. May 31, 2019. Accessed Mar 30, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/medicines-stomach-pain
7- Mayo Clinic Staff. Gas and Gas Pains. Mayo Clinic. Accessed Mar 30, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gas-and-gas-pains/symptoms-causes/syc-20372709
8- Mayo Clinic Staff. Gas and Gas Pains. Mayo Clinic. Accessed Mar 30, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gas-and-gas-pains/symptoms-causes/syc-20372709
9- El-Salhy M, Ystad SO, Mazzawi T, Gundersen D. Dietary fiber in irritable bowel syndrome (Review). Int J Mol Med. 2017 Sep;40(3):607-613. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2017.3072. Epub 2017 Jul 19. PMID: 28731144; PMCID: PMC5548066.
10- Bhatia V, Tandon RK. Stress and the gastrointestinal tract. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Mar;20(3):332-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2004.03508.x. PMID: 15740474.
11- Narula N, Fedorak RN. Exercise and IBD. Can J Gastroenterol. 2008;22(5):497-504. doi:10.1155/2008/785953
12- Nall R. Does Working Out Reduce Bloating? AZCentral. Accessed Mar 31, 2021. https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/symptoms-of-gerd-in-women-12181105.html
04-03-2021 · If you’ve been wondering how often should you poop, you’re not alone. Poo doctor is here to answer all of your questions! Bowel movement frequency has become a concern for many people these days and for good reason. We’ve all heard about digestive health issues that can be dangerous and even deadly if not treated, and poop frequency is an ...
If you’ve been wondering how often should you poop, you’re not alone. Poo doctor is here to answer all of your questions!
Bowel movement frequency has become a concern for many people these days and for good reason. We’ve all heard about digestive health issues that can be dangerous and even deadly if not treated, and poop frequency is an indication of the general health of the gastrointestinal tract.
But how are you supposed to know what is “normal” and how often you’re supposed to poop? How often do other people poop? Is three times a day okay? How about two times per day or one time per week? Is it normal to poop every three days?
You can ask a medical professional these questions, but doctor recommendations are often unclear and may conflict with those of other medical experts. And we don’t usually discuss bowel health with friends.
Fortunately, there are a few factors that may indicate whether your bathroom habits are normal.
Factors That Influence Poop Frequency
So, how often should you poop…really?
There are no set standards for bowel movements. According to numerous experts, normal frequency of bowel movements is between three times a day and three times per week. 1 But this is an individual matter influenced by many different things including:
- Health conditions
- And more
Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these factors.
Your health depends upon the foods you eat and the fluids you drink. They also play a huge role in your bowel movements.
A bowel movement is the body’s way of getting rid of undigested food that cannot be absorbed. Once the nutrients and water from the foods you eat are absorbed, the bowel expels the leftover waste. Without bowel movements, this waste would sit in your colon and become toxic, eventually poisoning your body.2
How often you poop relies heavily on the amount of fiber and fluids in your diet.
Because fiber cannot be digested, it helps move waste through the colon to be expelled. But this process is easier and faster if you drink an adequate amount of non-caffeinated liquids like water or juices. Liquids add bulk to the stool, and this promotes faster transit time through the colon. Fluids also help soften the stool and makes it easier to pass.
Better Pooping Tip: Switch to a healthy high fiber diet. Try to consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day if you are a woman and 38 grams if you are a man. Research shows that most people eat just 15 grams of fiber per day. 3 If you typically eat a low-fiber diet, it’s important that you slowly increase your fiber intake. (If you add too much fiber to your diet too quickly, it can cause upset stomach and perhaps diarrhea.) Also, try to increase your fluid intake. Experts say that you should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated beverages per day, preferably water. (Caffeine is a diuretic that removes fluid from the body.)4 Eating foods with a high water content can also increase your fluid intake. These foods include strawberries, spinach, oranges, cucumber, and celery.
We all know that exercise helps your body by keeping you fit and supporting your health. But did you know it may also promote regular bowel movements?
It’s true. Research shows that daily physical activity may lead to improved bowel habits. Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle may slow the digestive system and lead to chronic constipation. Infrequent bowel movements are commonly seen in elderly people or in those with medical conditions that limit physical activity.5
Better Pooping Tip: Increase your physical activity. Walking is an exercise almost everyone can do, and it really helps relieve constipation. If you are new to exercise, start with just 10-15 minutes walks a few times a day. Gradually increase the length of time and/or intensity level. As you become more fit, add some aerobic exercise such as jogging or dancing to your routine. Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.6
Research suggests that age can affect poop habits. Advanced age is a huge risk factor for toilet issues, with those over 70 showing the highest incidence of constipation.7
Though constipation afflicts an estimated 1.9% to 27.2% of the general population in North America, 50% to 70% of elderly residents in nursing homes report taking daily laxatives. 8, 9, 10, 11
Potential causes of constipation in the elderly include medical or psychological conditions, reduced mobility, low fiber intake, medications, and dehydration.12, 13
Better Pooping Tip: If you suffer from what appears to be age-related problems with your poops, try to gradually increase your fiber/water intake and your activity level. Also schedule an appointment with your medical doctor to see if any medical condition or medications may be causing issues with your poops.
As most women can attest, hormonal changes often affect bowel movements. Many women experience a looser stool around their menstrual cycles. Or, they may have a bowel movement fewer than three times a week. Women may also experience gas, bloating, and other digestive issues.
The hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause may also cause digestive problems and poop issues, especially with elimination. And finally, the hormonal fluctuations of menopause can cause gas and bloating, as well as changes in how often you poop.
But what can you do if hormonal changes are preventing you from having having normal, healthy poops?
Better Pooping Tip: Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of water and fiber is essential for better poops, as is getting enough exercise. If hormonal changes are still negatively affecting your bowel movements, speak to your doctor.
If you’re under constant stress, you can say “goodbye” to regular bowel movements. Studies suggest that stress may alter gastrointestinal secretions and increase intestinal permeability, factors that may negatively affect digestive health.14 This can result in a change of poop frequency or consistency. That is, your poop schedule may either slow down or speed up. Or, you may suffer from extremely soft stool or even diarrhea. Conversely, the consistency of your stool may change to small hard pellets that are difficult to pass.
Better Pooping Tip: Take the time to de-stress as often as possible throughout the day. Practice deep breathing exercises whenever you feel stressed. Or, take 20 minutes once or twice a day to meditate or practice progressive muscle relaxation exercises.
Health Conditions and Medications
Several health conditions are known to affect poop schedules. These conditions include:
- Food poisoning
- Bacterial infections
- Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Celiac disease
- Colorectal cancer
- Intestinal obstruction
Along with a change in how often you poop, these health conditions often cause stomach pain and excessive gas and bloating.
Additionally, certain medications can also affect the frequency of bowel movements.
Better Pooping Tip: If your bathroom habits suddenly change for no apparent reason, especially if accompanied by fever, severe stomach pain, and vomiting, call your doctor or go to the hospital emergency room.
When You Should Call Your Doctor
Changes in poop habits are often short lived and typically last just a few days. However, some changes in frequency and/or consistency of bowel movements can indicate a dangerous condition and may demand immediate medical attention.
If you notice any of these changes, contact your healthcare provider immediately or go to the emergency room.
- Changes in stool frequency or consistency lasting more than two weeks.
- Stool appears black or red. This can indicate blood in the stool coming from your digestive tract. Black stool usually means the blood is coming from your stomach or other parts of the upper digestive tract. Red stool indicates the blood is coming from your lower intestinal tract and can have a benign cause, such as hemorrhoids. Still, it is important to see your doctor if you notice any signs of blood in your stool.
- Sudden onset of diarrhea or constipation accompanied by fever and/or vomiting. This can suggest food poisoning or stomach flu.
- Severe abdominal cramps with bowel changes. This may indicate irritable bowel syndrome or colon or rectal cancer. Severe pain/cramps in your lower right abdomen combined with constipation or diarrhea can be a symptom of appendicitis, a medical emergency.
Worried About Poop Frequency?
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2- University of Michigan Health System. Bowel Function Anatomy. Jan 2008. Accessed Mar 2, 2021. https://medicine.umich.edu/sites/default/files/content/downloads/bowel-function.pdf
3- Zelman K. Fiber: How Much Do You Need? Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on Apr 07, 2016. Accessed Mar 2, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/fiber-how-much-do-you-need#1
4- University of Michigan Health System. Bowel Function Anatomy. Jan 2008. Accessed Mar 2, 2021. https://medicine.umich.edu/sites/default/files/content/downloads/bowel-function.pdf
5- Forootan M, Bagheri N, Darvishi M. Chronic constipation, Medicine: May 2018 – Volume 97 – Issue 20 – p e10631 doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010631
6- WebMD Medical Reference. Exercise to Ease Constipation. Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on Jun 17, 2020. Accessed Mar 2, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/exercise-curing-constipation-via-movement
7- McCrea GL, Miaskowski C, Stotts NA, Macera L, Varma MG. A review of the literature on gender and age differences in the prevalence and characteristics of constipation in North America. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2009 Apr;37(4):737-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2008.04.016. Epub 2008 Sep 11. PMID: 18789639.
8- McCrea GL, Miaskowski C, Stotts NA, Macera L, Varma MG. A review of the literature on gender and age differences in the prevalence and characteristics of constipation in North America. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2009 Apr;37(4):737-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2008.04.016. Epub 2008 Sep 11. PMID: 18789639.
9- Higgins PD, Johanson JF. Epidemiology of constipation in North America: a systematic review. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Apr;99(4):750-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2004.04114.x. PMID: 15089911.
10- Bouras EP, Tangalos EG. Chronic constipation in the elderly. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2009 Sep;38(3):463-80. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2009.06.001. PMID: 19699408.
11- Hosia-Randell H, Suominen M, Muurinen S, Pitkälä KH. Use of laxatives among older nursing home residents in Helsinki, Finland. Drugs Aging. 2007;24(2):147-54. doi: 10.2165/00002512-200724020-00006. PMID: 17313202.
12- Bouras EP, Tangalos EG. Chronic constipation in the elderly. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2009 Sep;38(3):463-80. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2009.06.001. PMID: 19699408.
13- Petticrew M, Rodgers M, Booth AEffectiveness of laxatives in adultsBMJ Quality & Safety 2001;10:268-273
14- Konturek PC, Brzozowski T, Konturek SJ. Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2011 Dec;62(6):591-9. PMID: 22314561.
03-03-2021 · Color. The normal “healthy” poop color is brown, but stool color can vary depending upon several factors that we’ll discuss shortly. Fun fact: Foods eaten can temporarily change poop color. Shape. Healthy stool is roundish with a log-like appearance. Fun Fact: Stool is shaped and molded by the intestines. As a result, normal poop is log-shaped. Size. The typical healthy stool is at least ...
Poop. Stool. Number 2. Whatever word or phrase you use to refer to bowel movements, two things are clear. We ALL do it and our poops are not always easy or regular or pleasant for us — or for those around us.
Here’s what the poo doctor has to say!
If you’ve ever wondered what your stool color means, or been concerned about color changes or the foul smelling odor of your stool, or suffer from constipation, diarrhea, or other bathroom woes, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you ever wanted to know about poop but might have been afraid to ask.
Let’s start with the basics. What is poop?
What Is Poop?
Your stool is composed of water, undigested fiber, living and dead bacteria, mucous, cells, and other substances produced by the intestines and liver.
These are waste products left over from digestion that can be toxic to the body unless removed by your bowel movements.
Stool Fun Facts
- Approximately 75% of your stool is made up of water. (The exactly amount of water varies from person to person.) 1
- There is an estimated 100 billion bacteria per 1 gram of wet stool. Research indicates that nearly half of bacteria in fresh stool are alive. 2
- Stool gets its brown color from bile released from the gallbladder during digestion of fats and from bilirubin, a yellowish compound derived from red blood cells.
- Normal poop color varies widely and ranges from light yellow to dark brown to black.
What Is Normal Poop?
What constitutes normal poop can vary, but there are a few medically accepted standards.
The normal “healthy” poop color is brown, but stool color can vary depending upon several factors that we’ll discuss shortly.
Fun fact: Foods eaten can temporarily change poop color.
Healthy stool is roundish with a log-like appearance.
Fun Fact: Stool is shaped and molded by the intestines. As a result, normal poop is log-shaped.
The typical healthy stool is at least a couple inches in length and passes easily without pushing or straining.
Fun fact: The size of your stool is directly related to the amount of fiber and water you consume. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and bacterial fermentation of this fiber creates a gel that holds your stool together. 3
Consistency of stool should be firm but smooth. It should not be difficult or painful to push out or so soft it breaks apart.
Fun Fact: Stress or anxiety can change the consistency of stool, most often leading to constipation or diarrhea. 4
The frequency of bowel movements vary widely from person to person. The average frequency is between 3 times a day and once every 3 days. But this is very general. 5
Fun Fact: The frequency of doing “number 2” is pretty consistent for most people. For example, if you poop once a day in the morning, that will likely remain your routine with little variation. (Though this can sometimes change due to diet and other factors.) 6
To find out if your poops are “normal,” simply compare it to the ones pictured on the Bristol Stool Chart.
What Is The Bristol Stool Chart?
This chart was created in 1997 by a team of doctors in Bristol, England. The doctors measured the time it takes for food to exit the body via stool, and noted that this transit time impacts the size and shape of the stool and therefore indicates the health of the digestive system. 7
Using this chart, medical professionals can quickly determine the probable health of a patient’s digestive system simply by having the patient point to the applicable picture. From there, the clinician can decide whether further testing is warranted.
The chart shows a series of stool pictures of various sizes and shapes. Each is assigned a number from 1-7.
- Type 1: Separate hard lumps.
- Type 2: Lumpy, resembling a sausage
- Type 3: Sausage shaped with visible cracks on the surface
- Type 4: Sausage or snake shaped; smooth and easy to pass
- Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges
- Type 6: Mushy consistency with ragged edges
- Type 7: Liquid consistency, no solid pieces
Types 1 and 2 indicate mild to severe constipation, and types 5, 6 and 7 indicate mild to severe diarrhea. The ideal “healthy” stool is types 3 and 4, smooth and easy to pass.
The size and shape of stool tells only part of the story. Stool color and any unexplained color changes are also important in monitoring the health of your digestive system.
Poop Color: What It Means and When To Worry
Color changes of stool are very common and do not necessarily signal a serious issue with your digestive tract. But it is important to know the possible reasons why your stool color has changed and when to see a doctor.
According to the Mayo Clinic, all shades of brown and even green stool color are considered normal. 8
Some of the reasons for a change in stool color include: 9
- A diet that includes foods like leafy green vegetables or beets are known to change stool color to a shade of green or red, respectively. (Consuming an excessive amount of leafy green vegetables often leads to green poop.)
- Some prescription, over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements may promote changes in the color of stool.
- Diarrhea may give you a green stool color because there is a lack of bile in your stool. Such color changes often happen when food moves through the large intestine too quickly to be completely broken down by bile. Bile is a yellow-green fluid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile breaks down fats into fatty acids so that it can be digested.
- Conditions that affect the intestines, liver, and pancreas. Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease can cause changes in stool color. (Celiac disease is known for causing yellow stool.) 10
- Blood in the stool caused by bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
Here are a list of color changes in stool with an explanation of what they may indicate. 11
As previously mentioned green stool color is often a symptom of a lack of bile in the stool as usually occurs with diarrhea. Green poop may also be caused by the foods you eat. In either case, green stool color is usually nothing to worry about. However, if you cannot associate your green-colored poop with diarrhea or with anything you’ve eaten, you should contact your medical doctor.
Clay Colored Stool
Clay colored or light stool could be a sign of bile duct obstruction and may warrant a call to your doctor. But clay colored stool may also be caused by anti-diarrhea medications, such as Pepto-Bismol. If you notice light or clay colored stool, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
Yellow, Greasy, Foul Smelling Stool
Yellow, greasy, or foul smelling stool could be a sign of excess fat in the poop, as occurs with Celiac disease and Cystic Fibrosis.
Black stool may be a sign of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, i.e. the stomach. This is a medical emergency. If you notice black stool, seek prompt medical attention. The good news is that this color doesn’t always indicate blood in the stool. Iron supplements, anti-diarrhea medication, and black licorice may also cause this stool color change.
Maroon stool color may indicate gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding and you should go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. 12
Bright Red Stool
Bright red stool is associated with bleeding in the lower intestinal tract, i.e. the rectum or the large intestine. Bright red stool is often a sign of hemorrhoids. But it can also signal anal fissure, infection of the intestines, or the presence of an inflammatory bowel disease. If you notice a red stool color, seek prompt medical attention.
When To Get Help For Poop Color Changes
Any time you notice persistent color changes in your poop, contact your medical doctor. If you notice a black or red stool color, it’s best to go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
What Is An Unhealthy Poop?
Stool color combined with the Bristol Stool Chart can tell you a lot about the health of your digestive tract.
What constitutes unhealthy poops can vary widely person to person, but in general unhealthy poops include:
- Color changes in your stool. Any color other than brown or green may signal a problem with your digestive tract and you should call seek medical attention.
- Pooping too often, i.e. more than three times daily.
- Not pooping often enough, i.e. less than three times a week
- Excessive straining and/or pain when pooping, indicating constipation
- Loose stool. Whatever the stool color may be, stool that is watery, mushy, or shapeless is a symptom of diarrhea.
3 Main Causes Of Unhealthy Poops
There are many reasons why the color and consistency of your poop may be abnormal. Here are three of the main reasons:
Routinely eating a poor quality diet composed mainly of low-fiber heavily processed carbs and sugar is a common cause of unhealthy poops and digestive issues. There are a couple reasons for this.
Your digestive system needs dietary fiber to keep food moving through your intestines to trap and removing waste. This supports healthy regular bowel movements as dietary fiber adds bulk to poop, making it easier to pass. Adding fiber to your diet can also soothe diarrhea as fiber absorbs water and firms up the stool.
But there is an even more important reason to add fiber to your diet. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Research indicates that digestive health as well as overall health depends upon the richness and diversity of bacteria and other microbes living in your gut. A precise balance of good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract is essential to health.
Digestive conditions associated with unbalanced gut bacteria (dysbiosis) include:
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Crohn’s disease
- And more.
When bacteria eat (ferment) fiber in the lower colon, they excrete powerful postbiotic metabolites that many experts believe may be responsible for the many health benefits commonly attributed to probiotics.
One particular postbiotic metabolite, butyrate, is a short-chain fatty acid that multiple studies suggest may offer a host of health benefits. 13
Without an adequate daily intake of fiber, the good bacteria cannot thrive. If you regularly eat low-fiber, heavily processed carbs and sugars — heavily processed foods are almost always devoid of fiber — you starve the good bacteria and feed the bad bacteria. Believe it or not, bacteria have food preferences.
Excessive stress kills good bacteria and can lead to gut dysbiosis with all the negative digestive and health effects that implies. It can also shut down the digestive system and lead to constipation, or cause food to move too quickly through the digestive tract, leading to diarrhea.
Many underlying issues affecting digestive organs can indicate serious conditions, such as gallbladder disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or colorectal cancer. (Gastrointestinal disorders have become increasingly common, and they almost always affect the quality of your poops.)Food allergies and sensitivity to certain foods may also cause unhealthy poops.
Fixing Poop Issues
Though fixing your poop issues may seem daunting, it’s often easier than you may think. You can help fix so many of your digestive and bathroom issues, such as gas and bloating, and improve your overall health with a patented molecule that is back by Harvard doctors! Click here to learn more about this groundbreaking poop fix formula and to place your order TODAY.
2- Ben-Amor K, Heilig H, Smidt H, Vaughan EE, Abee T, de Vos WM. Genetic diversity of viable, injured, and dead fecal bacteria assessed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and 16S rRNA gene analysis. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005;71(8):4679-4689. doi:10.1128/AEM.71.8.4679-4689.2005
3- Wong C. What Causes Hard, Small, and Pellet-Like Stool. Verywell Health. Updated on Jun 17, 2020. Accessed Feb 25, 2021.
4- Abraham M. Anxiety Issues and Bowel Problems. CalmClinic. Last updated Nov 25, 2020. Accessed Feb 25, 2021. https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/bowel-problems
5- Bratskeir K. How Often Should You Poop a Week? A Doctor Weighs In. Health. Updated Feb 25, 2021. Accessed Feb 25, 2021. https://www.health.com/condition/digestive-health/how-often-should-you-poop
6- Bratskeir K. How Often Should You Poop a Week? A Doctor Weighs In. Health. Updated Feb 25, 2021. Accessed Feb 25, 2021. https://www.health.com/condition/digestive-health/how-often-should-you-poop
7- WebMD Medical Reference. What Kind of Poop Do I Have? Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on Jan 16, 2020. Accessed Feb 25, 2021.
8- Picco M. Stool Color: When to Worry. Mayo Clinic. Oct 10, 2020. Accessed Feb 25, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/stool-color/expert-answers/faq-20058080
9- Picco M. Stool Color: When to Worry. Mayo Clinic. Oct 10, 2020. Accessed Feb 25, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/stool-color/expert-answers/faq-20058080
10- Cunha J. Stool Color Changes and Chart. eMedicineHealth. Nov 10, 2020. Accessed Feb 25, 2021. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/stool_color_changes/article_em.htm
11- Picco M. Stool Color: When to Worry. Mayo Clinic. Oct 10, 2020. Accessed Feb 25, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/stool-color/expert-answers/faq-20058080
12- Wedro B. Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form. MedicineNet. Medically Reviewed on Feb 11, 2021. Accessed FEb 25, 2021. https://www.medicinenet.com/stool_color_changes/article.htm
13- Verma MS, Fink MJ, Salmon GL, Fornelos N, Ohara TE, Ryu SH, Vlamakis H, Xavier RJ, Stappenbeck TS, Whitesides GM. A Common Mechanism Links Activities of Butyrate in the Colon. ACS Chem Biol. 2018 May 18;13(5):1291-1298. doi: 10.1021/acschembio.8b00073. Epub 2018 Apr 10. PMID: 29584955.
05-04-2021 · Contrary to popular belief, the sound farts make is not created by the flapping of your butt cheeks. Rather, they’re produced by vibrations of the anus as the gas passes through. The sound is determined by two main factors: expulsion velocity and the size and shape of the anal sphincter as the gas passes through.
Farting is a fact of life. Cows do it. Dogs do it…even insects do it! In fact, cockroaches are exceptionally windy, releasing gas through their anus at least once a day. This flatulence does make noise, but you’re unlikely to notice it unless you have extremely good hearing.1
This is probably the only instance in which you’d envy a cockroach because let’s face it…humans are pretty gassy. After all, the average person farts between 14 and 23 times per day by some estimates.2 And the release is often embarrassingly easy for others to hear, though some of us are skilled in the art of letting silent ones.
But have you ever wondered why they make noise when they come out? Or why the sound varies from one to another…or why you need to pass gas? The answers to these questions may surprise you. Let’s start with the basics.
Why Do We Fart?
Farting releases gas from the intestines through the anus and is a normal and necessary process. If not released, gas builds up in the intestines. In the short term, this can cause stomach pain and bloating. If it continues, however, it can damage and destroy the intestines. Consequently, you cannot survive without this sometimes noisy and smelly habit.
Causes of Gas
There are two main causes of gas: the digestive process and swallowed air.
Digestive Process and Gas
This is produced in the colon when “good” bacteria break down certain undigested foods.
Most of the digestive process occurs in the small intestine. However, some carbohydrates such as fiber and hard-to-digest plant material cannot be completely digested. Therefore, they must be passed to the large intestine (colon).3
The colon is filled with helpful bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that break down these foods. This process is called bacterial fermentation, and it creates gas. The muscles of your intestine contract to push the remaining substances, including these gasses, towards your rectum. Small gas bubbles are melded into a large one along this journey. It is released through flatulence. Any remaining substances leave your body through the anus as feces.
Swallowed Air and Gas
You likely swallow air throughout the day, usually while eating or drinking. Most of it goes to your stomach and is released by belching. The remaining air is partially absorbed by the small intestine. A small amount then travels to the colon and is released through the anus.4
Some activities that may cause you to swallow air include:5
- Chewing gum
- Eating too quickly
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Sucking on hard candy
- Mouth breathing due to nasal congestion
- Hyperventilation (usually the result of anxiety or stress)
- Strenuous exercise that cause you to “gulp” air rather than breathe it
Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Other Gaseous Ingredients
And what is gas composed of?
According to Johns Hopkins, most gas vapors are odorless. These include oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. (Only about one-third of people have methane-generating gut bacteria)6 Up to a quarter of the gas released from your butt is oxygen and nitrogen from swallowed air. The rest is carbon dioxide, hydrogen and sometimes methane produced by gut bacteria.7
The odor is primarily caused by several types of sulfur compounds. For example, hydrogen sulfide gives some farts that flammable rotten egg odor. Methanethiol is an organosulfur compound produced from the digestion of red meat. It gives farts that cabbage smell. Dimethyl sulfide, on the other hand, gives farts a sweet smell. (If you’ve ever passed wind after eating Brussels sprouts, you’ve smelled dimethyl sulfide.) But other chemicals also play a role. However, the exact chemical composition of farts varies depending upon your health and diet.8
Foods that Cause Gas
Undigested carbohydrates are the most common cause of gas. This is because they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which releases intestinal gas.
Foods that contain undigested carbohydrates include:
- Wheat bran
These foods can cause a lot of gas especially if eaten in excess. Some of these farts can be stinky and loud.
Why Do Farts Make Noise?
Contrary to popular belief, the sound farts make is not created by the flapping of your butt cheeks. Rather, they’re produced by vibrations of the anus as the gas passes through.
The sound is determined by two main factors: expulsion velocity and the size and shape of the anal sphincter as the gas passes through.
Expulsion velocity refers to the speed at which the air leaves your body. If it’s expelled fast with force, it’s likely to be loud. That just makes sense, right?
This type of release usually just influences the volume of the sound, however. The quality and type of the sound you hear is determined by the size and shape of the anal sphincter at time of expulsion.
Size and Shape of Anal Sphincter
Let’s start with the shape. The muscle surrounding the opening of the the anus (anal sphincter) is like a musical instrument for farts. If you’re musically inclined, you probably know that the smaller the size of exit, the higher the sound. Conversely, the larger the size of the exit, the deeper the sound.
Or, if this analogy doesn’t resonate with you, imagine your lips as your anus. Open your mouth and pretend you’re blowing out a candle. Notice the sound it makes. Now close your lips and blow…force the air through your lips. Notice the sound is high-pitched and maybe a little squeaky? Does this perhaps sound like some of your farts?
It’s the same concept when you “blow” a fart.
What About Size of Anus?
And now for the size. There are a lot of factors that influence the general size of the anus at the time you pass gas. After all, the size will be different when you’re walking around than when you’re reclining in bed.
How to Lower the Volume of your Farts
But the good news is that you have some control over the sound of your farts. All you need to do is tighten and relax your sphincter muscle as you’re releasing gas. (You probably should experiment when alone.)9 You’ll see that you can adjust the type of sound, the volume, and even the duration. See…it really is like playing an instrument!
Other Factors Affecting the Volume
The source of the fart also affects the volume. For example, if it’s spurred by swallowed air, it will likely be loud but not so stinky. Remember, swallowed air contains just oxygen and nitrogen. On the other hand, farts created by bacterial fermentation will likely be quieter but very stinky, aka “quiet but deadly.”10
So there you have it. Although flapping your butt cheeks together may be fun, it has nothing to do with the volume and tone of your farts!
Are Smelly Farts a Good Sign?
Surprisingly, smelly farts aren’t really the norm. Otherwise, the famed “silent but deadly” release wouldn’t be a thing. If you do release silent but deadly ones, it’s usually a good sign that your beneficial gut bacteria are doing what they’re supposed to do — ferment fiber — and that you’re eating fibrous food.
Foods with a high-sulfur content, such as cruciferous vegetables, can give farts that rotten egg smell. And the gas can be silent and painful upon release at times.
The foods most likely to cause farts that smell so bad they can clear a room include:
- Brussels sprouts
If these foods cause digestive distress and smelly farts, it’s usually nothing to worry about. Try to eat them in moderation and see if that relieves the problem. But if the stench continues for a few weeks, it could signal a few health issues.
Health Issues Affecting Sound and Smell of Farts
Stinky flatulence can be a sign of several health issues. Here are just a few of them.
A food intolerance refers to an inability to digest certain foods and affects an estimated 15% to 20% of people.11 The cause varies, but it is most commonly due to a sensitivity to chemicals or the lack of certain enzymes needed to digest certain foods.
Common food intolerances include:
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer commonly added to processed foods, particularly canned vegetables and processed meats.
The symptoms of MSG sensitivity include:
- And more
It is not clear why some people experience MSG sensitivity, but if you typically experience troubling symptoms within 48 hours of eating processed foods, see your doctor.
If you have MSG sensitivity, try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Instead, opt for fresh whole foods that contain little to no preservatives. (They’re better for your health, anyway.
Nitrates are food additives commonly used in processed meats. They can be obtained naturally through the diet. For example, an estimated 80% of nitrates are obtained from vegetable consumption. There is scientific evidence that they may have a beneficial affect on health.12 However, foods with added nitrates like those in processed meats may increase the risk of cancer and other health issues.
The body uses a variety of digestive enzymes to break down certain foods, and if you lack this enzyme, it can make digesting a specific type of food difficult or impossible. This is the case with lactose.
Lactose, a type of sugar in dairy products, needs a lactase enzyme to break it down. Those who lack this enzyme are lactose intolerant, a condition that is very common. In fact, an estimated 30 to 50 million American are lactose intolerant.13
Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:14
- Stomach pain/cramps
Those with this intolerance usually lack a protein needed to absorb fructose, a natural sugar found in fruit, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, and some vegetables. Consequently, fructose ferments in the intestine causing digestive issues.
An estimated 1 in 3 people are unable to properly absorb excess fructose.15
Symptoms of fructose intolerance include:
By the way…if you have this type of food intolerance, you will likely experience these symptoms only if your intake of fructose is in excess of glucose. This is because glucose helps fructose absorption in the small intestine.
Solutions for Food Sensitivities
If you notice unpleasant digestive symptoms soon after eating a particular food or food group, remove it from your diet for a few days to see if that helps. See a doctor if the symptoms persist and/or are severe.
Gluten is a mixture of two proteins found in cereal grains, especially wheat. Those with a gluten sensitivity have problems digesting gluten. However, this differs from celiac disease, which is an immune response to gluten.
An estimated 0.5% to 13% of people may have nonceliac gluten sensitivity.16 The factors that may play a role in the development of this condition are not yet known, but it can involve digestive and nondigestive symptoms including:17
- Stomach pain
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
Here are a few of the digestive disorders that can cause bloating, gas, stomach craps, etc.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a chronic disorder affecting the large intestine.
- Celiac disease, a serious autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack the intestines if the person eats gluten.
- Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.
- Ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD that causes inflammation in the rectum as well as the large intestine.
When to See a Doctor
Digestive disorders can signal a health emergency. Thus, if you experience gas and/or other digestive symptoms consistently for more than a few weeks, speak to a medical doctor. If, however, you notice black stool, go to the ER of the nearest hospital, as this can be a sign of intestinal bleeding or colon cancer.
How To Avoid the Embarrassment of Loud Farts
Though you can’t totally prevent farts — loud or otherwise — there are a few ways to minimize toot embarrassment.
The best way to avoid embarrassment is to reduce gas whenever possible. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Limit your intake of gas-producing foods, such as beans
- Eat and drink slowly
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Take a walk after meals
- Take an over-the-counter medicine, such as Beano, Lactase, and Gas-X
Flatulence is often a sign that you need to do #2. So DO it! And if you don’t have to poop, at least you’ll have the privacy to be as loud as you want.
Muffle It With Other Noise
If you feel a loud fart coming, make lots of other noise to mask the sound. Slam pots and pans around. Cough loudly. Sing at the top of your lungs. Turn up the music or TV.
Go to Another Room
If you have enough warning before a gaseous eruption, go to a room by yourself and let it rip.
If a fart squeaks out, walk away quickly. For example, if you’re in the supermarket, look around to make sure no one is nearby. Then let your fart out and hightail it to the next aisle. It’s better for someone to walk into your gassy cloud than for you to be caught in it!
Tighten Your Butt Cheeks
If you’re in a place where you absolutely cannot fart freely and cannot excuse yourself, such as a board meeting sitting beside your boss, you’ll need to try to hold it in.
For this method, simply sit up straight and tighten your butt muscles. If you do this long enough, you should feel the urge to fart abate. You can also use this method to release a little bit of gas at a time. However, there’s no guarantee it won’t make noise or stink to high heaven!
You should not routinely try to hold in gas, however, as doing so can cause stomach pain, bloating, excess gas, and other distressing symptoms. Trapped gas may even be dangerous to your health because it can increase blood pressure and heart rate.
We should have probably listed this one first. You can help fix so many of your digestive and bathroom issues, such as gas and bloating, and improve your overall health with this patented molecule that is backed by Harvard Doctor’s by clicking here! What do you have to lose except many of those frequent and noisy farts?!!!
1- Lou C. How Often Does A Cockroach Fart? Cockroach Zone. Accessed Apr 1, 2021. https://www.cockroachzone.com/how-often-does-a-cockroach-fart/
2- Hasler WL. Gas and Bloating. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2006;2(9):654-662
3- UPMC Health Beat. What Do Intestines Do for the Body? Sep 6, 2015. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://share.upmc.com/2015/09/what-do-intestines-do-for-the-body/
4- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Gas in the Digestive Tract. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/gas-in-the-digestive-tract#:~:text=Belching is the way most swallowed air leaves,bacteria naturally present in the large intestine (colon)
5- Chittenden B. Aerophagia: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment of Excessive Swallowing of Air. Doctors Health Press. Aug 22, 2017. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/aerophagia-causes-symptoms-treatment/
6- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Gas in the Digestive Tract. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/gas-in-the-digestive-tract#:~:text=Belching is the way most swallowed air leaves,bacteria naturally present in the large intestine (colon)
7- Helmenstine AM. What Is a Fart Made Of? ThoughtCo. Jul 20, 2019. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://www.thoughtco.com/chemical-composition-of-farts-608409#:~:text= A typical breakdown of the chemical composition,Oxygen: 0-10% 5 Methane: 0-10% (flammable) More
8- Helmenstine AM. What Is a Fart Made Of? ThoughtCo. Jul 20, 2019. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://www.thoughtco.com/chemical-composition-of-farts-608409#:~:text= A typical breakdown of the chemical composition,Oxygen: 0-10% 5 Methane: 0-10% (flammable) More
9- Shiffer E. Why Are Some Farts Silent and Others Squeaky? Men’s Health. Jan 2, 2018. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19545944/fart-noises/
10- Shiffer E. Why Are Some Farts Silent and Others Squeaky? Men’s Health. Jan 2, 2018. Accessed Apr 2, 2021. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19545944/fart-noises/
11- Lomer, M.C.E. (2015), Review article: the aetiology, diagnosis, mechanisms and clinical evidence for food intolerance. Aliment Pharmacol Ther, 41: 262-275. https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.13041
12- Hord NG, Tang Y, Bryan NS, Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 90, Issue 1, July 2009, Pages 1–10, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.2008.27131
13- Kloberdanz K. Lactose Intolerance FAQ. HealthDay. Dec 31, 2019. Accessed Apr 5, 2021. https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/food-and-nutrition-21/food-and-nutrition-news-316/lactose-intolerance-faq-647337.html#:~:text=For 30 to 50 million Americans, a big,to digest lactose as we grow into adulthood.
14-Mayo Clinic Staff. Lactose Intolerance. Mayo Clinic. Apr 7, 2020. Accessed Apr 5, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lactose-intolerance/symptoms-causes/syc-20374232
15- How to enjoy fruit with fructose intolerance. FOD Map Friendly. Apr 16, 2020. Accessed Apr 5, 2021. https://fodmapfriendly.com/blogpost/how-to-enjoy-fruit-with-fructose-intolerance/
16- Fasano A, Sapone A, Zevallos V, Schuppan D. Nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Gastroenterology. 2015 May;148(6):1195-204. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2014.12.049. Epub 2015 Jan 9. PMID: 25583468.
17- Brazier Y. What is a food intolerance? MedicalNewsToday. Dec 10, 2020. Accessed Apr 5, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263965#intolerance-vs-allergy
01-04-2021 · You’ve heard the saying, but seriously we’ve all heard about people peeing the bed but why don’t healthy people ever poop the bed? The simplest reason is that your colon, which is partly in charge of pushing poops through your body, likes to sleep when you do. But when morning comes, your colon gets to work pushing out the waste. But if that’s not happening how it should, then you have ...
Are you haunted by the question, “Why did I poop in my sleep?” Read on to learn why bowel movements sometimes happen while sleeping and what you can do about it.
Experiencing a bowel movement during sleep can be deeply troubling and affect your mental state. After all, pooping the bed is not considered “normal” for most adults, as we’re supposed to be able to control our bathroom habits. But don’t despair. Once you know the reasons why you’re pooping in your sleep, it’s easier to find solutions.
Why Am I Pooping Myself In My Sleep?
Bowel movements occurring in bed at night will likely be loose and watery stool. This is known as nocturnal diarrhea, and it can be caused by a brief illness or a more serious disorder. Because it often wakes you up at night, it can negatively affect the quality of your sleep.
Symptoms of Nocturnal Diarrhea
Symptoms of nocturnal diarrhea include: 1
- Loose, watery stools
- Abdominal pain
- Urge to poop
These symptoms typically last just a few days. But if they last more than a couple weeks, it may be a sign of a more serious condition. See your doctor if they persist for more than a few days.
Dangers of Diarrhea
Whether it occurs during the day or at night, diarrhea can be dangerous to your health. This is because severe diarrhea can cause a depletion of water and electrolytes, leading to dehydration and serious health problems. Elderly people and young children are especially at risk for serious complications of dehydration.
According to research, around 20% to 30% of older adults are dehydrated.2 There are several reasons for this including an age-related decrease in body fluids. In most cases, the dehydration is minor. But if an older person develops diarrhea, it can quickly progress to severe dehydration if fluid isn’t replaced. This may require hospitalization.
Causes of Nocturnal Diarrhea
Here are a few conditions known to cause nocturnal diarrhea.
Viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections often create watery stools, a.k.a, diarrhea. Infections known to promote diarrhea include:3
- Viral: Norovirus, Rotavirus
- Bacterial: e Coli, Salmonella (These are foodborne infections, e.g., “food poisoning”.)
- Parasitic: Cryptosporidium enteritis, Entamoeba histolytica (Parasitic infections are most often transferred through infected drinking water, and are also food borne infections.)
In some cases, infections can affect both the stomach and the small/large intestines, causing inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract known as gastroenteritis. (Viral gastroenteritis is stomach flu and is not caused by influenza virus.)4 This can result in diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, and sometimes fever.
Though gastroenteritis can clear up on its own, you should see your doctor if diarrhea lasts for more than 2 days. That’s because it may be caused by other more serious conditions. Also a severe case of bacterial gastroenteritis is a medical issue that can lead to dehydration, kidney failure, and other dangerous conditions. 5
A variety of foods may cause diarrhea, including:
If you experience diarrhea after consuming dairy products, you may lack the enzyme necessary to break down the sugars in dairy. (This is known as lactose intolerance.) Because the body can’t break down these sugars, it often disposes of it through loose and watery bowel movements. About 36 percent of people in the U.S. are thought to be lactose intolerant.6
Gluten-containing grain foods
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye grains. (This includes foods made with white flour, as it’s made from milled wheat grain.) Those with “gluten sensitivity” are unable to break down or digest gluten, resulting in diarrhea and other gut issues. Experts believe around 6 percent of the U.S. population may be gluten sensitive. That’s 20 million people! Plus, one in 133 people in the U.S. are believed to have Celiac disease, a serious condition in which gluten damages the intestines.7
Fiber is a natural substance found in grains, fruits, and vegetables. Though dietary fiber is necessary for regular bowel movements, too much fiber too soon can be hard on your gastrointestinal tract. This often leads to diarrhea, cramping in the gut area, and other unpleasant symptoms. To avoid diarrhea, increase your fiber intake slowly. This gives your digestive tract a chance to adjust to it.
There is no doubt that a cup of coffee in the morning can wake you up fast…but it can also promote diarrhea. That’s because the caffeine in coffee stimulates the bowels. To reduce your chances of diarrhea, try to limit yourself to just 1 cup of coffee per day. Two or more cups of coffee or caffeinated tea can lead to diarrhea. 8
A common cause of diarrhea is consuming too many caffeine-containing foods, e.g., chocolate, tea, most sodas, etc. This has the same bowel-stimulating effect as drinking coffee.
Though eating fruit is good for your health, it also contains a natural sugar called fructose that may cause loose stool and diarrhea. This is more likely to occur if you eat a large amount of fruit.9 To avoid runny stool, try to eat fruit in moderation. Also, choose low-fructose fruit as much as possible. Citrus fruits and berries are popular low sugar options.
Medications And Supplements
Certain medications are a common cause of watery stool. Medications that may lead to diarrhea include:10
- Laxatives: Laxatives are designed to make stool softer and easier to pass. However, taking too many laxatives could promote diarrhea.
- Magnesium: This mineral draws water into the intestines, thereby softening the stool. It can also relax the muscle of the intestines, helping make stool easier to pass.
- Antacids: Most antacid brands contain magnesium, which can lead to diarrhea.
- Antibiotics: As a treatment for infectious conditions, antibiotics work well. However, a common side effect of antibiotics is that they destroy certain types of bacteria. This can lead to an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria that can result in diarrhea.
- Chemotherapy medications (a common treatment for cancer)
- NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) used to treat pain and arthritis, e.g., aspirin.
- Heartburn medications, e.g., Prilosec
Several different chronic medical conditions can cause nocturnal diarrhea. Here are a few health conditions known to trigger diarrhea during sleep, as well as sporadic diarrhea during the day.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is chronic inflammation of the GI tract. The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown, but researchers believe an autoimmune response — in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells — plays a role.
There are 3 types of IBD: ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and microscopic colitis.
- Ulcerative colitis promotes chronic inflammation of the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum, causing painful ulcers (sores) in your GI tract. Signs many include may include bloody diarrhea, pain in the rectum, and fever.11 However, the signs of of ulcerative colitis vary greatly depending upon the part of the digestive tract affected.
- Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition causing inflammation anywhere in your GI tract, including the rectum. Symptoms of Crohn’s can be mild or severe, and they can even go into remission for awhile. In addition to nocturnal diarrhea, signs of Crohn’s may include fatigue, stomach cramps, fever, and blood in the stool.12
- Microscopic Colitis is another chronic condition of inflammation of the colon. Your doctor can detect it only by examining your colon with a microscope. The symptoms are often sporadic and may include chronic diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pains/cramping.13
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. However, unlike inflammatory bowel disease, IBS does not appear to damage the GI tract. This is because IBS is a functional disease, that is, a disorder in which the gut and brain don’t work together properly.
Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain/cramping, bloating, gas, pressure in the rectum, and diarrhea. However, nocturnal diarrhea is not a typical sign of IBS. For this reason, you should call your doctor if you experience diarrhea while you sleep. 14
Diabetes is a condition that affects the way the body uses glucose (blood sugar.) In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin and requires injections of insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells don’t respond to insulin well.
With either type, glucose can build up in the bloodstream and cause medical complications. One of these complications is having diarrhea while you sleep.
Diarrhea is not that main sign of diabetes, however. Symptoms of diabetes vary and include increased thirst, irritability, and frequent urination. If you experience any of these signs, speak with your doctor.
Treatment for Pooping While Sleeping
It’s not fun pooping at night while you sleep. Not being able to control your bowels while sleeping can make you feel helpless and embarrassed.
The good news is that there is a treatment — several of them — that can help keep you from pooping while you sleep. The treatment you choose depends upon the reason for this issue, and any advice from your doctor.
Here are a few things you can do to avoid pooping during sleep:
- Take an anti-diarrheal medicine, such as Pepto-Bismol
- Avoid foods and beverages known to have a laxative effect, e.g., prune juice, coffee
- Eat only bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast until your symptoms ease. This is called the “BRAT” diet, and it’s commonly prescribed for diarrhea because these foods are easy to digest.
- Make dietary adjustments that eliminate “problem” foods. For instance, if you know you’re lactose intolerant, avoid dairy foods.
- Avoid any triggers that may cause a flareup of your IBD or IBS symptoms.
- Try to manage your blood glucose levels if you have diabetes
When To See A Doctor
Nocturnal diarrhea typically resolves within a couple of days without medical treatment. But if diarrhea continues for more than 2 days, call your doctor. As previously mentioned, diarrhea can be a symptoms of a more serious condition, and it can also cause dehydration.
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Pooping in your sleep happens sometimes. But it doesn’t need to control your life. Though fixing your poop issues could seem hopeless at times, it’s easier than you may think. You can improve regularity and enjoy complete satisfying poops with a patented molecule that is backed by Harvard doctors! Click here to learn more about this groundbreaking poop fix formula and to place your order TODAY.
2- Miller HJ. Dehydration in the Older Adult. J Gerontol Nurs. 2015 Sep 1;41(9):8-13. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20150814-02. PMID: 26375144.
3- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & Causes of Diarrhea. NIH. Nov 2016. Accessed Mar 12, 2021. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/diarrhea/symptoms-causes
4- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & Causes of Diarrhea. Symptoms & Causes of Viral Gastroenteritis (“Stomach Flu”). NIH. May 2018. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes
5- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Symptoms & Causes of Diarrhea. Symptoms & Causes of Viral Gastroenteritis (“Stomach Flu”). NIH. May 2018. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes
6- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Definition & Facts for Lactose Intolerance. NIH. Feb 2018. Accessed Mar 15, 2021.https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/lactose-intolerance/definition-facts
7- Anderson J. How Many People Have Gluten Sensitivity? Medically reviewed by Priyanka Chugh, MD October 25, 2020. Very Well Health. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-many-people-have-gluten-sensitivity-562965#:~:text=According to Dr. Fasano, gluten sensitivity potentially affects,the United States alone could have the condition.
8- International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. Last Updated: Oct 2, 2019. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.iffgd.org/lower-gi-disorders/diarrhea/common-causes.html
9- International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. Last Updated: Oct 2, 2019. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.iffgd.org/lower-gi-disorders/diarrhea/common-causes.html
10- Mammadli R. List of Medications that Cause Diarrhea. Health Recovery. Aug 31, 2016. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://iytmed.com/list-medications-cause-diarrhea/#:~:text=Descriptions of Medications that Cause Diarrhea 1 They,also cause diarrhea or make it even worse.
11- Mayo Clinic Staff. Ulcerative Colitis. Mayo Clinic. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ulcerative-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20353326
12- Mayo Clinic Staff. Crohn’s Disease. Mayo Clinic. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353304
13- Mayo Clinic Staff. Microscopic colitis. Mayo Clinic. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/microscopic-colitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351478
14- Leonard J. What causes diarrhea in the middle of the night? MedicalNewsToday. May 26, 2018. Accessed Mar 15, 2021. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321936
19-05-2021 · Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a type of acid reflux, is also known to cause chronic throat clearing. In LPR, stomach acid flows backs up into the back of your throat or in the voice box (larynx), irritating the throat. Unlike gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), LPR doesn’t cause heartburn. For this reason, LPR is known as “silent reflux”.
Everybody clears their throat on occasion. Throat clearing is an instinctive effort to remove an irritant in the throat. This irritant can be real, or it may just feel real. It can also be a habit you’ve picked up along the way.
Throat clearing is usually harmless, but if it happens frequently, you should investigate the cause. After all, chronic throat clearing can irritate the throat, leading to hoarseness and trouble swallowing. It can also be a sign of a medical condition.
Read on to discover some of the most common causes of chronic throat clearing along with solutions.
Constant Clearing Throat: What’s it All About?
When you clear your throat, you use your throat muscles to expel the irritant. Put simply, you vibrate your vocal chords violently to clear your throat. This action can cause throat pain and irritation, and if it occurs frequently, it can damage the vocal chords.
And the irritant you’re constantly trying to clear is most often phlegm, also called mucus.
Key to Clearing Throat
The key to clearing your throat is to discover the cause of the phlegm. Once you’ve determined the cause, you can proceed to the solution.
So let’s discuss some causes and solutions for phlegm in the throat.
Causes of Constant Phlegm in Throat
Phlegm is quite common, normal, and required for proper bodily function. Your body produces about 1 to 1.5 liters of mucus per day.1
Mucus “oils the engine” so to speak, lubricating your tissues and keeping them from drying out. It also contains antibodies and enzymes that identify and destroy bacteria and germs. This sticky goo even traps dust and germs before they make their way into the rest of your body.2 (The airways are the primary entry point for airborne pathogens and environmental toxins.)
Phlegm is produced by tissue in your throat, lungs, mouth, nose, sinuses, and gastrointestinal tract. Most of the time this mucus drips down your throat unnoticed. But certain conditions can cause the consistency to change, commanding both attention and throat clearing.
Here are a few of the most common causes of persistent phlegm in throat.
Nasal allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to substances (allergens) in the environment that are typically harmless. Typical allergens include:
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
- Some molds
These allergens can inflame your sinuses and mucus membranes and thicken throat phlegm, leading to frequent throat clearing. This phlegm can also drip down the back of the throat (post-nasal drip) causing hoarseness, sore throat, and painful swallowing.
Symptoms of nasal allergies include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy nose or eyes
- Post-nasal drip
- Throat clearing
Treatments for nasal allergies include:
- OTC Decongestants
- Steroidal nasal sprays that reduce inflammation of nasal passageways
- Allergy shots to help your body build up a tolerance to the allergen
Having a treatment can still involve quite a bit of suffering and throat clearing, however. So the best course of action is to avoid the allergen if possible.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a type of acid reflux, is also known to cause chronic throat clearing.
In LPR, stomach acid flows backs up into the back of your throat or in the voice box (larynx), irritating the throat. Unlike gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), LPR doesn’t cause heartburn. For this reason, LPR is known as “silent reflux”.
GERD and LPR can co-exist. In fact, more than half of the people with GERD may also develop symptoms of LPR.3
Symptoms of LPR include:
- Sore throat
Treatments for either type of acid reflux disease include:
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Losing weight (if overweight)
- Avoiding reflux-triggering foods
- Quitting smoking
Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways narrow and swell, producing extra mucus. The causes of asthma are unknown at this time, but genetic or environmental factors are thought to play a role.
Symptoms of asthma vary widely but can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain or tightness
Treatments vary widely depending upon the type or severity of asthma. Some of the treatment options include:4
- Long-term medications taken daily to control asthma symptoms. These include oral medications and inhalers.
- Rescue medications offering quick relief of symptoms. Most rescue medications are inhalers that relax the airways to promote easier breathing. But they also include oral and intravenous corticosteroids for severe asthma flareups.
- Biologic medications specifically designed for those who suffer from severe asthma attacks
Keep in mind, though, that severe asthma attacks can be a medical emergency. Thus, you should work with your doctor to develop an action plan for your asthma attacks.
Though neurological inflammation is not often considered one of the causes of throat clearing, it may indeed play a role. While acute brain inflammation is associated with injury or pathogens and constitutes a medical emergency, e.g. meningitis, chronic brain inflammation is different. Its symptoms are subtle and can lead to a host of seemingly unrelated health conditions.
Symptoms of brain inflammation can include mental fatigue, brain fog, and memory problems.5 Health conditions associated with neuroinflammation include:6, 7
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
And now there is scientific evidence that brain inflammation may be linked to persistent throat clearing and/or coughing.
In a 2020 observational study published in the European Respiratory Journal, researchers discuss the evidence that the inflammation seen in chronic cough may involve neuroinflammation. That’s because studies suggests that neuroinflammation is created by glial cells of the nervous system, cells that may also play a role in chronic pain. (Chronic pain and cough share a similar manner of development.) 8
And chronic cough, of course, also leads to chronic and persistent throat clearing.
Brain inflammation is often caused by poor-quality diet and poor nutrition. But the good news is that it can be reversed through eating healthy foods and taking supplements that include brain-healing nutrients.
How to Clear Your Throat Naturally
One of the best ways to naturally clear your throat of phlegm is to eat a nutritious diet or take supplements that naturally contain anti-inflammatory vitamins and other substances, as this can reduce inflammation in your sinuses, nasal passages, and throat. It can also help reduce brain inflammation.
Here are the best nutrients clinically shown to help reduce brain inflammation, which may in turn help you clear your throat naturally.
This fat-soluble vitamin promotes calcium absorption and is essential for bone growth. Turns out, it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
In a recent review of 30 studies on vitamin D, researchers noted:
“Studies consistently reported results showing that vitamin D supplementation can downregulate inflammatory pathways of COX-2, TNF-α, NF-κB, and MAPK.”9
And it can soothe brain inflammation. According to multiple scientific studies, vitamin D can pass through the blood-brain barrier and thus influence the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) via its receptors. 10 Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with impaired cognitive function.11
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring micronutrient known for its neuroprotective properties. For example, studies suggest that supplementing with ALC may fight off neuronal degeneration and prevent age-related cell death throughout the brain.12
In other words, supplementing with ALC could reduce brain inflammation, making it a great solution for chronic throat clearing.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fish Oil
Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids have potent anti-inflammatory properties.13 They can help your body fight inflammation in your throat, nasal cavity, and other areas, thus relieving the urge to clear your throat.
Fish oil is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. This is probably the reason multiple research studies indicate that fish is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
For example, one pre-clinical research study showed that a diet enriched with 20% fish oil decreased mucus production and the inflammatory response in mice.14
Citicoline is a naturally occurring chemical found in every cell of your body, especially the brain.
Studies indicate that citicoline provides significant neuroprotection due in part to its ability to defend against free radical damage in brain cells.15 Once in the brain, citicoline is also partially converted to acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.
Research suggests that acetylcholine receptors calm the inflammatory response in the brain, thus supporting healthy brain function. This can also minimize throat clearing.
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3- Martinucci I, de Bortoli N, Savarino E, et al. Optimal treatment of laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. Ther Adv Chronic Dis. 2013;4(6):287-301. doi:10.1177/2040622313503485
4- Mayo Clinic Staff. Asthma. Mayo Clinic. Aug 11, 2020. Accessed Apr 27, 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369660
5- Leonie JT, Balter JA, Aldred S, Drayson MT, Jet JCS, van Zanten V, Higgs S, Raymond JE, Mazaheri A. Selective effects of acute low-grade inflammation on human visual attention,
NeuroImage, Volume 202, 2019, 116098, ISSN 1053-8119, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116098. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811919306895)
6- Hodes GE, Kana V, Menard C, Merad M, Russo SJ. Neuroimmune mechanisms of depression. Nat Neurosci. 2015;18(10):1386-1393. doi:10.1038/nn.4113
7- Schnabel J. The Brain Inflamed. BrainFacts.org. Feb 26, 2015. Accessed Apr 27, 2021.
8- Driessen AK, Devlin AC, Lundy FT, Martin SL, Sergeant GP, Mazzone SB, McGarvey LP. Perspectives on neuroinflammation contributing to chronic cough. Eur Respir J. 2020 Oct 22;56(4):2000758. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00758-2020. PMID: 32646920.
9- Garcia PM, Moore J, Kahan D, Hong MY. Effects of Vitamin D Supplementation on Inflammation, Colonic Cell Kinetics, and Microbiota in Colitis: A Review. Molecules. 2020 May 14;25(10):2300. doi: 10.3390/molecules25102300. PMID: 32422882; PMCID: PMC7288056.
10- Farhangi, M.A., Mesgari-Abbasi, M., Nameni, G. et al. The effects of vitamin D administration on brain inflammatory markers in high fat diet induced obese rats. BMC Neurosci 18, 81 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12868-017-0400-1
11- Pozzi F, Aloe L, Frajese GV, Frajese G. Vitamin D (Calcifediol) Supplementation Modulates NGF and BDNF and Improves Memory Function in Postmenopausal Women: a Pilot Study. Research in Endocrinology, Vol. 2013 (2013), Article ID 552758, DOI: 10.5171/2013.552758
12- P. Juliet Arockia Rani, C. Panneerselvam, Effect of L-Carnitine on Brain Lipid Peroxidation and Antioxidant Enzymes in Old Rats, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 57, Issue 4, 1 April 2002, Pages B134–B137, https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/57.4.B134
13- Simopoulos AP. Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Dec;21(6):495-505. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2002.10719248. PMID: 12480795.
14- Hall JA, Hartman J, Skinner MM, et al. Dietary Enrichment with 20% Fish Oil Decreases Mucus Production and the Inflammatory Response in Mice with Ovalbumin-Induced Allergic Lung Inflammation. PLoS One. 2016;11(9):e0163819. Published 2016 Sep 26. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163819
15- Adibhatla RM, Hatcher JF, Dempsey RJ. Effects of citicoline on phospholipid and glutathione levels in transient cerebral ischemia. Stroke. 2001 Oct;32(10):2376-81. doi: 10.1161/hs1001.096010. PMID: 11588329.
19-05-2021 · Symptoms of Post Nasal Drip. The most common symptom of post nasal drip is the feeling of mucus running down your throat. Other symptoms include: Sore, scratchy throat; Coughing, especially at night while you’re trying to sleep; The need to clear your throat often; Frequent swallowing; Hoarseness; Foul breath; Nausea or stomach upset due to swallowed mucus
Post nasal drip is the sensation of mucus running down the back of your throat. This often causes frequent throat clearing, cough, and other symptoms.
Post nasal drip is associated with the common cold, sinuses, seasonal allergies, and other conditions. But did you know that the glands in your nose and throat constantly produce mucus that you often swallow without realizing it?
Benefits of Mucus
Your body produces an estimated 4 cups of mucus per day throughout the body.1 Fortunately, your nose and throat don’t produce all of it. Rather, mucus glands line the tissues of multiple organs. This slippery mucus lubricates these sites, keeping tissues and organs from drying out. It also traps viruses, dust, and other harmful substances, keeping them from damaging the body.
Research also suggests that mucus has antibacterial properties due to its polymer content. These polymers, known as mucins, appear to trap bacteria. This keeps them from adhering to tissues and clumping together, effectively neutralizing them.
Also, mucins trap bacteria but do not kill them. This means that unlike antibiotics, bacteria are less likely to evolve resistance to mucins.2
Thus, mucus production has multiple health benefits.
It’s normal to swallow small amounts of mucus without awareness, as it easily mixes with your saliva. You’ll probably only notice mucus when it thickens or your body produces a greater amount than normal.
Symptoms of Post Nasal Drip
The most common symptom of post nasal drip is the feeling of mucus running down your throat. Other symptoms include:
- Sore, scratchy throat
- Coughing, especially at night while you’re trying to sleep
- The need to clear your throat often
- Frequent swallowing
- Foul breath
- Nausea or stomach upset due to swallowed mucus
- Feeling a blockage or lump in your throat
What Causes Post Nasal Drip?
Here are a few of the most common causes of post nasal drip.
Seasonal allergies, also called hay fever and seasonal allergic rhinitis, are a big trigger for post nasal trip.
More than 50 million Americans are living with either seasonal allergies, 3 which usually strike in the the spring and the fall, or allergic rhinitis, that can be seasonal or occur year round. (Allergic rhinitis can be triggered by exposure to allergens other than pollen, such as pet dander, mold, and dust.)
As plants release their pollen and you breathe it in, your immune system mistakes it for a harmful invader. In response, it releases histamines and other chemicals that cause the inside of your nose to swell. It also triggers excess mucus production to clear the harmful invaders from your nasal passages and respiratory system. In addition to post nasal drip, seasonal allergies can cause coughing, sneezing, runny nose, congested nose and chest — all to protect your body from this foreign substance.
Colds/Respiratory Flu/Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)
We all know about the common cold, respiratory flu, and sinusitis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adults have 2 to 4 colds per year, mostly in the winter and spring. (Children typically have more than that, though.) The miserable cold symptoms last a LONG 7-10 days.4
Influenza (flu) is a virus that infects the upper respiratory tract, causing post nasal drip, congestion, coughing, fever, and other unpleasant symptoms. The number of cases vary widely depending upon the severity of the flu season. In the 2019-2020 flu season, for instance, the CDC estimates there were an estimated ,000 symptomatic cases of the flu.5
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. Sinusitis can be caused by the common cold, nasal polyps, immune system deficiencies, nasal allergies, and more. Along with post nasal drip, sinusitis can lead to stuffy nose, cough, congestions, and face pain/pressure. And it’s very common. According to WebMD, an estimated 35 million Americans have sinusitis at least once annually.6
Like seasonal and nasal allergies, cold and respiratory flu viruses trigger an immune response designed to clear the virus from your body. Excess mucus production is one of the tools it uses to do this.
Cold Weather or Dry Air
If you notice mucus running from your nose and down your throat in cold temperatures or dry air, there’s a reason for that. Your body strives to protect your health, and breathing cold or dry air may irritate your nose or throat. In response, your body triggers extra mucus production to moisturize and warm those passages, soothing the irritation.
But you may also be suffering from cold or flu, viruses that typically thrive in cold weather.
Other Causes of Post Nasal Drip
Other causes of post nasal drip include:
- Deviated Septum. This condition occurs when the wall between the nostrils is crooked or damaged and can prevent mucus from draining properly. This may result in post nasal drip.
- Eating spicy foods. Chemicals in many spicy foods irritate the mucus membranes in the mouth, nose, throat and sinuses. This causes increased mucus production.
- Medications. Certain medications are known to promote excessive mucus production. Mucus-producing medications include birth control pills and some blood pressure medications.
- Pregnancy. The increased estrogen production of pregnancy triggers an increase in mucus production.
- Acid reflux. This condition occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. If it irritates the throat or lungs, it can cause extra mucus production.
- Inflammatory diseases. Chronic bronchitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, and other inflammatory diseases are known to promote excessive mucus production. This is because the lower airways produce extra mucus in response to this inflammation.7
- Neurological inflammation. The brain is the control center of the body. Consequently, when there’s a potential problem with the respiratory system, including the nose and throat, the brain tells the body to produce more mucus to prevent any damage. If this important organ is inflamed, however, the brain can trigger excess mucus production even when there’s no real reason to do so.
Does Post Nasal Drip Go Away By Itself?
In most cases, post nasal drip will go away on its own, typically when the cause of excess mucus production goes away, i.e., when your cold leaves you, so does post nasal drip.
But if it doesn’t clear up within 10 days, you should see your doctor. This is because long-lasting untreated post nasal drip can lead to sinus infections and other conditions.
Here are a few of the most common treatments for post nasal drip.
Decongestants are typically used for conditions associated with nasal congestion, such as colds and allergies. They shrink swollen blood vessels and tissues, opening airways. When air can pass freely through your airways, mucus dries up and congestion is relieved. This, in turn, can reduce post nasal drip symptoms.
There are some downsides to using decongestants, however. People have reported insomnia and irritability while using these medications. Decongestant usage may also increase the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular events. This is particularly true with pseudoephedrine medications.8
Common OTC decongestant medications include pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and Phenylephrine (Sudafed PE).
Antihistamine medications are typically used to treat nasal allergies and seasonal rhinitis. They block histamine receptors in the body thereby down regulating the immune response to an allergen. This decreases your body’s reaction to allergens and can reduce associated symptoms, such as post nasal drip.
Common OTC antihistamines include Zyrtec, Benadryl, Allegra, and Claritin.9
Side effects include:
- Dry mouth
Some medical conditions with symptoms of post nasal drip, such as sinusitis and pneumonia, are caused by a bacterial infection. Prescription antibiotic medications are ideal for killing bacteria and indirectly relieving post nasal drip.
Antibiotics will not work for viral infections like cold or influenza, though.
Common antibiotics include penicillins and tetracyclines.
The biggest problem with antibiotics is that they kill off beneficial bacteria along with the harmful ones. This can cause several side effect including:
- Soft Stool
- Mild stomach upset
- Vaginal yeast infections
Nasal Decongestant Sprays
Nasal sprays (intranasal decongestants) are a type of decongestant that you spray inside your nose to relieve congestion in your nasal cavity.
Nasal sprays may reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues associated with some oral decongestants.
Side effects of nasal spray usage include:
- Nasal burning/stinging
- Rebound congestions, may occur with frequent usage
Nasal Steroid Sprays
Steroid nasal sprays have been available by prescription for decades. Due to their powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, they may effectively relieve nasal congestion, post nasal drip, and other symptoms.
Commonly used nasal steroid sprays include Flonase, Rhinocort, and Nasonex.
Your doctor will likely monitor your usage of a steroid nasal spray, as they may cause multiple side effects including:
- Irritation, burning, itching and/or dryness of the nostrils
- Infection of the nostrils
Relieve the Drip Naturally
There are also a few natural remedies for post nasal drip.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water and other liquids will help thin mucus so that it’s barely noticeable. For best results, drink only water or tea. Drinking orange juice, coffee, soda, or cows milk can increase mucus production and post nasal drip.
Avoid Mucus-Producing Foods
If you have a condition that causes post nasal drip, it’s best to avoid foods that increase mucus production.
Here are some foods known to cause or thicken excess mucus:10
- Ice cream
Eat Foods that Reduce Mucus
Believe it or not, there are actually some foods known to reduce mucus!11
These foods include:
- Pumpkin seeds
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air.
A warm-air humidifier may loosen thick mucus and reduce post nasal drip. Thus, using a humidifier at night while you sleep is an easy way to naturally treat nasal drip. (Make sure to place it right beside your bed so that you can freely inhale the warm water vapor or steam.)
A cold-air humidifier is useful for reducing inflammation in your chest and/or your nasal passages.
Try a Neti-Pot
A neti-pot is a container that resembles a tea pot, hence its name. It is used to flush or rinse the nasal passages and sinuses with water or a saline solution. This is called nasal irrigation. But any nasal irrigation product will help relieve congestion and post nasal drip.
To avoid nasal irritation, use a saline solution in your neti-pot rather than plain water.
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3- Centers for Disease Control. Allergies and Hay Fever. CDC. Page last reviewed: Mar 1, 2021. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/allergies.htm
4- Centers for Disease Control. Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others. CDC. Page last reviewed: Oct 7, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
5- Centers for Disease Control. Disease Burden of Influenza. Page last reviewed: Oct 5, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
6- Shital K. What Is Sinusitis? WebMD. Jul 19, 2020. Accessed May 3, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinusitis-and-sinus-infection
7- Fahy JV, Dickey BF. Airway mucus function and dysfunction. N Engl J Med. 2010;363(23):2233-2247. doi:10.1056/NEJMra0910061
8- Harvard Letter. Don’t let decongestants squeeze your heart. Harvard Health Publishing. Mar 2014. Accessed May 4, 2021.
9- Harding M. Antihistamines. Patient. Jul 5, 2017. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://patient.info/allergies-blood-immune/allergies/antihistamines
10- Lung Health. 21 Foods That Trigger Mucus Production (and 21 Foods That Reduce It). Lung Health Institute. Dec. 26, 2017. Accessed May 4, 2021.
21 Foods That Trigger Mucus Production (and 21 Foods That Reduce It)
11- Lung Health. 21 Foods That Trigger Mucus Production (and 21 Foods That Reduce It). Lung Health Institute. Dec. 26, 2017. Accessed May 4, 2021. https://lunginstitute.com/blog/21-foods-trigger-mucus-production-21-foods-reduce/