Ah. Bowel movements. The really not-fun discussion topic that you’re probably having to think about way more than you ever wanted to. Maybe you’re even reading this on the loo (and if you are, hi fellow digestive illness friend, we’ve all been there!) (also antibac wipes are your phone's friend!)
If you have digestive issues, food intolerances, autoimmune issues…you name it, it’s probably reflected in your poo.
Before we go on to chat about all things toilet-related, and because it helped us a lot (because it’s hilarious): if you’re a newly diagnosed coeliac or can’t eat gluten now, may we suggest reading “Gluten is my B*tch” by April Pevetaeux? She’s hysterical, even when talking about sh*t (in fact, especially when she’s talking about it). And you get lots of tasty gluten free recipes into the bargain.
Okay, blog post resuming. We’ve so far established that no-one really enjoys talking about this stuff. It’s stigmatized and not part of ‘polite’ conversation.
But you’re going to have to. Your doctor probably needs to know, your nutritionist or dietitian might need to know and most of all…you need to know!
How track discreetly (but so your doctor can still help you)
When you’re tracking your bowel movements in your Food Diary, the point is that it’s discreet enough on the outside for you to be totally honest on the inside. This diary is for you, and it’s got to be a true to life account or you’re not going to learn what you need to in order to heal.
That said, there is a way to be discreet and still be accurate enough to help your GP. Enter…the Bristol Stool Scale. A way of describing your poop so your doctor can actively help diagnose and treat you!
Click the link above for a visual representation, but otherwise, here are the words that are going to make it easier for you to keep tracking:
Type 1 = separate hard lumps (like nuts). Hard to pass.
Type 2 = sausage shaped, but lumpy.
Type 3 = like a sausage but with cracks on the surface
Type 4= like a sausage/snake, smooth and soft
Type 5 = soft blobs with clear-cut edges (passed easily)
Type 6 = fluffy pieces with ragged edges (mushy stool)
Type 7 = watery/no solid pieces (entirely liquid)
There you go: a code that can help you not only be discreet, but help your doctor analyse your gut issues at the same time.
When we track these in our diaries, we usually preface it with the time, and “BM” for extra discreetness…no-one ever needs to know!