Your poop can tell you a lot about your health. Red in the bowl—which can signal anything from hemorrhoids to colon cancer—is a known red flag. But what if the color is just fine, but it doesn't exactly sink to the bottom of the bowl like normal poop does?It's not exactly common, but we've all probably experienced the floating turd. So what exactly does it mean if your stool is not sinking?Torch fat, get fit, and look and feel great with Women's Health's All in 18 DVD! “A floating stool is simply less dense than a sinking stool,” says gastroenterologist Neil Stollman, M.D. Doctors used to think this resulted from excess fat in the feces, but one study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests it’s actually extra air. Dr. Stollman says it could probably be either, though air is more likely.Extra air in the stool could come from unabsorbed carbohydrates, like lactose or fiber, which ferment in the colon and release gas, says Dr. Stollman. This may … [Read more...] about Here’s What It Means If Your Poop Floats
Why does poop smell
Some might deny it, your S.O. might refuse to believe it, and your girlfriends might only talk about it after a few glasses (or bottles) of wine—but everyone poops. "Pooping might be taboo because of the smells and sounds associated with it," says Sophie Balzora, M.D., gastroenterologist at NYU Langone medical center. Okay, so maybe most people don't want to talk about it—but that doesn't mean you're not curious. Behold, the essential fecal facts your mom never told you. What Poop is Made OfWhen they're alive and well inside your gut, those bacteria help digest most of what you eat and produce stinky gasses like sulfur and methane. Those lovely substances are what make your bowel movements so fragrant, says Sam. Plus, if you eat a lot of fat, a lot of sugar, or raw, hard-to-digest veggies like broccoli or cabbage, that can make those bacteria produce even more gas, which makes the bathroom smell worse than usual, says Sam.For the most part, poop is typically … [Read more...] about Your Definitive Guide to Pooping
This Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing. All weekend we'll be reminded again about the heroism, the danger, and the one great step for mankind. But as usual, nobody will talk about the pee, the poop, and the boners. That's our job.What follows are the highlights—if you can call them that—of discussions we had with the only two astronauts who didn't hang up on us for behaving like 10-year-olds: retired Air Force Colonel Mike Mullane, who completed three space missions aboard the shuttles Discovery and Atlantis before retiring in 1990, and Leroy Chiao, who flew on three shuttle flights and commanded Expedition 10, where he lived aboard the International Space Station from 2004-05.Men's Health: What's it like going to the bathroom in space?Mike Mullane: There's no way you can use water to collect waste in zero gravity. So, basically, our toilet on shuttle operations is a vacuum cleaner. The urinal looks like a Shop-Vac hose. It has … [Read more...] about What Happens to Your Pee, Poop, and Penis in Space
gastrointestinal (GI) tract deals with the dirty work of your body: digesting food for nutrients and sending out the trash. This noisy, smelly, squishy system includes the esophagus, a 10 inch-long tube; the stomach, a fist-size bag of muscle; 20 feet of small intestine; and 6 feet of large intestine (aka the colon). With no Google map, we're often left wondering what the holdup (or the rush) is in there and why normally dependable routes suddenly cause trouble. But because of the unappealing issues that arise, talking about your own highway problems isn't as easy as discussing rush-hour traffic. "There's definitely embarrassment, and women tend to suffer in silence," says Jacqueline Wolf, M.D., a women's GI disease specialist at Harvard Medical School. Still, considering that digestive problems — from constipation to acid reflux — affect up to 70 million people, we should muster the guts to find out what's going on beneath our navels.How long does it take for food to … [Read more...] about Your Digestive System
Let's face it, nobody's poop smells great, but if you've noticed that yours is even more pungent than normal, it might be a sign that something's going on in your body. (Looking to take back control of your health? Prevention has smart answers—get a FREE book when you subscribe today.)"The odor of BMs always depends on two things: what you eat and the bacteria in the intestinal tract," explains explains Larry Good, M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist affiliated with Concierge Choice Physicians.RELATED: 6 Ways To Have The Healthiest PoopThere are 10 trillion microorganisms living in the human GI tract. The odor of stool is created by the gases that are produced in the intestine when non-absorbable carbs (fiber) gets fermented. So if your stool seems extra smelly for a day or two, relax: It's probably just something you ate.But what if the smell isn't going away? Then it's worth talking to your doctor, especially if the consistency of your movements has changed as well. … [Read more...] about Why Does Your Poop Smell Worse All of a Sudden?