Express Article: 'Porridge poo' could be a sign of six health problems, expert shares
Monitoring the appearance of your poo could mean the difference between spotting any potentially serious changes and letting them slip under the radar.
While looking into the toilet bowl after you went for a number two might be the last thing you want to do, your stool could help identify any new health problems.
A gut expert has shared that “porridge poo” could be a warning sign of six health issues, including cancer. Here’s how to spot it.
Your gut could be the first to alert to a whole host of health problems, ranging from food intolerances to cancer.
This means that your poo can be an important indicator of any changes that need to be addressed and checked by a doctor.
While the topic of stool can make you feel squeamish, it’s important to look out for anything that is unusual for your, including porridge poo.
Gut expert, Gemma Stuart, from Gut Wealth, said: “If your stool looks like mushy lumps of porridge with soft, ragged edges, for most this is likely the first sign of diarrhoea.
“When diarrhoea lasts more than a few days into weeks, it can be an indicator that there's other health problems.
“[These could be] food intolerances, allergy to medications, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), possibly a persistent infection, or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
“You should take notice of any longer-term changes and speak to your doctor to rule out other diagnoses.”
In case you aren’t aware, IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system characterised by symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation, while IBD causes chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Apart from these problems, porridge poo could also be a sign of bowel or GI cancers, according to the expert.
While this poo shape could be pointing to the deadly condition, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have it.
The expert shared that most people with this sign are likely to be suffering from a benign problem.
However, it’s still important to get any new symptoms or unusual changes checked out by your doctor.
Furthermore, porridge poo isn’t the only symptom of bowel cancer to be aware of.
According to the NHS, the main symptoms of bowel cancer can include:
- Changes in your poo (such as having softer poo, diarrhoea or constipation that is not usual for you)
- Needing to poo more or less often than usual for you
- Blood in your poo, which may look red or black
- Bleeding from your bottom
- Often feeling like you need to poo, even if you've just been to the toilet
- Tummy pain
- Losing weight without trying
- Feeling very tired for no reason.
If you have any of these symptoms for three weeks or more, you need to see your GP, the health service advises.
How to reduce your risk of bowel cancer
The good news is that research shows that around half of all bowel cancers could be prevented by easy lifestyle tweaks, according to The UK Health Security Agency.
Eating less red and processed meat while upping your intake of fibre are important dietary interventions.
According to the health body, maintaining a healthy weight or keeping active are also helpful.
Furthermore, limiting your alcohol intake and quitting smoking are potent when it comes to reducing your risk of any cancer.