A full half of adults in the UK don’t know how to tell if their poop is healthy or not. That’s according to Bupa’s new Wellbeing Index, which surveyed 8,000 people about their health and well-being – including what’s going on in their toilet.
This lack of awareness is worrying because abnormalities in your feces can be an early sign of colon cancer. However, the survey found that many adults aren’t sure what to look for in terms of the color or consistency of their stool.
Over a third of colorectal cancer patients are first diagnosed in a hospital emergency room, and while the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age, 24% of people over the age of 55 never check the appearance of their bowel movements. More than a million people invited to colorectal cancer screening in the past two and a half years have not accepted the invitation within six months.
Bupa’s results come as presenter and author Dame Deborah James, aka Bowelbabe on social media, has stepped up her colon cancer awareness campaign.
James has been living with the condition since 2016, but in May she announced she is now receiving end-of-life care at home with her family.
Since then, her Bowel Babe Fund has raised millions for cancer research, which she describes as the “final fuck you to cancer,” and she has successfully lobbied for Andrex to print colon cancer symptoms on 29 million packs of toilet roll.
In a powerful final episode of her BBC podcast You, Me and the Big C, James said her only parting message to listeners was: “Check your poo”.
According to Bowel Cancer UK, more than four in ten people cannot name a single bowel cancer symptom – with men being the least aware. Half of UK men (55%) failed to spot the signs, compared to 36% of women.
So what should we all be looking for?
What are the main symptoms of colon cancer?
This is Bowel Cancer UK’s list of the most common bowel cancer symptoms experienced by many people who are diagnosed with the disease.
Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your stools
A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habits
Unexplained weight loss
Extreme tiredness for no apparent reason
pain or lumps in the abdomen
As the charity points out, the above symptoms don’t mean you definitely have cancer, as each can be caused by other health issues. But if you’re concerned, it’s definitely worth seeing your GP.
What are the different types of poo to look out for?
The Bristol Stool Chart (sometimes referred to as the Bristol Stool Form Scale or Meyers Scale) is a diagnostic tool that healthcare professionals can use with their patients to determine what is normal (and what is not) in terms of fecal size, texture, and color ).
In general, ideal feces fall into Type 3 or Type 4. Type 1 or Type 2, on the other hand, can indicate that a person is struggling with constipation. And type 5, 6 or 7 can indicate diarrhea – although not always.
If your poop falls outside of the normal types on the chart fairly consistently, it’s definitely worth telling your doctor, who may refer you to a specialist. Significant changes in stool frequency or shape are also worth noting.
Even if your poop problems turn out to be relatively mild, a doctor can help you with some simple changes — like eating enough fiber and water — that can help you achieve ideal poop and feel better overall.
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/how-to-spot-if-your-poo-is-healthy-or-not_uk_62b41a32e4b0cf43c860254d Here’s How To Spot If Your Poo Is Healthy Or Not