How do I know if my bowels are healthy?


I strongly believe that we can be healthy only if we take care of our bowels first. Problems in the bowels (intestines, colon, stomach or our gut) are said to be the root cause of almost all sickness and disease. Everything flows in and out of them, and if they are not healthy, disease begins to spread throughout our organ systems. If our bowel movements (aka poop) are not healthy, it should be a warning sign that things are not going well inside.. So many people struggle with this and we are not educated enough. For example: Diarrhea, constipation, bloating and pain should not be considered normal! Our bodies are trying to tell us something!

The norm today is “I’m so bloated“.. Or “I seem to have diarrhea all the time“. “It is so painful and takes so much time“. Maybe you are constantly sick and never getting better? Or overweight and cannot lose any pounds? Any conditions we have, we need to get our bowels clean if we want to heal. Heal the gut and the rest of the body will heal. It’s the best place to start!

We need to know:

  1. How our bowels work.
  2. What is a good sign to know if my bowels are healthy or not?
  3. How do I get healthy bowels?

How do my bowels work?

It is said that 80% of your immune system is in the bowels. That means that your ability to fight off sickness and be healthy starts here. Your bowels are the biggest organ in your body, therefore damage to them will not be good news. Heal your bowels and you will start to heal everything.

Your digestive system (mouth-esophagus-stomach-small and large intestine-anus) takes the good from your food and puts it to use, and the bad is thrown out as waste. If this plumbing gets backed up toxicity and disease will grow causing you to be sick.

_ Everything starts and ends with the bowels.

The bowel movement is caused by 2 things. (Lets keep it simple and easy to understand) 1. Peristalsis: It is the wave that pushes bile (digested food and waste) through the intestines and out of the body. We can think of it as the wall of our intestines contracting and pushing our poop through giving us the “bowel movement”. Good and bad bacteria, fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, hormones, proteins, water and other elements need to be present to help this along. 2. Segmentation: Not a lot is known but what I do know is that it helps absorb any last nutrients. Also, it could be described as a second wave or contraction that helps the first along.

What is a good sign to know if my bowels are healthy or not?

Take a look inside the toilet before flushing! You must know your poop!

It is simple. The best sign we can have to tell if our bowels are healthy is having a healthy poop! A healthy bowel movement. But more than that – A healthy CONSISTENT bowel movement! 

what's in your toilet

Here is a simple way to get to know your poop. What a great topic of conversation eh?!

What is a healthy bowel movement?

First, when you have a bowel movement it should be easy! You should not have to strain. Maybe a light push to get things going but that is it.

  • No pain
  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Feeling light and empty
  • Not bloated

How often? Healthy Bowels should be at least 1 a day. 2 is even better but don’t worry if you don’t have 2 a day. Minimum 3-4 times a week. If you are not having a poop at all in 2 or 3 days, I would say you need some help. I know life gets busy and our routine gets mixed up but this is at least what we should be aiming for. And it will improve over time!

Colour. Medium to dark brown. Some examples of abnormal would be black (dried blood), red (active bleeding) or green for food not being digested or moving to quick. Sometimes with strong colour foods like beets or spices like curry, we may see a ting of that colour come though… I would say nothing to worry about.

Smell. No real ‘staple’ for a normal smell. If it is really bad and worse than normal it may be because there are a lot of toxins that are being sent out. If it continues for a few days to a week maybe inquire your Dr about it.

Looks. How the stool is formed is the most key part. It needs to be together and smooth. Similar to an S shape. We have anywhere from hard separate lumps to lumpy and together… Or watery to soft and messy stool. From one extreme to the next, we are either constipated or having diarrhea. We need to be in the middle with poop that is together and smooth. See link below for a visual–

Bristol stool chart.

To summarize.

When we sit on the toilet it should be easy and not painful. It is a natural process that will happen on its own and it should be a daily event! Should be quick and not smell horrific! Brown in colour. And lastly, it should be all together and smooth like an S. If we can get a regular bowel schedule like this then we should start to notice big changes. We can have a good idea that our immune system is that much more healthy and strong. And our body will be working to start cleaning out and restoring healthy organ systems. 

How do we achieve this healthy bowel schedule?

We need to give the body what it needs to be able to heal and stay healthy. Trust me. Consistent, healthy bowel habits are attainable! They are normal. They are what the body is always working towards! Here are some things to help you clear out your body. You may notice that if you have extra weight on your hips you can start to lose it through your bowels! – Faster than at the gym!

Some things that can be harmful and we need to watch out for are as follows:

  • Antibiotics and medications.
  • Stress
  • Not enough sleep
  • Lack of movement or exercise.
  • Surgery
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Pregnancy
  • Not enough fiber
  • Not enough water
  • Not enough nutrients the body needs.
  • Eating food that is modified and processed!
  • Too much sugar! 

If we watch out for (as much as possible) these things we will begin to notice a huge difference in our stomach and in our health. Visit my article here on restoring your Gut-Micro-flora which explains the importance WHY we need to have fiber and a balance of good and bad bacteria in our bowels. In the post I talk about things you can add into your routine that will help tremendously.

In North America the average fiber consumed per day is 15grams.. The recommended amount is 25-30grams/day…

Really it all boils down to what we eat. Whatever we eat has to go through our bowels. What we put into our bodies will either help us or harm us… We must have a generous balance of the majority of good, clean, raw, natural food and small amounts of junk. Not the other way around as it is with our culture..


I hope this has been helpful! At least that it will cause us to pay more attention to the health of our bowels and intern affect our whole body.

Please comment below! I would love to hear from you! Share with anyone who you think this may be helpful to! 

Here are some links that may be of further help.

Need more fiber?

What has happened to our food? Could it be why we are so sick today? 

Do you need to re-think your Health?




Published by Daniel Matthews

My passion is to help people regain their health through nutrition and a balanced lifestyle! I currently work as a Paramedic and an AIM Living Well Coach.

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