One thing is for sure, if you’re a public poop phobe, then you’ll know the cardinal rule: the more times you pull that toilet paper, people will know you’re taking a dumper. So if you’re anything like I used to be, you’ll gently pull so the sound of that cardboard toilet ring won’t clunk with every yank. But what if you find yourself endlessly pulling for more toilet paper? Could it mean something when it comes to your health? You bet your bottom dollar it does. So if you’re asking yourself:
“What does my poop mean…when I wipe a lot?”
Then you’re in luck, because I’ve got the answer. I know the topic of wiping isn’t exactly a pretty one, but its just as important to me as a practitioner to ask about as is the number of times that you poop. Here’s why:
Wiping more than three times
I’ve had patients who wipe anywhere from three to six times or more. Somehow their bumper just never feels clean. The reason for this is due to excess dampness in the large intestine and rectum, according to Chinese Medicine. This is caused by a number of factors that promote dampness: wheat, sugar, excess carbs, processed foods and dairy. These foods can create a layer of dampness within the large intestine that can produce either mucous in the stool or excess wipes leaving us with the feeling of never being clean. I find that the number of wipes a person takes is another great indicator on how well they’re eating and a huge factor in hormonal health. Issues like ovarian cysts and PCOS go hand-in-hand with digestion, especially excess dampness in the system.
Wiping less than three times
When I ask people how many times they’re wiping, they generally look at me funny, and then say, “at least two for good measure.” So my rule of bum...er…I mean thumb is that you really want to stay under three times. Yep, I'm talking about dropping the kids off in the pool, wiping that money maker a couple of times and seeing that, "Voila! It's clean!" Most of my patients will notice that as they clean up their diet, they'll require fewer wipes. A better diet equals less dampness, period. Please remember, this isn’t the only indicator to good health. What's in your porcelain bowl (colour, stickiness around the toilet bowl and consistency) will also say a lot about your health.
Other important factors to note about wiping your caboose
If you happen to wipe and see blood, and I mean bright red blood, before running to the hills screaming, the chances are it’s likely either a swollen blood vessel or an anal fissure (a tear in the lining of the lower rectum). In fact up to 15% of adults have seen blood on their toilet paper within the last six months. Bright red blood generally means its coming from the anus versus blood that’s darker, stickier or black is coming from the digestive tract - which isn't a good thing. It’s important however to not self-diagnose and please for the love of God, stay off of Google (which will generally alarm you and tell you that you have cancer). So be responsible and see a practitioner, please and thank you.
So in the meantime, know that your health isn't just about what's in your toilet bowl, but also based on how many times you wipe, so make sure to look the next time. It'll provide you with a good indicator of where you are and where you need to be.