Are you checking your poop often? As gross as that may sound, it is an important thing to do. Your poop can tell you a lot about your overall health, and more specifically, about the health of your digestive system. And if any of the following is true about your poop, then your poop may be telling you that you need to make an appointment with a gastroenterology specialist.
When people see blood in their poop, they often panic and assume something is seriously wrong. And this condition can be serious. If there are more than a few spots of blood, you should definitely head to the emergency room. Otherwise, though, you should just call and make a prompt appointment with your GI specialist. The bleeding could be coming from a hemorrhoid or a rectal fissure, which are common and can be painful, but are not terribly deadly or concerning. It could also be caused by a more chronic, ongoing disease like Crohn's or IBS, in which case you'll need to be under a doctor's care to prevent bigger issues like blood loss and a lack of nutrient absorption.
If your poop is a light tan, gray, or even almost white in color, this indicates there may be a problem with your gall bladder, liver, or pancreas. These conditions can progress quickly, soon leading to serious abdominal pain, jaundice, and nutrient deficiencies. So, you want to see a GI specialist soon, even if you're not in any pain yet.
Frequently Loose Poop
While your poop should not be hard like rabbit droppings, it should hold its shape as it drops into the toilet. If your poop is frequently loose and falls apart, something is not quite right. You could have IBS, or the diet you're eating may not agree with you. Your GI specialist can run some tests and get to the bottom of it before your symptoms become any worse.
If your poop is black, first ask yourself whether you recently took an iron supplement or a medication that contained bismuth. Both of these substances can make your stool turn black; this is normal and nothing to worry about. If you have black stool without having taken any of these meds, though, this color could be indicative of a bleeding ulcer, which you should have treated by a GI specialist.
If your poop is telling you to see a gastroenterologist, make sure you listen! And check back often in case it has anything else to say.
Reach out to a gastroenterology clinic to learn more.