3 Ways To Test Your Digestive Health For Free
Have you ever wondered how healthy your gut is? Maybe you experience bloating, indigestion or general digestive discomfort and are wondering what’s going on in there?
Before you rush out and pay a fortune for gut health tests, try these three DIY tests to see what you can find out. They’re simple to do and can help identify the causes of various digestive issues.
1. GUT TRANSIT TIME TEST
This test can be used to find out how fast or slow food is moving through your digestive system. If food is passing through you too quickly, you won’t be able to get the nutrients you need from it. On the other hand, if it’s moving too slowly things can start to get backed up causing symptoms such as gas, bloating, indigestion and nausea.
For this test, you will have to eat at least two tablespoons of either beetroot or sweetcorn with your evening meal. This is because both foods are easy to identify in your poop. Corn doesn’t completely break down so the kernels are clearly seen, and beetroot will make your poop look pink.
When you next have a bowel movement check to see if there’s any sign of what you ate. Keep checking every time until you see the evidence.
14 – 24 HOURS = NORMAL
36 – 38 HOURS = OK
OVER 72 HOURS = TOO SLOW
Ideally, you want to see some evidence of the food in your poop within 14 – 24 hours because this indicates a healthy gut which processes food at the right speed.
Some people will naturally take longer to process food so even 36 – 38 hours may be OK for you.
Over 72 hours means something is slowing things down and you are constipated. You may want to try test number three to investigate further.
This test is useful if you are just starting out investigating your digestive health issues or if you’re working on healing your gut because you can track your progress.
2. FOOD, MOOD, POOP JOURNAL
The second test involves keeping a detailed journal for at least seven days. In it, you record what you ate and drank, how you felt including your mood and symptoms and your bowel movements.
When you look back you can see patterns and connections between what you ate and how you felt, as well as what affected your bowel movements.
This kind of test is especially helpful in identifying food sensitivities, and triggers of bloating, gas and indigestion. It also makes you realize you may not be eating as healthy as you think when you look back and see how much junk food you ate.
3. BRISTOL STOOL CHART
The Bristol Stool Chart was designed to help people identify certain digestive issues. Peeking at your poop before you flush and matching it to the type on the chart will give you a good insight into the state of your digestive health.
After having a bowel movement check your poop and see which type it matches on the scale. You might want to check your poop over a few days rather than just once to get a good idea of what’s happening. Grab a copy HERE
If your poop matches type 1 or 2 you are constipated. The longer the poop has sat in your colon, the drier and harder it becomes.
Types 3-5 are generally considered normal with type 4 being pretty much perfect.
Types 6 and 7 show your poop is travelling way too fast through your digestive system with 7 being diarrhoea.
If you experience types 1, 2, 6, or 7 on a regular basis then further investigation may be required. If you’re worried book an appointment with your GP and share your concerns.