Three friends chat underneath a large yellow umbrella on the beach. Behind them is a beachy outhouse.

We Need to Talk More About Poo

I went on a weekend trip to the beach the other day with some friends. There was one couple that I’d only met the woman and had never met her husband. They arrived a little late and proceeded to explain that it was because they had had to stop along the way as the husband had diarrhea and they couldn’t find a toilet, so he had to go by the roadside.

Why this conversation was refreshing

Now I’m no stranger to talking about bowel movements, it's what I do every day in my work with clients with IBS. But I was pleasantly surprised at how open and frank this couple was about the husband’s episode. And I felt it made a lot of difference. He didn’t seem embarrassed or stressed about what happened. It just happened, and it’s not the first time and he just gets on with it. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t help myself and had almost a mini consult about why this keeps happening to him and the options available like FODMAPs, elimination diets, and gut healing should he wish to pursue it. He didn’t realize that this is something that he could possibly fix, he just thought it was his life. By being open he might be able to get some help and some relief.

Along with the other three people there that day, we had almost an hour-long conversation about bowel movements, laughed a lot and decided he probably shouldn’t eat dairy any more. It was so refreshing to have the stigma removed from this and be free to talk about it and share our bowel movement stories. Everyone had one or two times when the same kind of thing had happened to them and they hadn’t made it to the bathroom. There was no shame. There was sympathy and empathy and more than a few jokes to lighten the mood.

How can this help others with IBS?

And that is how it should be. Bowel movements are a normal part of life. And IBS symptoms like diarrhea are more and more common. So, if we start talking more about it, more people can get help. More people will know what a normal bowel movement actually is and not have to live undiagnosed with IBS like so many people do.

Everyone poops, so let’s make sure everyone is pooping well by having open and honest conversations!

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