It’s something everyone does, but nobody, at least in public, really wants to talk. Although the water cooler isn’t a common subject, it’s natural to have questions about your pooping habits. What’s usual? Why’s it smelling? You’re getting the idea. Let’s look at the science behind some of our peculiar pooping patterns in order to find out more.
- Lots of gas in the morning?
In the middle of the night, the colon is fairly inert, but it gets revved up and begins to contract when you wake up, sweeping out the gas that has been stuck there all night. According to researchers, the largest volume and longest emission of the day is usually in the morning when the colon wakes up.
2. Wake up at night only to pee?
Your body’s circadian rhythm, the internal clock that wakes you when it’s light out and makes you feel sleepy at night, affects the sophisticated, knowledgeable neurons in your gut that regulate colon contractions, which force out waste. So in the middle of the night, most people don’t have the need to clear their colon. On the other hand, before you have to go the bladder, which serves as a reservoir for the continuous flow of urine formed in the kidneys, can only reach up to a certain amount. Usually, without having to urinate, you can sleep six to eight hours, but certain medical conditions (type 2 diabetes is one or drinking too much water before bed can wake you up at night to use the toilet.
3. Feel chilly while pooping?
This is the “poo-phoria” feelgood feeling. It happens when the vagus nerve, which stretches from the brainstem to the colon, is activated by the bowel movement. It may cause sweating and chills when the vagus nerve is activated, as well as a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. To cause poo-phoria, it needs a significant amount of poop, which is why it does not happen every time you go to the loo.
4. Spicy food makes it hurt to poop?
As you digest them, the compounds which give their heat to those curried chicken wings remain relatively unchanged, so they make their way into your poop. This can bind to a receptor called TRPV1 when capsaicin comes into contact with our skin or mucosa (transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 ion channel). This receptor is present all over your body, from the lips/mouth to the anus, including your digestive tract. Capsaicin, an extract of chili pepper used in spicy foods, is often not completely digested. This means that it will activate TRPV1 receptors as it passes through your digestive tract. By the time it hits the end of your digestive tract, these receptors in your anus will fire off any remaining available capsaicin in the food waste and cause you to experience the pain/burn once again.
5. Can’t poop on a holiday?
When they fly, almost 40 percent of people get constipated, and it’s largely due to changes in their routine. Various meal times, a changed sleeping schedule, or jet lag can throw off the circadian rhythm of your body and impact your digestive process.
6. Poop more when you get your period?
Your body releases hormones called prostaglandins when your cycle begins, which help contract your uterus and can also affect your bowels. The issue arises when the prostaglandins exit the uterus and are identified by the large intestine’s smooth muscle cells, causing them to contract.
7. Why poop doesn’t sink?
Poop that floats may contain fat, which may be a sign that your body has trouble absorbing food nutrients. Conditions such as coeliac disease or chronic pancreatitis are associated with malabsorption. Even no cause for concern is the rare floating stool.
8. Does surgery affect your movements?
A constipation trifecta may all be the drugs you are given at the time of surgery, the pain relievers you may take afterwards and the inactivity that happens during recovery. Before and after surgery, your doctor will typically give you stool softeners and if not, ask your doctor if it could be prescribed for you.
Check out my related post: Why does coffee make you poop?