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Why you shouldn’t worry about pooping once a day | Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter

You may have heard that you should be pooping once a day — but that’s a load of crap, says Dr. Jen Gunter. From the enzymes in your mouth to the nutrient-absorbing power of your large intestine, she journeys through the digestive tract to explain why it’s okay to poop at your own pace —…

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You may have heard that you should be pooping once a day — but that’s a load of crap, says Dr. Jen Gunter. From the enzymes in your mouth to the nutrient-absorbing power of your large intestine, she journeys through the digestive tract to explain why it’s okay to poop at your own pace — and shares the many regulating benefits of a fiber-rich diet.

Think you know how your body works? Think again! Dr. Jen Gunter is here to shake up everything you thought you knew — from how much water you need to drink to how often you need to poop and everything in between. This TED original series will tell you the truth about what’s *really* going on inside you. (Made possible with the support of Oura)

Want to hear more? Follow Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter on Apple Podcasts:

Transcriber:

How often do you poop?

You might have heard you should have
a bowel movement once a day.

But the truth is that if you poop
anywhere from three times a day

to three times a week,

you’re completely and totally normal.

(Music)

[Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter]

(Music)

Hey there, it’s Dr. Jen Gunter.

As an ob-gyn and pain-medicine doctor,

I end up talking to my patients about poop
more than you might think.

Overall, I hear a lot of anxiety about it.

Some people worry about not having
a bowel movement once a day,

even though its a phony metric.

Other people struggle with constipation.

Often, they don’t get
the treatment that they need,

and they can even turn
to dangerous solutions,

such as colon cleanses.

But for all the poop talk,
there’s one word I don’t hear enough —

fiber.

Let me take you through the journey
from food to poop.

Digestion actually starts in the mouth.

Chewing breaks the food down
into smaller particles.

As you eat, your food mixes with saliva,

which moistens the food,

and has enzymes that start
to break down those starches and fats.

Contractions is your esophagus
push the food to your stomach,

where acid and gastric juices and enzymes
further break the food down.

The food then travels
to the small intestine,

where fats, proteins,
carbohydrates and micronutrients

are further broken down, with help
from the pancreas, gallbladder, liver

and the microbiome,

so they can be absorbed
across the small intestine

and sent to the liver for processing.

What’s left moves
to the large intestine or the colon,

which has three main jobs:

absorbing water and electrolytes,
producing and absorbing vitamins

and forming and squeezing
the material, now called stool,

towards the rectum.

When the rectum is full,
it sends a signal to the brain,

and the brain takes into account whether
it’s a socially acceptable time to poop,

and if it is, it sends a signal
to the anal sphincter muscles to relax.

And boom, you know what happens next.

This process involves more than 10 organs

and typically takes
anywhere from 24 to 120 hours

in healthy people.

So it’s helpful to think of poop
as exactly what it is —

all the stuff that doesn’t get
digested in this process.

It is water, bacteria,
dead cells and mucus,

all glommed together with fiber.

Fiber is amazing.

It affects the digestive tract
from top to bottom.

It is very simply a carbohydrate
the body can’t absorb.

While other carbs
are broken down into sugars,

fiber passes by sort of moseying along,
doing all kinds of cool things.

High-fiber foods
physically take longer to eat,

so they help us pace our meals.

The bulk also slows down digestion,
especially in the stomach,

and makes you feel full longer.

Fiber also draws water
into the stool, keeping it soft.

Scratchy, hard stool is,
to put it mildly, unpleasant.

It also increases bacterial mass.

The water and bacteria
together increase the bulk of the stool,

which helps it move along.

Fiber also slows absorption of sugars
into the bloodstream

and reduces absorption
of fats and cholesterols.

And as fiber collects in your colon,

it feeds all your good gut bacteria,

helping you maintain a healthy microbiome.

Fiber is associated
with the reduced risk of diabetes,

heart disease, several
gastrointestinal conditions

and even certain cancers.

And yet, most of us
aren’t getting enough of it.

For example, in the US,

the vast majority of adults

aren’t eating the recommended
28 grams of fiber per day.

In fact, the average American
just gets 15 grams of fiber a day.

So how exactly do you get more fiber?

The generic answer
is to eat more whole grains,

fruits, vegetables and legumes.

But I want you to consider
some more specific fiber-rich foods

that I personally love:

pears, raspberries and blackberries,
avocados and artichokes,

high-fiber cereals, whole grains —
my favorite is farro —

lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas.

Almonds, pistachios
and sunflower seeds are other options.

When in doubt, reach for those.

And happy pooping.

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62 Comments

62 Comments

  1. Jose Leon

    June 9, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    I like how the video cuts rigth in the middle of happy poping

  2. Heather Mitchell-Adams

    June 9, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    This was great, but it made me wonder why they got an Ob/Gyn to do this topic and not a Gastroenterologist?

  3. ☣FalloutBoySVK☢

    June 9, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    I just came here to see what kind of hilarious comments people will write under a video with such a delicate topic. 💩💩💩

  4. Rachelle928

    June 9, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    DO YOU HEAR THAT STARBUCKS?!?! PLEASE DON’T GET RID OF YOUR SPROUTED GRAIN BAGELS 🥯 😭!!

  5. planit.paige

    June 9, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Normal rates of pooping is not synonymous with ideal. Most people suffer from normal chronic diseases, 97% of people don’t eat enough fibre, and most people die of normal causes, mostly preventable dietary-related chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and type-ii diabetes. Normal =/= ideal.

  6. Andrew Wilmot

    June 9, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Finally a woman speaking my language

  7. exteci

    June 9, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    What’s wrong about this?

  8. Alex

    June 9, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Knowledge is power

  9. WILLY WANKER

    June 9, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks mama youtube

  10. Tahani Barazi

    June 9, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    But what about pooping ONCE A WEEK? is that normal 😥?

    • Tijan

      June 10, 2021 at 12:28 am

      How many times a week do you eat??

    • Tahani Barazi

      June 10, 2021 at 12:31 am

      @Tijan 😂😂 I eat everything but I don’t know why I can’t pop enough

    • Tijan

      June 10, 2021 at 12:39 am

      I make sure I eat a fiber based breakfast like oatmeal or just fruit and drink lots of water and very often an uncooked salad for lunch with only veggies! Honestly fiber is the best way to go!! You will feel amazing after!

    • Tijan

      June 10, 2021 at 12:41 am

      @Tahani Barazi honestly, I think you will feel much better if you can do it once a day, don’t force it but eat more fiber and fruits and drink water (and a little coffee) and you will start getting that feeling in the mornings!!

    • Tahani Barazi

      June 10, 2021 at 1:04 am

      @Tijan THX for responding 💕
      I ganna try eat them as much as I can, even though that I don’t drink any type of caffeine like coffee or tea but I will try .

  11. Caveman712

    June 9, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    Who else is watching this while pooping?

  12. ONE PUNCH

    June 9, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Who else watching this while pooping?

  13. Ms Starlight

    June 10, 2021 at 12:01 am

    This Doctor is so good at explaining.
    What a great video.
    Thank you.
    ☺☺☺👍👍

  14. Tijan

    June 10, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Uhh don’t believe this lady!! Eat fiber and get it out of there!!

  15. ailingfanatic

    June 10, 2021 at 12:33 am

    ok what if i have no problem pooping but it takes forever to wipe (to the point of chafing and bleeding) even if i use wipes?

    • Tijan

      June 10, 2021 at 12:35 am

      Tushy? 🤷🏾‍♂️

    • ailingfanatic

      June 10, 2021 at 1:05 am

      @Tijan Thank you so much 😂

  16. fцику мцику

    June 10, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Dr. Jen has a PhD… Piling Higher & Deeper.

  17. Bailey Derby

    June 10, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Sorry but there is nothing healthy about pooping once a week. Western and especially American medicine may say otherwise, but ancient medical systems like Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, as well as most modern medical systems globally have understood the basic premise for millennia. What goes in, must come out.

  18. Hip Hop

    June 10, 2021 at 12:48 am

    So what about Sherlock? I heard He just won’t go.

  19. Nomar Norono

    June 10, 2021 at 12:57 am

    she reminds me of Tina Fey.

  20. -

    June 10, 2021 at 12:57 am

    If fiber/cellulose is indigestible and not nutritious, then couldn’t you get the same benefits of slowing digestion, pacing our meals, and increasing satiety by swalloing cotton-balls or lots of gum or other indigestible (but non-harmful) things like some people do? What’s the difference? 🤨 Can intestinal microflora eat cotton? 🤔

  21. Jeffrey G

    June 10, 2021 at 1:02 am

    Went 30 days without popping when the pandemic hit. It was completely illogical. And painful.

  22. Cory Y.

    June 10, 2021 at 1:04 am

    I pooped six times the other day, a new record

  23. Chubby Greyhound

    June 10, 2021 at 1:07 am

    No way does my brain know when it’s socially acceptable to drop a log. I once shat myself in my friends parents Volvo estate and it didn’t feel particularly acceptable to me. Had to waddle away in shame.

  24. FillUmUpp

    June 10, 2021 at 1:14 am

    Sorry but 24-120 hrs for food to go through your body is not an ok range.. if you eat a steak and it takes your 5 days to crap, there’s something wrong 😂

  25. Chac Mool

    June 10, 2021 at 8:50 am

    If it’s happening once a day, you are over eating.

  26. Aftab Asif

    June 10, 2021 at 9:36 am

    she is awesome na? 😁😁

  27. Michael Anderson

    June 10, 2021 at 10:41 am

    I wish I could

  28. Michael Anderson

    June 10, 2021 at 10:43 am

    2 girls 1 cup……

  29. Hinde Garrison

    June 10, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Occasionally, with constipation, I become nauseous with my bowel movement. Is this normal? (Occurs maybe once every six or eight weeks, I’m 59 and post-menopausal.)

    • Dreka Rangvaldr

      June 10, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      See a doctor

    • Hinde Garrison

      June 10, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      @Dreka Rangvaldr Been there, done that. No helpful info from ObGyn or GP or Gastro. All just say “that’s odd…” Looking for others who experience the same symptoms.

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    June 10, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    *I’ve tried to be successful in Bitcoin/forex trading and stock but I always end up losing money, last month I lost about $4,500 trying to trade for myself😭😭😭*

    • Lisa Susan

      June 10, 2021 at 4:39 pm

      When someone is straight forward and good at what he she does, people will always speak for them. For me I would say give Expert Mrs Joyce Molly of financial education a try and you be happy you did

    • Lisa Susan

      June 10, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      I’m so happy for taking the bold step in working and investing $2000 with Expert Mrs Joyce Molly after a week I received $6000to my bank,She’s the plug

  31. Hector Reyes

    June 10, 2021 at 2:18 pm

    Have a little issue with the illustrations. Food doesn’t actually go up to the liver and pancreas, juices with helpful enzymes come from those organs towards the small intestine where the food stays.

  32. Chelei Solo

    June 10, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    3 times a week gave me a heart attack. I panic if I go even a day without pooping! xD xD I’m so glad I got this YT recommendation

  33. oooC00KIEooo

    June 10, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    1:18 That is wrong, bile and pancreatic juice goes directly to the duodenum o.o

  34. ilaphroaig

    June 10, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    2:50 I just love hard poo, i hate soft poo. Need less paper with hard poo…

  35. DDPWE

    June 10, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Just because it’s ‘normal’ for some to NOT have to go at least once a day, they are NOT eating enough fibre. Simple solution. We are SUPPOSE to be going AT LEAST once a day and if you were eating the proper fiber(even higher than what they recommend), you’d be going 2-3 times a day. Not only would you be going to the washroom more, you’d actually FEEL much healthier too. There’s a reason why we need to steer away from animal products and the fact they’re void of fibre is a HUGE one. Why is diet our #1 killer? Why are the majority top diseases from animal products? hrmmm, weird how those all point to animal products.

  36. Quickshadow

    June 10, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    Why was this in my recommended?

  37. B

    June 10, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    This is a major problem with our culture. “Oh here is a ‘professional’ on the topic, so let me just blindly believe every word they say, and never do any real research.” Corporations love to place paid ‘professionals’ on news, social media, or any other platform, then they give you what the Corporations pay them to tell you and everyone believes it because they are an ‘expert’. So ignorant

  38. Dumble Door

    June 10, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Happy pooping to you too. 💩👍

  39. Julraud

    June 10, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Some people worry about that?

  40. epollei

    June 10, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Literally saw this in my feed while finally pooping after 2 days

  41. VoiceOfZen

    June 10, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Ahahahhah, nice.

  42. adnaanu

    June 10, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    I’m a 3 times a day guy

  43. agriperma

    June 10, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Now that it’s mango season in Florida, all that fiber really gets things moving along.

  44. Maddy L

    June 10, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Me having ulcerative coloitis going 15+ times a day 👁👄👁

  45. matt donlan

    June 10, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    I found that when I illuminated highly processed foods (anything in a box or bag), sugar, and seed oils, I went from voluminous poops sometimes twice a day, to normal poops once every other day. I never feel bloated anymore.

    • Clay Trader

      June 11, 2021 at 12:02 am

      Expert John Kennedy is obviously the best, he Change my 1.5BTC to 4.3BTC within 7days of trading, Whats////App him

    • Clay Trader

      June 11, 2021 at 12:02 am

      +4^4=7=7=5=1=4=5=5=8=2=4

  46. Navneet Mishra

    June 11, 2021 at 12:32 am

    Thank you!!
    Now I have an explanation of my excuse

  47. Ashley Scroggins

    June 11, 2021 at 12:39 am

    Naw… I’ve had digestive surgery so going everyday is a must for me!

  48. Navneet Mishra

    June 11, 2021 at 12:45 am

    who the f*ck poops three times a day!

  49. ASHA K.V

    June 11, 2021 at 1:12 am

    This is just an add for fiber

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