Check before your flush! It may save your life
WHEN you've done your business on the porcelain throne, an Aussie celebrity doctor says you should check before you flush - it could save your life.
WHEN you've done your business on the loo, do you have a little peek in the bowl before hitting that flush button?
Your answer is probably a definitive, if not slightly mortified "no". And fair enough.
But Dr Andrew Rochford says even the occasional cursory glance at your poop could be beneficial for your health.
"My advice would be to do this from time to time to ensure everything is running normally," the radio and television personality said.
Your bodily waste of both the solid and liquid variety can often be the first hint if something is wrong, he said.
The health of our bathroom habits is a compelling chapter in Rochford's new book The Reality Check Up, billed as a frank and to-the-point guide.
In his experience, people are fascinated by what is and isn't normal in that department - particularly when it comes to urine colour.
"It can tell you quite a lot," Rochford said. "The colour, the smell and even the viscosity - by that I mean the thickness - can tell doctors a great deal."
While he's not suggesting you touch or smell your pee, keep watch of any changes to the colour or its stench and see your doctor if something is off.
If your urine is very dark or blood-tinged, "it's time for a check-up".
Should your stream resemble a pale, straw colour then you're health is fine and you're adequately hydrated.
"Honey-coloured urine is a sign that you should drink water immediately and if it's very dark or appears to have the consistency of syrup, you're probably suffering from severe dehydration. Or worse, your liver might be diseased."
When it comes to poop, Rochford said the ideal stool should be of medium to light brown colour.
"It should gently slide into the water, not hitting it like a bomb, before gently sinking to the bottom of the bowl."
If it's some other colour, like green, yellow or even white, there's potentially something not quite right and if it persists, Rochford suggests bringing it up with your doctor.
And the amount of effort required to get the job done is also something to take note of.
"If you find yourself staring and pushing, groaning as you try to expel the waste, that's an abnormal amount of effort. Having a bowel movement should be as easying as peeing."
It's not pleasant to ponder your poop or pee, it's true, but the more you can watch and learn what's normal and healthy for you, the better, Rochford said.
Rochford's book The Reality Checkup is on sale now.