The age old question, something our ancestors sat around campfires and discussed. Well, not really, but going number two is a commonality that ties us all together. This article focuses on an area that most people are too shy to discuss: the odor that’s associated with poo. Let’s take a closer look at how poo is made, what causes it to smell and how you can decrease the odor.
How Poop is Made
Digestion begins in your mouth. As you chew your food, enzymes in your saliva begin the process of digestion. Food then travels to the stomach where it’s exposed to more enzymes and an acidic environment. The goal is to get this food broken down so the small intestines can absorb nutrients into the bloodstream for the body to utilize. Pretty straightforward, right? Enter bacteria!
Most of our lives, we’ve been told to wash our hands, to be careful of dirty surfaces and to use hand sanitizer, but there are some strains of bacteria that are extremely important for digestion and absorption. After food passes through the small intestines, it moves to the large intestines where the majority of water is removed and absorbed into the body. The food is ready to be eliminated. At this point, it primarily consists of fibrous food particles, dead bacteria, and byproducts of nutrient breakdown. And there you have it – a fascinating tale of a food’s journey to become a doodie. This whole process typically takes around 40 hours.
What Causes the Smell
Considering what poo is made of, you know that there would be a smell associated with it. But it should be a mild smell, not a "room clearing" smell. If you find that your poo is so stinky that you’re embarrassed to go in public, there are a couple potential causes to consider:
Decreasing the Odor
Many different factors influence the way your poo smells, but one of the first places to look into is your diet. Having a clean diet can aid with regularity, helping you feel better while also producing a more socially acceptable doodie odor.