There is a lot of press and chatter in the medical community about stool these days. Some of you may be wondering why and what the big deal is?

Well, this is actually a very important topic. There are over 100 trillion microorganisms that live inside of our intestinal tract. They make up 10 times the amount of human cells on our bodies and have 100 times the amount of DNA compared to human DNA. It’s no understatement that these tiny bugs that live inside of our gastrointestinal tracts are important. We are learning more and more about this ecosystem of microorganisms in our guts (referred to as the gut microbiome) and discovering new things on a daily basis it seems. We have found associations in gut imbalance with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons to diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and various cancers. We are seeing literature surface on stool transplants to help those with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis) and we have known for a while now that stool transplants for the severe bacterial infection in the colon called C.diff (Clostridium difficile) can be extremely helpful. What these stool transplants do is rapidly change the environment inside the colon to help reset balance very quickly so that you can regain health. This supports the notion that the composition of the gut microbiome is central to health. Just recently there was a study suggesting that infection with a particular virus (reovirus) could be contributory to an immune response whereby people can develop celiac disease and be symptomatic when eating gluten.

These little bugs may be invisible to the naked eye but understanding their importance is paramount to preventing and managing various conditions and diseases. Manipulating the microbiome and shifting its abilities to produce various different substances is going to become a focus of medical care for patients in the coming times (in fact, it already is).

So, in a nutshell….yes, your stool is important. It is very important. It is a reflection of your health. It is a reflection of your microbiome. It is a reflection of the inner you!

Cheers to your (gut) health!

–Dr. Marv