what successful men with ibs know that you don't


men's IBS success secrets

gutwise men

Unlocking Men's IBS success secrets

blog image

Poo Clues: A Man's Guide

December 01, 20238 min read

“Listening to your gut is wise. Observing what it discards is wiser.” - Charliejeane

I've recently come across some (unqualified) people saying don't worry if your poo is BLACK, because it's from iron...

This is NOT ACCURATE. And could risk you your life.

Checking your poo could literally be a lifesaver.

Listening to unqualified influencers? That's a highway to the danger zone ⚠️

(- and all of a sudden you're singing, "Highway to the danger zone... Ride into the danger zone..." - good ole Kenny Loggins! I love the opening scene of 'Top Gun: Maverick' with the jets taking off the aircraft carrier - awesome film), but I digress.

Instead of listening to unqualified people, check this out👇 (...And see your doctor if you notice anything usual with your poo 💩 ... which you won't notice if you don't check your poo!)

Poop chart

Grab your Poo Colour Chart here

👉 The Truth About Black Poo: Why You Shouldn't Ignore It

While it's true that certain iron supplements can darken your poo, assuming that any black colour is harmless can be a grave mistake.

And it's irresponsible for these people to casually claim, "Oh, black poo is just from iron", especially with the influence they have - hundreds of thousands of followers, and some with millions. That's LOTS of people getting the WRONG information 😧

There are a few possibilities behind dark/black poo, and one of them being an indication of bleeding higher up in the gut, for example from the stomach or the small intestine.

This bleeding may be caused by various conditions, such as peptic ulcers, or even bowel cancer.

Ignoring black poo under the assumption that it's just iron-related could delay the diagnosis and treatment of a potentially life-threatening condition.

That's why it's super important to take a moment to understand the potential reasons behind the change in your poo colour.

Now, you don't have to be a doctor to know that normal poo is a nice chocolatey-chestnut brown colour. And if it's anything else, check this out and then speak with your doctor if necessary.

... But, don't be like, "Oh, it'll be alright... I'll leave it for now... I don't want to bother my doctor... Gross, I'm not talking to my doctor about that..." especially if your poo is black, tarry and super smelly - don't sit on it - see your doctor (even if it feels minging to talk about poo).

🚨 Trust (Unqualified) Influencers?

In a world filled with social media influencers and self-proclaimed experts everywhere, it's easy to fall victim to misinformation. Those big followings can make it seem like they know it all, even when they don't.

And we can talk ourselves out of doing something we know we should do, too.

We can be like, "I'll just quickly Google it." In your mind, you're thinking, this'll be miles quicker and easier than booking an appointment with my doctor. Sod that, waiting for ages; "You're 10th in the queue...", how about no. Ughh, it's a right pain in the ass, then I'll have to wait ages for an appointment, and then I'll have to sit in the waiting room for ages because they're always running late - what if I bump into someone, tsk. And they'll want to ask me loads of stuff. And what if they want me to give a sample? Minging. And then they might want me to have some tests done... What if they want to put that camera up my bum? What if they find... "I'll just Google it - it'll be fine." It's probably just... something... I ate... it's nothing... "I'm fine."

I know it can be embarrassing talking about toilet habits, but isn't it better to be safe than sorry? And step out of your own way and speak to a medical doctor rather than turning to unqualified info and advice online?

Relying on unqualified advice can have severe consequences.

Your health is too important to leave in the hands of clueless people and who may not have your best interests at heart.

If they genuinely care about what's best for you, they wouldn't go spouting off with incorrect advice. If they're not sure, they shouldn't comment and leave it to a qualified professional.

I go into more detail here about relying on the internet and social media for health (and IBS) advice.

My advice (to protect your health and wellbeing)?

Only seek information and guidance from reliable sources, such as suitably qualified healthcare professionals and reputable medical websites for accurate information about symptoms, diagnoses, and necessary actions... But ultimately it's your choice 👍

👀 Take a Moment to Check

The simple yet potentially life-saving action that so many men fail to do – checking your poo.

Before flushing it, keeping a casual eye on your poo is helpful (- don't be going and getting all obsessed about it though).

Your poo can give you clues about what's going on inside your gut. But hang fire with (commercial) poo testing (not the kind your medical doctor might recommend).

Check your poo for:

  • Changes in the colour,

  • Consistency, and

  • Frequency

You can easily record all this (and more) in this discreet IBS journal. - I mean, who really wants to get out a colourful diary and sit there, in front of people, filling it in when it's got IBS and Irritable Bowel Syndrome splattered all over it.

The journal also contains a very handy Poo chart (- different from the one above) that shows the 7 different poo types, ranging from hard little nuggets to runny liquid.

If you notice anything unusual with your bowel habits, especially persistent black poo, don't delay seeing your medical doctor.

With IBS, you may be constantly checking your poo for changes in consistency and frequency. But noticing anything unusual with these is going to be really tricky if you haven't got control of your symptoms, and frequently suffering with IBS flare-ups.

... Another reason to get your IBS dialled in, so you can spot signs or symptoms that may be suspicious.

This is what happened to Glenn (my husband and business partner) quite recently.

Thankfully for him (and me and his family), he has got full control of his IBS so when his bowel habits weren't normal, and from living with me and having helped him conquer his IBS, he knows the importance of checking his poo - yes, we have some lovely conversations about poo!!

Also, he didn't delay seeing his doctor.

So, if they did find, say an ulcer or bowel cancer or whatever, then this would've been swift from noticing symptoms, to getting investigated, to being treated. Unlike so many men that have gut symptoms like stomach pains, diarrhoea and bloating and maybe even some blood in their poo, and what do they do? They leave it. Ignore it. Put up with it. But in their mind, the uncertainty and worry must be doing their head in.

And this mental strain, or stress, can make symptoms worse by the gut-brain interaction (known as the 'gut-brain axis').

So... Check your poo 💩

👇 See Your Doctor

When it comes to your health isn't it always better to be safe than sorry?

If you notice anything weird going on with your poo, especially if it comes with other stuff like fever, feeling weak, dropping weight without trying, or finding any unusual lumps – and especially if your family has a history with gut issues like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Coeliac disease, or bowel cancer – it's important to see your doctor without delay.

They can evaluate your symptoms, do any necessary tests, and provide guidance on the next steps.

As tempting as it may be, never try to self-diagnose - it's like putting a roadblock in the way of getting timely, accurate, and professional medical advice and the necessary treatment.

Seeking advice from your medical doctor is key for nailing down an accurate diagnosis, so you can then get the right treatment for whatever's going on. It's all about getting the best care tailored to your unique health needs.

✅ Key Points

  1. Check your poo for the COLOUR, CONSISTENCY and the FREQUENCY of bowel movements

  2. Black poo isn't just because of iron supplements

  3. Don't ignore the clues in your poo ✨💩✨ - if you're unsure speak with your medical doctor

  4. If you want a way to track your bowel habits (and loads of other stuff too), then you can grab one of these Journals - stylish and discreet.

    You can then share this with your doctor (and any other health professionals that may be involved with your care, such as a Dietitian).

  5. Listening to unqualified influencers and so-called experts is a highway to the danger zone

If you're a guy with IBS and want reliable information and advice instead of wading through the chaos of other IBS groups, where even the moderators are throwing misinformation left, right, and Chelsea, then this community is for you.

Here, there's no fear to discuss anything related to gut symptoms, including poo talk, and rest assured, anyone haters or p*ss takers gets the boot. So see you on the inside.

Poo taboobowel habitsstool chartpoopgut issuesgut healthdigestive systembowel health
Men's Performance Dietitian


Men's Performance Dietitian

Back to Blog

I enjoy going out for meals with family and having nights out with mates - things I've not been able to do for a long time.

Mason P

Project Manager

I don't have to worry about mates or colleagues taking the p*ss out of me anymore because I'm on top of my IBS.

Trevor K

Sales Executive

I've got so much more energy and focus now, without constantly being distracted by my stomach issues or having to dash to the loo.

Marcus M