Digestion starts in the mouth. The mouth produces a liquid called saliva, which breaks down the food and makes it mushy and easier to swallow. Muscles in your food pipe (the oesophagus) help to push the food down into your stomach. The stomach mixes the food with more fluid and breaks it into smaller pieces before moving it into your small bowel (the duodenum and ileum are parts of the small bowel).
The small bowel absorbs all the good bits from what you have eaten so that your body can use these to keep you healthy, and the rest gets pushed into your large bowel. The bits of food that your body is unable to use is called waste and moves on down the large bowel until it comes to your rectum.
When your rectum becomes full you feel the need to go for a poo, and this is then pushed out through your anus into the toilet.
Ideally, your poo should come out easily and look like a sausage! However, sometimes it may be difficult to go for a poo. It might be hard or runny. You may feel tummy pain, you may find it hard to push the poo out and it may hurt.
If you are worried about your poo, speak to your parent/carer or the school nurse.
Top tips for sausage poo
- Drink at least six to eight glasses of fluid a day, but avoid fizzy drinks as these can dehydrate you and make your poo hard.
- Exercise helps to keep your poo moving along your bowel.
- To wipe your bottom after going for a poo until the toilet paper is clean.
- Girls! Wipe from the front to the back (vagina to bottom) to stop germs from spreading between them.
- To flush the toilet.
- To wash your hands every time you have been to the toilet.