MIT researchers want to build a database of human excrement and ask people to send photos of their bowel movements for analysis
- Researchers want 100,000 photos of stools to train an AI
- The project is being carried out by Auggi, a MIT startup, and Seed, a microbiome company
- The team places the photos in one of the seven types using the Bistol Stool Scale
79 million people are pooping worldwide.
A new technology company hopes that only 100,000 of them will be willing to turn around and take a photo after they are ready, and then send it to them for investigation.
Seed, a collective researching the human microbiome, collaborates with MIT researchers working on an artificial intelligence called Auggi capable of analyzing images of human stools.
"Every day you wash away a gold mine of data – the size, shape, color, texture, consistency and frequency of your poop can provide important insights into your overall health," the group's website claims.
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A team of MIT and Seed gut researchers hope to get 100,000 feces photos to build a database that shows general gut health
Bowel disorders are a common but natural phenomenon that the team hopes to learn more about through their research.
They estimate that as many as three-quarters of the world's population suffer from some form of digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, bloating and irregular bowel movements.
By training Auggi to categorize user photos using the Bristol Stool Scale to start building a general database of human stools to draw conclusions about overall gut health.
People interested in participating can go to seed.com/poop to sign up. The team promises that all photos will be made anonymous before they are added to the database
The Bristol Stool Scale varies from Type 1, defined as "individual hard lumps" associated with constipation, to Type 7, "liquid consistency without solids" and often associated with bowel inflammation.
WHAT IS THE BRISTOL STOOL SCALE?
The Bristol-Stool Scale is a widely used diagnostic tool that classifies human stools into seven different types.
Type 1 – Individual hard lumps, such as nuts (hard to pass)
Type 2 – Sausage-shaped but lumpy
Type 3 – Like a sausage but with cracks on the surface
Type 4 – Like a sausage or hose, smooth and soft
Type 5 – Soft blobs with clear cutting edges (easily transmitted)
Type 6 – Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, mushy stools
Type 7 – Watery, no solid parts. Fully liquid
Normal stools are associated with Type 3, & # 39; a sausage form with cracks in the surface & # 39; or Type 4. & # 39; such as a smooth, soft sausage or hose. & # 39;
To ensure that user privacy is protected, investigators will remove all metadata and other identifying information associated with the photo before they are sent to Auggi for analysis.
To begin with, the team created prototypes with Play-Doh to test Auggi's general shape recognition capabilities.
"We spent countless hours making different Play-Doh models," said Auggi co-founder David Hachuel The edge.
"We actually have a toilet 3D printed to match how that would happen in real life."
The group later turned to Reddit, where they found that a significant number of users were already posting photos of their own bowel movements.
The Bristol Stool Scale was formalized in 1992 and classifies the stools into seven different types
The long-term goal of the project is to create a tool that allows users to better manage their own gut health, especially people struggling with digestive problems.
People who are interested in participating can go to seed.com/poop.
The page is loaded on desktop computers, but is optimized for mobile phones.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP MY BOWEL MOVEMENTS?
It is important to make time for your bowels every day. Most intestines respond best to normal habits.
About 30 minutes after eating is the most likely time for the gut to work. This is due to the & # 39; gastrointestinal response & # 39 ;, which means that eating triggers waves of activity in the gut.
Try not to rush to go to the toilet. If you have a tendency to constipate, set aside for about ten minutes in the toilet.
This should preferably happen at a time when you are not in a hurry to do other things. Find a toilet that you can use comfortably and where you do not feel inhibited by lack of privacy or time.
Remove constipating medication
If you use medication (prescribed or purchased at the pharmacy), ask your doctor or pharmacist if they can contribute to your constipation.
If possible, try to remove constipating drugs, for example codeine.
First, make sure that you are sitting comfortably on the toilet. It is very natural for people to squat to pass a stool.
On a footstool about 20-30 cm (eight to ten inches) high, your feet may help by improving the angle of the rectum in the pelvis and making it easier to pass stools.
Relax and breathe normally. Do not hold your breath, as this will encourage you to tense.
Tighten your abs. You should feel them pushing forwards and sideways. This is called the brace.
Focus on relaxing the anus (back passage) to let the stools pass. Do not push from above without relaxing the anus below.
Drink more water
Try to drink a minimum of 1.5 liters (six to eight cups) of liquid daily, unless your doctor advises otherwise, as the body may dry out if it is not replaced.
Dehydration can lead to constipation. Try to limit the amount of coffee and alcohol that you drink, as this can irritate the intestines and cause dehydration.
Fiber-rich diets are not always the best
Eating regularly is the best stimulant for your intestines. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to slow or irregular bowel movements.
Contrary to popular belief, a high-fiber diet is not always the best diet for people with constipation.
Regular meals and adequate fluid intake are more important. Too many fibers can lead to an increase in bloating and discomfort.
If you feel that your diet does not contain enough fiber, try using fruits and vegetables (soluble fiber) instead of grains (insoluble fiber), as they swell less.
Be careful not to eat too much fiber, as this can lead to loose bowel movements that are difficult to control.
Some foods can act as natural laxatives in some people, such as licorice, chocolate, plums, figs, and spicy foods.
Exercise can help improve bowel movements because it helps to stimulate the gut to work regularly, but be careful and don't overdo it.
If you lead a very inactive lifestyle (driving to a desk), even a regular walk during lunch can make a difference.
There are specific exercises for your sphincter and pelvic floor that can help improve both bowel function and control.
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