No, you read that right. We’re looking to find and train the world’s first Poommelier’s, experts in the sight and smells of faecal matter, as we continue our efforts of breaking the poo taboo.
We’re looking for up to five people to take part in Poommelier training, covering all aspects of digestive health and nutrition as well as finding the right nose for the job. Trainees will receive £1,500, with one person eventually being given the title of world’s first Poommelier and a role with us helping to run our online Poo Clinic.
The important bits
Aspiring Poommeliers must be aged 18 and over, be available to commit to the training schedule across six months from March 2023, and have an excellent sense of smell. People interested in applying for the course can do so here:
A change in bowel habits is a very strong indicator of what's happening internally in the digestive tract. Any changes in shape, smell, texture, colour and bowel regularity can indicate infections, digestive problems or a link to more serious health issues like cancer.
Our lead nutritionist Hannah Macey told us that while no one’s poo smells great, very strong smelling poo along with visual cues can be signs of health problems:
“An imbalance of your gut bacteria, known as dysbiosis, may result in more methane gas being produced by your gut, which may be detectable either as unpleasant smelling wind or poo. Certain food intolerances such as lactose intolerance, certain gut infections, or inflammatory bowel disease may also result in extremely bad smelling stools.
“If you have any changes in your bowel movements it’s important to see a GP or gut health expert.”
Aaron Providence, our founder and CEO had this to say:
“Being a poo expert might not be top of everyone’s list, but finding and training the world’s first ‘Poommelier’ is a way for us to take a serious issue like gut health and have a little fun with it.
“At Feel Complete, we’re all about breaking down that poo taboo. In the UK in particular it’s something people avoid talking about, often out of embarrassment, but we know that our bowel habits and stools provide an invaluable window to our health, which makes knowing the sights and smells to look out for very important.
“We’re excited to be taking on this project and can’t wait to see who’s up for the challenge!”
Bowel Basics - What should poo look like?
You don’t need to be a qualified Poommelier to get to know your gut. We asked our lead nutritionist, Hannah Macey, to share her top tips when it comes to sniffing out subtle changes in our poo.
What changes to smell/look should people look out for?
The look can change depending on what you are eating, things like beetroot, and green and red vegetables can show their colour in the poo. Any red blood in your stools is a big red flag, whether it be mixed in with the stool or on the surface, this is checked out, without delay, by a Doctor. Commonly this may occur due to piles or a tear in the anal tissue, perhaps due to straining, however, blood may be a sign of bowel cancer, and should not be ignored.
If the stool is black and tarry in consistency this may be an indication of a bleed higher up in your gut, and a very pale, chalky-coloured stool may indicate a bile duct obstruction.
If the stool is very pale in colour, foul smelling and doesn't flush away easily ,this may be an indication that the body is not digesting and absorbing fat properly from food, due to conditions such as Coeliac disease or IBS, or pancreatic disorders.
Poo that smells very foul can be a sign of an infection or it could be a sign of some gastrointestinal bleeding, or it could be an indicator of poor diet. While the smell of your stool or gas on its own is not the best indication of what’s going on, changes to smell are easy to detect because we get used to the smell of our own microbiome in wind and poo over time. If you have any concerns it's always best to check with a GP if you’re unsure.
What’s considered a normal smell/look?
Doctors have a scale called the Bristol Stool Chart which provides pictures of seven categories of stool consistency, ranging from “hard to pass lumps, like nuts” (Type 1), indicating constipation, to an entirely liquid stool (Type 7), the most extreme type of diarrhoea. Types 3 and 4 are considered as the optimum poo form: easily passed and sausage-like.
The colour of your poo may also provide clues to possible health problems, a healthy poo colour being a mid-brown colour.
You can take our Poo Health Check and access expert information and advice quickly if you have any gut health concerns.