Historically speaking, poop has always been connected with health

Wow, who knew? There are people who manage historical archives that include the evolution of poop. And that’s how we know the ancient Egyptians were the first to track bowel movements and the difficulty of constipation. A medical document dated to the 16th century made mention of disease as “a poisoning of the bodies from the inside.” The Egyptians made the link between bad smells and poor health. They documented their belief that to rid disease, a person had to expel it by vomiting or defecating.

By the 1800s the concept of “autointoxication” became a guiding principle of doctors. Concerns over constipation became more relevant with the dawning of the industrial revolution. As people moved less and ate more, poor bowel movements became a significant concern. In fact, constipation became known as the “the disease of civilization.” Constipation was said to be a disease in the gut that caused infections. These infections led to mental illness including anxiety, psychosis, and depression.

The 19th century paved the way for products devoted to helping things along - that is laxatives, colonics, and, for the badly clogged, bowel surgeries. It wasn’t until the the discovery of terms did they realize that diseases wasn’t just caused by the “foul decay of pent-up waste” inside the intestines but by bacteria and viruses.

In 2014, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a huge Roman bathroom, over 2,000 years old. In Rome, public toilets were multi-user affairs — these were long stone benches, lined with 50 holes less than two feet apart — in the city’s underbelly, far beneath its opulent palaces.