Poop is an uncomfortable topic. In general, most people don’t like to talk seriously about it with their significant other and even their healthcare provider. It’s a taboo subject in society. So instead of talking about it with others, people turn to the internet to seek answers to their poop issues. In fact, poop — or “Why is my poop green?” — is the fourth most common “Why” question searched on Google.
Odds are that while people are “Google sleuthing” about poop, they might also find Sameer Islam, MD, a gastroenterologist from Lubbock, Texas. He is known online as the “Poop Doctor.”
Dr. Islam believes that because of society’s stigma around gut issues, people feel a sense of shame when they have a GI problem. To overcome that stigma, Dr. Islam takes a humorous approach when discussing these topics, because humor helps people feel more comfortable to talk. According to Dr. Islam, it’s important not to be too humorous, however, because people may dismiss the topic. Engaging people is key to get them to want to learn, he mentioned.
“My goal is to educate people about their digestive health,” he said in an interview with IBS Life. “I want to give them a platform where they are able to openly ask about questions they’re embarrassed to ask and then give them factual information that is evidenced based.”
According to Dr. Islam, one reason why he started his video series is because he knows that a lot of his patients do their research on the internet before coming to the practice. Because much of the information they’ve learned was not accurate, he set about to change that.
He began his online presence in 2015 with the video “Introduction to Sameer Islam.” He covers topics people are afraid to ask or may not know to ask. The most common questions he gets fall in several categories (e.g., IBS, IBD, medical therapies, natural therapies, gluten issues, and poop). Today, Dr. Islam’s YouTube audience has amassed to nearly 30,000 subscribers with an age range from as young as 17 all the way up to people in their 80s, all looking for answers to their gut problems.
To reassure his viewers that the information he imparts is factual, he emphasizes his medical training in several videos. Dr. Islam completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas in Austin then received both his medical degree and MBA at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He continued his training in gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic where he became assistant professor of medicine. He’s also published clinical articles in journals, such as the American Journal of Gastroenterology and American Journal of Medical Sciences.
Those looking for information have a variety of videos to choose from. Some of the topics he’s covered include:
“Constipation with SIBO”
“12 Things Your Stool Says about Your Health”
“Healthy Gut Diet Plan”
“How to spot and avoid added sugar”
What does the future look like for the Poop Doctor? Dr. Islam plans on covering the importance of probiotics and prebiotics, the impact of COVID19 and gut issues, and reflux. Dr. Islam’s channel on YouTube, can be found at this link. He also appears on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. On Tuesdays, he goes live on Facebook and Instagram to answer questions from his audience.