- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
We spend way too much time in shame around our bowels. All of us have to go, and do; but we seem to believe it is a secret process. That is, until there is a problem. Once we have an upset stomach, constipation, bloating or diarrhea there is a commercial. In that last sentence, we can easily imagine at least three products to ease the symptoms, maybe four. However, can we identify at least five ways to prevent all of them?
Before we look at mainstream prevention, lets wander out to left field – colon hydrotherapy. Back in the day, I signed up for a program that taught body cleansing through bowel management. It was part of an overall health process I was working. I exercised, ate raw foods, drank lots of water, and rested. Lots of people go in for body wraps as a form of detox, but the wrap only pull a small amount of surface toxins that can be forced to excrete during the procedure. Detoxification is an internal process and wraps work best as the final step. (More on that in another post.)
My first appointment with the colon hydrotherapist came after a three-day liquid diet. The last day being water only. During this period, I also ingested bowel stimulants to expel solid matter. The idea is that you will clear out as much as possible before resting on the table. Unlike the homemade apparatuses with a slant board and bucket, this office was set up like a massage room. The entire water and disposal system was encased in the wall with a window so the client could watch their filth go by.
It was really rather amazing to see what was left after three days without solid food and thinking I had literally shit my brains out. It is a simple process of filling the bowels with warm water, massaging the belly with the water contained and when it becomes unbearable, releasing the sphincter muscles. The water flows out. There is a single inserting of the plug into the butt. It contains both the intake and exit valve controlled by the therapist. Easy peasy! The only thing to fear is, you know, fear itself.
So what of people who think it doesn’t matter how often you evacuate your bowels? I say they are full of shit. My health professional told me that constipation was in my head. Where did she learn that? Or maybe there is something to it. Some people are full of shit. You can hear it when they speak. Of course, she was speaking to our personal preferences for how often we go. Each of our bodies function on their own transit patterns; yet, if we eat everyday do we really think it’s okay to let our food rest digested or not for another three. Some people go only once a week. My offer is that a healthy body needs to release what is no longer necessary.
Let’s look at the poop. Most folk’s just do their business and flush. However, your poop is telling you the general state of your health – even sounding the alarm when assistance may be needed.
Hard and Dry
If your food moves slowly through the gut (long transit) the water will be extracted leaving compacted stool which is hard to pass when it finally makes it to the gate. This is constipation. The garage door is open but the car won’t start. The cause can be medicines, dairies, or dehydration.
Without sufficient fiber, stool can’t gather water to form a smooth movement. Again, diets high in protein, lacking roughage can make poop harder to pass. There is the urge but no merge.
Your body secretes about eight liters of fluid during the course of a day—from the stomach, salivary glands, and pancreas. The fluids help your food break down and make its transit through the gut. Under normal, healthy conditions, the majority of that fluid is absorbed along the way, resulting in those sought-after soft, fluffy stools. However, if food passes through too quickly, there isn’t enough time for all of that liquid to absorb, and the stool emerges in a too-soft state. We keep going and going and going. The reasons for such super-quick transit could include a sudden increase in fiber in the diet, or a bacterial or viral infection. When we get something toxic in our body, it does what it can to get rid of it.
The reason can also be constipation. Yes, hard pellets can’t move so the fluids go around. What you get is watery stool with a few hard pellets.
Blockages and polyps interfere with the passage of stool. The narrowing pathways mean stool must squeeze through. Thin stools, can be caused by a blockage signal the need for medical attention.
Pale looking or grey
Bile and digestive enzymes bring the color to stool. Without those secretions from the liver and pancreases, stool might look grey or too pale. Appearance of stool reports the condition of your digestive tract.
Red-colored stool could be related to something you ate, like beets or popsicles. If you find blood on the tissue or in the toilet, it could be external from hemorrhoids or an anal fissure from straining. Either of those last two is worth a professional opinion. If this is a reoccurrence, dietary adjustments can ease passage and prevent straining, as can elevating the knees above the hips.
Dark or black tarry stools may be related to iron supplementation or a bleed higher in the GI tract. If you haven’t changed your supplement regime, consult your medical professional.
It floats and stinks
Malabsorption of fats causes them to be excreted from the body. These stools are yellowish in color, greasy in consistency, foul smelling, and float in the toilet. Since some nutrients are fat soluble, they are being lost in the stool. Foul greasy stools are also a side effect of eating faux fats like Olestra, or taking weight loss supplements like Xenical and Alli. Remember to wear dark pants and carry a change of clothing due to anal leakage.
If you’re not going at all, review your diet. Are you eating enough to produce waste? Are you eating breakfast? Eating after sleep is designed to get things moving. Increase fiber through fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Take in sufficient fluids –water, tea, soups, fruits, and juice. Move your body. Stretching, bending and twisting all activate the digestive system and increase metabolism.
I hear jokes about old people being preoccupied with their poop. We think it is because they have nothing else to occupy their time. Maybe they understand the importance of minding the body. They are old after all.
To become clear, pure, or free.
To clear from impurities, as lees, dregs, etc.; to clarify; to purify; to refine.
To free from extraneous or polluting matter; to clear; to purify, as from that which materializes.
Freed from anything that can pollute, as dregs, lees, etc.; refined; purified.
To void excrement
That sounds like a daily process to me. And every day I pass on the opportunity I am potentially FOS.