The “Scoop on the Poop”…How is your health?
January 10th, 2011
Like many people the answer may be right behind you! Few of us, however can talk about this which is a shame, as it yields clues about diet, gastrointestinal health, stress, even anxiety levels. As a child I was anxious. Every morning my Mum arrived with 2 tablespoons of milk of magnesia, one tablespoon of cod liver oil and a glass of hot ribena. This was followed by a bowl of cooked prunes! No wonder I am not a “morning person!” My sister and I dreaded the questions “Have you had at least 3 poops this week, girls?” This lead to a fascination whether “the pieces” floated or how many there were! Mum always said to be a good ‘poopy monster’ you had to see a shape like a banana, not sheep pellets!
On a more serious note, one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints is chronic constipation. Daily repetitive straining leads to a weak pelvic floor. Why? The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles that supports the intestines, the bladder and the uterus and if repeatedly strained, when trying to void sitting on a modern-day western toilet, the downward pressure stretches and weakens the Pudendal nerve, responsible for bladder control. In addition the toilet design may increase the risk of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and colon cancer.
Oncologists have observed that 80% of colon cancers occur in the caecum and the sigmoid colon, the two areas that are not fully evacuated in the sitting posture. X-rays taken to see the internal mechanics of voiding in a squat versus sitting position confirmed that food was shown to pass easier in the squat position. In other words the anal canal is kinked like a garden hose when seated on the “Throne!”
This causes fecal stagnation and probably explains why colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. In traditional Asian and African cultures where squatting is the norm, colon cancer is virtually unknown!
To prevent constipation: Exercise daily, walking and do squats, eat more fibre, raspberries, papaya, cantaloupe, and /or apples. and drink plenty of fluid! Try to “Practice squatting daily”.
This is not new, once a week at boarding school matron decided that everyone in our dormitory had to balance on the rim of the toilet in our bare feet. Needless to say this position led to much hilarity and I fell in the bowl and spent 15 minutes out in the cold dark corridor with my nose against the wall facing a wee circle. If I moved an inch I had to stand longer. To this day if I see someone with a bulls eye tattoo, I make a beeline for it and try to stick my nose in it!
When I saw this headline the other day it made me smile: “Police station toilets stolen, cops have nothing to go on!” …Maybe this was not a bad thing!