Friday, December 09, 2011

Who's Full of *&%#

Do you have days where you look like this on the toilet?  
If so, I say ReThink Health. 
Your digestive system is a major influence on your health, and if it's not working as it should, trouble will find it.

This image could mean your body is telling you a few things. And as I always say... LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!
One being the obvious constipation; this is when there's a lack of ability in having a bowel movement. Stools most likely are hard, or you may experience incomplete evacuations. But don't be fooled, what must stay in can come out. Excess pushing or straining may caused prolapse of the rectum (and we sure don't need any more appendages). Moreover, 'straining' over a period of time can lead to loss of intestinal and rectal muscle function, causing you to be trapped in a circle of constipation & pushing.

Think: What goes in Must come out. We eat the food, absorb the nutrients and transfer our body toxins into the remaining matter - the fiber. Now the only thing left to do is expel. The longer it takes us to do such release, the higher the chance we have to reabsorb the toxins.

It's considered healthy to make 1-3 bowel movements daily. Get the toxins out as quickly as possible.  Constipation is not necessarily a dangerous disorder; however,  leaving constipation untreated can cause discomforting symptoms like  abdominal pain, swollen abdomen, vomiting,  skin problems, hemorrhoids, infrequent bowel movements, bad breath,  prolapsed rectum, kidney dysfunction and of course body odor. 

If you understand how our body functions, it'll be easy to see how one can eliminate or reduced constipation and hardened stools. Tools are needed to help our body in this journey of health. Dietary Fiber plays a major role here.There are two types: Soluble & Insoluble.
As there name states, the soluble fiber retains water and turns to gel during digestion. It also slows digestion and nutrient absorption from the stomach and intestine.The reason soluble fiber is good is partly due to the 'gel' for it takes. Think of it as a sponge absorbing all the toxins your body wants to eliminate.
Soluble fiber is found in Foods such as oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. 

 Soluble Fiber - Retains water - Forms a gel - Absorbs toxins for elimination

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand is insoluble, the fibers in these foods can't be digested so they remain as fibers - similar to a mop, ready to sweep away all the gunk. Insoluble fiber appears to speed the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool. It is found in Foods such as wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains.

Insoluble Fiber - Adds bulk to stool - Acts as fibre-mop - Sweeps unwanted matter & toxins out

Note that fiber alone isn't enough. Too much fiber and no water for instance can also cause constipation. Balance is key, and once again listen to your body and your stools, they tell you what's going on inside you. 

Other measures to be taken: 
  • Adequate fluid intake
  • Exercise
  • limit over-consumption of dairy products,
  • Don't prevent yourself from making bowel movements when your body wants to. 
  • Eat your Fibers

       Soluble fiber Sources                        

Non-soluble fiber Sources

  • Oat bran
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans and legumes
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rice bran
  • Barley
  • Citrus fruits
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Whole-wheat breads
  • Wheat cereal
  • Wheat bran
  • Rice (except for white rice)
  • Barley
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Turnips
  • Cauliflower
  • Fruits and vegetables with skin

    Some people may experience constipation caused by diseases and disorders like hypothyroidism, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, neurological conditions (eg. Parkinson's disease), metabolic disorder, and a host of other disorders.

    Happy Eating!


    1. omg I love this article. I've been wanting to write about poop for a while, but it's just such a touchy subject. Good job making it sound normal :)

    2. Such an important topic! Thanks for addressing this, I know many people often shy away from discussing digestive issues but I truly believe digestive health is the key to overall health.

    3. This is a fantastic post...who hasn't dealt with gastro issues at some point in their life? You do a great job breaking down what we need to do to avoid them in the future.

    4. Touchy indeed, after much contemplation as to whether or not this may disgust or offend people I figured Healthy & Disgusted is better than Ill & Pleased.

      Glad all of you liked this post. As each stated, digestive problems are truly the basis of many health issues. Happy eating everyone!


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