I think that we can all agree here that my shunt is broken.
There’s something to be said for that, though. I mean, when I shared the vlog about the kitchen-sink binge with a can of refried beans? Well, that really brought a lot of you out of the shadows and in to the comments and emails, and we were able to talk about a lot of things that had previously been weighing heavily on many hearts and minds. The shart series got us talking about embarrassment and true love. Good things to get out there. The bikini wax discussion (which requires follow-up in a major way because I now possess the secret for eliminating razor-bumps around your South Mouth) was great for discovering new words for your ladybits.
But no post on this blog has generated more conversation than this one. Apparently what the blogosphere needed was a place to discuss our browneyes.
I kid you not when I say there isn’t a day that passes that somebody does not say something to me about a hemorrhoid. Oh yes. I have gotten more than my share of email on the topic. I’ve been linked to by other bloggers who have added their two cents (or just pointed and laughed). And Twitter? Well, lets just say that The Roy has been hashtagged.
And I am totally okay with this. In fact, I love it.
So lets talk turkey. Because, in all seriousness, colorectal health is an important topic, and one that is kind of near and dear to my heart. And my bottom. And my family. So I’m going to do my best to impersonate a PSA for a minute here.
I’ve learned a lot about the colon of late. One job of the colon is to complete the digestive process, which occurs by removing excess water from food wastes entering from the small intestine. When wastes pass through the intestines too quickly, not enough water is absorbed. Watery stools and diarrhea are the result. In contrast, if the passage of waste is too slow, too much water is absorbed. This results in hard stools and constipation, which often leads to constipation and straining.
Getting enough of the right kinds of fiber aids the body in this process by making stools easier to pass, increasing regularity, relieving hemorrhoids (!), aiding in weight control, and preventing certain diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, diverticular disease, and even gall and kidney stones.
All good things. And for those of us watching our girlish figures, fiber is important because it has an influence on the digestion process from start to finish:
• Because it demands that food be more thoroughly chewed, fiber slows down the eating process and helps contribute to a feeling of being full, which in turn can help prevent obesity from overeating.
• Fiber makes food more satisfying, probably because the contents of the stomach are bulkier and stay there longer.
• Fiber slows digestion and absorption so that glucose (sugar) in food enters the bloodstream more slowly, which keeps blood sugar on a more even level.
• Fiber is broken down in the colon by bacteria (a process called fermentation), and the simple organic acids produced by this breakdown helps to nourish the lining of the colon.
• These acids also provide fuel for the rest of the body, especially the liver, and may have an important role in metabolism.
So. Exciting? Are you all chomping at the bit for more information? Oh goody. See, there are 2 kinds of fiber, insoluble (which cannot be dissolved in water, and provides good laxative action) and soluble (which does dissolve in water, and affects your body chemistry by doing things like lowering blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels). Both are important. And a few signs that you might not be getting enough are constipation, weight gain, blood sugar fluctuations, diet-related nausea and fatigue, high cholesterol, and even . . . hemorrhoids.
It’s recommended by people smarter than me that women get at least 25 grams, and men at least 35. And, just like we hear day in and day out on our health and fitness quests, it is imperative to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into our daily eating. A few simple ways to up your fiber intake is by eating whole fruit instead of drinking juice, leaving the skins on apples and pears and even potatoes, buy 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat (or sprouted grain) breads, use whole wheat flour in baking, eat more beans.
See? See how easy?
Okay. So if you made it though this whole post I salute you.
Another way to help our colons in the digestive process is by drinking plenty of water and getting regular exercise, and I love my colon. Really. I do. So I’m gonna pack up The Things and my water bottle and head to the gym. What are you going to do to take care of your digestive and colorectal health today?
By the by, I’m not a doctor and I’m still a year or so away from being a nurse. So I should probably state that I got all this information from the pile of paperwork sent home with me from the ER that horrible, horrible day. It all came from WebMD, gicare.com, and ehealthmd.com.