Saturday, March 10, 2012


While we are still on the subject of loos, perhaps it's the right time to bring up a related topic, that of poo. As we advance in age, we might find ourselves grappling with irregular bowel movement. It could be due to several factors: poor diet, lack of exercise, too much bed rest, and side effects of prescription drugs. It is a common but embarrassing topic to bring up, but when we do nothing about it, and allow it to worsen, the end result could be colon cancer, or heart attacks and strokes related to chronic constipation.
I recall reading about Elvis Presley's death in August 1977. He was found unconscious on the bathroom floor. He was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. His post mortem stated that he had died of cardiac arrhythmia - a form of heart attack. He was only 42, but already he was overweight and lived an unhealthy lifestyle.

Most reports said Elvis died of a drug overdose. But his doctor, Dr George Nickopoulos, who signed the death certificate, says it was chronic constipation that killed Elvis. He had so much compacted faecal matter that he literally gave himself a heart attack trying to force a bowel movement.

All of us have grappled with constipation at one time or another, especially when travelling and our regular bowel movement is thrown out of whack. When we carry too much accumulated poo for too long, we may end up with serious health complications the worst of which is colon cancer.

Not a pretty sight. Faecal matter eliminated from colonic cleansing.

It's time we got acquainted with our poo. Dr Oz will help us with this. Click here to view all the different kinds of poo we produce and what each type indicate.

A Google search on the topic confirms that drinking plenty of water is the cheapest and most effective means of preventing constipation. Next comes a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fibre, followed by regular exercise.

Foods to avoid include processed foods and deep fried foods. Also avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

Colon cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent.
And  W-A-T-E-R remains the undisputed No 1 preventive measure against colon cancer resulting from chronic constipation.

Some personal tips:

~ Carry a small bottle of water with you when you plan to be out for several hours. Better than resorting to buying soft drinks, teh tarik or expensive juices. Nothing beats plain boiled water from home.

~ Take plenty of vegetables, especially leafy ones and broccoli. You will have easy and smooth bowel movements just like my 6-year old granddaughter who pops into the loo to do her business and is done in five minutes or less.

~ Have high-fibre bread or cereals for breakfast. And make it a habit to move your bowels after that. Keep doing this, and after a week, it becomes part of your morning rituals.

~ If you haven't had a colonoscopy yet, might be a good idea to get one done. A painless prodedure, and if the doctor finds any polyps, he will remove them for you.


Anonymous said...

Just wondering IF idol Tarzan ever has constipation problems !??

Anonymous said...

It's too far fetched that constipation or for that matter impacted stools (caused by prolonged constipation) can cause colon cancer.
However, trying to expel the impacted stools may lead to heart attack or stroke is a distinct possibility.
But instead of forcing the impacted stools out, one should use the fingers to carefully dig them out bit by bit.
It's a yacky experience.
one can go to a hospital and have the doctor do it.
The best way to minimise such problems is to drink plenty of water (way above the recommended daily eight glasses daily!) and eat plenty of vegetables DAILY.
And have a bowel movement either daily or at most on alternate days.
If not then one should take a laxative to help out.
Lactulose is a good mild laxative.