Poop Health is No Joking Matter

I was prompted this morning to share this with you guys…

Actually I was prompted about this time last year to share this story, but I have been reluctant to put a face to my poop story.

I get it; poop is icky stuff brimming with bacteria that can cause the worst retching this side of Texas. It is private and not socially acceptable to speak about poop, but why is it not acceptable? Toddlers certainly have no qualms about poop. They are definitely proud of anything they create, and poop is their creation. Creating to them is still magical and mysterious. Think about how proud mothers are who birthed a child…to a toddler they are birthing this strange stuff every day. They are not quite sure what it is; they know they can’t touch it. But, they are curious.

I have been asked before if poop is actually made of chocolate; very seriously so. I have had to do some strong coaxing, convincing a toddler that it is not chocolate. Diagrams and Grey’s Anatomy…I digress.

This story is not about my toddlers, though. This story is about me. (You can view my toddler’s poop antics here.)

My poop story does start way back when, though.  From the time that I was a small child I thought having a bowel movement twice a week was normal. That was my reality and I never questioned it. People of course didn’t talk about these things either. In my family, we didn’t talk about much at all. I can remember having a difficult time even speaking out loud to adults, let alone speaking about forbidden things.

Poop speak really isn’t forbidden, but it is shunned as a no-no from a very early age. I started shushing my children from the first time they uttered poop speak in public, because that is what I was taught. I was taught many things from a young age that I never thought twice about instilling in my own children. We are socially groomed by our immediate family members and perpetuate those social norms until we contemplate them otherwise.

…and I have contemplated otherwise.

I now know that daily bowels habits are a sign if excellent health and poop speak is common in my home. It is not uncommon to hear the exclamation, “I pooped,” uttered in my house, or the question, “Have you pooped today?”

Now, understandably, one doesn’t have to poop every day. It really depends upon the quantity and quality of the food consumed. If your body is very active and the food is of high quality, easily digestible food, then you could go 2 days without a bowel movement and you are not having problems. However, if your body is sedentary and being filled with over processed grains and chemical sludge, then going every 2 days is a sign of a problem. You are backing up the most essential nutrient logistics system in your body, and with the eating habits of Americans going to the dumps, there is no wonder that one of the most prevalent diseases in our society are ones involving the bowels.

Colon and rectal cancers 4th Leading cause of cancer death.
Constipation is on the rise.

I’m just throwing those links out there…not really sure if there is any correlation or not, but my intuition says yes.

If you do a search you will find many more sites focused on treating constipation than you will find talking about healthy bowel habits. Chewing food completely, at least 22 times, is another healthy bowel habit I have found.

Since some like to shout fiber and dehydration first, I would like to add that as a child we did not have snack cakes or cokes in my home. Our snacks were fruits and veggies and we made tea and kool-aid by the gallons. I ate broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, potatoes, and everything else veggie. We did have cold cereal, bread, and pastries. I still had no daily bowel habits. I just lived with what I now understand was chronic constipation.

I was made fun of by peers for having foul flatulence. I tried to laugh it all off, but it did bother me. For me pain in my joints started in my teens. I would get really bad shoulder and back pain just from vacuuming or wiping down tables at my waitressing job. I never realized this was something bad. We just sucked it up and didn’t complain in my house.
It took me being diagnosed at 28 with Lupus for me to even start researching.

I had had a sore throat for months that just would not let up. At first I thought it was allergies, and then I moved on to strep throat. I soon began contemplating more dire issues like having a thyroid problem. I would not have imagined the culmination of my symptoms would have garnered the diagnosis of Lupus.

After extensively researching the internet, reading numerous scientific papers, books, and blogs, I eventually started a gluten free diet to see if it would help my inflammatory response and tone down the Lupus symptoms. I first talked about this back in 2012.

After many months of this diet, maybe even more than a year I began having bowel movements everyday and sometimes more. I thought something was wrong.

Nope, nothing wrong with pooping numerous times a day. I found that it is actually healthy bowel habits. Since beginning my gluten free diet 3 years ago, I am in the best health ever! I am on no medication for systemic Lupus and I am not swollen in the mornings, I don’t ache all over, and I love having a bowel movement. It is the weirdest thing, but I am happy to feel the urge, sit down, everything comes out perfect, clean, and quick; never even strain. I love a gluten free diet.

No matter what the poo pooers out there say about gluten chic…I am sold.

There it is…my entrails laid bare.

I can go back to painting now.

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