I have finally joined the ranks of technophobes. Cynthia and Alex bought me an ipod-nano for my birthday, and I’ve spent the better part of two hours downloading songs from the istore, many of which I haven’t heard in years. Learning new things is good for the health of the brain. One song I found is from Meatloaf called “Two out of Three Ain’t bad”; I think it’s been 30 years since I heard that one. Lots of fun ahead I’m sure. I’ll try not to sit too much, since sitting too long is not very good for me.

One problem with sitting too much is constipation. I currently see a patient who had a severe abdominal episode last week. Pain, gas, and diarrhea were his major complaints. When I asked him about his bowel habits, he explained that he normally has a bowel movement every 5 or 6 days. I was flabbergasted. Constipation is defined as going one or less times per day; his doctor told him that everyone has their own pattern, his being of no medical concern. I’m no doctor, but I can tell you that 5 or 6 days is not “normal” for anyone. Elimination is vital for health. I gave him a checklist of things to do that may help. These are: #1. move. Peristalsis is the movement of food waste through your intestines, and 80% comes from mechanical means such as movement and gravity. 20% is chemical. #2. Try a tablespoon of olive or grape seed oil daily. #3. Make sure you stay hydrated-stools need water to pass painlessly and easily. #4. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables including the skins. Apples, prunes, plums, and citrus work especially well. So do nuts and seeds. #5. Switch to whole grain products when possible, including rice and pasta.

There is no reason not to go at least once per day. One noted physician stated “blessed are those who have a bowel movement twice per day”.

Speaking of the bowels, there are several diets and products touting ‘colon cleanse’ for better health. To date, there is no scientific evidence supporting those statements. Do so at your own risk.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.