If you follow me on Snapchat, you may have seen the shocking video in which I became trapped in a bathroom in the Vancouver airport.
Here, in all it's raw, unedited, yet entertaining glory, is the video:
Yesterday I got stuck in a toilet at Vancouver Airport and this was the outcome. Consider this your reason to follow me on Snapchat: BGFitness – or https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/snapchat
Posted by Ben Greenfield Fitness on Thursday, March 17, 2016
In celebration of me actually escaping the bathroom, and to explain why I was actually performing jumping jacks in an airport bathroom, why I always squat to poop, why I drink baking soda every morning, why I do a coffee enema a couple times a month, and much more, I've collected some of the best pooping podcasts and posts from the past couple years, and assembled them for you here. Enjoy.
Why Pooping Is Important & Constipation Can Kill You
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines constipation as having fewer than three bowel movements per seven days. According to the NIH, approximately four million Americans suffer from chronic constipation (defined as having a bowel movement less than three times per week), and as many as 63 million people are suffering at any time from occasional constipation.
Problem is, our colon is designed to hold a few pounds of feces in transit. When a person gets constipated, the colon can be holding 10, 20 or more pounds. This weight by itself isn‘t the problem, but the volume is, since large, heavy stools enlarge and stretch out the colon, irritate the colon mucosa, harm the anal canal, and may produce toxins related to fermentation and rotting.
Why is this a problem? Let's start with hemorrhoids. When you're constipated, you “push hard”. You probably know that.
Let's start with hemorrhoids. When you're constipated, you “push hard”. You probably know that.
By age 50, about half of adults have had to deal with the itching, discomfort and bleeding in and around the butt, all of which can signal the presence of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are simply swollen and inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum. The veins around your anus, for example, tend to stretch under pressure and can bulge or swell, and these swollen veins can easily develop from this increase in pressure in the lower rectum that occurs when you're straining while constipated. The good news about hemorrhoids is that they can heal without relapse when you adopt some of the methods you're about to learn. squat posture is adopted for bowel movements.
Then there's pelvic floor disorders. A 2008 study by Kaiser Permanente published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that one-third of women suffer from one or more pelvic floor disorders. In addition, aging, obesity, and childbirth all increase the likelihood of experiencing these issues. Although pelvic floor disorders are more common in women, men also suffer from similar symptoms, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that nearly one in every five men ages 60 and older experience incontinence.
Your pelvic floor is a network of nerves, ligaments, muscles and connective tissues, and acts as a “hammock” to support your pelvic organs, including the bladder and rectum – and in women, the uterus and vagina. Pelvic floor disorders, also called pelvic floor dysfunction, occur in both men and women when muscles and nerves in this area become damaged or weakened, which causes the pelvic organs to prolapse (drop), and this can lead to symptoms such as fecal and urinary incontinence, and even bits of your anatomy popping out your backside as you attempt to get that pesky poop out. If you're constantly constipated and constantly straining hard, these nerves, ligaments, muscles and connective tissues get weak, damaged and irritated, creating a vicious cycle of even more pelvic floor dysfunction.
The list goes on and on. My recent podcast guest, Dr. Konstantin Monastyrsky, outlines on his website how constipation predisposes you to all major colorectal disorders, starting with enlarged hemorrhoids and ending up with colorectal cancer. He highlights the following scary stats:
-Constipation is one of the symptoms of disbacteriosis — a condition where the normal, intestinal flora is dead and missing. When alive, this flora performs several, important functions. First, it protects the colon itself from any inflammation-causing pathogens. Second, it produces essential B-vitamins and vitamin K, responsible for blood clotting. Third, it governs primary immunity. And fourth — bacteria form stools, and keep them soft and moist. When all of these functions are compromised, you aren‘t likely to enjoy a long and healthy life.
-Constipation significantly increases your risk of becoming a victim of medical error and/or of the side effects of drugs, all related to the treatment of any ensuing colorectal disorder.
-Constipation affects genitourinary health, particularly for women, because the large intestine and the female reproductive organs reside in close proximity. These problems run the gamut from undue pressure on the uterus to rectal prolapse inside the vagina, from fecal incontinence to miscarriage from straining, and numerous other, equally nasty problems.
-Constipation affects your quality of life, causes stress, and diminishes your overall sense of well-being. These things tend to self-perpetuate, and profoundly affect the cardiovascular, endocrine, and immune systems.
-Closer to the end of one‘s life, chronic constipation strips the large intestine from its thinning, mucosal membrane, and causes flat lesions and polyps that eventually transform into colon cancer.
So…how can you fix constipation and begin to have the most amazing poops of your life? Without further ado, here are my top resources for you:
-Article: The Kion Coffee Enema: Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Coffee Enemas (But Were Afraid To Ask). This is an article that teaches you how to safely jumpstart peristalsis in the gut, cleanse the liver, clean out the colon and more using one of my favorite and most versatile beverages of all time: coffee.
-Podcast: The Zen of Taking A Good Poop. This is an interview with certified health nut and former male model Troy Casey, in which he shares his top pooping, eating and supplementation tips and tricks to ensure smooth bowel movements and banish constipation.
-Article: How To Poop Like A Samurai – this article was admittedly not written by me, but rather by one of my favorite websites, “The Art Of Manliness”, and it introduces one of the only pooping positions that I personally use if I'm not squatting: the cross-legged Samurai post…a position you must add to your pooping toolbox.
-Article: How I Ate A High Fat Diet, Pooped 8 Pounds, And Then Won A Sprint Triathlon. One of my all-time favorites: the quintessential guide to why you should squat to poop.
-Podcast: Constipation, Fecal Transplants, Fiber Myths, Resistant Starch, Probiotics & More With Konstantin Monastyrsky. This more recent podcast is, in my opinion, a quite good explanation as to why – if you are not pooping properly – simply shoving more fiber down the hatch may not be the answer.
-Article: An Easy Three Step, 42 Cent Way To Naturally Fix Constipation. My morning baking soda and lemon juice trick that is guaranteed to have you pooping like a smooth-running playdough machine every morning.
-Podcast: How To Fix A Broken Gut. An interview with Dr. Michael Ruscio, a guy who can really help you dig into issues such as SIBO, IBS, IBD, colitis and other issues that may be making it so that, no matter how many enemas or pooping positions you attempt, stuff simply doesn't seem to be flowing smoothly.
-Article: How To Fix Your Gut: 9 Bad Things That Happen When Your Digestion Goes Wrong, How To Hit The Reboot Button & The Best Way To Detox Your Body. A rather comprehensive article I wrote on specific dietary modifications that may be necessary if you experience lots of gut “issues” – modifications such as digestive enzymes, a low FODMAP diet, probiotics, etc. – and when to use or not to use these strategies.
-Article: My Exact Morning Routine Unveiled Step-By-Step. Every morning, while the coffee is a' brewing, I do 10-15 minutes of yoga, and my yoga routine is specifically designed to help jumpstart a good poo in the early hours, and to get everything out “all at once” so I don't need to use the bathroom much the rest of the day. In the article above, you can find that routine, and many of my other morning habits.
A Quick, Final, Slightly Related Note
Finally, if you desire more details on why I was in transit through the Vancouver airport, or want to witness the beauty from the past six days I spent in the southwestern Chilcotin District in the western Central Interior region of the Canadian province of British Columbia, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, hiking, interviewing the amazing podcast guest coming in this Wednesday's upcoming podcast episode, hanging with some honored members of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation tribe and yes, of course, having a glorious poop each morning in an outhouse…
And, as I mentioned, stay tuned for this Wednesday's podcast for more from beautiful BC.
In the meantime, if you more questions about pooping, constipation, getting stuck in bathrooms or anything else, simply leave your questions, comments, and feedback below.