Taking care of the entire body

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 20, 2005

The death of Joseph A. Ellis Sr., physical education instructor and coach at Surry High School, is a big loss to the school and community. His death, which occurred on Saturday, was attributed to colon cancer. This cancer is said to be the most curable one if caught in time, and according to Dr. Mehmet Oz, the same heart surgeon who was among a team of surgeons who operated on former President Bill Clinton, if we listen to our bodies, many of us can stop some diseases before they have a chance to cause bigger problems.

Oz was also a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show on Tuesday, May 3. That program was titled, &uot;Turn Back The Clock In Aging.&uot; Winfrey said that the show had broken new grounds in television and Oz called it one that traded in no embarrassment. However, I am saying thank God someone finally aired a show that demonstrated and explained in detail the signs, causes, and prevention of diseases of organs below the waistline. In my opinion, this show was so informative I am sure that it will save many from unneeded pain and suffering of the lower extremities. It is also important information that everyone should know in order to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Oz said through our behavior we choose how long we will live and how young we will look as we age. He also said that the food and water we take in and how long they are stored in the body play a big part in these processes.

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Oz said that we have similar chemicals in the brain and bowels that cause them to work together. There were also important points that he brought up that few people probably know. For instance, how many of us know that passing gas at least 14 times a day is normal to help reduce bloating in the abdomen. Just try to make sure that you are in an open area with no one around. Did you know that you could analyze your body by what comes out of it and determine if you have a healthy or problem colon? Oz said that there are three things you can do when going to the bathroom in only three minutes to determine this-take the sound, sight, and color test.

nSound-plop sound of stool means severe constipation.

nSight-normal stool is &uot;S&uot; shaped or has curves.

nColor-the color can determine if there is blood in the stool.

Oz said that it’s okay if you have a movement once a day but not normal to have one a week. At least three times a week is normal. However, severe constipation can be caused by pregnancy and standing for long periods of time. Constipation can also cause conditions known as hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.

Hemorrhoids are external and internal enlargements of veins of the rectum and can be present in men as well as women. When they become inflamed, it’s can feel like a blow torch pointed in that direction or they may itch, bleed or form clots. There are many ointments and suppositories for hemorrhoids on shelves to relieve pain, itching and swelling but in many cases a physician may have to remove them surgically or perform other procedures.

Diverticulosis can develop when the stool stays in the bowel for a long period of time. This disease is stretching of the colon. This stretching may develop little holes and pimples inside the colon wall that can become very painful.

Two constipated women on the show received wakeup calls on how serious their conditions were when Oz let them study and feel healthy and diseased colons taken from deceased patients. He also showed a cancerous liver and demonstrated in simulation how a cancerous polp looks in the colon when a colonoscopy is being performed.

To make sure your movements are normal and to help prevent some diseases of the colon, Oz recommends eight glasses of water daily and 25 grams of fiber. There are many fiber supplements on shelves but it can come from vegetables like lima and soybeans, fruits such as grapefruit, blueberries, raspberries, and whole grains like breads, cereals and buckwheat.

Oz said whole grains flush fat and cholesterol out of your system and provide powerful anti-oxidants to help you to look younger and live longer.

In addition he pointed out that magnesium or a supplement is good for the body because it gets food moving better in the bowel. Magnesium can be consumed in the body with raisins, dates, soybeans or beets.

Take it from someone who has had a hemorrhoid operation, many people with this condition will suffer for years from the surgery because an old myth has taught them that their first movement after the surgery will be too painful. In the old days mineral oil was used to help, but now most doctors prescribe stool softeners which makes the first movement

virtually painless.

The program covered many other areas of health but if you have more questions, you can contact your urologist or send for a tape or transcript of the Oprah titled &uot;Turn Back The Clock In Aging&uot; with Dr. Mehmet Oz at www.oprah.com or call 1-800-99-OPRAH

Evelyn Wall is a regular columnist for the News-Herald. She can be reached at 934-9615.