Tuesday, September 13, 2011

FIBER: When doody calls

That's not me if you are wondering.
Whether you want to admit it or not (gentlemen) poop is a part of life. Women poop. Sometimes you will have a poopy day. You will have to change thousands of poopy diapers if you have children. So let me enlighten you with some knowledge and a funny story. 

Fiber is an integral part of keeping your poop shoot clean and in perfect working order. (I'm already laughing as I write this) The process of turning food into waste is a rather complex one, but let me break it down for you in laymen's terms. 

Obviously digestion starts in your mouth where you start to break food down by chewing. When food reaches your stomach it continues to be mushed up and mixed with stomach acids and enzymes that aid in the breakdown of the food. Food is not absorbed in the stomach. The stomach acts as a funnel to slowly deliver broken down food to the small intestine. It is in the small intestine where most of the nutrients are absorbed into the blood stream. Anything leftover that has not been absorbed by the small intestine moves along to the large intestine. Enter fiber. Fiber is not digested by the body, but acts to keep the mass moist so it does not get stuck to the inside of your intestinal walls. The mass that enters the large intestine is mostly watery waste, undigested food, and fiber. Some of the water gets absorbed back into your body through the walls of the large intestine. Your large intestine (colon) is filled with millions of different bacteria that feed on fiber. These bacteria are extremely important to our health and have the capability to synthesize Vitamin K, which is used by our bodies for bone growth and blood clotting. As the bacteria eat the fiber they create CO2, which is why EVERYONE farts. Everything left after the water is absorbed and the fiber is consumed by the bacteria leaves the body in the form of poop.

There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble doesn't. Soluble fiber actually absorbs water which is what keeps your poop moist as it travels the 30 or so feet from your mouth to your butt hole. An example of the two would be that soluble fiber is found in the meat of a fruit and insoluble is found in the skins. 

Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diets which is why products like Metamucil and Citrucel are so popular. My father has always taken Metamucil so I started taking it when I was in college, because I was "having issues". (WARNING: I am not embarrassed to talk about farting or pooping) Specifically I had monster gas. Like clenching my butt cheeks together, leaving the room just to fart type of gas. Not too conducive to being single and ready to mingle if you know what I mean. I thought I was lactose intolerant- meaning I was allergic to dairy. 

It took me about a year to slowly cut all dairy out of my diet. I thought I would loose weight, but I didn't. I thought my gas would go away but it didn't. Instead I started eating all of these fake dairy products like non-dairy creamer (read hydrogenated soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup) and Smart Balance Buttery Spread (soybean oil). Still I was taking my regular dose of Metamucil.

This went on for years. I had to just come to terms with the fact that I would have to date a guy who could deal with massive farts. The climax of my "issues" came when I was just 26 years old. I was in a semi-long distance relationship with this guy (not my current boyfriend), it was a Sunday night and I was driving home from his house. When I had just gotten on the highway I got a wave of "Oh My God I hope there is a rest stop or I am going to shit my pants". Lucky for me there was a major accident blocking the entire highway! I don't know if you have ever been in this situation, but no matter how you cut it it sucks. I squirmed over to the shoulder and rode it illegally until the next exit, low and behold the urge went away. Go figure. 

So I have a nice hour and a half drive home, and as if my butt hole knows I am a mile from my house, the pains start again and this time it is SERIOUS. I'm almost crawling out of my body and literally going 70 miles an hour down our street (long, hilly, windy, and frequented by deer). If I had gotten pulled over I would have had an extraordinary excuse...I was going to shit my pants!!! So I pull up to the driveway (I was living at my father's house at the time) and F***! The driveway is full and I see my father, step-mom, and their best friends sitting at the dining room table having dinner. WHAT THE F*** AM I GOING TO DO???

Our house is on a corner. The front of the house is on a main road, and the side street has probably 20 or so houses on it- cars are always going up and down both of them. I park my car on the side road, and have a freak out moment. "If I wait any longer I won't make it to the bathroom. BUT I can't just run in the house without being noticed by the dinner party. I am going to look like a lunatic. OMG I can't even move right now or I am going to shit right here. If I shit right now I am not going to be able to go into the house because I will have to walk right past everyone eating dinner." In my state of panic I realized that my only option was to unbutton my pants and poop on the side of the car. My only saving grace was that it was pitch black out, because I did not even have time to open the car doors to shield me from any innocent bi-standards who may happen to drive by. 
I literally would have looked like a deer in headlights if anyone had witnessed that scene. Luckily, no one did because they probably would have called the cops and reported someone who looks like they are on crack shitting on the side of the road. (I have tears running down my face right now)  

There are a couple of morals here: #1 stop even if you think the poop has gone away- it hasn't. #2 do what ever you need to do to save face. #3 try to figure out what is making you have to shit on the side of the road.

And that is what I did, although it took me a while and a few more close calls. For whatever reason I switched from Metamucil to Citrucel. My issues- all of them- monster farts, sharting, shitting on the side of the road- went away. After about 2 years of not eating dairy I slowly started eating it again. I had no problems. Low and behold I was allergic to the psyllium husk fiber in Metamucil (Citrucel is not made with psyllium husk). 

Psyllium Husk
This story should not discourage you from eating fiber. Since I have made some huge changes to my diet (specifically eating a lot more fruits and vegetables) I have not needed to take fiber. That is how I believe it should be. You are supposed to get everything your body needs from food and the sun. In my opinion, Metamucil and Citrucel are band-aids just like vitamins are. The only way I would recommend their use is if it is temporary while you are in the process of making the switch to eating more fruits and vegetables, or if you are temporarily on medication that makes you constipated. 

So, I hope I brightened up your Tuesday and gave you a good laugh. Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself then what is the point?

**If you are interested in contributing your stories email me. I am serious. They will not appear on this blog, but maybe we could get a book put together and make some money at it. Who knows! Anything is possible!!!


  1. OMG Jess this was hysterical. I can't believe you lived with those monster farts for that long. I am glad and I am sure so are others lol that you figured out what was wrong. I really love your blog!

  2. Now I know I am not the only one out there with these types of butt problems. I am so glad you saw the humor in your own story and was courageous enough to share it with all of us.

    1. Haha, thanks and you are definitely not alone!


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