Is this why we do not talk about fecal matter?
There is great interest in all newly acquired knowledge of bowel and intestinal bacteria. However, as far as the functions of the bowel system is concerned, such as digestion and fecal matter, we prefer not to talk about it.
In this modern world, we may talk about almost anything. Religion, politics, sex and finances. However, fecal matter is not a subject of favor – neither public nor private. Anything to do with our intestines and digestion has long been a cultural taboo and this pretty much continues to be the case. It is a paradox because research shows that our bowels are crucial to our health and wellbeing. We are engrossed by health and would really very much like to know the very latest on how intestinal bacteria affect our health – but we still cannot talk about fecal matter.
Researchers’ ever-increasing knowledge of our intestines and its functions has resulted in a plethora of popular scientific publications. These take the form of articles, books, recipes boosting the bowls and magazines focusing on what healthy intestinal bacteria do to our body. (Below I mention just a few). One common denominator of these publications is that digestion and fecal matter are openly deliberated. Therefore, we could hope that more information may help to break this taboo.
Young, German scientist among the first
Our intestines and digestive system truly became an area of research during the period 2008-2010 and, in 2014, the young scientist and author Giulia Enders published the book Intestine; the inside story of our body’s most underrated organ.
The book became a bestseller with more than 1 million copies sold in Germany and was translated into several other languages – including English.
Giulia Ender’s book has greatly contributed to our budding interest in our intestines. She explains the workings of the basic parts of our intestines humorously but also very seriously and in a language that is easy to understand.
Basic health starts with our digestion
In 2013, Nurse Wollesen, medical practitioner and author, published the book The way to a healthy gut! – enjoy a better digestion and a stronger immune system (Sund mave sådan! – få en god fordøjelse og et stærkt immunforsvar).
In her book, she provides solutions to constipation, diarrhea, a stressed or a bloated stomach.
She also shares with us which foods cause digestive problems and what to eat to have and maintain a healthy gut and a strong immune system.
As a medical practitioner, Nurse Wollesen plays an important part in the debate because, for some, digestion and fecal matter are such great taboos that they may not even speak to their own GP about it. Consider that if your fecal matter is not ok, it could be serious.
Diet plan based on the most recent research
In 2016, Politikens Publishing House (Denmark) collaborated with I FORM/Bonnier Publications on publishing the book WELL-TUNED INTESTINES – Eat your way to health, energy and wellbeing (TARME I TOPFORM – Spis dig til sundhed, energi og velvære).
The first third of the book is partly about how intestinal bacteria controls our weight, how they strengthen our immune system and how the bacteria affect the workings of our brain. Moreover, the book contains a diet plan based on the most recent research as well as 60 recipes.
The authors of the book were Irene Brøndum, Majbritt Louring Engell and Oluf Borbye Pedersen. The latter is a professor and Director of Research at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen.
Oluf Borbye Pedersen is also in the international top league in identifying the reasons why some of us develop lifestyle diseases.
He is also one of the pioneers when it comes to highlighting the role of intestinal bacteria in our health.
Healthy intestinal bacteria are the key to health and well-being
In 2018, BONNIER published the appendix “Healthy intestinal magic” (“Sund magi i tarmen”) together with the lifestyle magazine, Magasinet Liv.
The supplement contains the best guidelines on produce, diet plans, recipes and tips from the magazine I FORM – all focusing on intestinal bacteria as the key to health and wellbeing.
The supplement was such a great success that it was published in a new edition and as an independent magazine. Now with even more recipes and new sections such as “Healthy digestive movements” and “Farts should smell like the forest floor in springtime”
If we are to talk about fecal matter, we need a mutual vocabulary
We tend to be embarrassed when we need to discuss our fecal matter. One reason being that it is an unpleasant topic of conversation – and, another, that we do not have a mutual vocabulary.
That is a requirement if we are to be able to speak about it. It has many names, so which should we choose?
Should we call it bowel movements, stool, shit, poo-poo, microbiota or feces? Or should we do as some – call it “Number One” (urine) and “Number Two” (fecal matter)?
At GP Medical Devices, have decided to call it stool. We will use this term both in this blog and on our website.
By Christa Zenobie Dahl