Stretching to find a theme that fits
Each article that I create has a theme. At times, it is just a nutrition fact and the complicated details to substantiate the information. Yet some articles are just a story that I have to stretch to find a way to weave a nutrition fact.
This week’s entry has an uncomfortable theme. I have tried to tie it into the commemoration of a special month. April is National Autism Month, International Guitar Month and National Frog Month. Sorry, but it doesn’t fit with those worthy subjects.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month nor Parkinson’s Awareness Month really do not relate to my theme, neither do National Volunteer Month or Poetry Month. The topic that I want to expand upon has nothing to do with National Humor Month but it could if you were in the third or fourth grade, then it would be a laughing matter.
There will be no more procrastinating or avoiding this delicate subject. My words this week are about fecal matter.
Feces are the result of the food that the body consumes and the waste matter eliminated from the bowels. Excrement is a very personal topic, but everyone does it. I doubt that there is a month related to this subject. I could not find a national poop month on the calendar. From here on, I’ll call it stool.
Since there is not a specific holiday related to this sensitive subject, let me just continue with the details. Last week, I received a call from a reader asking about the color of stool.
She was concerned about the shade of yellow-green. I replied that the color can vary from day to day. Different shades of brown are normal. A discolor rarely is a sign of a potentially serious intestinal problem.
The color is generally a result of what is consumed and the amount of bile, which is a yellow-green fluid that digests fats in the body. As the mixture travels the gastrointestinal tract, enzymes turn everything brown. I told her that if this only happened once, no concern was necessary.
If the stool had been bright red or black, call the doctor because it may indicate the presence of blood and a potentially serious condition. Then she mentioned that sometimes her stool is red.
I did some investigation and learned that red velvet cake, beets, red dye #40, red Kool-Aid, red or purple Gatorade and even red peppers or tomatoes can occasionally make stool red. It doesn’t take much to change the color of stool to red.
If the discoloring occurs within 16 hours of eating something red, and it does not resolve within a few bowel movements, call the doctor. It could indicate bleeding and there would be a lot of discomfort.
Through my research I did learn that this coming week is National Scoop the Poop Week for pet owners. It is a stretch, but it does sort of fit with this theme.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at email@example.com or 330–684‑4776.