JUNE 20, 2012

Impress your dinner companions

Bookmark and Share

dr daveThe number of hours the average human spends on a toilet seat in a lifetime is:

a. 25
b. 2500
c. 250 days per year for patients with irritable bowel syndrome
d. 25 x the number of Taco Bell's in your neighborhood

In fact, the average 80 year old will have spent 2500 hours of their life, almost 105 days, on a toilet seat and about 105 days in their 81st year complaining about it. A Swiss inventor, Roger Weisskopf, recognizing the amount of time that is spent perched on the porcelain potty, has brought us the singing toilet seat, a device that plays music to accompany a picture that decorates the singing seat. Soothing cowbells, for example, are emitted by the seat to match a pastoral alpine scene. There is a wide variety of music to select from in order to match your particular mood whilst waiting to squeeze the Charmin. 

Classical music aficionados can select from the likes of Beethoven’s “5th Movement,” Shumann’s “Unfinished Symphony” and of course good old “Pomp and Circumstance”. A host of more contemporary songs are available including “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” "Fat Bottomed Girls" and even “Dancing on the Ceiling”. Movie buffs can even enjoy entire sound tracks from films like Deliverance, Titanic or The Big Chill. In fact, you can now custom-make the music to suit your frame of mind while in the biff. That means for the 15-20% of North Americans who suffer to some degree from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), songs like "Livin' on the Edge," "Tubthumping" or anything by Dire Straits would be most appropriate.

To impress your dinner companions this evening with your Dr. Dave medical acumen, you might want to share a few of these fascinating fecal facts:

- IBS is a very common, uncomfortable condition characterized by bloating, abdominal cramping, mucous passage and alternating diarrhea/ constipation.

- The bowel is a 25-foot muscular tube that normally contracts in a nice, relaxed, slow waltz rhythm controlled by the bowel’s own nerves, hormones and chemicals. When the rhythm changes to rap or rumba, problems develop. Worse still, if part of the bowel starts swaying to Lawrence Welk while another part of the bowel is jumping to the macarena, the abdomen becomes a mishmash of cramps and bloating.

- Many are either embarrassed or perhaps frightened that these symptoms may reveal a more ominous condition, and they don’t seek help. IBS is its own condition and does NOT turn into anything worse, so see a doctor and get some relief.

- IBS has a 2:1 female to male ratio. A recent study indicated that there is a significant difference in the levels of some sex hormones in IBS patients. In fact, patients with IBS may also have other conditions found more commonly in the fairer sex, such as fibromyalgia, bladder dysfunction, deliberately hiding the remote control during playoffs etc

-The onset of this common condition (a gastroenterologist told me that half of the referrals he sees are patients with IBS) may occur at any age but more often it begins in the 20's -common triggers include alcohol, chocolate milk, caffeine and menstruating (women only) -Major psychological and emotional events experienced over a lifetime may contribute to the development of IBS, explaining the high incidence in Canuck fans -Treatment of IBS
revolves around stress reduction, antispasmodic medication including peppermint, and a gradual increase in soluble (not insoluble) fiber intake. How nice it would be for you to trade in that "Ring of Fire" seat for Fleetwood Mac soothing you with "You Can Go Your Own Way."

Learn more and meet Dr. Dave or contact him at www.wisequacks.org.