Hi, again. It’s Trane, giving you the scoop on poop. Oh, dear. Seriously, though, I missed a couple of things in my first article, and I felt that they were significant enough for me to warrant a second one. Kind of like diarrhea itself, it’s a subject that seemingly doesn’t want to stop. 😉
The first thing I wanted to mention was oligosaccharide supplementation. There have been cases in North America (presumably due to loopholes in food laws) where fructose has been labelled as being oligosaccharide, presumably fructooligosaccharide (FOS). FOS is the most common oligosaccharide we find in our fruits and veggies. Inulin is another. Somewhat less common (and less digestible) is galactooligosaccharide (GOS). When you’re sourcing supplementation of this type, try to source it from a natural supplement or food store. It’s my personal opinion that vendors might be somewhat more trustworthy in that area.
The second thing I wanted to mention is in regard to the muscle deconstruction the body does during long-term fasting so as to recoup proteins from which to serve up some badly needed nourishment to the brain. Whey protein is a perfect protein, which means that it has ALL the essential amino acids. Whey protein is remarkably easy for the body to digest. So, along with your prebiotics and probiotics, it’s great to introduce whey protein into your system to help avoid muscle loss during your solid-food fasting. If you have dairy sensitivities of any sort, be sure to check with your licensed medical professional to see whether this is a feasible approach for you.
Much as with the oligosaccharide warning above, it’s worth noting that whey protein is heavily processed (yes, I generally warn against taking processed anything), and commercially available whey proteins come in two basic varieties: whey protein isolates and whey protein concentrates. Conventional, sports-oriented whey proteins tend to be isolates and, worse, they tend to use artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers to change their texture and flavour. So, as always, I recommend heading down to your natural food store and asking for a high-quality whey protein concentrate that does not have artificial sweeteners or other nasty chemicals. Even though whey protein is processed, we’re still looking to get the best whole-food experience we can.
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to discuss what happens when things DON’T go as you hope. It’s great to take responsibility of your well-being and try your best to take care of yourself, but there are simply times that you should be seeing your doctor. If your fever stays too high for too long, you’re in danger. If your diarrhea stays severe for too long or has significant abdominal pain associated with it, get thee to the doctor.
In many cases where you’ve done a great job of staying hydrated throughout a serious bout of diarrhea, it’s quite common for your stool to look somewhat mucousy. This is generally nothing about which to worry, but if you see the obvious presence of blood in your diarrhea, you have now progressed to dysentery, which is potentially life-threatening when left untreated. In other words, “blood in diarrhea” = “trip to doctor”. Period, full stop. Dysentery is indicative of serious bowel irritation that absolutely warrants a thorough medical checkup. There are times when dysentery is allowed to run its course (usually about a week), but this is not a safe decision for an individual to make.
So, there you have it, more about diarrhea than you ever wanted to know.
Have a great week.