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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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This Blog Has Potty Mouth

Uploaded: Sep 3, 2015

It's time. I am of age. Everyone does it - that rite of passage. But I've decided not to. Even though colon cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society estimates 93,090 new cases in 2015. Even though Kaiser keeps a' calling. I'm not going to drink the kool aid. I'm not getting a colonoscopy.

"So what does this have to do with food, Laura?" you may again be asking. Why everything of course. Food Party! regulars know we've been talking microbiome lately, that half-gallon jug of bacteria that live on us and in us. Turns out the largest population takes up house in our colon, putting them at a big disadvantage come meal time, depending on what we eat.

You see, today's overly processed flour and sugar diet is mostly absorbed in the small intestine, leaving little for anything past that. Based at the end of the digestive tract, our colon microbes feed primarily on the leftovers; the vegetable and grain fibers indigestible by humans and other bacteria. But when you don't eat enough plants, science is starting to think we can actually starve out those butt bacteria, who respond in kind by munching on the carbohydrate-filled lining of our colon instead. (1)

Back to defiant decisions, I hear the infamous colonoscopy cocktail cleans out everything, including a lot of our colon colony, and research can't say yet how long it takes to reestablish itself, if indeed it ever does.

So, maybe a colonoscopy does more harm than good? Maybe it even helps establish an environment where cancer can flourish? And when I think about all the different cancers that can get us, colon cancer just seems down on the probability list for a vegetable and grain junkie like moi.

All things considered, I've decided to keep my colon crew, at least for now.

Because after all, aren't they the ultimate Food Potty! hosts?




(1) Martin Blaser, M.D. ? Missing Microbes






Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Casa de Cerveza, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Sep 3, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Casa de Cerveza is a registered user.

Keep the potty mouth in the blog -- please!


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Sep 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm

If you have doubts about following the recommended screening procedures, talk to your doctor.

Fecal Occult Blood Test is a method of screening for colon cancer that does not involve any purging of the intestinal tract, but is not as effective as a colonoscopy for diagnosing colon cancer.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Sep 3, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Steve sounds knowledgable. I\\\'ve heard there is a new way of doing this. Swallow a camera pill. Have u heard?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman,
on Sep 3, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Steve's description of the fecal occult blood test agrees with my doctor's advice on those 2 options. The doctor said the blood test is good for 1 year while a colonoscopy is good for 10 years. I've done the blood test for the past 2 years and haven't had any problem with it.

This info about the cocktail cleaning out the colon colony is new info for me, so I'll have to get more info from my doctor on that too.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Sep 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Being a vegetarian cuts the cancer risk by 20%, not 100%, so I think that advocating skipping the colonoscopy is irresponsible journalism and abuse of celebrity blogger status.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Celebrity Blogger, a resident of another community,
on Sep 3, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Welcome back Poor Reporting, er... I mean Resident!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Whisman Station,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 10:26 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

People would be shocked at how little Kaiser Permanente cares about their customers...er patients.
Kaiser Permanente is now the largest HMO in the US. Yet one branch does not even talk with another. I know this from personal experience. Ever their policies vary from state to state.

Kaiser Permanente is NOT the company we used to see for quality medical care. It has become the Mal-Wart of HMOs.

They were kicked out of Texas in 1997 because they started killing Texans instead of curing them.

kaiserpapers.org has the details


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 10:30 am

Alan is a registered user.

NIH paper about this:

Web Link

"Impact of Colonoscopy Bowel Preparation on Intestinal Microbiota"

Final paragraph:

"Our study highlights the difficulties in studying the intestinal microbiota: we saw temporal changes in all subjects and disparate results from two commonly used analytical tools. We interpret our results as showing that any differences in the fecal microbiota before and after colonoscopy are no greater than those seen in normal subjects over time. We conclude that consumption of PEG does not have a significant impact on gut microbiota in the majority of subjects, although a minority of subjects with a microbiota that exhibits greater natural temporal variation may be more susceptible to perturbations. It remains to be determined whether or not patients suffering from diseases associated with possible dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, such as ulcerative colitis, are more susceptible to persisting perturbations from physical effects such as colonoscopy preparation."

I'd like to see more studies of this, to see if this pattern holds up.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Sue, a resident of another community,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 11:57 am

I'm surprised Kaiser is calling you for a colonoscopy. They mail out fecal occult blood tests. Maybe you should check your mail or see why they are calling.

Given there is no evidence for what you propose, but a lot of evidence that colorectal cancer screening reduces colorectal cancer deaths, I am not sure what you are hoping to accomplish with this posting.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Always interesting to hear your input everyone. Thanks for coming to The Party!

Sue - thank you for asking. What I hope to achieve with all my blogs is a conversation. A respectful dialogue between people with different points of view. One that inspires people to add their thoughts. Best served up without insults to myself or others.

It's fascinating to see how people respond - those who see lightness, those who see negative. Comments that assume things are also interesting (I never said Kaiser didn't send me fecal blood tests, now did I?) TMI! As each post is very short, I've learned that most comments say much more about the commenter than anything else.

My goal is usually to give a small piece of new-ness, one where readers can assess how it plays out in their own life, and to get back a read, a smile, a response, and best of all, a laugh.

I hope this is a place where people come to think out of the box, throw around thoughts, and be creative with ideas and words in a playful way.

The Food Party! is a potluck and we are honored by our guests. Our tagline remains, "If it ain't fun, it don't get done."

How we doin' on that?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Water, a resident of another community,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Water is a registered user.

Laura - you may not be into junk food, but is there a chance that your info is at least part junk science ?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm

"One that inspires people to add their thoughts."

Because the greatest medical research comes from anonymous posters on a food blog, right?

"In regards to obesity rates, where globally the U.S. ranks #1, science is starting to question if antibiotics play a role in the dramatic increase"

I'm glad that's settled. Because I was thinking it had something to do with scarfing down loads of sugary soft drinks, deep fried food, pizza, hamburgers, french fries, sugared breakfast cereal and fruit juice while spending six hours a day sitting in front of a screen.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sue, a resident of another community,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Laura - if you did a fecal occult blood test and it was positive, which is why they are calling you for a colonoscopy, then what you posted isn't really accurate re: screening.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Sue, what? I'd love to keep talking, but it's time to go eat.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by PhuckFACE, a resident of Gemello,
on Sep 4, 2015 at 10:25 pm

The U.S us not the most obese country inn the world, not even in the top 10.....


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Another Steve, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle,
on Sep 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Please don't avoid these tests, they save lives and prevent much hardship for your loved ones.

PAMF mailed a fecal occult test kit to me after my 55th birthday, and almost on a lark, I completed the test and sent it back. I had no symptoms and had blown off the recommended colonoscopy at age 50. Results came back positive, and on their recommendation I scheduled a colonoscopy. To my surprise, I was found to have Stage 1 colon cancer. Luckily, it was early and reasonably trouble-free laparoscopic surgery removed the cancer completely. If I had waited another year, I would have a very different diagnosis and prognosis.

Lest one think my case is an isolated one, a similar sequence of events led to my sister-in-law's early colon cancer detection, and successful treatment, as well.

Unfortunately, I've lost two friends to colon cancer (one at age 33), both diagnosed as Stage IV when symptoms appeared.

Early detection of cancer is key, please take advantage of the technologies that are available.

P.S. - yes the preparation is unpleasant, but I have found that my gut re-stabilizes very quickly after colonoscopies. Live culture yogurt is a great boost.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by DK, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Sep 6, 2015 at 12:50 pm

It is so sad to read about your foolish propensity for junk/pseudo science and anecdotal misinformation. The data for colonoscopies saving lives is enormous. Your diet, for example, will not prevent polyps which can be detected and removed with a colonoscopy and which also can be pre-malignant. Too often,people with your line of thought often wish they had undergone a procedure that could have saved their life or lengthened their life all too late. What you eat is very important for creating a healthy Laura but your wishful thinking that what you eat will be the determining factor is naïve and poorly misguided. Gut flora removal is not an issue in a colo prep. However, your misinformation and failure to read scientific data is.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Sep 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm

I love all these passionate pooper posts.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Alison W -another oldster, a resident of Ventura,
on Sep 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm

Thanks this and the comments have helped me understand my choices better! yeah comprehension is growth!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Sep 6, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Alison W,

I wonder if your positive attitude improves digestion all by itself?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Sep 6, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Readers, I am reviewing my recent microbiome test results. Here are a few studies that might interest you from that report:

1) More plants, please!

Eating more plants and fewer animals could reduce your risk of developing Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

David et al. Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. (2013). Nature. 505(7484):559-63

2) Chasing Crohn?s Away With Transplanted Poop (3/2015)

A study just came out in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Nine teenagers with Crohn?s Disease were given fecal microbial transplants from people without Crohn?s Disease, read more....

http://journals.lww.com/ibdjournal/Abstract/2015/03000/Fecal_Microbial_Transplant_Effect_on_Clinical.7.aspx


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Sep 6, 2015 at 7:25 pm

And just a little more from those results....

WHAT IS POOP?

Feces is mostly water - 75% to be exact.

About 50 to 80% of the remainder is bacteria, both living and dead.

On top of that there?s protein, undigested food residue, waste material from food, cell membranes, fats, salts and material released from your intestines and liver (e.g. mucus).

The average person produces around half their body weight in feces every year.

- Ubiome 8/2015


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Anne, a resident of Midtown,
on Sep 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

My doctor kept pushing me to have a colonoscopy and I resisted. Then I saw an article in the Mercury that validated my choice to have the Fecal Occult Blood Test instead. The Mercury article discussed a a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal which said that having the FOBT annually is just as good as having a colonoscopy every ten years for DETECTING colon cancer. Colonoscopy is better for detecting and removing polyps which could turn into cancer. Colonoscopy is inconvenient, expensive and has the risk of complications. I think Kaiser is doing the right thing by focusing on the FOBT for detection of Stage 1 colon cancer. This is more convenient for the patient and reduces cost in the health care system. I suspect PAMF pushes colonoscopy because it is more profitable. Laura, I hope you will have the FOBT done if you haven't already. Another Steve, thanks for sharing your story. Colon cancer is a nasty way to go.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Anne, a resident of Midtown,
on Sep 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm

My doctor kept pushing me to have a colonoscopy and I resisted. Then I saw an article in the Mercury that validated my choice to have the Fecal Occult Blood Test instead. The Mercury article discussed a a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal which said that having the FOBT annually is just as good as having a colonoscopy every ten years for DETECTING colon cancer. Colonoscopy is better for detecting and removing polyps which could turn into cancer. Colonoscopy is inconvenient, expensive and has the risk of complications. I think Kaiser is doing the right thing by focusing on the FOBT for detection of Stage 1 colon cancer. This is more convenient for the patient and reduces cost in the health care system. I suspect PAMF pushes colonoscopy because it is more profitable. Laura, I hope you will have the FOBT done if you haven't already. Another Steve, thanks for sharing your story. Colon cancer is a nasty way to go.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Sep 9, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Anne, interesting reading. Thanks for sharing. FOBT's - yes! TMI?



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