538: Gut Science Week

While FiveThirtyEight garners a lot of attention for its political and sports forecasts, there are often health-related posts.  This week is devoted to Gut Science Week.

Here’s the link: Gut Science Week Introduction

Here’s an excerpt:

One of the major leaps forward in gut science began with an accidental shooting at a trading post on June 6, 1822. A fur trader named Alexis St. Martin took a bullet in the abdomen, leaving him with a hole ripped through his muscle, bone and internal organs…

His doctor, William Beaumont, could literally tie a bit of food on a string, shove it into St. Martin’s stomach through the hole, and pull it back out again. Using this one weird trick, Beaumont extracted samples of the man’s gastric juices. Over eight years and more than 200 awkwardly invasive experiments, St. Martin and Beaumont gave humanity its first real understanding of how digestion works.

Another post: Everybody is Constipated, Nobody is Constipated

Here’s an excerpt:

Doctors use diagnostic criteria for constipation, where patients have to experience two or more of six symptoms:

  1. Straining during at least 25 percent of defecations
  2. Lumpy or hard stools in at least 25 percent of defecations
  3. Sensation of incomplete evacuation in at least 25 percent of defecations
  4. Sense of obstruction in at least 25 percent of defecations
  5. Manual maneuvers needed to facilitate at least 25 percent of defecations
  6. Fewer than three defecations per week

And a video: What Your Poop Says About You — FiveThirtyEight

Gut Science Week --FiveThirtyEight

Gut Science Week –FiveThirtyEight

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