Wednesday, November 7, 2007

deadly digestive problems....

On the long list of unpleasant ways to die, it’s hard to imagine anything topping "exploding colon." We’ll take the stomach flu, heartburn, death by paper cuts even! Just please, please, spare us these fates.

Farting to death.....

Sounds like a third-grade punch line, but maybe it’s so funny because it’s true. The average person expels about a half liter of gas per day. Put bluntly, that’s somewhere between 13 and 17 daily farts. And although any 11-year-old with a matchbook and curiosity knows that gas passed is flammable (since it contains primarily hydrogen and methane), it’s not dangerous for the excessively gassy to work around open flames.

Once in a while, though, someone will blow up from gas. The problem usually occurs during colonic surgery, when heat (or spark) comes into contact with flammable intestinal gases after inadequate "bowel evacuation." The resulting explosion is sometimes fatal.

Anyone who’s ever suffered from colon surgery can tell you exactly what "bowel evacuation" entails - you drink a laxative the day before surgery and find yourself in the bathroom with enough time to read Anna Karenina. Unpleasant, sure, but better than blowing up on the operating table.

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