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These new poos are telling it like it is…
The poo emoji – multiplied!
Yeah, we all love to toss that smiling poo into our chats, but did you ever stop to think that it’s not exactly representative of what really goes on behind closed cubicle doors? That’s why a company called Synergy Pharmaceuticals has just released a bunch of not-so-perfect poo spin-offs that actually tell the (sometimes awkward) truth about what’s making that splash.
Called the “Poop Troop”, the porcelain line-up includes gems like “Clogged Chris”, “Diarrhoea Dave” and “Ploptimistic Peter” (available for free from iTunes and Google Play), who each represent a different kind of poo, as classified by the Bristol Stool Chart. Yup, there are quite a few variations on the theme…
What we love about it is that, first off, the point is not “shits and giggles” but an actual drive to raise awareness around a condition known as chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) and promote a medication called Trulance. Secondly, the Confront Constipation campaign emojis allow sufferers a lighthearted means through which to discuss otherwise embarrassing symptoms, essentially opening up dialogue around the issue. That’s where “Plugged-Up Paulie” disarmingly steps in. He’s definitely got us talking.
So, what is chronic idiopathic constipation?
A quick bit of biology: constipation is defined as reduced stool frequency of less than three times a week (note: this may be normal for some, so don’t fret just yet), or difficulty passing stools, or both. The 10 most common (and generally unpleasant) symptoms include: constipation or difficulty passing stools, hard and lumpy stools, straining, feeling of “incomplete evacuation”, abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort and bloating, excessive flatulence, poorer physical functioning, poor social functioning, decreased quality of life and perception of health. Chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) is defined as the chronic presence of these symptoms. Idiopathic just means that the cause is unknown; it isn’t caused by underlying illness or meds.
And what causes it?
While there’s no real identifiable underlying cause, but it may result from not getting enough fluid and fibre in your diet, and can be treated with simple eating and lifestyle changes, including regular exercise. Obviously, increasing your fibre and water intake and generally following a healthy, balanced diet will help. A symptom diary may identify triggers that exacerbate symptoms. If that doesn’t work? Meds include OTC laxatives and stool softeners.
When should you worry?
If any of these sound familiar, get to a doc asap: blood in your poo, onset of symptoms after age 50, family history of bowel cancer and inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, fever and low blood count, severe constipation not responsive to treatment, or unexplained weight loss. You’ll probably need to go for a colonoscopy, MRI scan or an anal manometry to confirm what’s up.
Suffer from constipation on the reg? Aside from expressing it with an emoji, here are 7 constipation remedies worth trying.