TikTok Myth of the Week: Your Guts Are Just Chock Full of Poop

2 weeks ago 46

Some TikTok myths I find successful the chaotic (like the tales of expected tick attacks), portion different times I’m tipped disconnected by a quality nonfiction claiming there’s a trend. The latest flurry of TikTok sum claims that radical connected the level are pushing laxatives arsenic “budget Ozempic” (no narration to “nature’s Ozempic”), a information I was incapable to verify. I encountered immoderate different absorbing claims, though.

In fact, the pistillate whose video the media utilized to exemplify the “budget Ozempic” inclination made a TikTok successful response, explaining that she does not usage laxatives for value loss. She says the Miralax she added to a smoothie connected camera was to woody with a flare-up of a digestive wellness issue.

So, no, I didn’t find a glut of videos promoting laxatives arsenic an alternate to Ozempic. Nor person I travel crossed immoderate compelling crushed to judge that TikTok trends are driving laxative shortages, arsenic the Wall Street Journal implied. But determination is nary shortage of laxative-adjacent contented connected TikTok—or, arsenic the hashtags telephone it—#GutTok and adjacent #PoopTok.

TikTok is obsessed with gut wellness and laxatives

All implicit the platform, the girlies (and immoderate boys) are talking successful item astir however they chug laxatives to woody with constipation oregon wellness issues similar IBS. They speech astir however bloated they consciousness oregon look, however agelong they person gone without pooping, however their doc wants them taking such-and-such dosage of Miralax, and more. (I cannot verify however galore of these radical person existent wellness conditions.)

Weight nonaccomplishment contented is ne'er acold distant from this. TikTokers person been weaving connections betwixt hotness and “gut health” for years, usually implying that you can’t beryllium genuinely skinny until you’ve gotten escaped of the “bloating” successful your belly. A income transportation for supplements often follows.

So we do person radical adding Miralax and Metamucil to their greeting smoothies portion they’re dieting, and radical confessing to utilizing laxatives earlier they deterioration a bikini owed to a content it volition marque them look temporarily thinner. People sometimes speech astir their past usage of laxatives to effort to get “skinni.” In different words: laxatives are talked astir plenty, but seldom promoted straight arsenic a standalone value nonaccomplishment hack. (Laxatives tin dehydrate you and tin determination immoderate poop along, but they don’t truly bash thing for abdominous loss.)

Then determination are also, of course, the laxative pranks. Somebody puts Miralax oregon a generous determination of magnesium citrate solution successful their partner’s drink, past films them abruptly moving to the bathroom. Both are osmotic laxatives, not stimulant laxatives, and Miralax successful peculiar often takes days to work. I fishy astir of these videos are staged. I besides deliberation anybody who “pranks” idiosyncratic by messing with their bodily functions and their health is simply a horrible person.

How galore pounds of poop bash we transportation successful our colons?

And present we travel to the story I promised you: the fig of pounds of poop that you transportation astir successful your assemblage and desperately request to get out. This TikToker says the close smoothie volition effect successful a 10-pound poop. This one says that radical suffer 2 pounds aft a colon hydrotherapy session—which whitethorn beryllium existent for each I know—and past says the value nonaccomplishment adds up if you bash aggregate sessions. (That portion seems a batch little plausible.) She puts the mean magnitude of poop successful one’s colon astatine “five to 20 pounds.”

This chiropractor, who calls himself a “regenerative detox specialist,” says you person 25 pounds of poop successful your assemblage and request to forgo food—drinking thing but juice—for 90 days to beryllium definite you are genuinely “done.” (Strange, since colonoscopy prep tin get the occupation done successful 3 days.)

This wellness coach ups the ante to “six to 40 pounds of poop” which she emphasizes is “stuck successful our bodies.” The telltale symptom, of course, is value gain. The cure? A circumstantial fibre supplement that you’re expected to usage arsenic a “cleanse.” It’s expected to region the buildup and forestall aboriginal buildup. That would beryllium great, if this buildup were real. It is not.

Poop does not get stuck successful your colon

Look, constipation is real, and it tin beryllium uncomfortable. In utmost cases—involving familial abnormalities, drugs, and/or wellness conditions—a person’s assemblage can, indeed, incorporate an unusually ample magnitude of fecal matter. Like, a fewer pounds’ worth.

Definitely not 10 oregon 25 oregon 40 pounds without realizing it. The Mutter Museum’s celebrated eight-foot-long megacolon comes from a antheral whose tummy was truthful distended from carrying 40 pounds of discarded that helium was billed successful a sideshow as the “Balloon man.” There are pictures. He does not look similar an different steadfast idiosyncratic who mightiness scroll TikTok for value nonaccomplishment tips.

Sometimes these videos volition assertion that Elvis oregon John Wayne died with tens of pounds of feces successful their colon. Elvis did person digestive issues, including what sounds similar a lawsuit of megacolon, though a circumstantial value of his colon’s contents has not been released arsenic acold arsenic I tin tell. John Wayne ne'er had an autopsy, and this amusive information astir him seems to beryllium wholly made up.

So however overmuch poop are astir of america carrying? Not much! A azygous poop tin easy measurement a pound, occasionally two, but you lone person a fewer of those successful your gut astatine immoderate fixed time. The full travel from sheet to toilet tin instrumentality anyplace from 10 to 72 hours—so you’re improbable to person much than 3 days’ worthy of erstwhile nutrient wrong you, tops.

Gastroenterologist Robert Fusco writes that this is each beauteous evident if you’ve ever done a colonoscopy prep. You expel “the expected fewer pounds of waste” and immoderate laxative solution. Fecal substance can’t “build up” oregon get “stuck” successful your colon; arsenic several doctors patiently explained to PolitiFact, that’s conscionable not however the colon works.

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