Respiration, Digestion and Excretion

People that are alive will at some point need to eat, they will breathe, their hearts will beat, they will excrete the food that they digested, discharge liquids as they urinate and they will pass gas out their rectums at times, as these are all normal functions that make us human.  Bodily functions can be embarrassing and someone actually wrote a children’s book titled Everyone Poops, which documents the pooping styles and sizes of a range of animals and a little boy, but even though everyone does it, most people refuse to talk about it.  Some things are private like nudity and some other bodily functions.  Regular bowel movements are a strong indicator of good health, particularly when it has a consistent shape and size.  Solid stool is also a sign of proper hydration and that our diet doesn’t contain too many oily foods.  Having a bowel movement is not something that you go around describing to others, or something that you want others to watch you doing.  We need to perform certain bodily functions in private.

Masturbation is classified as a bodily need not a bodily function and this is a very sensitive subject, as the human orgasm is actually a pretty complicated bodily function If something is normal, then there is no reason to feel shame, however many people who masturbate when they are done feel like what they did was somehow dirty or wrong and that they have violated some strict rule by pleasuring themselves and they often feel that they will go straight to hell for doing this.  People masturbate to help them relax, they may want to understand their body better, they want to release sexual tension, or perhaps they just do this because their partner isn’t around, but most people masturbate because it feels good.

I always find flatulence to be funny and I actually read that sniffing farts might be healthy for you, as this could prevent mitochondria damage.  You should not feel obliged to thank someone who cuts a smelly fart near you, but exposure to hydrogen sulfide contained in farts could prevent disease and even cancer.  Farting can be mortifying but it’s really just a sign of a healthy stomach gobbling up nutrients.  Stomach microbes consume undigested foods like fiber and carbohydrates, converting them to nutrients, producing gas as a byproduct.  Stop being ashamed when you accidentally let one rip, as trying to hold gas in can cause significant bloating and discomfort in your stomach.  Holding in gas can make you grumpy and uncomfortable and there is no better feeling than releasing a long-held fart, so always let it out as it is sure to be worth it.

Burping or belching (medically referred to as eructation) is a natural response to air being ingested while we eat.  Most belching is caused by swallowing excess air.  This air most often never even reaches the stomach but accumulates in the esophagus.  Burping helps our stomach’s digestive system by preventing excess gas buildup and allowing it to be dispelled from your upper digestive tract.  It’s especially beneficial for infants, who need to be burped regularly to prevent discomfort and bloating, which can lead to them spitting up.

Vomiting is a human defense mechanism, it is a way of your body telling you that something that you ate might be spoiled or poisonous.  Since eating is a social function, if one person in the group starts having an adverse reaction this could mean that there is a good chance that everyone else in the group will also get sick.  It can be real messy spewing the contents of your stomach out and it won’t smell that great either.  Seeing someone vomit can start a chain reaction, as looking at puke is just plain nasty.  The sight and smell of upchuck can start to make anyone feel queasy, and the next thing you know, you’re barfing along with them.

Colic is something that happens to a baby where it cries constantly, despite being in good health and having no apparent needs.  A baby with colic will spend hours wailing, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.  All you can do is wait it out, and wonder why you didn’t get a cat instead of having a baby.  A baby learns very early that if it cries that it will get attention and this solves all of their problems.  Crying is used as a means of survival, so once babies figure out how to get their parents wrapped around their little finger they might start singing that James Taylor song, “All I go to do is cry, and you’ll be there, oh I got a friend.”

Getting pimples can be embarrassing, especially if they appear on your face where everyone can notice them.  The pus probably grosses most people out, but it actually serves some good.  Pus is a defense mechanism our bodies use to flush out harmful infections and bacteria.  The main purpose of acne seems to be making the lives of teenagers even more miserable.  A bad case of it pretty much guarantees that you have plenty of spare time to do your math homework, because no one wants to date someone who looks like an alien life form is slowly taking over their face.  And despite your mom insisting that you were still beautiful, that may have been nature working exactly as intended, keeping adolescents from engaging in too much sex.

A blister may form when the skin has been damaged by friction or rubbing, heat, cold or chemical exposure.  Fluid collects between the epidermis which is the upper layer of the skin and the layers below.  This fluid cushions the tissue underneath, protecting it from further damage and allowing it to heal. If you have ever popped a blister and noticed it was filled with a water-like substance, you should take this as a sign that you have a healthy body.  Water blisters are a natural band-aid, protecting the injured area from infection.  Don’t pop your blisters, allow them to heal on their own.

Women have their own unique issues with periods, vaginal discharge and queefing, and as this area is still a mystery to me, thus this topic is best left for someone else with greater knowledge of feminine anatomy.  I am also not going to get into talking about snot, sweating, drooling, sneezing or coughing, mostly because I have said too much already.  Enough is enough and TMI is TMI.

Written for 8/11/18 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is “bodily function”.

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