After I moved back from chiropractic school in Texas, I moved into my childhood home in Rowley; where I live with my brother. This has a lot of pros, and some cons, but overall we have a lot of fun and get along extremely well.
Two months ago my brother came down with a rough case of the flu. He was bedridden, unable to work, and in a general state of misery. My brother asked me to run to the store and get a few things for him: some chicken soup, Gatorade, and Immodium. I gladly bought him some chicken soup and Gatorade (which I even hand-delivered), but I told him that there was no way that I was getting him Immodium.
Why, as an older brother 5 years his senior; would I leave my poor baby brother to contend with the misery of the runs; when that misery could easily be remedied with some Immodium? Is it because that I (like most older brothers), enjoy his occasional torture? Possibly, but there is a much deeper reason.
The main reason is that loose bowels are an intelligent response by the body to rid itself of a foreign invader. If you’ve ever experienced the misfortune to have food poisoning, you can almost feel the pathogens reproducing in your gut. What does your body do? It causes you to vomit and use your bowels as much as possible to get those pathogens out of your system!
Blocking this mechanism is no different than taking cough medicine to suppress a smoker’s cough. If you are a smoker, your body will develop a cough as a means to rid yourself of the toxic chemicals that are accumulating in your lungs.
Symptoms usually fall into one of two categories:
1) Warning Signals: These are things like low back pain and headaches. They are signals by your body telling you that something is wrong (like a smoke alarm in your house, or the check engine light in your car).
2) Adaptive Mechanisms: These are functions that help your body regain homeostasis. Having a fever in response to an infection is an example of an adaptive mechanism (when your temperature increases, it increases your internal production of immune cells). More great examples of this are loose bowels after a contaminated meal, or shivering in response to the cold.
Pretty amazing stuff!
Learn to appreciate the signals that your body is sending you. They might not be the most fun, but they are there for a reason!