News Flash! Celebrity Status Does Not Prevent Constipation

December is Constipation Awareness Month

According to the late, great singer-songwriter and musician Marvin Gaye:

I wish that being famous helped prevent me from being constipated.

We’re not sure why Mr. Gaye ever thought that celebrities might be immune to constipation; we can only assume he heard it through the grapevine.

Holiday Cocktails That May Help

  • Bowel Banger or Trotsky (prune juice, vodka)
  • Go with the Flow (prune juice, rum & coconut milk)
  • Smooth Move (prune juice, pineapple juice, rum)
  • Piledriver (prune juice, orange juice, vodka)

Credit: Darlene Michaud

Warning! Check with your healthcare provider before trying these drinks as constipation remedies.

The View from Politicians and Pomeranians

In the view of Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency:

There are probably enough people [with constipation] for a political party. But what would such a party do if it was in power? They would try to pass legislation, but would fail.

Hmmm….How is this different from the Republican and Democratic parties we already have?

Lastly, according to playwright Samuel Beckett:

Constipation is a sign of good health in pomeranians.

We’re not sure where Mr. Beckett obtained his knowledge of veterinary medicine — Pomeranians have a number of common health issues, but constipation isn’t one of them.  Go here for more information on constipation in dogs and cats.

A Finger in Your Bum may be the Key to Relief (and health care cost control)

According to one of our surgeon friends and advisors, @Skepticalscalpel says:

In my experience, primary care MDs rarely do rectal exams.

Other doctors have also concluded that digital rectal exams are a lost art among primary care physicians — 85% of these doctors fail to do the exam before referring patients to a specialist for treatment.

Our advice to patients: If your constipation is serious enough to trigger a visit your healthcare provider, make sure you insist on a DRE (digital rectal exam) before they prescribe any medication or refer you to an expensive specialist. Sometimes, a procedure called manual disimpaction is necessary. Simulators are available for training.

Did you know that….

  • Chronic constipation contributed to the death of Elvis Presley?
  • Viewing works of art can decrease laxative use in elderly women?
  • There are 4 ways to know if you’re constipated?
  • There are 6 ways to get unstuck?

For answers to these and other URGENT questions see

How to tell if you’re constipated and what to do about it

Seasonal Constipation Disorder

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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