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Can you get sick from your own dung?

  1. Jul 27, 2006 #1
    As a child and in school the always teah you to wash after you have a bowel movement. THey especially tell you to keep your hands cleans you wouldn't want to reingest any stool.


    I want to ask ,does it really make sense that you that you could get sick off your own bowels? It's your own mess. If it's been inside you for 24 hours ,came out of you and didn't make you sick how could it then make you sick by contacting your skin or being reingested? What makes it so dangerous 2nd time around?
     
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  3. Jul 27, 2006 #2

    iansmith

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    Washing your hand after the you go to the bathroom is mostly a sanitary measure for other people rather than yourself. Several disease are transmitted throught the oral-fecal route due to lack of good hygiene.

    You can get sicker from your own infection especially in the case of parasitic worms. Life cycle for some worms involved the ingestion of the eggs by the host.

    Also, there other infection sites that the pathogen can get access to once it out. It might not get you sick while in it is in your intestine but it can cause disease if it get access to your eyes and other mucosal surface.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2006 #3
    It is not the stool itself that is dangerous. It is the bacteria on it, both from inside your body and external ones to my knowledge.
     
  5. Jul 27, 2006 #4

    Well that's a given.
     
  6. Jul 27, 2006 #5
    If it was, then why are you ask in the first place? ;)
     
  7. Jul 27, 2006 #6

    selfAdjoint

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    If the question is, can our own intestinal flora, egested with our stools, make us sick? And I think the answer is yes. The environment of the intestine is different from the environment of the organism, and a bug that is natural in the one can be a threat in the other. But I don't have any examples.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2006 #7

    DaveC426913

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    He is acknowleding that it is the bacteria that are in question i.e. "can the bacteria in your own stool make you sick?"
     
  9. Jul 27, 2006 #8
    Dentists recommend you keep your toothbrush at least 6ft from your toilet, to prevent contamination with particulates from flushes :yuck: :eek:
     
  10. Jul 28, 2006 #9
  11. Jul 28, 2006 #10

    DaveC426913

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    I do not think that either the toothbrush or the Mythbusters experiment is adequate to answer the question of whether eating stool is going to make you sick.


    Intuitively, I'm sure it would, but I don't know actually how it would make you sick, but I do know the following factoids that might help:

    1] immuno-topologically-speaking, our bodies are a doughnut - the intestinal tract is medically considered to be outside the body.

    2] the contents of our bowels are very poisonous to us (and, taking into account point 1], we can say that the contents of our bowels are not actually in us). Perforation of the GI tract spills the contents into our body cavity. Painful death comes from massive infection within fifteen minutes.

    3] The teeth are the one place in the body where our innards (i.e. bone) protrudes into the outer world. The tooth/gum interface has our innards exposed to the world - it is not protected by the thick layer of bacteria-proof skin. This is why it is so important to floss.

    4] And finally, even if there's no infection, a massive enough infux of bacteria in the stomach can overwhelm our body's ability to deal with it. Our body will attempt to purge it by opening the floodgates - either
    a] reverse peristalsis (puking), or
    b] diarrhea
    Both lead to massive fluid and electrolyte loss. This is what getting sick is. Worse, if not checked, it can lead to further complications, up to and including heart troubles (due to electrolyte loss).
     
  12. Jul 28, 2006 #11
    There are bacteria in feces that cause cancer.
     
  13. Jul 29, 2006 #12
    Wait so a simple opening in my intestines could kill me in 15 minutes?
     
  14. Jul 29, 2006 #13
    No line it can't, tho {toxic} shock can hit pretty quickly. But even with prompt medical care, the out come is often very poor. Depending on your body, you could live for several agonizing days befor death.
     
  15. Jul 29, 2006 #14

    DaveC426913

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    Retracted. I got my numbers mixed up.
     
  16. Jul 30, 2006 #15
    Now you're gone if one of your insestines opens inside your body.
     
  17. Jul 30, 2006 #16

    Moonbear

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    Blanket statements such as this need to be supported. Provide a reference for the claim, or at the very least, specify which bacteria you are talking about so someone else could look it up for verification.
     
  18. Jul 30, 2006 #17

    Evo

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    I looked it up the other day, but got side tracked from responding. There is no proof that bacteria causes cancer, but it is being studied. They should have answers they're hoping an a few years.

    As one scientist said, rather than a high bacteria count being the cause of cancer, it could be that the cancer has caused an environment conducive to higher bacteria growth. They do not know.

    I can try to post links tomorrow.
     
  19. Jul 31, 2006 #18

    jim mcnamara

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  20. Jul 31, 2006 #19

    Evo

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  21. Jul 31, 2006 #20

    Astronuc

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    Peritonitis -
    http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsConditions/Peritonitiscc.html
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001335.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peritonitis

    Soldiers who get abdominal wounds are at risk for peritonitis.

    As for E. Coli, I was in a group of students who drank contaminated water. I was fairly ill, but others were severely ill, and some required hospitalization.

    I think Helicobacter pylori are implicated in stomach ulcers.
    http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/

    There may be a correlation between H. pylori and cancer in the sense that condition of stomach tissue with which one is more susceptible to H. pylori infection also renders it susceptible to cancer. However, that certainly does not mean that H. pylori 'causes' cancer. On the other hand, lesions may be more susceptible to cancer and therefore there could be an indirect cause. But the title "evidence from a prospective investigation" suggests a study in progress to which Evo alluded.
     
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