Call it what you will: bum, buttocks, derriere, glutes, tushy. Our butts really aren’t often a topic of discussion very often. But (no pun), our bottoms actually say quite a bit about our health.
There are three muscles main muscles “at work”: the gluteus medius, which is attached to the hip’s side; the gluteus minimus; and the gluteus maximus. In case you were wondering, the minimus is the smallest muscle of the group; while the maximus is the largest. Actually, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body, and makes up the shape of the rear end.
We’re here to get to the bottom (ok, pun intended) about what our rears say about our health. We’ll discuss some interesting factoids based on research; while giving you some good information on how to keep your butt healthy.
Here are 10 health tips your butt wants you to know:
1. It is vital to strength and posture
Many movements involving our legs, thighs, hips and toes utilize our butt muscles. Without sufficient “butt power,” we couldn’t climb stairs, crouch, get up, stand tall or walk. When our glutes lack the necessary strength to execute these basic movements, other parts of the body must compensate. When this happens, extra and unnecessary stress it put onto areas of the body, which can cause poor posture or muscle imbalance.
2. Shape matters…a lot
More specifically, people who store fat in their waist – as opposed to the hips or butt – may have a higher risk for developing cancer. In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers discovered that “people with…central (abdominal) obesity had the highest risk for death overall from cardiovascular disease compared with people without central obesity, regardless of the BMI.”
3. Laxatives can be bad
When we’re, ahem, “stuffed up,” it’s so tempting to go to the market and buy some chalky-tasting liquid to help. As it turns out, laxatives do carry a risk of dependence; specifically, functionality of the colon can diminish after ceasing use of laxatives. Instead, try hydrating more; add some fiber to your diet; or just get up and exercise.
4. Sugar alcohols are terrible
How many of us sweet-lovers were excited when sugar-free cookies, cakes, sodas, etc. hit the shelves? *Raises hand* However, most products advertising “SUGAR-FREE” on the label are made up of sugar alcohols – mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and others – that are un-absorbable by the body. When these indigestible sugars reach the colon, bacteria within the digestive tract must dissolve them, leading to potentially-severe gas problems; watery bowels, diarrhea…etc.
5. Poop shape can indicate health problems
We didn’t want to go here. Really…we didn’t.
But poop that is ultra-thin may obstruct the colon or rectum, requiring the stool to “thin out” to exit. Sporadic cases probably indicates a bout with constipation. However, monitor the duration of these bowel movements. If they continue to occur over the period of a month, call a doctor.
6. Texting on the pot isn’t good
No, we don’t mean “that” pot…we mean the toilet bowl. Aside from the fact that it’s disgusting…
The problem is all about posture. When we’re tapping away on the phone, pressure is placed onto the lower part of the rectum. If this happens often, veins located around the anus can swell, multiply, and produce hemorrhoids.
7. A gentle wipe is all that’s needed
This can be tough when we’re a little (or a lot) itchy “down there.” But, as with all skin, the skin around the butt can get irritated. When we are being a little too strong with the TP, small tears can surface on the skin. The result: an itchy butt.
Also, stay away from scented or flushable wipes, as they often contain chemicals that can irritate the skin.
8. Frequent gas passing is (usually) not bad
Yes, we’re discussing farts. Foods that are high in fiber – beans, fruits, grains, veggies – are fermented by bacteria within the colon, forming gas. Someone that eats a diet high in fiber may pass gas over a dozen times a day – and that’s completely normal.