ONE of the most touching responses to the first part of this series came from a 25year-old man and his friend. The man, FASASI SADULLAH, telephoned me last Saturday (15th August 2020) to say:
“I had colostomy twice, meaning I stool with the left side of my abdomen.
That meant a hole was surgically made on that side of his abdomen to let out stool through a hose into a bag that he had to wear on his waist.
His voice was bright, betraying no evidence that he would be gone the next day (16th August 2020), and his earthly remains buried in Lagos Monday (17th August 2020). One of FASASI’s friends and a regular reader of this column, SHARIF ODUNAYE, introduced FASASI to me on the telephone about a week before the departure of FASASI’S.
He wanted to know if alternative medicine could help his condition. I sent him some suggestions via WhatsApp.
I advised him to immediately undertake organic coffee (not edible) enemas to clean up his liver and other vital organs before other natural therapies would follow. This was because he had under-gone Chemotherapy and invasive surgery. Chemotherapy is, arguably, one of the most dangerous poisons which cancer doctors give their patients in order to kill cancer. But few patients survive chemotherapy because it poisons and kills cancer and healthy cells alike. Surgery makes cancer more aggressive and likely to spread.
The day before FASASI’s death, SHARIF sent me this WhatsApp message:
“We have been making an effort to raise money for FASASI but the result was discouraging. As a matter of fact, I called his dad yesterday night and today, and he told me his effort had not been fruitful. He has spent over N2million over the past months. Now, I guess people are tired of helping. We are still making an effort to raise money…”
This following day, that is last Sunday, I read on SHARIF’s WhatsApp status: “WE HAVE LOST HIM, FASASI SADULLAH”.
Another reader of this column wrote: I have read your publication in THE NATION newspaper of Thursday 13th August 2020. Some of the problems enumerated in DIAGRAM C (engorged colon) are what I am encountering. I always strain to pass stool. I have hernia and prostate (gland) issues which I need to operate”.
From Aba came this one: “I am 52. I recently developed delayed stooling. I have high blood sugar, which I am managing. I have a weak erection. I just went to the lab yesterday, and they told me that my prostate gland had enlarged silently as a result of suppressed infections. There are also traits of hepatitis in my liver”.
There were more enquires than can be accommodated here. As I explained in every case, the bottom line is that WE ARE WHAT WE EAT and the waste from what we eat which we fail to get out of our bodies. Let us begin to look at the picture from when we put food in the month. We have teeth with which we are expected to grind food to paste so that we can create a large surface area of it for saliva to mix with. Saliva is not in the mouth for the fun of it. It contains some substances called enzymes, which break down the complex food eaten. Immunoglobulins are present, too. Immunoglobulins kill germs in the food and perform other immune functions. When we swallow food and do not let saliva mix with it for some time, we allow some dangerous and unwanted guests in the food to get into the stomach. The swallowing of food without grinding it to paste comes partly from table etiquette. Our neighbor is not expected to hear the sound made in our mouths when we munch food. Mr. S.O Kolade, my fourth form “O” level Health Science teacher, knocked this out of us in the 1967 set of Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo.
He made sense to me when he reminded the class that Africans eat a lot of complex carbohydrates such as yam which is called POLYSACCHARIDES. An enzyme in the saliva called PTYALIN breaks polysaccharides down into DISACHARIDES a simpler carbohydrate. The simplest way I can describe these terms, for now, is that polysaccharides are a huge crowd of carbohydrate molecule groups while a Disaccharides is a group of two molecules and monosaccharides is a single carbohydrate molecule. Ptyalin is an enzyme, which suggests the roles enzymes in other parts of the digestive system would need to play in order not to only to make complex foods available to the body in simpler or microforms but to keep that system healthy as well. Thus, taught Mr. Kolade, all foods put in the mouth must be well masticated (ground) to paste prior to swallowing. This change in taste is the evidence that a complex sugar, MALTASE, has been broken down or converted into simpler sugar, maltase, and that the singal molicel could then be swallowed without it causing harm in the stomach and in the rest of the body.
The culture of “swallow” foods in Nigeria does not permit this natural process. So, the stomach receives a large volume of polysaccharide, which it’s not comfortable with. This may not make much sense to many people. They could, in defiance say in Pidgin: Na today we begin swallow eba, fufu, semo, etc. We never die. Leave us jare! But it should be remembered that “little drops of water make a mighty ocean”. Put another way, we may say “every day for the thief, one day for the owner.” The mill of Mother Nature grinds slowly but surely and finely. No one disregards her laws without paying for them. As my friend, Mr. Dotun Akitoye, always says, EVERY MISTAKE WILL AVENGE ITSELF SEVERELY.
Every day, we commit other table sins which cause trouble in the intestine. Over-eating is one of them. One day, I watched a man who sat opposite me at a canteen eat a double portion of eba. He was sweating and uncomfortable. He loosened his belt and called for a big-size bottle of stout. The stomach was overfilled or overloaded. Muscles of the stomach have to squeeze up and down and sideways to properly mix the content with digestive enzymes. Where this is not well done on account of overeating, many molecules may pass, undigested. Some may even be pushed on to the lower esophagus to start acid reflux and perhaps cancer of the throat!
We should not lose sight of the polysaccharides from the mouth. The immune system rushes an army after them, suspecting them to be foreign and inimical, since there are no allowances for them in the stomach. Even disaccharides cannot be digested in the stomach. Their digestion takes place in the small and large intestines. Where they become MONOSACHRIDES. They are the simplest forms of sugar that can cross the intestinal wall in to the bloodstream without harming the surface tissue. Larger molecules such as polysaccharides would break the sieves when they force their way through. Meanwhile, the stomach is suffering from “overloading.” It produces a weak form (0.05 percent) concentration of HYDROCHLORIC ACID. This is the environment in which PEPSIN, an enzyme which digests proteins, is produced. Fat is also cuddled in the stomach into droplets by bile salts from the liver. Where overloading has occurred, these enzymes may not be enough to do the job well. So, the food is literally “imprisoned” for longer than its natural exit time. An uncomfortable stomach then tries to expel it through the esophagus, causing acid reflux (heartburn) or downwards into the duodenum.
If the sphincter muscle, which keeps the gate with the duodenum, refuses to let go, as it sensitive only to alkaline substance from the pancreas, the organ releases pancreatic juice into the duodenum only when the stomach has finished its job. When the juice is not released and the duodenal gate is locked against the stomach, the stomach is left to suffer with its burden. Food overstaying its time in the stomach begins to decay or spoil, forming acid and foul gas which we experience when we belch. The cells of the stomach are gradually cooked in an acid bath. The tissue changes from raw meat to “cooked meat”. This is evidenced in GASTRITIS or inflammation of the tissues. This may lead to PEPTIC ULCERS and to perforation of the stomach which may cause leaks into the abdominal cavity. This in turn leads to sepsis and other dangerous health implications. Pylori bacteria are known to flourish in such an environment, compounding the acid situation when the immune system unleashes an acid attack on them. But where the stomach successfully expels some of its acid content into the duodenum, a duodenal ulcer may be fomented.
We speak so much about too much acid in peptic and other ulcers. But there are also conditions in which low acid levels delay digestion or cause protein sludge (undigested protein) which causes troubles in other parts of the body, in particular tissue damage and food sensitivity. One of these conditions is Achlorhydria, which is related to genetic inability to produce stomach acid or enough of it. In this case, diluting a supposed high level of stomach acid or consumption of cow milk as some doctors suggest to their patient to suppress the so-called acid pumps of the stomach with anti-acids, would be counterproductive in a situation which requires acid food supplements.
I am not a Muslim. But I agree with Prophet Mohammed in the QURAN that when we eat, we fill only one-third of the stomach with food, another third with fluid (digestive juices), and the last third with air. This is a formula against overloading of the stomach. Watch the animals. That is how they eat.
THE SERIES CONTINUES