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Dancing David
7th May 2006, 06:22 AM
In my wife's family, her younger brother is married to a woman who is a nurse, registered type, who works at a cardiac center.

recently my wife's family said that this nurse stated that there must be a nerve that connects pooping to the heart and that it leads to death in the elderly, which is why so many dead people are found on the stool.

Out of politeness I did not laugh out loud, but this sounds like the making of urban legend to me!

Moochie
7th May 2006, 06:30 AM
Nah, I've died a thousand deaths while sitting on the throne. That's a legend in itself. :)

M.

andyandy
7th May 2006, 06:31 AM
i always assumed that in the elderly, the strain of the whole business could be enough to trigger a heart attack...
i would have thought physical exertion rather than a nerve were to blame....tho i admit i have little knowledge of elderly bowel movements.....:) :) :)

ChristineR
7th May 2006, 06:46 AM
I hate to say this, but....

It's true. :)

http://health.enotes.com/nursing-encyclopedia/rectal-medication-administration

This isn't the greatest source...maybe someone else can find better.

andyandy
7th May 2006, 06:55 AM
urghhhhhh!

i wish i hadnt read that :jaw-dropp

Capsid
7th May 2006, 07:07 AM
I thought this was common knowledge. Elvis Presley died of a heart attack whilst on the throne. I thought it was the strain and increased blood pressure required that would be enough of a trigger.

Mercutio
7th May 2006, 07:14 AM
My dad has a pacemaker precisely because he has an overly sensitive vagus nerve. His heart had stopped a few times prior to that, before he was diagnosed. Sounds like the same sort of thing.

De_Bunk
7th May 2006, 07:28 AM
If some of you remember i worked for the Coroners office..

At least 4/10 of 'sudden deaths' in the home, i found on the toilet with evidence at an attempt to defecate. Approx 3 of those 4, were elderly people.

Also, there was a lot more deceased that showed evidence of defecation and attempted cleaning just before death occured, from all age groups, in all areas of the home.


DB

Nova Land
7th May 2006, 07:40 AM
Hmmm. I wonder if this kind of difficulty might be diet-related? I'm having trouble imagining why a person with a normal diet would have a difficult or stressful time doing something which should be a routine and pleasant part of everyday life.

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
7th May 2006, 08:15 AM
This is all more than I wanted to know. However, I will take it as a suggestion that I should be as relaxed as possible while on the toilet.

~~ Paul

Capsid
7th May 2006, 08:18 AM
Hmmm. I wonder if this kind of difficulty might be diet-related? I'm having trouble imagining why a person with a normal diet would have a difficult or stressful time doing something which should be a routine and pleasant part of everyday life.
A normal bowel movement is sufficient to cause the physiologcal changes that may lead to a heart attack.

Polaris
7th May 2006, 08:25 AM
urghhhhhh!

i wish i hadnt read that :jaw-dropp

I'm glad I read this! I just spared myself something horrid that would have made my treasonous mind think of disgusting images during breakfast.

WildCat
7th May 2006, 08:36 AM
I've never come close to killing myself while defecating, but the people who walked in after me have complained of nearly dying. So now I light a match before leaving. ;)

Silly Green Monkey
7th May 2006, 09:35 AM
In the Things I Learned From My Patients thread on the medical doctors' forum, one poster warns everyone suffering symptoms of a heart attack NEVER to use the bathroom. Same thing?

zakur
7th May 2006, 09:40 AM
What a sh!tty way to die.

Nancarrow
7th May 2006, 04:36 PM
In the Things I Learned From My Patients thread on the medical doctors' forum, one poster warns everyone suffering symptoms of a heart attack NEVER to use the bathroom. Same thing?

So, um, what are they supposed to do instead? What alternatives are available? :confused:

joe87
7th May 2006, 06:59 PM
The reason so many people die while on the toilet is probably the result of them performing a valsalva maneuver (http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/valsalva_maneuver.jsp ), i.e., straining to have a bowel movement. Many people routinely do this, particularly if they are constipated, but it can be quite detrimental for people with cardiac deficiency, such as heart patients, the elderly, drug users, etc. because it constricts blood flow to the heart. From the above url, we have the following quote:
The patient may feel dizzy or faint during the procedure, but serious consequences are rare. There is a risk that the Valsalva maneuver can cause blood clots to detach, bleeding, and abnormal rhythms originating in the ventricle. It can also cause cardiac arrest. Consequently, the procedure is usually performed in a setting where emergency equipment is accessible.

Silly Green Monkey
7th May 2006, 07:25 PM
So, um, what are they supposed to do instead? What alternatives are available? :confused:

Instead, they should seek medical attention for the heart attack.

schplurg
7th May 2006, 11:26 PM
My dad passed out while urinating and smacked his head real good. Sorry, it's late right now and I have little details, but there is some relationship between urinating (which he now does while seated) and ...well I'm not actually sure what happened physiologically speaking. He saw his doctor about it. It was years ago.

Just wanted to point out that urinating can also cause some interesting "side effects".

David Swidler
7th May 2006, 11:44 PM
The reason so many people die while on the toilet is probably the result of them performing a valsalva maneuver (http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/ency/valsalva_maneuver.jsp ), i.e., straining to have a bowel movement. Many people routinely do this, particularly if they are constipated, but it can be quite detrimental for people with cardiac deficiency, such as heart patients, the elderly, drug users, etc. because it constricts blood flow to the heart.

I have to wonder about the person after whom this is named. You think (s)he's proud of the association?

Physiotherapist
8th May 2006, 12:43 AM
Well, surely this is one good reason why people should eat enough fibre and drink enough water so that they are not constipated and do not have to strain.

casebro
8th May 2006, 08:18 AM
Ahh HAA! We've finally explained the link between a reduced risk of heart attack and fiber.... and it ain't that fiber lowers cholesterol, either...

You know what Elvis's last thought was? "this grout needs cleaning"...

ETA:
Hmmm. now I wonder if the Statins work the same way....hmmm...one side effect is 'digestive anomolies'....like soft stools....

GreyPilgrim
8th May 2006, 08:31 AM
Well, surely this is one good reason why people should eat enough fibre and drink enough water so that they are not constipated and do not have to strain.

I have it on good authority that Guiness is a good 'fudge softener'

joe87
8th May 2006, 04:52 PM
I have to wonder about the person after whom this is named. You think (s)he's proud of the association?
Well he died in 1723, so he probably doesn't care anymore. His name was Antonio Maria Valsalva (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Maria_Valsalva), and he was an Italian anatomist. He didn't invent the maneuver, he just had patients use it for other purposes, so he probably didn't feel ashamed of it being named after him.

Rcintron
8th May 2006, 05:07 PM
The valsalva maneuver is also used by scuba divers to "equalize" the pressure of the inner ear to that of the surrounding water, so their ears won't hurt while descending (by "closing" the nose with two fingers and attempting to exhale while keeping the mouth shut). So, maybe, that means divers are also at risk of having a heart attack :confused:

Dancing David
9th May 2006, 05:44 AM
The valsalva maneuver is also used by scuba divers to "equalize" the pressure of the inner ear to that of the surrounding water, so their ears won't hurt while descending (by "closing" the nose with two fingers and attempting to exhale while keeping the mouth shut). So, maybe, that means divers are also at risk of having a heart attack :confused:


I also have been instructed to do that to keep my ear drums from retracting, I have allergies and when i swallow it causes my eardrums to retract (move in), because my eustacheon tubes don't work well.

I think that there must be two manuvers.

The Central Scrutinizer
9th May 2006, 05:50 AM
If some of you remember i worked for the Coroners office..

At least 4/10 of 'sudden deaths' in the home, i found on the toilet with evidence at an attempt to defecate. Approx 3 of those 4, were elderly people.

Also, there was a lot more deceased that showed evidence of defecation and attempted cleaning just before death occured, from all age groups, in all areas of the home.


DB

Wow, why do other people get all the cool jobs?

Capsid
9th May 2006, 05:51 AM
I also have been instructed to do that to keep my ear drums from retracting, I have allergies and when i swallow it causes my eardrums to retract (move in), because my eustacheon tubes don't work well.

I think that there must be two manuvers.
The action of holding your breath in the valsalva's manouevre puts pressure on the diaphragm and along with the abdominal muscles squeezes the abdomen to force poop into the rectum.

Camillus
9th May 2006, 06:37 AM
Since the vagus nerve innervates both the heart and the upper part of the bowel (down to the splenchic flexure) the urge to defecate can be a symptom of acute cardiac failure.

As the vagus nerve becomes stimulated peristalsis increases and the victim (for want of a better word) feels the urge to empty their bowels and heads for the loo. Once there they strain and further stimulate the vagus nerve leading to, a sometimes fatal, slowing of the heart rate.

In normal health the Valsalva manouevre is safe and we all do it.

Reeco
9th May 2006, 07:09 AM
What a fantastic blend of useful medical information and toilet gags.

Anyway, I was wondering if farting could trigger a heart attack. Just out of interest.

Just thinking
9th May 2006, 08:09 AM
... Anyway, I was wondering if farting could trigger a heart attack. Just out of interest.

Yes ... to the recipient.

RichardR
9th May 2006, 10:59 AM
... the people who walked in after me have complained of nearly dying. So now I light a match before leaving. ;)
Didn't The Mythbusters demonstrate that lighting a match in these circumstances makes no difference?

Just thinking
9th May 2006, 01:55 PM
Didn't The Mythbusters demonstrate that lighting a match in these circumstances makes no difference?

I must have missed it ... just how did they blueprint (draw up) that one?

joe87
9th May 2006, 04:19 PM
There's a lot of methane in flatulence, but if you wait until it has dispersed throughout the room, lighting a match won't ignite it. You have to light it as it exits in order to get the flame thrower simulation. Or isn't that what Mythbusters debunked?

blutoski
9th May 2006, 04:25 PM
There's a lot of methane in flatulence, but if you wait until it has dispersed throughout the room, lighting a match won't ignite it. You have to light it as it exits in order to get the flame thrower simulation. Or isn't that what Mythbusters debunked?


I saw their flatulence episode. Now *that's* good tv.

They covered a few myths:

1. lighting a match will reduce odour (plausible)
2. lighting a match in a portapotty could explode (busted)
3. a heavy gas-passer could suffocate himself in a small room (busted)

Just thinking
10th May 2006, 06:00 AM
... They covered a few myths:

3. a heavy gas-passer could suffocate himself in a small room (busted)

How could they have passed on using a spacesuit?

Vitnir
10th May 2006, 12:20 PM
...
1. lighting a match will reduce odour (plausible)
...
That's seem logic to me considering that the burning of wood will create a multitude of new chemicals that can hide the other smelly compounds. The same principle that so called air fresheners operate by.

blutoski
10th May 2006, 12:32 PM
That's seem logic to me considering that the burning of wood will create a multitude of new chemicals that can hide the other smelly compounds. The same principle that so called air fresheners operate by.

Well, they used a lighter, so there would be as little contamination as possible.

Also interesting: they analyzed the composition of flatus and obtained supplies two of the components to test them independently. Methane was not affected by flaming, but methylhercaptin smell was improved.

However, I think their test could have benefitted from a few more noses.

neil
21st May 2006, 11:51 AM
Methane is oderless. The stink is trace gases and vapors. Is three liters of water per day to avoid constipation safe for most people? Neil

Silly Green Monkey
21st May 2006, 03:02 PM
Are you sure you don't mean propane being odorless, rather than methane?

casebro
21st May 2006, 04:36 PM
Lots of ammonia involved too, from the breakdown of proteins by the pro-biotic beasties, plus sulfer dioxide, also from proteins... Now, if we could innoculate everybody with a yeast/fungus/bacteria that gives off nitrate, to open constricted arteries, we could cure coronary disease...without the fiber!

Dancing David
22nd May 2006, 10:52 AM
The action of holding your breath in the valsalva's manouevre puts pressure on the diaphragm and along with the abdominal muscles squeezes the abdomen to force poop into the rectum.

I dont have to apply that much pressure just enough to pop my eaqrs or make them squeak.

Just Me
22nd May 2006, 11:13 AM
That's seem logic to me considering that the burning of wood will create a multitude of new chemicals that can hide the other smelly compounds. The same principle that so called air fresheners operate by.
As I understand it, you like the match to get the smell of sulphur in the air. The sulphur is in the matchhead.

Re Valsalva manuevers, powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters commonly use this texhnique. It increases stability and strength. One thing my former olympic weightlifting coach didn't teach me was to "pinch a loaf" during the manuever.
I went anemic from blood loss-down the toilet.:(

Aardvark
22nd May 2006, 03:18 PM
1 Valsalva maneuvre is a forced expiration against a closed glottis, that is closed, therefore this would have no effect on the Inner ear pressures. The technique used by divers is similar but the glottis is open so as to pressurise the pharynx and therefore not strictly a Valsalva.

2 Poop is moved from the Colon into the rectum by a process of Haustral shunting, similar to peristalsis but more segmental. This is driven primariliy via the gastro-cholic reflex which is linked to distention of the stomach.

3 Once poop is in the rectum, then kicks in the defecation reflex, this is under voluntary control up to a point!!!!

4 During breathing in or inspiration, a negative intra thoracic pressure is created which not only sucks air into your lungs but also sucks blood into the right side of the heart. If you fill the heart better, you get a better stretch and a better contraction, see the Frank Starling Law, this leads to higher cardiac output for that beat. If you stretch any striated muscle you will always get a better rate of contraction when you trigger the change.

Now If you do a Valsalva, you have a positive intra thoracic pressure which reduces right heart filling and output, lower output plus with a positive pressure it is harder to fill the coronary circulation, the coronaries fill during diastole not systole, that is, when the heart is relaxing.

To hear what happens, take a student stethoscope and listen to a friends heart whilst he or she take a deep breath, listen to the change in beat. Now get them to do a Valsalva and again you will hear a different beat.

This has been simplified as of course, cardiac output is measured at the left hand side of the heart, but the heart is maintains beat to beat variation and right in equals right out equals left in equals left out

I can imagine how straining at stool has an impact in a patient with NYHA stage 3 or 4 CHF or with multiple blocked coronaries.

So if you do not want to die in the latrine
1 eat plenty of veg
2 eat less fat
3 drink plenty of water
Excercise

Aardvark
22nd May 2006, 03:27 PM
double post

Just Me
22nd May 2006, 09:30 PM
snip

4 During breathing in or inspiration, a negative intra thoracic pressure is created which not only sucks air into your lungs but also sucks blood into the right side of the heart. If you fill the heart better, you get a better stretch and a better contraction, see the Frank Starling Law, this leads to higher cardiac output for that beat. If you stretch any striated muscle you will always get a better rate of contraction when you trigger the change.

snip

Does this also have to do w/ plyometrics and preloading a muscle for a more powerful output?
Specifically, your last sentence.

Aardvark
23rd May 2006, 01:23 AM
Does this also have to do w/ plyometrics and preloading a muscle for a more powerful output?
Specifically, your last sentence.

Yes, the Frank Starling law or mechanism relates to pre loading of the cardiac muscle.

We call this End Diastolic volume or a measure of how big the ventricle is when it has filled. Often measured as a function of End Diastolic Pressure, but really volume is more accurate to the stretch of the muscle fibres.

Scientists can measure volumetric contraction or change in pressure with change in time, dp/dt and plot this as a curve of pump efficiency or systolic function. Interestingly, the heart also relaxes and fills and this can also be plotted as dp/dt but this is a measure of filling function or diastolic function.

In a failing heart we can use chemical stimulus to improve the dp/dt or contactility, these are refered to as inotropes. Things wich improve relaxation and filling are refered to as lucitropes

' The Great Dr Starling in his law of the heart, said output is greater if right at the start, the cardiac fibres are stretched a bit more so the force of contraction is more than before, thus the greater the volume there is in diastole, the higher the output is likjley to be'

This was part of a rhyme tought at some UK medical Schools

Skeptic Ginger
23rd May 2006, 03:17 AM
Just to add a little more detail here. While stimulating the vagus nerve thus slowing the heart is one result from the valsalva maneuver, it isn't the only one.

There is some risk when straining if you already have coronary artery blockage. The cardiac arteries fill on the back stroke of the heart rather than during ventricular contraction. When you inhale, you create negative pressure in your chest to draw in air. But you also draw in blood from the veins returning blood to the heart. When you hold your breath and exert pressure, you raise the pressure in the chest. That essentially slows cardiac return (the blood coming back to be pumped out again). But it also makes it difficult for the cardiac arteries to fill with that back stroke if the chest pressure is too high. An artery that is already narrowed from plaque can clot off altogether during a valsalva maneuver.

So you can stimulate the vagal nerve which slows the heart rate. Or you can lose blood flow to the heart from increased chest pressure. It's typically stopping or slowing the blood flow to the heart that causes a heart attack like the one Presley died from. Slowing the heart rate doesn't help but slowing your heart rate by itself would only cause a heart attack in a small number of people with heart rhythm problems. Triggering an artery to clot off is the more common event.

And a healthy person is not going to have the problem. The arteries have to be very narrow in the first place.

Dancing David
23rd May 2006, 08:15 AM
1 Valsalva maneuvre is a forced expiration against a closed glottis, that is closed, therefore this would have no effect on the Inner ear pressures. The technique used by divers is similar but the glottis is open so as to pressurise the pharynx and therefore not strictly a Valsalva.



I guess I misunderstood a previous post, it sounded like the thing that divers do.

EagleEye
23rd May 2006, 09:20 AM
My grandfather died on the toilet... heart attack... :(

Aardvark
23rd May 2006, 03:04 PM
My grandfather died on the toilet... heart attack... :(

Gone with the wind?:confused:

Iamme
23rd May 2006, 06:10 PM
This is all more than I wanted to know. However, I will take it as a suggestion that I should be as relaxed as possible while on the toilet.

~~ Paul

Well...see if you really can, the next time it is half in and half out... and there you sit, knowing you have to be to work in 5 minutes. :)

a_unique_person
23rd May 2006, 07:10 PM
1 eat plenty of veg
2 eat less fat
3 drink plenty of water
Excercise

Why is always the same advice?

JollyRoger
23rd May 2006, 07:33 PM
thier is a real bad joke in this one someplace

Mycroft
23rd May 2006, 08:54 PM
In my wife's family, her younger brother is married to a woman who is a nurse, registered type, who works at a cardiac center.

recently my wife's family said that this nurse stated that there must be a nerve that connects pooping to the heart and that it leads to death in the elderly, which is why so many dead people are found on the stool.

Out of politeness I did not laugh out loud, but this sounds like the making of urban legend to me!

A person who feels discomfort in their chest area might seek a moment of privacy in a place where they know they will be left alone while they decide if it's just gas and can safely be ignored.

Just Me
23rd May 2006, 11:26 PM
Why is always the same advice?
Because good advice rarely changes? :)

Skeptic Ginger
24th May 2006, 01:10 AM
Sorry, I see Ardvark posted what I said and somehow I had missed it yesterday. Carry on, I shall slink out with a "nevermind".

Aardvark
24th May 2006, 11:27 AM
Sorry, I see Ardvark posted what I said and somehow I had missed it yesterday. Carry on, I shall slink out with a "nevermind".

Not at all, you added and extra piece to the jigsaw and a better and easier understood explanation. :)

Skeptic Ginger
24th May 2006, 02:51 PM
Not at all, you added and extra piece to the jigsaw and a better and easier understood explanation. :)Thanks, you are too kind.

Actually I did refrain from using intra thoracic pressure, volumetric contraction, End Diastolic Pressure (and diastole), glottis, contactility, lucitropes, inotropes, etc., on purpose. :wink:

Aardvark
25th May 2006, 01:54 PM
Thanks, you are too kind.

Actually I did refrain from using intra thoracic pressure, volumetric contraction, End Diastolic Pressure (and diastole), glottis, contactility, lucitropes, inotropes, etc., on purpose. :wink:

My dear Skeptigirl, I never doubted it for a second;)