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Great Cloth Diaper Hunt–November

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Well guys it is time for another GCDH. I think I Iearned a little from last time, so I am hoping that everything goes well.  Last time a few people were confused by my clues, almost all of the answers to my clues can be found with a pointed google search. If you have the answer just put it in the search on my site.

For instance the clues August’s hunt were:

Clue 1 – Try it. You’ll like it! – http://www.crunchyandsweet.com/?p=288 = Cloth Diaper Trial
Clue 2 – I’ll gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today. -http://www.simplebaby.com/shop/product_info.php/products_id/358 = Layaway
Clue 3 – 16 Stone – http://www.simplebaby.com/shop/faq.php = 16 Summer Colors Crayon Rocks
Clue 4 – Winner, Winner _______________  _____________  http://www.simplebaby.com/shop/product_info.php/products_id/354 = Chicken Dinner (in the play furniture)

 

November Clue # 1 – Up Up and Away. The noise from this bird gave Walter “Radar” O’Reily his name.

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Cholesterol and Real Food

So many people I know struggle with Cholesterol. I have never had that problem. I have always had low cholesterol…all the way around. This includes low HDL which is the good cholesterol that supports healthy artery walls.

Recently my company announced that we would be required to take Biometric screenings or our insurance would go up by $70 a month. With them we were still subject to a $50 a month increase :( Either way part of it was a lipid panel. Originally, scoffed at the mere thought of a stupid physical. I told my husband, that it meant that they could track my health, and see who is really costing the company money. The results I got were pretty impressive though.

 

What did I notice from mine?

Historically my cholesterol has been right about the 113 range. This time we have been on a real food, no grain diet for right at 11 months. When I went back to find my last blood draw, I realized that I had stopped keeping them since they were all pretty much the same. So the most recent one I could find was 2008. My diet did not change much until 2011, and I had been eating a Standard American Diet of fast food and Slurpees. I was exercising sporadically, now I exercise even less frequently…unless toddler chasing has become a sport.

Procedure

Result 08

Result 12

Triglycerides

82

57

HDL

47

82

LDL

52

51

Total Cholesterol

115

144

 

What is normal?

Procedure

Normal Range

Triglycerides

Less than 150

HDL

Greater than 39, best above 60

LDL

Less than 100

Total Cholesterol

Less than 200

 

Source: WebMD

 

So what have I learned?

I already knew that 75% of what you see in the mirror is what you eat. Now I know that 75% of what you see on a slip of paper is also in what you eat. I often curse diabetes, but it has most certainly saved all of us from the inevitable crash most Americans hit at one point or another. Well played diabetes…well.played.

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Parties and Food

As a real food mommy, I almost live in fear of…parties. I know in my heart that real food is the way to go, but it really sucks feeling like you have to defend your kids’ mouth when you go somewhere. Luckily I can blame it on diabetes and most people don’t even care. This weekend was my son’s birthday party, and finally we were in control of the food offerings. So we did a spread of DS’ food favorites, chicken salad and ham sandwiches (though DS does not eat bread), carrots, celery, broccoli, homemade ranch, homemade mayo, pickles, kraut, and pickled tomatoes. We also made an Almond flour cake topped with mashed blueberries and raspberries (also his favorite).

 

I never gave it a second thought. In my mind this was an awesome spread of food. A couple of kids asked for fruit (we had a moderate selection of that in the gift bags), one had a cinnamon roll from breakfast. When I broke out the kraut, nobody touched it. :( Then it came to cake. When we got there I realized that I had forgotten both the recipe at home and to tally up the carb count. I was worried that I was going to have to break out a pen and paper to do this kind of math, but I was pleasantly surprised when DS took one bite of the cake and went back to his berries.

 

Berries are a wonderfully low in glycemic index and it takes 5 berries or so to equal just 1 carb. Granted I let him go a bit overboard (after all it was his birthday), as in he ate probably 45 carbs in the span of just an hour or so, but I was still shocked at his lack of interest in the cake. This just gives me more hope that I am doing the right thing and inspiring my child to eat the best things for him.

 

Later that night, DH and I got to see just what happens when we overload our little guy with sugar and run him over tired for the day. Even though he was eating all natural sugars, his insulin resistance went up, so did insulin usage, and blood sugar. This just reaffirmed my belief that low carb is best for his little diabetic body. Great weekend though. Pictures to follow.

 

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Applecheeks Giveaway

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I am running a 1 day sale and giveaway over at my store www.simplebaby.com, in honor of D’s impending 2nd Birthday. So have at it :)

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1 Year and More

2012-08-09 20.13.23

 

August 9 marked D’s 1 year anniversary since diagnosis. We “celebrated” by taking a vacation. We spent 2 nights in Miami and 6 nights on the island St. Lucia…together..as a family. We really enjoyed taking in the local culture, an d getting away from the world. Above is a picture of D, listening to a local blues musician one evening during family time.

2012-08-15 06.57.14It may seem silly to some that we celebrated D’s 1 year Diabetes birthday, but to us it meant an additional year with that sweet boy that we almost lost the same day a year prior.  It meant one year of surviving endless finger sticks, site changes, low blood sugars, and high blood sugars.

It has been a year of struggles for sure. I continue to struggle to know when to trust medical staff that tells things like, "if he has an infection he needs antibiotics, that is the only way it will get better.” or “I worry about how any b-vitamins he is getting without grains.” Our last visit was the best one we have had in a long time. Our numbers were still crappy, but I felt listened to.

During our last stint in the hospital with DKA. I felt anything but listened to. We were struggling with an endless loop of highs –> give insulin –> realize it was too much –> give carbs –> D voraciously eats too many carbs while his BG was dropping –> Repeat cycle. I had tried to explain this to the nurse in the hospital, she told me that he needed more insulin to combat ketones or more carbs if his BG was low, and I tried to explain this to the nurse at our last doctors visit without much impact. Finally this time I was able to show it easily in his BG logs, and the doctor listened and saw the same pattern I did. It went something like this 6AM BG = 375 Ketones = 4.4, give 1U sick dose, 7:30 AM BG =100 give 15 carbs as a free meal, 8:00 AM BG = 105 give 15 carbs as free meal, 10:45 BG 150 resume normal activity.  It relieved me to no end to have her see the same thing I had, we were giving way too much insulin. So instead of her saying that he needed that insulin when he had a high BG or high ketones, she took notice and reduced his ketone dose when below 400m/l.

Another change that we made recently was breaking away from what the nurses originally recommendedC1_Silhouette_paradigm_r2 as far as infusion sites. We use a Minimed pump and strongly urged to use the Silhouette infusion site seen on the right. This worked well for us for about 4 months, and slowly but surely we started having problems with bad sites. Sites that would work for a day then start giving horrible BG readings as soon as a day.

We tried both insertion manually (I relate that like landing an airplane come in nose first and flatten our when you enter the skin) and with the SilSerter insertion tool outlined in the video below. Nothing was helping, I felt like a broken record. I was always telling them how his sites went bad so easily and how we weren’t sure what was going on. I felt like I was pinning bad BG on a device and not the disease.  We played with basal rates and all sorts of numbers and just couldn’t figure it out, but I felt trapped by this stupid infusion set. I felt like I couldn’t even be alone with my child because it took two of us to get the stupid thing in him. I remember one night BG had been an average of 300 or so for half the day (despite the amount of insulin I gave via pump), and my husband was not going to be home until after 9. I remember how smothering it felt not to be able to care for my own child by myself. I remember knowing that I could give him an injection of insulin, but being apprehensive because of I knew that he would drop like a stone and I would be back in that cycle.

 

After all these times of me mentioning bad sites, poor insulin absorption, and our constant battle with a toddler to get the site inC1_OldMioImage. We had toyed with switching type of sites, but had been apprehensive there based on the information provided to us by the nurses. We did try a different type once and immediately had a bad BG reading with ketones and were scared away. Later we realized that we had setup the site completely wrong, thus the bad reading. I began to look at what other options were available about 3 months ago. I called Minimed for samples. They provided me with samples to test out. The first try with the Mio my husband was able to get started…by himself…without getting racked…and without tears from any party involved. We knew immediately that this was the infusion set for us. Three days later when the site was still working, we were more than convinced. I called our rep and traded out unopened boxes and we haven’t looked back. Our son’s attitude was noticeably better within days. I am sure because a) his BG was under better control b) he wasn’t getting stuck every 24 hours or less and c) he wasn’t let with red angry sores for days after each removal and marks for weeks. Since changing we have also noticed the track marks on his hiney and legs are completely gone.  Just two days ago, while my husband was away from the house I was able to change his site on the regularly scheduled and recommended Day 3, by myself while my son was watching TV…without issue. I still left the old one in just in case, but I ended up not needing to fall back to it.

Now this is the portion where I beat myself up a bit.

Why it took almost a year for us to grow a backbone is beyond both of us. We both have lamented to each other about not trying something different sooner. We both KNEW that he wasn’t getting insulin, but just assumed based on what we were told that it was completely normal for toddlers to have issues with pump sets, and that daily changes were just in the cards. We are D’s only advocates here. Drs and Nurses are here to help, but we are the only ones who can stand up for what we know is going on. We both feel horrible about putting him through everything for as long as we did, but grateful we figured it out and took action.

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Great Cloth Diaper Hunt–Clue #1 Simple Baby

clue1

HELLLOOOOO!!!

I hope this hunt is as fun for you as it was for me to setup.  Welcome to my blog, where I talk about life as a crunchy mama of a diabetic baby. Feel free to look around. You can find more about my family here on the Simple Baby blog. Or you can jump right to it

 Simple Baby is sponsoring 1 Strawesome Straw and Carry Case.

Clue 1: I am so lost and haven’t a clue where to start. Wouldn’t it be awesome for a little help? “Try it, You’ll Like it”

 

Happy Hunting!!!!

http://www.simplebaby.com/shop/

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The Quilt

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So last week I posted about meeting Ina May Gaskin. This week I want to talk about “THE QUILT”. There is an epidemic in America, it doesn’t just effect one race, gender, or creed. It effects everybody. As a society we have all of our little gadgets that we rely on. In fact according to Cory Doctorow and the United Nations, unfettered access to the Internet is a Basic Human Right these days. Doctors are no different.

You would think that the maternal mortality rate in America, with all of our great gadgets, would be lower right? Well it isn’t. In the U.S. approximately 17 out of ever 100,000 live births result in the mother dying. That ranks us 39th in the world for maternal mortality rates.

 

How does this relate to a quilt?

The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to draw public attention to the current maternal death rates, as well as to the gross underreporting of maternal deaths in the United States, and to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982.

The Project is the vision of Ina May Gaskin, midwifery pioneer and author of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth , the classic Spiritual Midwifery , and Birth Matters: A Midwife’s Manifesta .

I got a chance to see the quilt two weeks ago and I will say that it is a sobering sight. We only saw a small snippet of the full project, but it still brought tears to many people’s eyes. My co-leader Abbey Robinson, even had to step away to keep herself composed. I am not the weepy type, but I found myself getting chills every time I looked at the squares. In fact I continue to get chills just sitting here thinking about it. You could almost feel the presence of the women that they represented. For some reason I focused only on the last square seen here, Suzanne Alyce Hill. It was erie, sobering, and amazingly effective.

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Ina May Weekend!

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This weekend I had the honor and the privilege of meeting and visiting with Ina May Gaskin. In case you do not know who she is, Ina May Gaskin is the Mother of Modern Midwifery. She has attended over 1200 (not a typo) births, is self reportedly self taught, has an EXTREMELY low cesarean rate (her first two were not until 300+ births). She is known for her practice of regular vaginal delivery of breech babies (without tears or tears Smile with tongue out). Oh yeah and she has a obstetrical maneuver named after her. That would be the Gaskin Maneuver for those following along in the text. Smile

So how did I get to meet her?

I know I am no birth professional, I did not have a homebirth, or even an un-medicated birth.  So why am I so happy? Well I am involved with a highly educated and effective group of women. We are the Tarrant County BirthNetwork, and our mission is to educate and advocate for safe, healthy, and mother-friendly childbirth. I am sure you have read me talk about them.

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It only made good sense for Ina May to come visit us, but we were still as giddy as school girls when her representatives at The Farm agreed.

 

So what was she like?

I describe Ina May Gaskin as an eloquent, worldly, and intelligent woman, who really tells it like it is. There are no doubts about what Ms. Gaskin means when she describes things. I really enjoyed her vibrant descriptions of life, birth, and everything in between. She is also a very mellow woman. I am sure that my Type A hyperactive roadrunner mannerisms were irksome to her. I found myself apologizing several times (I am sure she found me to be a twit).  Either way she exuded a very down to earth, gentle air, a woman that I could go have a beer with. I will also say that for 72 years old that she is VERY tech savvy, and VERY much with it. She was unhappy that Gmail was having issues on Saturday as it did interrupt her writing a bit. My grandmother cannot even use a mouse much less a Mac Book Pro (IMG’s Computer of Choice).

 

So why did TCBN bring her here?

Ina May was gracious enough to come speak to us Saturday afternoon on Maternal Mortality, and do a brief book signing as a members only exclusive that morning. Her speech was amazing, enlightening, and uplifting.She spoke about how currently the medical field is losing their technical skills in lieu of technology. She recounted a story of Pseudocyesis, where a woman was induced and ultimately given a cesarean section for what ended up being poop. How the fundamentals are being erased from text books because the medical community is taking on an invincible stance. She explained that she was driven to start catching babies because of the high forceps rate (75%) in the 70s. She noted that the Cesarean rate was less than 3% at that time, but she feels the move toward homebirth is due to it the dramatic increase (40-50% nationwide) in the last two decades. She also spoke about birth around the world for a bit, about New Zealand, Scotland, and many other places. I found her to be VERY informative, even crass and comical at times.

391383_10151017034359420_883916132_nShe even brought the quilt. More on that later.

 

As stupid as it sounds, I feel so blessed to have met such a remarkable woman. She is such an inspiration for education and advocacy, and is truly the Mother of Modern Feminism as well as Midwifery.

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Just 3 Letters…D.K.A.

BG

Who would have thought just 24 hours after this picture was taken at Scarborough Faire that we would be battling ketones and debating the awful trek to the hospital. This was a Sunday, and all day we were happy and playing and having a great time. We were having an even better time of keeping up with low blood sugar. We expected this due to his high level of activity.

 

The next morning we woke up with a BG of 495, and some labored breathing. Immediately, I checked ketones. The meter said “Lo”. I woke up with a sore throat that day, so we went on with our day. I remember calling my husband and mentioning that I thought he was getting a cold because of a snotty nose and cough. After lunch and nap (5 hours later) BG was 450.  I changed site and corrected, but this time he had the funny look I associate with ketones, plus his breathing was still wonky. This time the meter read “HI”. Our meter tops out at 8.0. This likely mean’t that he was headed for those 3 little letters that any T1 hates to say..D…K…A.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a problem that occurs in people with diabetes. It occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin. Fat is used for fuel instead.

Byproducts of fat breakdown, called ketones, build up in the body. (source)

I called my husband home from work. While he was in route, I administered a sick day dose of insulin via injection. This is usually .5 per Kg. By the time my husband arrived home the BG and the ketones were coming down. We were in the 300 range and ketones were in the 5 range. It had only been an hour and half. I started to worry less, we stayed on top of the situation. Though instead administering the sick day dose via injection we did it via pump bolis. We knew that this was not the recommended way to do it, but we were monitoring so closely and it was working that we weren’t worried about doing it this way. Our reasoning was that the pump would help us keep up with the last time he was given insulin a bit better.

D went to bed about 8 or 9 and slept into the night. My husband and I went to bed about midnight checking a BG once more. At 3 AM I woke up because the bed was wet. D has been holding it through the night since he was about 11 months old. The ONLY time he wets is when he has a high BG. I knew that was the culprit here. So we had a Daddy check sugar again. I believe it was in the 400 range with ketones in the 5 range. He was given another sick day dose. Shortly after getting poked D decided to get up. So he and I went back to his bed room to watch Pixar movies. At 5:30 or 6 I checked sugar again, 500 range and 6.3 ketones. MORE insulin…

Then just as my husband was getting in his car to leave for work, it happened. I was thrown up on. This is CLASSIC DKA. We knew the signs because we had seen them all before. I changed, pulled the sheets back, while my husband cleaned up D. Off to the children’s hospital we went.

They were very attentive, young diabetic with High BG and High Ketones who wouldn’t be. After seeing us, allowing D to nurse, and drawing labs they instructed us to take off his pump and that he was getting a bed in the ICU to be hooked up to an insulin drip. His pH was 7.1 and his BG over 500. I told them then, that I was going to give him an unit of insulin for his Sick Day dose and to cover the carbs that he had just eaten. I was told not to. This was at 9AM.

At 11AM after being brought into the ICU, hooked up to an IV, and more labs drawn (yes that is 2 full hours without insulin after eating and already being high), they started the insulin. When I inquired about his Blood Gasses they said, well he is even more acidic now his blood pH is 6.9 and his BG is still over 500. Well no crap, you let the boy eat without giving him what he needs to absorb it.

 

The experience was as awful as ever, D was placed on NPO.

NPO [L.] nil per os (nothing by mouth).

This included breastmilk. What is the one thing that a 20 month old wants to do when he feels crappy, much less is in a scary place…nurse. So for 24 hours I had to hide. It was awful listening to my little guy cry…momma…momma. Then listening to my husband tell him that I wasn’t there. We tried to just refuse the breast and this was even more awful. He would cry and thrash about clawing for his one peace…breastmilk. Finally by the end of the night he was allowed to eat. Though for some reason the endocrinologist did not want him to nurse directly. So I had to pump, pour a bottle, and give it to my husband. I tried to comfort my little guy, and bottle feed him the second best thing in his life, but he refused and cried some more. So once again I was forced to camp out on the couch behind the bed, and listen to my husband comfort our son.

Momma isn’t here right now. This is the best we can do buddy, come on take it.

That night was awful, 3 times D woke up crying for me. Everytime I would hear my husband console him back to sleep. Sometimes it would take 20 minutes sometimes it would take 45. I am just grateful for a great nurse that not only offered a big kid bed, but brought the waiver for me to sign allowing us to cosleep as she offered. Otherwise, I have no clue how we would have survived. I know it would have happened but I have no clue HOW it would have.

The next day we were told at early morning rounds that we would be released. Then comes the parade of people. First the nutritionist that was concerned because the endocrinologist had the impression that we did not give insulin for nursing, but we did for bottle feeding. How he got this idea I have no clue, but he got the idea just the same. Then she was concerned about D’s lack of grain in his diet, she was concerned of a B vitamin deficiency.  I assure you he is not deficient in any of that. Organ meat and organic meats are some of the best providers of B vitamins, both of which we eat regularly.

Then comes the diabetes nurse. This was the one that according to my husband almost got kicked out of the room.  She came in to discuss his A1C,

  • The A1C test measures your average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months.
  • It is determined by measuring the percentage of glycated hemoglobin, or HbA1c, in the blood.
  • Check your A1C twice year at a minimum, or more frequently when necessary.
  • It does not replace daily self-testing of blood glucose.  (source)

when admitted his A1C was 10.1. This is an average BG of 254. Remember our range is 100 – 250 as prescribed by our endocrinologist upon dx. She wanted to adjust his insulin, because these numbers were indicative of a bigger problem. I explained to her that they were only slightly elevated from our previous THREE endocrinology appointments, and that it could be explained from our previous experience with MRSA. I explained that for 1 week we were dealing with BG that did not support sick day doses and ketones that needed insulin. So we were on a low, high, low roller coaster. Her reply was that 1 week was not indicative of the 3 month sampling that the A1C presented. So I went on to explain that anytime he or I have antibiotics that we have a hard time controlling his sugar, and that we were making adjustments slowly to his basal rates and correcting as needed. For the life of me, I cannot even remember her reply to that. I just remember how accusatory the whole conversation was. I remember her jumping my case for giving sick day dose through the pump, I remember her jumping my case for not calling the nurses, I remember her jumping my case about his A1C, and I remember me ending the conversation with a stern, “WE GOT THIS.”

I got so annoying at one point that, I actually woke my husband up from his nap to deal with it. The tension in the room could be cut with a knife it was so tense, the baby was upset, I was upset, and all we wanted to do was go home.

FINALLY by mid afternoon we were released. We continued to deal with High BG for 2 more days, ketones, and snot for a week more. Just this past Saturday the BG started to come back into alignment, just as D’s cough and snot started to subside. So we are back to using 3U or less a day for both basal and food corrections, and FAR more predictable sugars. That in and of its self is the biggest weight off my shoulders.

 

Next breathtaking hurdle, 1 year labs.

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Squatty Potty Review

 

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Available at:  Squatty Potty

 

So lets talk about poop. Nobody ever wants to talk about it, but Everyone Poops . So let’s discuss…

 

People were designed to squat on a regular basis. Don’t believe me just watch a toddler for one day, they squat REGULARLY. This is good for their pelvic muscles. As an industrialized nation we have gotten lazy and moved away from squatting. This has effected the human body in areas ranging from incontinence, birth, and bowel problems.  This is why during childbirth education the act of squatting is SOOO heavily pushed.

 

So what does squatting have to do with poop?

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Well when you squat you are in what is called the Evacuation position. This brings the colon in proper alignment to EVACUATE the waste from our bodies. Without being in the proper position, our bodies have to work that much harder at expelling the…well crap. Imagine a Playdoh™ Fun Factory,  using the smaller hole made the stuff come out smaller, but it all got gucked up behind the template. Get the picture?

We are still practicing the GAPS diet, which is geared toward healing the gut. If the gut can’t eliminate ALL of the waste needed to keep your body functioning properly then it becomes a hot bed for opportunistic bacteria. Nasty creatures that feed on filthy conditions.  So when I saw the Squatty Potty I was intrigued.

 

So what can the Squatty Potty help with?

Well when the drain is unclogged so to speak a myriad of problems are resolved. The website only officially lists 5, but I can see the potential for FAR MORE than that.

 

5 Problems With “Sitting” On Your Toilet:

#1: Constipation

Let’s face it: most of us don’t get the fiber we need in our diets. It’s true. And we fail to get all the water we need as well. These two things along with improper toilet posture which doesn’t allow us to eliminate completely is a bad combination that creates hard dry stools.  These hard dry stools are very hard to push out. It’s called constipation, and we’ve all experienced it. Unfortunately, it’s the norm for altogether too many of us. But that’s just the beginning…

#2: Hemorrhoids

Getting those hard stools out calls for lots of pushing. And that pressure causes hemorrhoids, which can be very painful. Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that have swollen because of our need to push excessively to get those hard stools to pass. And as bad as hemorrhoids are, they aren’t the worst of our potential problems.

#3: Colon Disease

Eliminating completely and often helps maintain good colon health. Many studies point to fecal buildup in the colon as a cause of diseases including colon cancer. And when there is buildup in the colon, our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, leaving us without the energy we could enjoy if our colons were healthy.

#4: Urinary Difficulty/Infections

Urinary flow is usually stronger and easier when women squat to urinate. The bladder is emptied more completely when squatting rather than sitting or “hovering”. Squatting can help reduce episodes of urinary tract infections in both frequency and intensity. Now, that is good news!

#5: Pelvic Floor Issues

When the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman’s pelvic organs weaken, the pelvic organs can slip out of place (prolapse). One of the main causes of this condition is straining on the toilet. The “sitting” position causes a great amount of pressure on the anorectal Angle of the colon causing the lower part of the colon to drop and protrude into the wall of the vagina. Pelvic floor nerves can be protected by squatting for bowel elimination. Men can also suffer from pelvic floor disorders and can readily benefit from using the Squatty Potty as a part of their everyday routine.

 

So what did I think about the Squatty Potty ?

I LOVE IT! It sounds stupid, but I immediately noticed a difference in the effort put behind my trips to the bathroom. After having D, I was having a HORRIBLE time in this area…for several months. Yes I said MONTHS. Changes in diet and exercise did help that, but even after things just weren’t the same. Just one use of the Squatty Potty made the world of difference. Just sayin..I wish I could take this everywhere with me.

I was provided a Squatty Potty to review for free, my opinions are still 100% my own.

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