Elvis Presley, Constipation and Conspiracy

Elvis-PresleyElvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century.  A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis.  He is often referred to as the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ or simply ‘the King’.  He became the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. (1)

Elvis was found dead on his bathroom floor on August 16, 1977.  According to the medical investigator, Presley had ‘stumbled or crawled several feet before he died’. He had apparently been using the toilet at the time.

According to the autopsy report, Elvis’s heart was ‘found to be enlarged, a significant amount of coronary atherosclerosis was observed, the liver showed considerable damage, and the large intestine was clogged with fecal matter, indicating a painful and longstanding bowel condition’.

In a recent book release, “The King and Dr. Nick”, Dr George Nichopolous, Elvis’s  personal physician for the last twelve years of his life, revealed his belief that it was chronic constipation that actually killed the ‘King of Rock and Roll’.

Elvis biographer, Peter Guralnick also writes;

It was certainly possible that he had been taken while ‘straining a stool’.

According to Dr. Nick, the autopsy revealed that Presley’s colon was 5 to 6 inches in diameter (whereas the normal width is 2 to 3 inches) and instead of being the standard 4 to 5 feet long, his colon was 8 to 9 feet in length.

“We didn’t realize until the autopsy that his constipation was as bad – we knew it was bad because it was hard for us to treat, but we didn’t realize what it had done,” the doctor explains of Elvis’s condition.

“It was really a physiological problem,”  Dr. Nick explained. “Usually you pass it all in two or three days, but at the autopsy we found stool in his colon which had been there for four or five months because of the poor motility of the bowel.”

Fat ElvisNichopoulos also believes that Presley’s prominent weight gain in the years prior to his death, was not a result of overeating or eating the wrong foods, as they initially assumed. The doctor reveals that Elvis’ bloated appearance was due to his severe constipation.

“His condition was either something he was born with like Hershberger’s disease, or some viruses cause the paralysis of the nerves in the colon. The nerves weren’t functioning enough in places, or weren’t functioning at all because his colon would not push food out, it would just accumulate.”

Was his condition due to a hereditary disease or some form of virus, or was there an alternative underlying cause?

According to Dr. Bernard Jensen:

It is my sincere belief that one of the bowel’s greatest enemies in civilized society is the ergonomic nightmare known as the toilet or john.

What’s behind his reasoning? Let’s take a closer look.

digestive system

abdomen (belly) constitutes the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis

From the stomach, food goes into the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. The food waste then goes into the large intestine or colon. When it enters the colon, it is in a liquid state.

However, as it moves through the colon, water is continuously extracted, and it turns into solid waste (stools) by the time it reaches the rectum. It is then passed out through the anus. It is crucial that the colon can perform its role efficiently and effectively. All waste must be evacuated on a regular basis to avoid the build up of toxins. The most effective way for this to happen, one must adopt the squatting position.(2)

In the natural squatting position, the entire weight of the body rests on the feet, and the thighs are pressed against the abdomen. This creates a beneficial pressure in the abdominal cavity, which compresses the colon, creates a natural urge to evacuate and helps force waste out of the body.

And this is the way our ancestors performed their bodily functions until the middle of the 19th century. Before that time, chair-like toilets had only been used by royalty and the disabled. But with the advent of indoor plumbing in the 1800’s, the throne-like water closet was invented to give ‘ordinary’ people the same ‘dignity’ previously reserved for kings and queens.

By forcing users to sit instead of squat, the sitting toilet ignores all the natural requirements for effective waste evacuation – resulting in difficulty in passing stools. In frustration, one has to strain while holding the breath in order to ‘push’ downwards with the diaphragm (Valsalva Maneuver) in order to evacuate waste.(3)

Heavy straining may trigger heart attack or stroke. Holding breath and exerting raises the pressure in the chest cavity, preventing the blood from the veins to enter the heart. When the breath is released, the pressure within the chest drops and the blood having being trapped within the veins is quickly propelled through the heart, resulting in increased heart rate and blood pressure. Shortly thereafter, the heart rate reflexively slows down, and may trigger a heart attack in vulnerable persons.

Israeli physician, Dr B. A. Sikirov’s article “Cardio-vascular Events at Defecation: Are They Unavoidable?” Medical Hypotheses, states;

Heart attacks which occur during defecation are, in many cases, the result of using the (unnatural) sitting posture for waste elimination.  Excessive straining, through the use of repeated Valsalva Maneuvers, is needed for emptying the bowels in the sitting position. The cardio-vascular system of a healthy man can cope with intensive and repeated straining on a sitting toilet. But with a weakened vascular system, straining on a sitting toilet may result in fainting or even death.  By squatting for waste elimination, the straining required, if any, is much reduced, which would help prevent many of these tragic (heart attack) cases. (4)

Sakakibara et al (2009) also looked into of the influence of body position on waste evacuation and compared three positions for defecation by measuring abdominal pressure and the anorectal angle simultaneously in six healthy volunteers. Videomanometric measures included simultaneous fluoroscopic images, abdominal pressures, subtracted rectal pressures and anal sphincter pressures. Three positions were used: sitting, sitting with the hip flexing at 60 ° with respect to the rest of the body, and squatting with the hip flexing at 22.5 ° with respect to the rest of the body.

They found Abdominal pressure increase (strain) on hip-flex sitting was lower than that with normal sitting and the abdominal pressure increase on squatting was smaller than that with normal sitting. The rectoanal angle on defecation on squatting (126 °) was larger than that with normal sitting (100 °) and was also larger than that with hip-flex sitting (99 °).  They concluded that results suggested the greater the hip flexion achieved by squatting, the straighter the rectoanal canal will be, and accordingly, less strain will be required for defecation.

However, while squatting reduced strain, it must be pointed out that a study in India by Chakrabarti SD et al found that undocumented observations suggested increased occurrence of strokes in the early hours of the morning and in the toilets where most Indians still squat. Part of the study revealed that most strokes (52%) occurred in the morning and at home (86%) and over a third (36%) of the strokes occurred while the subjects squatted, mostly during the act of defecation.(5)

At present there are no comparable figures available to assess these findings with that of increased straining involved in toilet sitting and stroke.

However, there is evidence that other tragic ailments may be avoided by straining less.

Despite straining when sitting on the toilet, the colon cannot be emptied completely. The incomplete evacuation causes wastes to stagnate in the lower regions of the colon. In these areas, virulent bacteria can establish colonies, inflaming the surrounding tissues. Depending on where in the colon it occurs, and which strain of bacteria is involved, this inflammation is called by different names. Appendicitis, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s Disease can all be considered as various forms of inflammatory bowel disease.(6)

Prolonged exposure to toxins may also initiate malignant mutations. One such ailment related to constipation is colon cancer.  According to a 1998 report, by Jacobs et al, in the journal, Epidemiology;

“People who frequently felt constipated were more than four times as likely to develop colon cancer as those who did not complain of constipation.”

The rectum (the third most common site for colon cancer) needs to relax the grip of the puborectalis muscle, designed to prevent incontinence. For safety, nature has deliberately created obstacles to evacuation that can only be removed by squatting.  In any other position, the colon defaults to “continence mode.”   This is why the conventional sitting position deprives the colon of support from the thighs and leaves the rectum choked by the puborectalis muscle. Chronically incomplete evacuation, combined with the constant extraction of water, causes wastes to adhere to the colon wall. The passageway becomes increasingly constricted and the cells start to suffocate often triggering malignant mutations. (7)

Each year, about 150,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the United States alone.  The average annual cost of colon cancer treatment is between $35,000 and $80,000 per year. This number will depend on the severity of the cancer, the number of treatments required and the state in which the treatments are being performed. (8)

Is colon cancer is toilet related?

Although the disease is the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, few people living in developing nations contract the illness. The prevalence of bowel diseases (hemorrhoids, appendicitis, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and colon cancer) are similar in South African whites and in populations of prosperous western countries. Among rural South African blacks with a traditional life style, these diseases are very uncommon or almost unknown. Inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome emerged in the West toward the end of the 19th century, as the use of sitting toilets became more and more common.(8)

The sharp increase in bowel disorders toward the end of the 19th century also coincided with a similar rise in prostate disorders. Notable prostate cancer risk.

Today, African Americans have the highest prostate cancer risk in the world.  And despite high rates among African Americans, prostate cancer is very low in Africa. Incidence rates for clinical prostate cancer in western men are 30 to 50 times higher than those for Asian men. A 200-fold difference in incidence exists between African American men, who represent the group with the highest incidence of the disease, and Chinese men living in Asia, in whom the incidence of prostate cancer is among the lowest in the world.

However, sufferers in the West need not worry too much; help is on the way. The first vaccine to treat cancer won U.S. approval in April,2010, as Dendreon Corp’s (DNDN.O) Provenge marked a step forward in the search for new ways to the fight the disease.

Shares of biotechnology company Dendreon soared more than 30 percent after health officials approved the Provenge vaccine for advanced prostate cancer. Dendreon is the first company to show a cancer vaccine can extend patient survival. In a late-stage study of 512 patients, men given Provenge lived an average of 4.1 months longer than those who got a placebo.

Common side effects were chills, fever and headache that lasted up to two days following infusion. This is seen as an advantage over the debilitating side effects typical of chemotherapy. Dendreon said Provenge would cost a total of $93,000 for the full treatment of three infusions. The vaccine’s sales could easily top $1 billion a year, analysts say. Brean Murray Carret & Co analyst Jonathan Aschoff forecast annual Provenge sales of $1.45 billion in 2013 based on a higher-than-expected price, with peak sales topping $2 billion.(10)

Another high cost health treatment is the common pelvic ailment: bladder incontinence. The United States spends more than $10 billion each year on pelvic reconstructive surgery and $26 billion to treat urinary incontinence. It typically results from damage to the pudendal nerve, which connects the pelvis to the spinal cord. This damage was traced to a ‘stretch injury’ – caused by the progressive descent of the pelvic floor.

Pelvic floor nerve stretch injury, the root cause of most pelvic disease, affects women more frequently than men. One reason is that the vaginal canal is a structural gap which is more vulnerable to the unique stress produced by the sitting toilet. Women in the developing world are ‘relatively unaffected by pelvic floor problems’.

Are the public being kept in the dark about the health benefits of the natural squatting position?

After all, there’s a lot of money to be made by the pharmaceutical companies that produce treatments for these ailments.

Who knows, if ‘The King’ had abandoned his throne in favor of the more natural method………

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