Back in November 2011, I explained that children who “refuse” to have bowel movements in the potty or are “holding” their stool for days on end aren’t misbehaving, they’re constipated. Recently, I saw some published studies (click here and here) that showed that constipation can also cause pants-wetting and bed-wetting accidents. Those studies showed that the problem could often be solved by giving the child laxatives. A better solution would be to feed the child a diet that would prevent constipation to begin with: a plant-based diet with no dairy products.
If you look at articles about East Asian countries in issues of National Geographic from the early 20th century, you will notice two things. One is that many of the people in East Asia were eating a lot of white rice. The other is that only the rich people and the sumo wrestlers were overweight. That’s because the rich people and the sumo wrestlers were eating something besides rice and vegetables.
Lately, many nutrition gurus have been promoting what they call a “paleo” diet. The word “paleo” comes from Paleolithic, which literally means “early stone age.” They think that human beings ought to be eating a diet like the diet that people ate during the early stone age. Personally, I think that the arguments in favor of the paleo diet are silly, for several reasons. I think that the appeal of the paleo diet is based on adolescent male fantasies of being an unwashed, unshaven big game hunter who gets to spend time with a hot-looking maiden in a fur or leather bikini. Real men don’t eat quiche. They eat brontoburgers:
In the musical Guys and Dolls, the character named Adelaide has a psychosomatic cold. As she explained,
The average unmarried female
due to some long frustration may react
with psychosomatic symptoms
difficult to endure
affecting the upper respiratory tract.
Guys and Dolls is a quaint artifact from the 1950s. Nevertheless, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual still gives doctors permission to say, “It’s all in your head” if they can’t immediately figure out what’s wrong with you. An article of mine that was published in the journal Medical Hypotheses says that doctors cannot make that kind of diagnosis without making an error in reasoning. For that reason, I argue that the APA should remove conversion disorder and somatization disorder from the DSM. The fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5) is due in 2013.