Why is ingesting fecal matter dangerous even though its just stuff from your body?

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Why is ingesting fecal matter dangerous even though its just stuff from your body?

In: Biology
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Fuel in a car is fine in the tank as it is. But if it were combusted there like it was in the engine your car wouldnt come out looking as pretty. Same applies to your body. Your fuel is used elsewhere in your body and produces chemicals that are harmless at that part of your digestion system but would cause harm in earlier parts.

Clarification: I am not trying to eat my own shit. I am wondering because I’ve read about developing countries that have water supplies contaminated with fecal matter and I was wondering how dangerous it is and why its so bad.

Not everything natural is safe. Not everything yours is fine for you.

Feces are waste, chemicals that your body expels because they are dangerous if they build up inside. If you eat feces, you are putting back old waste while you produce new waste.

It’s like not throwing out the trash. At one point the house will be full of it and full of problems.

Also, bacteria from the intestine are specific from the intestine. In the mouth they can start infections

You are making the mistake of thinking that just because something is in our body, it should be safe. It isn’t.

Our bodies contain all kinds of stuff thats deadly dangerous to us. We live because we have specialized location on our body where those things need to be stored.

Fecal matter is poisonous. Full of bacteria that can and will kill us but our intestines are specially designed to handle them and prevent them from spreading through our body and killing us.

Stomach acid is similar. It can burn your tissue, even burn holes in your tissue and cause significant internal damage, but our stomachs are equipped to contain the acid (most of the time) and prevent it from mixing with tissue that isn’t protected against that acid.

It’s not “dangerous” in most situations. It’s just not food. There’s a difference between “inedible” and “toxic.” Eating a small amount of crayon isn’t dangerous (hence the non-toxic label) but you can’t really eat crayons because they aren’t food.

*except that sometimes it is dangerous like when someone has an infection or unique gut flora

I’d like to add to the other answers here that your own poop is much less dangerous than other people’s poop. I definitely don’t recommend eating anyone’s feces, but your own has bacteria that you already have in your gut, whereas ingesting (other people’s) fecal bacteria is one of the most effective ways to get many diseases from them. That’s how cholera and hepatitis A spread, for example. You can’t give these diseases to yourself.

But still, like other people have said, your poop is made of stuff that your body wants to get rid of, so at best, eating it is making your body go through the same process again. At worst, it can poison you, because you’re getting too much waste material in you at once.

You wouldn’t put stomach acid in your eyes would you? Certain parts of your body can handle certain things. Don’t eat poop and you will have a good day:)

You can also think of it this way:

It’s all the stuff your body tried to use, but couldn’t/wouldn’t.

no you’re right. poop in your water, if it comes from a healthy person, is NOT any more dangerous than like, eye snot.

but poop is also a great way to travel if you’re a parasite. you live in water, someone drinks that water, and then they shit their brains out back into that water, which makes you really mobile and lets you infect a ton of people.

fecal coliform bacteria therefore act as signs that you’ve got poop in your water, which tells you that IF that someone who pooed in your water is sick, you better watch out.

tldr: good poop fine, but bad things evolved to live in poop, so bad poo gets you real sick.

It’s 99% bacteria according to Gut by Giulia Enders. These bacteria are opportunistic. They’re mutualities in our gut, but our stomachs aren’t equipped to keep them at bay—they can cause diseases more easily from there.

It’s your body’s garbage. Would you eat trash from a dumpster?

Your own really isn’t unsafe. You aren’t going to infect yourself with something you already have (except some parasites, they have complicated life cycles, so re-infection can be a problem). It isn’t toxic. It’s just useless – you’ve already taken all the nutrition out of it.

Urine is mildly toxic – it contains diluted toxins removed by your kidneys, but not enough to be actively poisonous. Again, it’s mostly just useless – if you drink it to combat dehydration your body will have to use all that water to remove the toxins you’ve ingested alongside, so it’s not much help at all. It doesn’t have any bacteria, though, so it won’t cause infection.

Other people’s faecal matter is extremely unsafe, though. It’s full of bacteria, some of them harmful. Lots of different ailments spread through fecal contamination: cholera, dysentery, typhoid, almost all parasites. That’s why the smell is so disgusting – it’s evolved reaction that protects us from infection.

I think most answers here is wrong. As always people are just guessing. I am not a fecal expert , but just have an interest in gut flora.

1. Fecal matter have not been inside the body. Some stuff is excreted from the body to help digest / absorb the food, but ELI5: fecal matter is food that was not absorbed.

2. When you can get sick by eating fecal contaminated food it is due to getting bacteria that causes a stomach sickness . Eating some of your own gut flora will not make you sick.

Colon have slightly different environment that stomach and duodenum. Ph, hcl, h concentrations etc. So poop comes with bacteria that otherwise won’t be in the upper GI like faecalis enterobacter etc. and if you eat it, that bacteria will colonized and more likely infected the stomach making you sick. Hep A can be present in fecal matter and spread through water once it is contaminated with feces. In 3rd world country it is a big problem, especially in schools we’re students eat street food outside that was not prepared under standard practices.

Once you have the forbidden paste, you’ll never want to eat anything else and raise risk of starvation.

First thing is that when you’re talking about contamination, the main issue isn’t your own stuff. Your own stuff can get you sick, but I’m more worried about someone else with something quite nasty to share through poor hand washing. We take sanitation for granted, but each and everyone of us is one bad salad away from shitting blood in a hospital bed until we die.

Look up E. coli 157 and the news behind it for more info. .A major US burger chain had contaminated beef kill some folks and then try to cover it up. Think about that next time you see some instagram incel licking taco shells for social media.

Now to finish the first part of your question, your own bacteria can hurt.you because your stomach cannot handle bacteria from your butt. Different environment, different amount if defense. The majority of your immune system is in your gut, btw.

Uh, cause a whole lot of bacteria that are not produced by your body hitched a ride on your poop. These bugs may not cause disease or infection in your intestines but they can in your mouth, your blood, or on your skin. And don’t get me started about other people’s poop.