As we ramp up for Turkey Day, it's a good idea to remember that the meatiest parts of your body are . . . optional.

  • If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it's better to get your colon removed in an elective surgery than to wait around for an emergency to take it out. Yes, you can live without your colon and without a poop bag — surgeons just turn part of your small intestine into a little interal bag called a J-pouch and hook you all back together. But even living with an external bag is better than leaving the old colon in. A recent study showed that people who get their colons removed in emergency surgery have as little chance of surviving as people who hold on to their diseased bowels. People who elect to remove their colons have as good a chance of surviving as the general population. After the jump, stress hormones give you cancer and migraines change the shape of your brain
  • Stress hormone norepinephrine can cause blood-based cancers to spread. But don't stress out about how your stress is killing you, because norepinephrine is also part of sexual arousal. So basically, sex is what's killing you. Especially if you still have your colon.
  • People with chronic migraines are literally growing thicker skins on their brains. The sensory area of the cortex, the thin membrane around the brain, is up to 21 percent thicker than average in people who suffer these debilitating headaches. It's unknown whether this thickness is the result or cause of migraines, but it is known that people who do a lot of intensive learning often grow a thicker cortex.