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Colon Health

By
Lynne Brown
BSc Hons, HDE, Dip Clin Nutr

The saying, “Death begins in the colon” is so true, yet the average person isn’t aware of the consequences of poor bowel management. Most people will tell you that they are sometimes constipated or have the occasional bout of diarrhea for whatever reason, and think nothing of it.

Meanwhile, many, if not most, people have a serious bowel problem. Where does it come from? From what we put into our mouths. Human beings have this amazing desire to dig our graves with our teeth!

The most abused and neglected organ

We are born with a clean, unabused, uniform colon. However, modern commercial diets consisting of over-refined foods and foreign substances, unnatural to the body, have caused the colon to become obstructed, distorted and engorged with toxic waste matter resulting in critical stress on the immune system and functions throughout the body.

When the bowel fails to release all its waste, a toxic liquid enters the blood stream, organs, tissues, arteries, veins, lymph and then all cells. This autointoxication is at the root of all chronic illness. Colon blockage prevents nutrient absorption and almost no vitamins and minerals get through regardless of how much one takes.

Some problems experienced in the colon

  • Constipation - we spend vast amounts of money on laxatives to treat this number one problem
  • Diverticulosis - little sacs or diverticular, form in the colon because of the great amount of pressure exerted by the colon muscles to move low fibre stools through the colon. The danger is that these sacs trap waste material and then become inflamed (diverticulitis).  This can result in diarrhea alternating with constipation because of the absolutely unhealthy state of the colon. Vomiting, nausea and painful cramping may result
  • Colon cancer is on the rampage today in spite of being preventable and a disease no one needs to die from
  • Spastic colon or irritable bowel syndrome - this can include abdominal pain, alternating constipation and diarrhea and heartburn.  This results from the chronic tightening of the muscle fibres in the bowel, due to too much activity in the nerves controlling muscle action.
  • Pot bellies - South Africans are known for their potbellies! The reason: the colon that supports the stomach is sagging. The colon walls are lined with layers of fecal matter and mucous - filthy, black, toxic mucous, often the consistency of hard rubber. Blockage can be so severe, faeces can barely pass through.

How to maintain the colon

To take good care of your colon, eat enough fibre, hydrate the body, eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day and substitute whole grains and whole foods for processed foods.

Fibre is the answer to many of our bowel problems and fortunately is not all that hard to find. The fruit and vegetables that are high in fibre include apples, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, berries, pears, brussel sprouts, lettuce, figs, prunes, carrots and potatoes. Cut out white bread and substitute brown rice for white. Beans are an excellent source of fibre. Reduce your intake of animal protein, including dairy – there is hardly a scrap of fibre in animal products.

Supplemental fibre

It is unlikely any of us will achieve the daily requirement of 30-50 g of fibre through diet alone, so supplement with a soluble fibre such as psyllium seed hulls which have 8 times the bulking power of oat bran. Psyllium will reduce transit time, gently sweeping (not scouring! ) the digestive tract ensuring a more complete evacuation of waste. Use a synergestic combination of psyllium and healing herbs that soothe the walls of the intestinal tract at the same time. (Wheat bran can be abrasive and cause intestinal bleeding so I do not recommend it).

Conditions are perfect in the adult intestinal tract for parasites  but with enough fibre in the diet they will be unable to take hold. Increased fibre will also stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates to the bloodstream (important for diabetics) and research supports its ability to lower cholesterol levels.

Water and exercise

The rule with fibre is that as we increase our fibre intake, we have to increase our fluid intake.  Water makes movement in the colon easier so drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day, preferably distilled. Exercise has also been shown to help.

Laxatives

Stimulant laxatives are not the answer. They function by irritating the intestinal wall, stimulating peristalsis. They can damage the bowels with habitual use and can lead to dependency.

Remember, you have a birth right to good health, so CLAIM it!

Disclaimer: All information here is for educational purposes only and is not meant to cure, heal, diagnose nor treat. This information must not be used as a replacement for medical advice, nor can the writer take any responsibility for anyone using the information instead of consulting a healthcare professional.  All serious disease needs a physician.

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