- Discover how to cleanse your colon without using an enema
- Learn the pros and cons of various colon cleansing methods
- Understand the benefits and risks of colon cleanses
- Discover the most effective way to care for your colon
Frequent bouts of constipation, or even simple occasional gas and bloating, may be a sign that modern life is taking its toll on your health. What can you do to protect your health? You might try a natural colon cleanse.
Your colon, another term for the large intestine, plays a vital role in your health. It’s where water and electrolytes are reabsorbed by the body at the end of the digestive process. Much of your immune response takes place there as well. Of course, it’s also where your body prepares waste for removal.
The problem is, harmful waste products can stick to your colon walls. Minor effects might be gas and bloating. More serious side effects could be fatigue and negative impacts on your immune system. Read on to discover the best actions to take for natural colon cleansing – and why that doesn’t include an enema.
Why cleanse your colon?
Scientific evidence supporting colon cleansing may be limited. Still, many doctors believe that it helps reduce colon cancer risk and aids in weight loss. Other benefits attributed to colon cleanses include:
- Increased energy
- Improved mental outlook
- A more effective immune system
- More regular bowel movements
- Removing toxins
When you think about cleansing your colon, you might think of having an enema or colonic irrigation. But while enemas and colonic irrigations are medical procedures that can be effective in certain therapeutic situations, they are also quite invasive.
What exactly is an enema?
Enemas stimulate bowel movements. Their purpose is to cleanse the lower area of the large intestine. So, it’s worth noting they do not give you a full colon cleanse.
It is possible to administer one of these yourself, but it can be a little complicated. Doctors often recommend having a medical professional do it for you if it is an appropriate procedure. The process involves gently inserting a tube into your anus and then squeezing or pushing a medicinal fluid into your rectum.
Usually, you hold this fluid —often a laxative or coffee granules that will stimulate your colon — in your rectum for some time while lying on your side. This will cause your bowels to open, and you’ll be able to go to the bathroom.
Enemas may be recommended for treating chronic constipation. But most people find they are not so pleasant. And you wouldn’t want to use them regularly as they may also wash away the good bacteria that live in your gut.
Enemas can often come with side effects, including:
- Severe diarrhea
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Rectal bleeding
What are the benefits of gently cleansing the colon?
So, if enemas are not recommended for regular use, what’s the best way to look after your colon? Thankfully, there are many actions you can take to care for your colon health and keep waste moving through your body.
But, if you have Chron’s disease, colon cancer, or any other health condition, speak to your doctor before colon cleansing. The steps below are natural cleansing methods that will help most people care for their overall gut health.
Colon cleansing: a step-by-step process
Most scientific research points to lifestyle choices as the best way to care for your colon.
Step 1: Keep a journal
You may not think that keeping a journal could help you in your colon cleansing quest. But keeping track of what you eat, how you feel, and how often you go to the toilet is an excellent idea for making any lifestyle changes. In fact, one large study looking at dieters showed that those who kept a food diary lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.
Some websites like WebMD have created a printable food and fitness journal to make it easy for you. Simply print a few pages and start recording your daily habits. This will help you build up a picture of what works for you and what doesn’t.
Step 2: Stay hydrated
One of the best things you can do for your colon is to stay hydrated. That’s because water keeps your colon clean, flushing out toxins as it travels through your digestive tract. Water is one of the most natural colon cleanses.
But not all drinks are equal. Coffee, tea, soda, and alcoholic beverages dehydrate you, drying out your stools and can result in constipation.
If you find it difficult to drink water, try sipping herbal teas or water infused with lemon juice throughout the day. And if your colon feels obstructed, a sip of a little saltwater before breakfast could help.
Step 3: Eat plenty of fiber
You may have heard people talking about juice or soup diets for weight loss.
Juices and soups are good for your colon for several reasons, but the most important one is that they are full of fiber. Your body is unable to digest fiber. That means fibrous strands from the fruit and vegetables you eat remain intact, “scraping” food waste from the sides of your colon as they travel through your digestive tract.
The Mayo Clinic recommends women eat between 21 and 25 grams of fiber every day, while men should aim for between 30 and 38. All fruit and vegetables contain some amount of fiber. But some of the best sources include broccoli, leafy greens, raspberries, and pears. And there’s no need to juice them. Boil them, steam them, or eat them raw. Any way you eat it, fiber is full of health benefits.
Step 4: Use probiotics
Scientific research shows that good bacteria are an essential part of digestive health. Often, we get them through probiotic foods – foods that contain these live, beneficial microorganisms. Many fermented foods like sourdough bread, miso, kimchi, or sauerkraut provide probiotic bacteria. But it’s hard to keep track of just how many probiotics are entering your system when you eat them in food.
Taking probiotic supplements is a simple way of boosting your good bacteria. Research shows that probiotics, especially those containing Bifidobacterium, can soften stools, increase bowel movements, and slow down gut transit time — that is, the time it takes your stool to pass through your body. Slower gut transit time is better for your overall health.
Step 5: Move your body
Everyone knows that exercise helps you lose weight and stay healthy. But did you know that physical movement also helps with colon cleansing? Exercise can help ease constipation. It literally gets things moving. And it may also protect you against colon cancer. Moving your body for at least 30 minutes on most days should be sufficient for you to see an improvement.
But if you suffer from a digestive disorder and are not used to exercise, seek medical advice before starting a new regime. If you exercise too hard, you may experience heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, and even gastrointestinal bleeding. To get the benefits of exercise without the worry, start slowly with one of the following gentle types of movement:
- Water aerobics
- Tai chi
- Dance classes
Step 6: Avoid harmful substances
Colon cleansing isn’t all about introducing new behaviors. There are also some things you should avoid. Red meats, especially processed ones, are linked to colon cancer. Cheese, eggs, and other fatty foods should be limited or avoided.
If these foods are dietary staples for you, you may find it hard to give them up. But do try to limit your intake. If you suffer hunger pangs, snack on nuts (preferably sprouted), fruit, and low-sugar cereal bars between meals while your body adapts.
Sugary foods and alcohol consumption are also linked to colon cancer. Unless your doctor has advised you to, you probably don’t need to give up your favorite foods entirely. But at least try to avoid them during your colon cleanse and observe any differences you feel in your colon health.
Step 7: Take colon cleanse supplements
Probiotics aren’t the only health supplements to take for a natural colon cleanse. Colon cleansing products like Cleanse Infused Plus end bloating, gas, and water retention quickly and effectively.
Delivering high levels of oxygenated magnesium directly to your stomach, Cleanse Infused Plus gradually softens your stools. Oxygen breaks down the waste while the magnesium draws water into the colon. This cleanses your colon without making you rush to the bathroom; enzymes also help remove accumulated fecal matter. As if that weren’t enough, added herbs protect your liver and kidneys as well as your colon, helping restore your body to balance.
When it comes to having a healthy digestive system, try to add other beneficial substances that support colon cleansing and detoxing like:
- Blue-green algae
- AFA spirulina
- Protease and cellulase
- Bentonite clay
- Digestive enzymes
Step 8: Speak to your doctor
The American Cancer Society recommends that most people should start colorectal cancer screening at age 45. Of course, if colon cancer runs in your family, don’t wait. Please speak to your doctor about it as soon as you can. If you suffer from chronic constipation or other bowel disorders that don’t improve when you make positive lifestyle changes, you should seek professional support.
Is colon cleansing dangerous?
Invasive procedures, such as enemas and colonic irrigation, can be dangerous. That’s not to say they don’t have their place. And, indeed, if your doctor tells you to take one of these measures, then it is definitely advisable to proceed. However, if you plan to go ahead with one of these procedures yourself, seek medical advice first.
At its worst, invasive colon cleansing can lead to:
- Acute dehydration
- Kidney insufficiency
- Bowel tears
- Heart failure
Whether or not you need to undergo a medical procedure is a decision that you and your doctor need to make together. But following the 8-step process above is sure to cleanse your colon and benefit your health. For the best results, make sure you try it for at least a week. For lasting results, see if you can make each of these factors above a permanent part of your lifestyle.