- Discover the symptoms of a sick colon
- Explore the benefits of a colon cleanse
- See how to support your body to do its job naturally
- Learn the best way of cleansing your colon
Colon cleansing is all the rage, and it’s easy to see why. Having a healthy colon not only positively affects your digestive system. A colon cleanse also helps you maintain a healthy weight, balances your mood, and has benefits for your entire body, such as possibly reducing your risk of colon cancer.
Let’s look at why colon cleansing is necessary, the benefits, and exactly how to do it.
Why is colon cleansing necessary?
Your body works very hard to keep your colon, or large intestine, in good health. And so, for the most part, colon cleansing means supporting your body to do its job. But sometimes, life gets in the way.
Modern life is full of toxins, pollution, and stress. Our diets often lack the fiber needed to keep us regular. For example, eating foods made of refined sugars change the balance of bacteria in our gut. Junk foods, sugary juices, and processed foods feed harmful bacteria that weaken our immune systems and promote disease.
Plus, we often lack enzymes. Our ancestors got a lot of enzymes that helped digestion from their diet. Unfortunately, our food lacks enzymes due to cooking, or they are simply absent. For example, prepared foods lack the natural enzymes you would find in raw fruits and vegetables and sprouted nuts. This absence puts a strain on the pancreas to produce the enzymes you need to digest your food completely.
Under such conditions, your large intestine may suffer. That’s when colon cleansing starts to look like a good idea.
The benefits of a colon cleanse and detox
It stands to reason that a healthy colon will keep your digestive tract functioning properly. But keeping your colon in good condition brings many other health benefits too.
When your colon works well, your entire digestive process does too. Your colon is almost the last part of your gastrointestinal tract. Once the food you eat has been mostly broken down, it collects in the colon, where water is slowly absorbed, and local bacteria work hard to break down waste.
But sometimes, things get stuck. You suffer constipation, bloating, and gas. Colon cleansing gets things moving again by clearing waste buildup, allowing you to go to the bathroom with ease, and helping you absorb nutrients from your food more efficiently.
Obesity is linked to both chronic diarrhea and constipation. And having a well-functioning colon can positively impact both of these conditions. Gentle colon cleansing can naturally aid weight loss by kickstarting your metabolism and ensuring you use the bathroom regularly.
Your gut and your brain are inextricably linked. It’s often called the “gut-brain axis.” That’s because trillions of bacteria live in your gut, making up what is known as your microbiome. Scientific evidence indicates that your microbiome affects your memory, the clarity of your thinking, and your mood.
Experts are just beginning to realize that what happens in your colon mirrors what is happening in your heart. In other words, a poor microbiome may contribute to cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, regularly cleansing your colon may help you improve your cardiac health and lower your risk of heart attack and other heart conditions.
Kidney and liver health
Evidence now shows that fatty liver disease is connected with kidney disease. And experts believe that inflammation and an unbalanced gut may be to blame. However, if you suffer from liver or kidney disorders, make sure you seek medical advice before making any significant changes to your regime.
Your colon contains many immune cells. If you suffer from constipation, you’re likely to have a buildup of toxins in your colon that could affect your immune system. While the experts still don’t know exactly how it works, a healthy gut supports immune function, and reduces risks of inflammatory bowel disease or other inflammatory disorders.
Research shows that imbalances in your gut could play a role in infertility. And while most infertility treatments still focus on treating symptoms, it makes sense to support your gastrointestinal tract if you are having problems conceiving.
Better sleep and thinking skills
Having a healthy microbiome is linked to better sleep. You’re more likely to fall asleep easily, stay asleep, and sleep for longer each night.
Causes of mechanical obstruction in the colon:
- Fecal impaction. This situation occurs when a hard mass of stool gets stuck in the colon.
- Colon cancer. Several types of cancers cause tumors, scar tissue, and damage to the intestine that can lead to obstructions and fecal impaction.
- Colon stricture. A narrowing of a section in the colon due to inflammation or scarring.
- This condition features “diverticula,” small pouches that form and bulge out of the colon’s lining. These bulges develop when weak spots develop along your colon and give way under pressure. If they tear, the area becomes inflamed, and infection can result.
Different types of colon cleanses
The internet is filled with advertisements for colon cleansing, but not all colon cleanses remove waste the same way. And what a colon cleanse does for you can depend on which type you do. For example, colonic irrigation will create different side effects – and possibly results – than taking a colon cleansing supplement.
When it comes to a colon cleanse, you have options. Some are medical procedures, so you should speak to your doctor to make sure you choose the best option for you.
Colonic hydrotherapy, AKA colonic irrigation, is a treatment that involves a specialist placing a tube in your rectum. Scientific evidence shows that hydrotherapy is an effective method for cleansing your intestines before a medical procedure like a colonoscopy. However, it can be harmful if done incorrectly. Potential risks include bowel perforation, dehydration, infection, and electrolyte imbalances. If you do choose colonic irrigation, ensure your practitioner uses disposable equipment to minimize infection risks.
Enemas can be work to treat occasional constipation. However, if you regularly feel stopped up, modifying your lifestyle makes more sense than having regular enemas. Enemas, like colonics, work by flushing water into your large intestine. The difference is that colon hydrotherapy typically flushes the entire colon, where enemas only flush the lower half.
Risks of a colonic procedure can include microbiome imbalance, bowel perforation, pain, and infection. As with colonics, if you choose to try this procedure, ensure your practitioner uses disposable equipment.
By far, the simplest—and most effective—way to cleanse your colon is to modify your lifestyle, putting your digestive health first. Research highlights these five steps:
Eat plenty of fiber
Fiber naturally cleanses your gut as it passes through. On top of that, high-fiber foods are generally quite filling, meaning you need to eat fewer of them to feel full, which may aid in weight loss. The American Institute of Medicine recommends at least 25g for women and 38g for men per day.
Drink lots of water
Keeping hydrated may be the best thing you can do for your intestinal health. As you drink water, it flushes through your colon, cleansing your gut by removing toxins and waste more quickly. This keeps you regular and reduces the risk of constipation.
Get regular exercise
Moving gets your blood pumping and has other positive effects on your health. Numerous scientific studies show that increasing the amount of physical activity you do in either frequency, duration, or intensity can reduce your risk of acquiring colon cancer by between 30 and 40 percent.
Try intermittent fasting
Scientists believe that water fasting (that is, only drinking water) can positively impact your gut health. But don’t worry. You don’t have to cut out food for very long. In fact, the research says that beneficial bacteria develop in people who fast twice a week for between 12 and 16 hours. That really just involves skipping one meal a day, either breakfast or dinner.
Relaxing may seem like simple advice, but when was the last time you truly relaxed? Stress can affect your bowels, making you more prone to gas, bloating, and pain. And if you’re stressed, your microbiome can become disturbed, leading to mood swings and anxiety. You may not digest your food properly, which could cause bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. To relax completely, try:
- Mindful breathing
- Listening to relaxing music
- Alternatives healing methods like “Emotional Freedom Technique“.
Colon cleansing support
If we are being honest, we know bodies may need a little extra help to cleanse and detox in our world today. Cleansing the colon is a great place to start, and some foods and products can help you do just that. Here are just some ingredients that many people use to support their body’s natural ability to colon cleanse:
Avoid these foods if...
If you have suffered from a bowel obstruction, you may have a section of your intestines that has narrowed or is scarred. You may need to avoid high-fiber foods, raw vegetables, fruit skins, husks, and seeds in cases like these. These foods pass through your system undigested and may cause a blockage. Talk to your doctor or seek proper medical advice about taking fiber supplements and eating whole grain foods.
- Lemon juice: Squeeze it into a glass of water to make your drink taste more pleasant. That way, you’re likely to drink more liquids too.
- Ginger: Ginger has been used for its health benefits since ancient times to support digestion, ease bloating, and even cleanse the gut.
- Probiotics: Add a good quality probiotic supplement to your diet to encourage a healthy microbiome and keep you regular.
- Enzymes: Help your body break down what you eat by taking an enzyme supplement. You can find supplements that aid digestion and those focused on cleansing and detoxing.
- Oxygenated magnesium: You’ll find this ingredient in some colon cleanse supplements. It works by releasing oxygen into your intestines, softening waste buildups in your colon for a more thorough and gentle cleanse.
Colon cleansing does a lot more for you than simply keeping you regular and easing problems related to digestion. Scientific research also shows that you can reduce your risk of colon cancer, improve your thinking, support your heart, and even boost your metabolism.
If you decide to take a supplement, look for one from a company that offers the cleanest ingredients. These are products free from heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants that are common in many supplements. And for colon cleanse supplements, look at the ingredients to know whether they will be gentle or not. Some use harsh herbal laxatives that can bring unpleasant side effects. The ones that use natural elements like oxygen (oxygenated magnesium) and enzymes are gentle enough to take every day.
Of course, if you have any health conditions, consult with your doctor or healthcare practitioners first. A procedure like colonic irrigation, supplements, and colon cleanses can provide health benefits when used correctly. Still, you should always first make sure that they would be right for you.