Let’s talk about your colon -otherwise known as the large intestines- today! When most people think of their colon they think of colonscopys and colon cancer which are not good things! Instead of focusing on end results (disease) what can you do to keep your gut healthy? Your colon actually plays a huge role in your health, in fact some natural doctors believe it to be THE key to health.!
Let’s start with some basic anatomy. Your colon is the end to the digestion process. Once your digested food goes through the small intestines, it ends by going through the colon and then eventually out through the rectum. There are 4 parts to the colon – the ascending colon (the part that goes up), transverse colon (the part that goes across the top), descending colon (the part that goes down), and sigmoid colon (the very end). It is about 5-6 feet long and 2-3 inches in diameter. It’s main functions are to absorb water and sodium from waste and to eliminate the waste of the body.
How do you know if you have a healthy colon? It is difficult to tell for sure but one key piece of knowledge is how often you poop! If you eat everyday, you should poop everyday. In fact it is healthy to go 2 or more times per day. Also, the transit time of food into the body to waste out of the body should be around 24 hours. Want to find out your transit time? Eat something that is easily recognized in stool (such as pistachios or corn) and time how long it takes for you to see it. Unfortunately many Americans may find that their transit time is much higher than 24 hours – as in multiple days!! That means waste is being stored inside your body for days which is NOT a good thing. The problem is that the longer the food is in the colon, the more it begins to rot and toxify the body. The colon thus becomes a breeding ground for pathological bacteria whose toxic byproducts further add to the totality of poisons. All this yuk is then available to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream.The most common symptom of autointoxication is mental dullness and fatigue. Other common symptoms are headache, constipation, diarrhea, colds, general aches and pains (especially in the low back), skin problems, common infections (due to lowered immuno-competence), morning sluggishness, gas, bad breath, foul-smelling stool, allergies, intolerance to fatty foods, premenstrual tension, breast soreness and tendency to repeated vaginal infections. Our bodies were designed to RID of the toxins – not hold onto them!
Although there is much more that can be talked about with your colon, let’s go over some ways to ensure the health of your colon.
1. Nutrition – this is the biggee! If you diet consists of lots of foods that aren’t recognized by the body as FOOD (i.e. foods not naturally occuring in nature like processed food) then this really slows things down in the colon. The best foods are going to be foods like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Things like fast food, french fries, donuts, and pre-packaged foods tend to be low in fiber and are very sluggish going through the digestive tract.
2. Water intake – Not having an adequate intake of fresh, clean water can cause difficulties in the digestive tract. Our bodies are around 70% water so it is vital to have a good intake for healthy functions of your body.
3. Chiropractic care – The colon is innervated by the nerves in your low back. If you have a subluxation (misalignment of your spine) causing nerve interference than you are not getting proper communication to your intestines, which means you are not getting 100% function.
4. Homeopathic remedies – Your body may come up for needing some assistance in the gut. GDS-calm is typically the remedy of choice. Remember, homeopathics do not add anything to the body, they help to teach the body healthy healing patterns.
5. Cleanses – doing a cleanse of your colon and body is extremely beneficial to your health. Even if your eating habits are exceptional now, they might not have been throughout your life. Most people have debris in their colon (such as putrefied fecal matter and mucoid plaque buildup) that is stuck there and doing a cleanse is a great way to rid of that. Thinking about doing a cleanse? Talk to Dr. Keppy to see if your body is ready for one!
A healthier colon makes for a healthier body! Need help? Give us a call! 303.745.4002