About Sarskia Flemming

Sarskia has a passion for all things Australian and is a regular blogger on Aussie Blogs. You can find her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Prevent colon cancer

Cancer of the colon is one of the common causes of cancer related deaths, but it can be prevented with timely intervention. Individuals can protect themselves and their loved ones from colon cancer by following certain preventive tips.

Symptoms of colon cancer normally manifest themselves when the disease has already spread. Hence it is better to go for regular screenings and investigations to prevent the cancer from appearing in the colon. This is especially important for people in the high risk area, like those with a family history of colon cancer, those over the age of fifty, people with unhealthy lifestyles and those who are obese.

There are several screening options available and the doctor can decide on the most suitable. These may be a colonoscopy, an annual fecal occult blood testing, a flexible sigmoidoscopy and a virtual colonoscopy. The doctor may detect some polyps in the colon or rectum during the course of screening and these could be removed before they turn into cancerous tumors. This is one of the best preventive methods for colon cancer.

If the individual experiences any changes in the functioning of the bowels like rectal bleeding, thin pencil like stools, diarrhea, constipation, etc. for prolonged periods he should immediately consult a doctor to rule out the possibility of colon cancer.

One of the best methods of colon cancer prevention is to have a healthy diet of high fiber and low fat food. The vitamins, fiber, minerals and antioxidants present in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and even in wheat bran help prevent colon cancer. These help increase fecal bulk and reduces the risk of the colon being exposed to carcinogens. One should avoid the excessive consumption of red meat and food which is rich in fat content.

Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise would also help in colon cancer prevention. Those with excessive fat around the waist are at risk of contracting colon cancer.

Cancer of the colon can be prevented by regular exercise. This helps in reducing the other risk factors like diabetes and obesity.

An individual should inform the doctor if there is a family history of colon cancer or polyps as this puts them at a risk for contracting the disease. The doctor should also be informed about any incidences of cancer in other parts of the body, suffered by family members.

If the doctor is kept informed about the personal medical history of the patient it goes a long way in the prevention of colon cancer. Knowledge about any other cancer suffered by the patient, polyps and a change in bowel habits are all relevant information which can help the doctor decide on the necessary investigations.

Smoking also puts an individual at risk for contracting colon cancer. This is because the smoke inhaled can carry carcinogens to the colon and also it may increase the size of any polyps present in the colon. To prevent colon cancer one should give up smoking.

A person at risk for colon cancer should discuss methods of prevention of the disease with the doctor and also their benefits. Colon cancer can be prevented and even cured with regular screening and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Stage 1 Colon Cancer

When a person is operated for colon cancer and pathological reports show that the cancer has not spread to the surrounding areas but has just penetrated through the layers of the colon, it is classified as stage 1 colon cancer, which was formerly known as Dukes A colon cancer.

This is an early stage of colon cancer where the disease has spread into the mucosa and the sub mucosa and maybe a little into the bigger layers of muscle. In stage 1 colon cancer the cancer does not totally penetrate the colon walls and thus does not enter the abdominal cavity or the nearby organs and lymph nodes.

Cancer in the colon can be detected in the early stages during the course of a routine colonoscopy. If the doctor sees early signs of abnormalities or polyps in the colon he may be able to remove them during the colonoscopy. The polyps thus removed can be sent for pathological testing and if they discover anything suspicious, then further tests can be done to evaluate the spread of the cancer in the colon.

In stage 1 colon cancer the polyp turns into a tumor and has moved into the colon or rectal wall. Recovery with surgery is good at this stage before the cancer spreads.

Stage 1 colon cancer treatment

The cancer can be removed by surgery, which is the main treatment for stage 1 colon cancer. It can be done through an open surgery, where a single large incision is made and the affected area removed. Another form of treatment for stage 1 colon cancer is laparoscopic surgery in which several small incisions are made, to remove the cancer. The surgeon will also have to remove some lymph nodes to confirm that the cancer has not spread. Regular checkups and screenings should be done to rule out the possibility of the cancer recurring.

Stage 1 colon cancer is also treated by multi-modality methods, in which two or more techniques are used to cure the patient and to increase the survival rate.

Patients suffering from stage 1 colon cancer are also encouraged to take part in clinical trials where innovative therapies are used. Each patient’s condition is unique and the doctor should consider what treatment would suit each individual and also take into consideration the potential risks.

Normally chemotherapy is not given to patients with stage 1 colon cancer. Sometimes surgeons may recommend chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor thus making it easier to remove. This procedure is known as neo-adjuvant chemotherapy. In other cases the patient may have to undergo adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery to kill any cancerous cells that may have remained. This prevents the disease from recurring.

A person can lower the risk of contracting stage 1 colon cancer symptoms by undergoing regular screening. High risk factors of colon cancer such as a high fat and low fiber diet should be avoided. A healthy lifestyle with exercise, a high fiber diet and avoiding smoking and alcohol is recommended. This is especially true for obese people and those who have a family history of colon cancer.

Since stage 1 colon cancer is one of the earlier stages of the disease it can easily be cured and the patient has a high survival rate.

Stage 2 Colon Cancer

Stage 2 colon cancer is less advanced than Stage 3 and Stage 4. In this form of colon cancer the cancerous cells may have gone through the colon walls and into the neighboring tissue, but not spread into the lymph nodes. The cancerous tumors in stage 2 colon cancer are further categorized into two groups.

• Stage 2A: this stage is less advanced as the cancer may have spread through the layers of muscles and the walls of the colon to the tissues surrounding the rectum or colon.
• Stage 2B: this is a more advanced form of stage 2 colon cancer symptoms as the disease spreads to nearby organs such as the ovaries and the bladder. In this stage the tissues surrounding the abdominal organs may also be affected by cancer, but not the lymph nodes.

Stage 2 colon cancer was formerly known as Dukes B colon cancer and Stage 2A as Dukes B1 and stage 2B as Dukes B2. This form of cancer can be cured through surgery and chemotherapy is normally not required.

Stage 2 colon cancer treatment

Stage 2 colon cancer can be removed through a surgical procedure known as colectomy. The surgeon can reach the cancerous site through a large opening created in the abdomen, to enable him to remove the affected area along with the adjoining normal part of the colon and the surrounding lymph nodes. The two healthy ends of the dissected colon are then sutured or stapled together to resume normal bowel functions for the patient. Surgery can cure 60% to 75% of the patients.

If the surgeon feels that there is a high risk of the cancer recurring he may recommend adjuvant chemotherapy. This depends on certain factors, such as:

• A high grade cancer which looks abnormal when viewed under a microscope.

• Microsatellite instability is visible in the cancer.
• The nearby organs are affected by the cancer.

• The adjacent lymph nodes were not removed during surgery.

• If some cancer was left behind near the edge of the surgical specimen.

• If the colon was obstructed by the cancer.

• If the colon wall was perforated with the cancer.

There are several clinical trials of new drugs for stage 2 colon cancer to improve the treatment. Patients who participate in these clinical trials have access to modern treatment and other benefits.

Stage 2 colon cancer survival rate

Colon cancer survival rates for patients diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer are relatively higher than those diagnosed with stage 3 or stage 4 colon cancer. This is because the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. Normally about 90% of the patients can survive for more than five years after being diagnosed with this form of cancer. Anti cancer drugs through chemotherapy could reduce the recurrence of the disease. The doctor may have to conduct a genetic test to evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy on the individual’s particular form of cancer.

If a person is diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer treatment should not be delayed as the cancer can spread to the lymph nodes and turn into stage 3, which is a more advanced form of cancer. Patients should remember that it is easier to cure stage 2 colon cancer before it advances to another stage.

Stage 3 colon cancer

When the cancer in the colon has spread to the lymph nodes but not to any distant sites in the body, it is known as stage 3 colon cancer. Formerly known as Dukes C colon cancer, the tumors in stage 3 colon cancer are divided into three groups.

• Stage 3A: this is the least advanced form of stage 3 colon cancer whereby the cancer has spread to layers in the middle of the colon and also to about three lymph nodes nearby.
• Stage 3B: When the cancer has spread to three lymph nodes located nearby and the middle layers of the colon, the nearby tissues and even through the walls of the colon into the organs like the ovaries and the bladder, it is known as stage 3B.
• Stage 3C: this is the most advanced form of stage 3 colon cancer in which the cancer has spread to more than four lymph nodes.

The lymph nodes play a vital role in our body. They fight off infections in the body and they also filter the fluids between the cells and the tissues and channel it into the blood vessels. In the case of stage 3 colon cancer, the cancerous cells leak out of the colon and are absorbed by the lymph nodes. This stage of cancer is difficult to cure and it normally needs a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.

Colon cancer can be caused by several factors such as genetic, heredity, a high fat and low fiber diet, obesity and even an unhealthy lifestyle with a lack of exercise.

Stage 3 colon cancer treatment

The most common treatment for stage 3 colon cancer is surgery. The doctor has to surgically remove the affected part of the colon along with some of the surrounding lymph nodes, which are then viewed under the microscope to check for cancer cells. A surgical resection follows where the healthy sections of the colon are joined together to restore good bowel functions. Some surgeons suture the layers of the colon manually while others prefer to use stapling techniques.

Before the surgery some investigative procedures are followed such as a CT scan to check the spread of the cancer in the colon and outside the colon. In the course of the surgery the doctors will also explore the abdominal cavity and the liver to see if the cancer has spread to these areas.
Following surgery the patient has to undergo chemotherapy which actually means chemical treatment. The uncontrollable cell division that occurs during cancer is halted by chemotherapy, which kills the cancer cells. The chemotherapy regimen is normally held over a period of six months. There are various modern chemotherapy regimens available which are quite effective.

Stage 3 colon cancer survival rate

The survival rate for those suffering from stage 3 colon cancer depends on several factors, the major being the location of the tumor. Sometimes the symptoms of colon cancer emerge much later if the tumor is on the right side of the colon. In some countries the screening techniques are not so advanced and the cancer may go undetected till it is quite late. According to statistics, those detected with stage 3A colon cancer have a longer life expectancy. In the case of stage 3B the survival rate is approximately 64% and in stage 3C it is only 44%, depending on how far the cancer has spread.

Stage 3 colon cancer symptoms can be treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

Stage 4 colon cancer

Stage 4 colon cancer is the most advanced stage of cancer in which the disease has spread to the adjacent lymph nodes and also to other parts of the body like the liver, lungs, the abdominal wall and sometimes even the ovary. This form of colon cancer was formerly known as Dukes D colon cancer.

Stage 4 colon cancer can be of two types.
• Stage 4A in which the cancer spreads through the walls of the colon and affects the nearby organs and the lymph nodes and also a distant organ such as the lungs, liver or the ovary.
• Stage 4B in which the cancer spreads through the walls of the colon to the nearby organs or lymph nodes and also to more than one organ which is not near the colon. It can even spread to the lining of the walls of the abdomen.

Stage 4 colon cancer survival rate

Since the cancer spreads to other organs from the colon the survival rate of those suffering from stage 4 colon cancer is only twenty to thirty percent. In most cases a patient with this form of cancer can survive up to five years with aggressive therapy. The survival rate is rather low without therapy. If the cancer has spread to the internal organs it is difficult to remove and the life expectancy is even lower.

Many of the symptoms experienced by those who have been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer are quite similar to the symptoms of other types of colon cancer such as:
• Changes in the bowel habits
• Rectal bleeding
• Anemia
• Diarrhea
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Obstruction in the passage of the stool

Other than these common symptoms, those suffering from stage 4 colon cancer may also experience pain as the cancer may have spread to the bones. This pain can be quite severe and localized.

Another symptom experienced by patients of stage 4 colon cancer is an unexpected and sudden weight loss.

A shortness of breath will occur if the cancer has spread to the lungs. Jaundice and abdominal swelling may be experienced if the liver is affected by stage 4 colon cancer.

Stage 4 colon cancer treatment

It is not easy to cure stage 4 colon cancer. Normally a combination of treatment procedures is used.
• The most common treatment for stage 4 colon cancer is surgery where the primary tumor and the cancer cells are removed. This depends on the extent the cancer has spread and the location of the tumor. In most cases this treatment does not cure the cancer but helps prolong life and also minimizes the symptoms.
• The cancer cells in the colon and the other areas may be shrunk by chemotherapy and then removed by surgery. In other cases the cancer cells remaining after the surgery may be killed through chemotherapy.
• The symptoms can be reduced through operations if the cancer is too wide spread. Though the cancer cannot be cured by this method it can help the patient lead a more comfortable life.
• Blockages in the colon can be removed and a colostomy performed to restore the bowel functions of those suffering from stage 4 colon cancer.

Lifestyle and heredity factors such as old age, a high fat and low fiber diet, obesity, a lack of exercise and a family history of colon cancer can put a person at risk of getting stage 4 colon cancer.

Colon cancer treatment

There are many options for colon cancer treatment when a person is diagnosed with the disease. Treatment depends on how far the disease has progressed and with guidance from the doctor one can decide on the most suitable option. There are several ways to treat colon cancer and these are as follows:

• Resection surgery also known as hemicolectomy
• Colostomy
• Chemotherapy
• Radiation therapy
• Targeted therapies

The most common colon cancer treatment is a bowel surgery. The surgeon makes a large incision in the wall of the abdomen to remove the diseased section of the colon or the rectum along with the lymph nodes and also a part of the healthy colon. The lymph nodes are the place where the cancer cells gather and by removing them there is a less chance of the cancer recurring. In this form of resection surgery, the surgeon reattaches the healthy ends of the colon after removing the diseased section. He aims at restoring normal bowel function for the patient with this procedure.

In some cases where the diseased section of the colon is rather large then it may not be possible for the surgeon to reattach the healthy ends. This calls for a colostomy in which an opening is created in the abdomen through which a part of the intestine is inserted. An external bag is attached to collect the waste. In some cases of colon cancer treatment the colostomy may be temporary and in others it may be a permanent option.

Some patients of colon cancer are treated through chemotherapy in which treatment is given through different medications. It can be administered either intravenously or orally through pills. Normally a patient has to be admitted to hospital for a couple of days for chemotherapy treatment. The treatment has to be repeated after some time depending on the type of chemotherapy given and the type of cancer. A patient may suffer severe side effects with this treatment.

Colon Cancer Treatment with Radiation

Radiation is another form of colon cancer treatment and it can be used along with other treatments or by itself. In this form of therapy, cancer cells are killed by high energy radioactivity in which the beams are more concentrated and they target the affected area. Radiation therapy is generally used along with other forms of colon cancer treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy to make these more effective.

Colon cancer treatment through targeted therapies is another option for patients. These could include

• Growth factor receptor blockers
• Angiogenesis inhibitors
• Apoptosis-inducing medications
• Monoclonal antibodies
• Cancer vaccines

In the first method the growth factor in the cancer cells are blocked so that they are not able to form vessels for their own blood supply. This prevents the tumor from growing. In apoptosis, the cancer cells are targeted and programmed to die. In general through this form of therapy, damaged cells are targeted to prevent the changes which make them cancerous.

Colon cancer treatment may also depend on the different stages of the cancer. Most forms of colon cancer treatment have severe side effects and the patient should be made aware of these.

Colon cancer symptoms

Colon Cancer symptoms manifest themselves in several ways and to understand these one should have an idea about the colon and its basic functions. The colon has an important function in the digestive system as it helps the body absorb the nutrients, mineral and water from the food which is ingested. It is a major part of the large intestine which is about six feet in length. The rectum and the anal canal make up the last six inches of the large intestine. The body gets rid of the waste in the form of stool with help from the colon.

A cancer which begins in the large intestine or the colon is known as colon cancer. When it starts at the end of the colon, in the rectum, it is known as colorectal cancer. There are different types of cancer which affect the colon such as:

• Lymphoma
• Melanoma
• Carcinoid tumours
• Sarcomas

Most of the cases of cancer of the colon start in the glands which line the colon and rectum. They normally begin as benign polyps and then gradually develop malignancy.

Early stages of colon cancer symptoms

Those suffering from colon cancer in the early stages, show no major symptoms. As the cancer advances there are generally two types of colon cancer symptoms.
• Local: this affects the colon and the bowel movements.
• Systemic: these symptoms of colon cancer affect the entire body.

The local colon cancer symptoms are manifested with a change in bowel habits, such as:
• Constipation, which is a condition in which a person has to strain to pass stool. This is a common symptom for other less serious conditions as well but if it is chronic it could be due to a tumour which is obstructing the passage of stool in the colon.
• Diarrhea, which is a condition in which a person has loose or watery stools. This is also a common symptom of other stomach ailments but can also be a colon cancer symptom.
• Thin or ribbon like stools may also occur due to an obstruction in the colon, like a tumour or a polyp.
• Blood in the stool is a common colon cancer symptom. It may not be visible to the naked eye but may show up in a “fecal occult blood test”.
• Discomfort in the abdomen like bloating, gas pains or cramps if occurring frequently may be a symptom of colon cancer. These may occur due to an obstruction in the colon.

In case these symptoms do not go away after three or four weeks it could be a cause for concern and investigative tests should be conducted.

The systematic symptoms of colon cancer which affect the whole body are as follows:
• Unintentional weight loss
• A loss of appetite
• Extreme fatigue
• Vomiting and nausea
• Anemia

Unfortunately all these symptoms could be due to other milder ailments and may not cause concern till the cancer is well advanced. The doctor may suggest tests of the blood, a colonoscopy, barium enema tests, CT scans or even a virtual colonoscopy.

People who are in the high risk group should be vigilant and at the slightest signs of colon cancer symptoms, they should inform the doctor and undergo investigations and treatment to avoid colon cancer surgery in the future.

Colon Detox – Detoxing the Colon

In today’s world of fast food take away, frozen foods and chemically preserved eatables, there is little that we can do about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Going to a physician, following a strict schedule of medications or religiously staying away from many things is not the first best thing on anyone’s ‘to do’ list. But with this attitude, we tend to forget about the needs of our body and the essentials to keep it working properly.

Among all parts of our body, the one that is most sensitive to our eating habits and lifestyles is the colon; the last part of the digestive system which can also be called the large intestine. Sometimes, waste materials remain inside our colon and we are absolutely unaware of this toxic existence inside the body. This is where the need for colon detox arrives as it is extremely important to empty your colon of these waste materials. The idea of colon detox is to remove the intoxicated materials from the walls of the colon. This process of colon detox will also help your colon get rid of the harmful bacteria which is present inside and which will now be replaced with healthy bacteria.

The actual procedure

Colon detox is a very easy and natural way to get rid of toxins inside your body. There are many products in the market solely for the purpose of a colon detox but it is best to stick to a colon detox diet or herbal and natural methods. Medications usually come with long term side effects. Don’t fall prey to false advertisements providing evidence for their colon detox products. It is always best to choose the one which has been approved by the FDA and is popular among people.  And it is always advisable to consult a doctor before planning to do this. It is normal to detoxify the colon once or twice a year but too much colon detox will incur bad results.

Though our body has been designed to do the entire process of eliminating stool itself but sometimes due to some habits the colon is not able to perform its task properly. But a colon detox will come with a few side effects which you will have to cope with. Some side effects may be temporary while for some people they may last for longer spells. Any severe side effect should be immediately reported to your doctor. Sometimes your colon detox plan will restrict your diet to merely fruits and vegetables for weeks and in some cases you will be instructed to stick to fluids only for a few days. When the body does not get enough calories and if you stay hungry for longer, you may lose concentration and find that you are getting inefficient in daily chores. This may also lower the blood pressure and sugar levels. Special precautions should be taken by those who already suffer from such problems. Another harmful side effect of the colon detox method can be diarrhea. This is because colon detox supplements often contain laxatives and will increase your bowel movements. The increased intake of fruits and vegetables will also increase the need to go to the bathroom frequently. Diarrhea is often accompanied with signs of dehydration because every time you go to the bathroom, your body flushes out water. One of the most serious side effects can be experienced by people who are allergic to some ingredients of colon detox supplements or either have a history of medical problems.

Home remedies

Colon detox can be done using home remedies. Some of the most effective ones have been discussed below;

  • Stay away from normal meals and concentrate on juices. This will give a rest to your entire digestive system and will easily cleanse your colon off all the toxin materials.
  • Add fruits and vegetables to your diet. Green leafy vegetables and fruits which have higher contents of citrus are rich in fiber. Fiber is easily digested inside the colon and makes the waste material inside the colon absorb water. Hence, it becomes softer and passes out easily.
  • You can also try a special colon detox diet which only includes of fruits, nuts and juices. This diet needs to be accompanied with a lot of water and would be effective if carried on for a good five days.

What are the advantages of colon detox?

It is amazing how many people are unaware of the importance of a healthy digestive system. A colon detox is not only targeted to solve colon related problems, but it has numerous advantages which will help counter other problems related to our health;

  • With colon detox, the toxins inside our body are removed and this prevents the occurrence of many other diseases in our body
  • The primary advantage of a colon detox is that it will improve the bowel movements and make them more regular. This prevents the waste material from sticking in the colon walls for longer and developing small pouches which are harmful
  • Once you start getting along with your colon detox diet, you will see that your metabolism is improving. This is because your intestines are absolutely free of old waste materials and can now digest food properly and efficiently.
  • A clean colon and a smooth digestive system have been known to enhance people’s energy levels and mental capacities.
  • The first signs of any digestive problems will start appearing on your skin. Once you have gotten rid of all such problems, your skin will feel more fresh, supple and radiant.
  • With a good, effective colon detox, you are likely to get rid of constipation.

For many people, colon detox is also a method of reducing weight without spending too much of their time on strict and difficult to follow diet plans and exercises. Much of the unwanted bacteria inside our colon are known to cause inflammation in the entire body. A colon detox will help remove these bacteria preventing inflammation. Inflammation has been known to lower the metabolism rate, keeping the food inside for longer. This is why a person may feel tired and avoid exercising regularly. Therefore, a colon detox is extremely beneficial for weight loss.

Constipation

Constipation is a term that almost everyone would be aware of. It is important to note that constipation can occur to anyone and its causes are many. In this article we are going to discuss the causes and then highlight the ways through which constipation can be relieved.

For most people constipation is a highly irritating condition and many people would want to know the ways by which it can be relieved.

Let us start off with a basic idea of what constipation is. Constipation can refer to infrequent stools, hard stools, difficulty in passing stools, or a sense of incomplete emptying after a bowel movement. So there are different types of constipations and each individual may face one of these types. The causes of each type may be different. Talking about it in medicinal terms, constipation refers to a situation where a person has less than 3 bowel movements in a week.

The following could be the possi​ble causes of constipation:

  • Intake of certain medicines like narcotic pain relievers including Tylenol #3 and Dilaudid.
  • Intake of antidepressants such as Elavil and Tofranil
  • Intake of iron supplements
  • The habits of people. For example if one changes their habits of bowl movement too frequently or tries to control the bowl movement (suppress it in some cases)
  • The diet of a person matters a lot in constipation. Fiber is extremely important in maintaining a soft and a bulky stool. One should eat lots of vegetables and fruits and avoid too much intake of low fiber foods.
  • Another reason could be the over use of laxatives
  • Hormonal disorders can also cause constipation
  • There are also numerous diseases of the colon that can give rise to constipation

If a person feels too uncomfortable trying to relieve constipation, there are certain measures they can take. There are natural measures and other measures available too. Of course it is recommended that a person first tries the natural measures and if they don’t work only then go for medicines.

Steps to control constipation

There are certain natural steps that a person can take to relieve constipation. It may be noticed that these steps might actually require a person to change their lifestyle or habits for some time. But once they get used to it, they will notice that their life is easier and more comfortable.

The steps are as follows:

  • Those people who have had these problems since a long time can try drinking more and more water. In this case, fluids other than water might not help. Pure water is the best remedy. An individual must intake about eight to nine glasses of water. But again make sure that you opt for pure water rather than juices or milk which can actually worsen the condition of constipation. Keep the consumption of alcohol to a low level and make sure you drink lots of water early morning and the rest of the day as well.
  • Moreover a person should realize the importance of high fiber diets and how they can help relieve constipation. High fiber foods are extremely important for the health of an individual. Remember to always add new fiber foods to give your body time to settle down. Do not change your diet too fast! Some high fiber foods include apples, apricot, bananas, blueberries, figs, grapefruit, oranges, peach, pears, plums, raisins, raspberries and strawberries. Some high fiber grain foods contain almonds, black beans, bran cereal, bread, brown rice, cashews, flax seeds, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, oats, quinoa, pasta, peanuts, pistachio nuts, pumpkin seeds, soybeans and walnuts etc. some high fiber vegetables include avocado, beets, broccoli, brussels, cabbage, carrots, coleslaw, collard greens, corn, celery, green beans and tomatoes etc.
  • One of the important relieving mechanisms for constipation is good exercise. Studies prove that those people who exercise regularly and have a regular activity in their daily routines do not face the problems of constipation as much as those people do who like sitting idle and do not spend time in exercises. Even doing it for about 30 minutes a day would help! Go out for a walk in the park, or grab a basketball and try putting it in the hoop or do anything that you feel you are good at but the point is make sure you do some exercise regularly as this is going to solve your problem of constipation.
  • Most importantly, try to avoid constipating foods such as pastries, cheese, ice cream, whole milk, processed foods, fatty meats and other foods with hard animal fats. Do not make it a routine to eat such foods almost daily. Some foods that may cause constipation include deep fried foods such as chips, dairy products such as cheese, fatty meats, refined grains, highly starchy foods, fast foods including pizzas and burgers and refined foods such as cakes and pastries.
  • To have a healthy bowel movement it is also important to sit in a position where you can easily squeeze out the fetus. Sit in a naturally squatting position for a healthy bowel movement. You can also try putting up your feet on a stool and raising your knees when you sit on the toilet.
  • It is important for those people who face the problems of constipation regularly to focus on remaining healthy and fit and to concentrate on those diet plans which help relieve constipation. For example, yogurt would be a good idea to have when a person faces this problem.

So our discussion above clearly proves that although constipation is a very common problem amongst people especially in the modern world, there are still so many ways through which you can treat this problem. So whoever faces such problems need not worry about this problem and before taking any medicines must realize that there are other natural remedies too which might actually be more helpful. But of course if you have already tried these remedies and feel that they don’t work then you need to contact your doctor immediately.

Digestive Enzymes

When a human or an animal consumes something, it is always possible that the body might not accept it basically because the substance is too large to be absorbed by the body (or digested) in other words. Therefore in order to have an effective process of digestion it is necessary to have enzymes that break down the macromolecules of a substance into a form that the body can easily absorb. Such enzymes which help breakdown the larger molecules into smaller ones are known as digestive enzymes.

What are digestive enzymes?

Digestive enzymes come in various forms and in various varieties. They have a role to play with most parts of your body including oral, stomach, pancreas, small and the large intestine. Hence it can be judged from this fact that in order to maintain a healthy life enzymes play a very important role. Some functions of enzymes are:

  • Purification of the blood, leading to a better health.
  • Breaking down of fats, ensuring that the individual does not face obesity and other fat-related problems as they grow up.
  • Cleansing of the colon. This is one of the most important functions that the enzymes perform. They help keep the colon healthy and good ensuring good digestion and absorption. Colon is one of the most important body parts.
  • Maintaining proper cholesterol levels. Many people, when they grow old are faced with the problem of high cholesterol levels. As a result they might be recommended to stop the intake of meat and other such items. With enzymes, cholesterol level is kept at a reasonable level.
  • Maintaining peak energy levels. Enzymes help boost up the energy of individuals when they need them.

The existence of enzymes was discovered long ago. It is known that they are present in almost every cell of our body. They are complex protein molecules which help perform different tasks such as the production of energy or exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen when we breathe. Our body enzymes help us to fight diseases and to speed up our bodily functions that require help. They are capable of transferring energy to other molecules as well.

The process

The process of digestive enzymes is something like this. Digestive enzymes as mentioned before help breakdown complex proteins and fats into smaller molecules and nutrients which can be easily absorbed by the body. They work with almost all types of foods including baked flour, dairy, caffeine, sugar, soft drinks and alcohol etc. The enzymes are first secreted through the senses of tasting and smell. They can be secreted by different glands including the salivary glands, secretory cells in the stomach, secretory cells in the pancreas and secretory glands in the small intestine. The tasting and chewing of the substance then allows the saturation of the enzymes which then breaks down starch to glucose when for example chewing bread. These processed contents are then passed from the stomach into the small intestine where they are mixed with the pancreatic juices. These juices have a lot if enzymes which further help the digestion process.

Digestive enzymes help you fight diseases because our immune system works in such a way that it attacks those digested foods which are partially digested and get into our bloodstream. This is because the immune system sees these partially processed foods as toxic invaders and so try to destroy them. Hence the food that you consumed actually had no effect because it was destroyed by the immune system. So therefore it is important to understand and realize the importance of digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes are responsible for breaking down nearly half of the food we consume.

A lack of enzymes would actually harm your pancreas. Autopsies also prove that those people who eat mostly cooked and processed foods have a dangerously enlarged pancreas and are often not in a good working condition. In order to improve your digestion process, it is recommended to add a digestive enzyme to break down food as it lies in the upper stomach. You can take enzymes every time you eat, or on an empty stomach or one way of consuming enzymes is to consume organically grown raw food. The more the enzymes the better it would be. This is because lack of enzymes can actually make a person very ill. It can be easily said that the faster the supply of enzymes depletes the faster you will get a disease and the faster you will age. Hence, in order to lead a healthy life, it is extremely important to ensure a good regular supply of enzymes for your body. Digestive enzymes can also be taken during meals.

There are numerous digestive enzyme supplements available these days in the market. One of the most popular and better performing enzyme supplements is P-A-L plus Enzymes. Each capsule of this contains about 30000 UPS, Acid Stable Protease 100 SAPU, Protease 60,000 HUT Neutral Bacterial Protease 40,000 PC, Amylase 20,000 SKB, Bacterial Amylase 10,000 BAU, Lipase 12,000 LU, Cellulase 1,000 CU, Lactase 2,500 ALU and Trace Minerals 50mg.

The activity and the potency of these enzymes is very high and very effective, making them the best in the market.

Other popular and effective digestive enzyme essentials include:

  • Basic E-Club Nutrition system with OxiCellZyme and Plantadophilus.
  • Basic E-Club with DigestZyme and Plantadophilus.
  • Enhanced E-Club Nutrition System with OxiCellZyme, Plantadophilus and PureZyme.
  • Enhanced E-Club Nutrition System with OxiCellZyme, Plantadophilus and MasterZyme.
  • OxiCellZyme
  • Plantadophilus
  • BalanceZyme Plus
  • CalmZyme
  • DigestZyme
  • Powdered DigestZyme
  • ExcellZyme
  • GastroZyme
  • GlutenSense
  • LypoZyme and
  • MasterZyme etc.

Hence, there are many supplements for digestive enzymes available in the market for different prices and of different qualities. One needs to make sure that they take care of their digestive enzymes because if they don’t, it can lead to serious consequences. If you ever feel that you might be getting ill too often consult your doctor immediately and make sure you do what they say because after all its about your health!

Leaky Gut Syndrome

It may be surprising to understand that although a large number of people are suffering from and have been diagnosed with complaints of leaky gut syndrome, yet there is no clear idea of its real cause.. It is really a disease that gives rise to excruciating pains and signs which other diseases may also cause in the same manner. Because the leaky gut syndrome isn’t something that’s generally trained in healthcare schools, most of the doctors also can not grope and differentiate between leaky gut syndrome and similar symptoms of other diseases.

Normally, an individual’s food consumption follows the well-planned as well as well-structured design for digestive function. Once consumed, the food falls to the actual stomach then towards the small digestive tract where all of the needed nutrition are soaked up, then towards the big intestines in which the food is actually further divided into pieces after which the waste materials is removed. This specific process helps to ensure that the human body just absorbs actual minerals as well as nutrients it needs and what it does not need tends to be completely eliminated from the body. Nevertheless, it might be important to notice that the body is not only comprised of good germs. It also possess lots of harmful germs. The balance between these beneficial and harmful germs is very necessary for stomach. If it is disturbed it may result in stomach problems and leaky gut syndrome.

Likewise, once your body’s immune program is overworked, it will get tired and doesn’t have enough power anymore to maintain the entire body going. Another reason for the development of the leaky gut syndrome may be the foods that individuals eat. The greater the individuals eat harmful processed meals, the more chances of developing leaky gut syndrome arise. After they have taken such meals, their entire bodies  may  start to respond to it causing allergy symptoms. In such situation the immune system of the individual has to work with more vigor resulting in the debility of general body and weakening of digestive system. It may also cause leaky gut syndrome.

Unfortunately, in the procedure of the defensive mechanism which protects your body from the bad effects of these processed meals toxins produced act upon the wall lining of your intestine. When this process occurs, the toxic compounds that tend to be kept within the intestines may leak out to the bloodstream making the individual more susceptible to sickness as well as infections. Therefore, researchers are of the opinion that this may be real cause of leaky gut syndrome. Individuals who suffer in the leaky gut syndrome frequently experience mysterious stomach discomfort. They also are afflicted by bloating and muscular abdominal stress.

Due to the numerous symptoms how the leaky stomach syndrome offers, it is becoming difficult in order to diagnose leading to more individuals to suffer from this. Unfortunately, it is just when it’s too late how the leaky stomach syndrome is actually diagnosed and also the person has gone with the toughest and many painful feelings.

What Are Affordable Herbal Medications For Leaky Gut Syndrome?

There are many herbs which can be utilized for an effective treatment of leaky gut syndrome.One fantastic herb mostly used for this purpose is slippery elm. It is a superb treatment of discomforts like sores and skin inflammation. It is equally effective for internal use too. Swollen intestines, throats as well as belly tend to be effortlessly soothed through slippery elm because it assumes the form of gel when combined with water, allowing it to gently layer up your internal parts. Since the actual irritation from the intestinal coating is exactly what creates this problem, this functions fantastically for lessening the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. This syndrome can also be eased because slippery elm offers antioxidants inside it that reduces infection through the elimination of free radicals.

Another plant that helps eliminate a number of digestive conditions, including leaky gut syndrome, is peppermint. The digestive tract are calmed and also the flow associated with bile is actually promoted through this its use. The use of peppermint helps in the reduction of the number of bacteria which are supposed to intensify the onslaught of leaky gut syndrome. In this way it proves to be very helpful in controlling this colon disease.

Besides peppermint , another natural tea called chamomile will superbly serve in treating stomach issues. It functions beautifully from easing leaky gut syndrome, for example bloating, extreme gas, cramps and stomach pain. Drinking tea can also be a natural method to relax. Signs and symptoms of leaky gut syndrome often worsen when someone experiences intensive anxiety or depression. Most people realize that worrying as well as gut difficulties go together. An efficient and traditional treatment of leaky gut syndrome would be to simply lower your stress.

Another useful herb to diminish the signs and symptoms of leaky gut syndrome is marshmallow root. This plant acts upon the intestinal lining and mitigates its irritation soothing the digestive system. It has been being used for hundreds of years to reduce most issues with the stomach and can be got on the internet or from any nearby health super market in your locality.

Another herb which is being used for the treatment of leaky gut syndrome is called Echinacea. It is really a powerful  antidote and is being utilized for the treatment of  not only leaky gut syndrome but also in case of diphtheria, blood poisoning, malaria and scarlet fever too. It plays very important role in reducing intestinal irritation.

Goldenseal can also be favored through most herbalists. It’s a potent plant, similar in order to Echinacea, and may be utilized in numerous different health problems. It acts quickly on intestinal tract conditions and relieves the sufferer from leaky gut syndrome and its colossal inconveniences. All these herbs are available in the market and they can be purchase easily as they are cheap and quite affordable.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

What May Be The Possible Complaints In Case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Generally there are two basic kinds of irritable bowel syndrome. Signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome along with diarrhea consist of abdominal discomfort or soreness, bloating as well as frequent loose stools. The amount of bowel actions that an individual has varies significantly. Some individuals have 3 movements daily, while others might have only three each week. A change within the frequency associated with bowel movements causing abdominal discomfort often demand physicians in order to diagnose irritable intestinal syndrome.

Symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome along with constipation likewise incorporate abdominal discomfort, discomfort and bloatedness, but the actual stools tend to be hard or even difficult in order to pass as well as movements tend to be less regular than what’s normal for that individual. In a few instances, people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms experience constipation sometimes and diarrhea on other occasions. Abdominal pain may be caused by other reasons too and really should be consulted with a physician. If your bowel motion relieves the actual pain, then your physician might determine how the abdominal discomfort is related to symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

The precise causes in context  with irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms are unfamiliar, but patients could determine exactly what triggers the actual symptoms through keeping the foods as well as symptoms diary; noting exactly what foods or even beverages had been consumed prior to the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome started. Products that contains caffeine, alcoholic beverages and carbonated drinks may bring about symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, though these items do not really cause the problem. Food and breathing difficulties often bring about symptoms revealing irritable bowel syndrome. By avoiding particular foods, some people can keep the actual symptoms connected with irritable bowel syndrome in check.

Symptoms associated with irritable intestinal syndrome may show upward trend in people between  ages of thirteen to forty as compared to in individuals over 50. Women may have more signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome rather than males. This might be suspected that irritable intestinal syndrome signs and symptoms are associated with monthly modifications in hormonal amounts, but this isn’t certain. It would appear that many individuals who suffer through symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome also suffer from stress or even other psychological difficulties and due to this stress administration and its specific therapies are occasionally recommended. Additionally, a current study revealed that hypnotic treatment was efficient in managing irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms.

It has been observed that irritable bowel syndrome signs and symptoms vary significantly among people. Treatment programs vary too. Some prescription drugs and herbal treatments may end up being helpful for a short duration, but nutritional and change in lifestyle are typically essential to keep the actual symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome under control for extended periods of time

How to Cope With Irritable Bowel Syndrome Complaints?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome abbreviated as IBS, is really a functional disorder related with the gastrointestinal system. It is considered to be the existence of a few or all the following signs and symptoms: abdominal discomfort or distention, inconsistent frequency associated with bowel actions, constipation, diarrhea, abnormally big secretions associated with mucous in the colon, bloatedness, flatulence, nausea or vomiting, anorexia, head aches and depressive disorders.
Irritable bowel Syndrome is really a chronic condition and is estimated to be influencing 15% persons of all the world population and females are being affected by it in more number rather than men. Possible factors that could contribute in the development of irritable bowel syndrome consist of food allergic reactions, lactose intolerance, extreme wheat bran usage, parasitic an infection, drugs particularly antibiotics, metabolic disorders for example hypothyroidism as well as psychological factors for example stress, anxiousness and depressive disorders. For the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome soluble fibrous food is of great use.Increasing the consumption of dietary fiber may help in reducing its symptoms, particularly when constipation is involved. However it might be better to improve fiber consumption from fruit in addition to grocery eatables rather than cereal bran because this frequently aggravates the problem by invoking an hypersensitive reaction.

Emollient Elm natural powder also supplies a very soothing impact on the lining of the intestinal tract and may help reduce constipation causing irritable bowel Syndrome. One tablespoon of this emollient powder could be taken daily combined with yogurt as well as honey or perhaps a mashed banana.

Research shows that milk products usually cause allergic reaction. Moreover, every patient may be prone to developing allergic conditions by differing reasons. Such people should consult with a qualified doctor. The intake of sugar is actually detrimental to people with irritable bowel Syndrome since it reduces intestinal tract motility and plays a role in small bowel bacterial overgrowth as well as candidiasis.If you find a unexpected rise in glucose levels the regular rhythmic contractions from the gastrointestinal system are significantly impaired. The use of processed carbohydrate food should not be taken in excessive manner. Nutritional supplements with acidophilus as well as bifidus are useful because these microorganisms reduce toxins within the bowel, hinder growth associated with harmful organisms, reduce meals sensitivities, alleviate gas problems and improve general digestion of food. The use of lemon juice is also very helpful in setting the problem of irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint can also be every effective for this purpose. Use of proper exercise can also relieve the mind of the patient from depression which can prove helpful in treating irritable bowel syndrome. If you are suffering from any such symptom which can suspected as an indication of this disease, you must visit a specialist doctor.

Chronic Constipation

Chronic constipation is also known as a functional constipation or chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). It is not associated with any bacterium or virus creating conditions for the constipation to happen. In other words, it is not caused by any physical or physiological reason. So it can be said that the person suffering from the condition can be perfectly healthy and yet still have trouble excreting the digested food. The condition seems very intriguing on surface, so let’s have a look in detail, as to how this may happen and what are the dangers.

The Symptoms

The symptoms of this problem are quite difficult to differentiate because mostly the symptoms are similar to other types of constipations and syndromes present. Hence, specifically the condition cannot that easily be diagnosed. Generally speaking, doctors would seek symptoms related to normal constipations, which may include blood in stool or also commonly known as rectal bleeding, low blood count, weight loss, inconsistent hunger, headaches, cramps, nausea and vomiting. In order to for the problem to be detectable, the symptoms need to be present at least the fourth time after treatment has been provided.

The Factors and Ultimatum

This type of constipation can be due to many reasons. The primary reason is the unwillingness of a person to defecate. Why would anyone want to do that? One situation is when people get so associated with their toilets that they just don’t feel comfortable using other bathrooms. This may usually happen when people go out of cities or countries and have to stay at unfamiliar places. The other circumstance maybe that people who travel a lot i.e. business travelers who travel by road and rail through long distances either do not get a chance to use the toilets or they willfully don’t use it due to hygiene issues and more. Under these circumstances, the person may suffer from chronic constipation.

The obvious solution to this problem is that people should let themselves lose, and use the toilets when there is need. Holding back the feces can have many problems in addition to constipation. The accumulation of toxins and bacteria in the rectal region can lead to further diseases. It is also painful and bad for the diet intake. Sometimes, it also helps to think about something positive or interesting when using a new or “other” bathroom.

Beside unwillingness, there is another reason for this condition that is bad diet. Food items sometimes lack fiber. This includes meat and sweets. For the digestive system to work properly, it needs a push to force the excretions out. This push is very conveniently provided by the fiber. Without it, the feces become very hard and painful for the body t excrete. In an extreme case, which is constipation, the feces cannot be excreted. Hence in order to avoid this condition, one needs to take a proper balanced diet. A lot of vegetables and whole wheat flour provide a stable source of fiber. One can also substitute ordinary flour with whole wheat flour. Nowadays, many cakes and baked goods come in whole wheat variety which can be eaten instead or ordinary ones. In other cases, fiber tablets can be taken to remove constipation. One important component of a healthy diet is water. Without water out body cannot stay put. Water is not just important to keep our blood and organs working, but also an essential component in digestion. Not only does it reduce the acidity in the stomach but also makes the feces soft enough to be excreted. When having plenty of dry food, such as meat and sweets, it is very important to drink plenty of water. Otherwise, since water gets absorbed inside the intestines, the feces can become very hard and lead to constipation. Hence, taking in water is also as important to the digestive tract, as is the balanced diet.

Besides these factors, chronic stress and anxiety also play a big role in causing this condition. Due to extreme stress and anxiety, the internal anal sphincter muscle gets closed, which in normal course is not under voluntary control. The only way to deal with this situation is to try taking breaks in times of stress due to work or time. In permanent cases, a visit to clinical or medical psychologist may help a lot. Sometimes it may also be useful to take pain relief pills and sleeping pills to aid sleeping if one is suffering from insomnia.

Another factor causing this problem is the unwillingness or inability to control the external sphincter muscle. The muscle is normally under voluntary control which aids the excretion process. If the problem persists, a visit to the doctor may be necessary. Otherwise, one can voluntarily control the muscle. This condition is less problematic when one is willfully not excreting due to reasons mentioned earlier.

The Lesson

So many normal conditions that we ignore in our normal course of life, can lead to a potentially lethal condition. We especially ignore the importance of a balanced diet and low stress. It is important to make sure that we are not exposed to such conditions in order to keep our body working properly. Even the healthiest of people can run into such kinds of problems. Hence care and most of all, awareness is important to avoid such problem. People should be well educated about the problem that is going on in their body and for that a regular body check every six months would not hurt that much. This will not only help you to nib the problem at the start but will save you from spending a lot of money in order to get rid of the infliction.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease is a common name which can be attributed to colon disorders. Other names used for it are ulcerative colitis and ileitis. It is also known by the name of granulomatous enteritis and terminal enteritis. It can be regarded as the inflammatory condition of the digestive tract.Crohn’s Disease may damage any part of the digestive system. It may harm the starting point like mouth or the ending section like anus. Generally small intestine and specially its lower part is affected most.The swelling could cause severe pain and may make the effected intestines vacant frequently, causing diarrhea.

Crohn’s Disease can be termed as an inflammatory colon disease which is a common name given to diseases which give rise  to swelling of intestines. As particular symptoms caused by Crohn’s Disease resemble other digestive tract disorders, for instance irritable colon syndrome and also ulcerative colitis, it could be difficult to be able differentiate or recognize them. Ulcerative colitis brings about inflammation and also ulcer inside the top layer permeable lining covering large intestinal tract. In Crohn’s Disease, all layers covering the intestine could be involved, and typical healthy bowel is found between parts the of diseased colon.

The real reason behind Crohn’s Condition is unidentified. It is guesstimated that a particular kind of bacteria known as mycobacterium  may trigger Crohn’s Disease. Any way there is no decisive evidence the disease is due to infection. Crohn’s Disease just isn’t contagious. Despite the fact that diet may help in putting control over the particular symptoms caused by Crohn’s Disease but there is no vivid proof that just diet is the possible cause of the disease.

It is seen that frequent Crohn’s Disease symptoms are usually abdominal soreness, often inside the lower right side area, and also diarrhea. Occasionally occurring signs may include weak appetite, temperature, night sweats, rectal soreness, rectal loss of blood, losing in weight, arthritis, and also skin issues, may furthermore occur. Bleeding could be serious and also persistent, ultimately causing anemia. Children suffering from Crohn’s Disease may remain underdeveloped and with poor growth. The symptoms may vary from individual to individual in respect of severity or nature.

A complete physical check up and some tests can be used for diagnosing Crohn’s Disease.  Blood test can reveal the condition of anemia through which you can determine the situation of intestinal bleeding. Similarly with the help of blood test you can calculate the number of white blood cells which may help in estimating the inflammatory condition of any part of the body. In addition to blood test your doctor can examine your stool test indications. In this way he may determine the intensity of bleeding and nature of infection of your intestinal tract. There may be many complications. One of these complications may be choking of your intestinal tract. This blockage in the intestinal tract occurs when its walls get thickened or swollen causing constriction in the tract. Crohn’s Disease may give birth to sores and ulcers which may affect surrounding parts too. The most affected surrounding areas may involve anus along with rectum. Fistulas get infected and cause many complications. In some cases fistulas may be cured with the help of some proper medications. In severe cases only surgical operation can remove the problem. It has also been observed that in some cases fissures may also appear on the surface of mucus membrane composing anus.

Crohn’s Disease and Its Effects on Body

Crohn’s Disease casts its bad effects not only on men but also on women too. Sometimes it may easily run in persons having same familial background. It has been observed that nearly twenty per cent men and women with Crohn’s Disease have their relatives who have been suffering from any sort of intestinal disorder. Crohn’s Disease may develop regardless of age and gender. However research shows that persons between the ages of twenty to thirty are more prone to Crohn’s Disease.

Treatment regarding Crohn’s Disease can include drugs, diet supplements, surgical procedure, or a variety of other alternatives. Treatment handles inflammation, replenishes nutritional insufficiencies, and minimizes symptoms for instance abdominal soreness, diarrhea, and also rectal blood loss. Treatment regarding Crohn’s Disease rests upon the affected part, seriousness of condition and other complications. Sometimes Crohn’s Disease may last for longer durations. It has also been observed that it may relapse in future too. Therefore, constant attention should be paid to its recurrence even after its successful treatment.

Research reveals that Crohn’s Disease may badly influence other parts of the body too. It may lead to colon cancer and claim even life too. In addition to it, there are many diseases which can be the direct or indirect result of Crohn’s Disease. If you are having any symptom related to it you must visit your doctor without wasting any time. If you get timely and properly administered treatment, there is no reason of not getting rid of it. On the other hand, if you procrastinate its proper treatment several complications may develop and then it would be very difficult for you to remove them completely. There are many drugs which can be effectively used for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease. These drugs may differ in effects and side effects. Homeopathic treatment and herbal medication may have fewer side effects but they can give you quick relief. In case even your proper medication fails in producing the required results then there may be no other way of treatment rather than surgical procedure.

Diarrhea – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Diarrhea can be defined as the frequent need to pass stool which is watery and loose. This condition might last for days, depending on the acuteness of the problem. Diarrhea can have many forms and it is important to distinguish between them before you start any treatment. Having bowel movements after every meal, suddenly feeling the need to go to the toilet or not being able to control the bowel movements for long are symptoms which are not exactly characterized as diarrhea but these conditions may accompany diarrhea.

Types of diarrhea

Generally, the diarrhea is divided into two types; the chronic diarrhea and the acute diarrhea. The acute diarrhea lasts from a few days till up to a week and the chronic diarrhea in most cases lasts more than weeks. The conditions and symptoms of diarrhea might vary depending on the type. Mentioned below are the five most common types of diarrhea;

  • Osmotic diarrhea: too much vitamin C and undigested fructose can be a cause of this type of diarrhea. In this case, the bowels often draw in too much excess water which is often the result of some pancreatic disease or even the use of laxatives.
  • Inflammatory diarrhea: the inflammation of the gut lining is caused y some bacterial or viral infection inside. This type of diarrhea can also be a result of colon cancer.
  • Motility related diarrhea: this type of diarrhea happens when the foods inside the intestines are moved through very quickly. Proper digestion does not take place and hence the required nutrients are not absorbed by the body.
  • Secrete diarrhea: this is the common result of more fluids being secreted by the gut or the proper fluids are not being absorbed properly.
  • Dysentery: this is also the result of excess water. Dysentery is a special case and somewhat different than diarrhea. Diarrhea is usually known to develop into dysentery at some point.

What causes acute and chronic diarrhea?

Gastroenteritis is the most common cause of acute diarrhea. It is accompanied by nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. People going through this type of diarrhea may experience a little fever. Another very common cause of the acute diarrhea is food poisoning which is caused by some bad harmful toxins produced by bacteria. These are formed in the food that is eaten. Acute diarrhea is also caused by the intake of drugs. There are also a few medicines which have been known tocause diarrhea. These include antibiotics, chemotherapy medicines, medication for irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure. Anxiety and too much consumption of alcohol and coffee may also cause this type of diarrhea.

Chronic diarrhea can be more severe and hence their causes are also more serious and require greater attention. Chronic diarrhea can be a result of infections and diseases. The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the irritable bowel disease (IBD) have been the known causes of chronic diarrhea. The Irritable Bowel Syndrome is caused by frequent and rapid passes of waste contents through the large intestine whereas the irritable bowel disease includes diseases such as the Crohn’s disease and the ulcerative colitis. Both of these diseases cause inflammation inside the colon. Frequent and unnecessary use of laxatives can also cause chronic diarrhea. To avoid the chronic diarrhea, some people also need to alter their dietary habits for example reducing the long term habit of consuming sugar free gums, coffee and even sweet candies.

How can diarrhea be treated?

  • Absorbents can be taken which make the waste material inside the small intestines less watery and loose.
  • Diarrhea which lasts for days always comes with the risk of dehydration as too much salt and water has been washed off your body. It is advisable to drink lots of fluids to cover up the loss of water from diarrhea.
  • It is also recommended to eat food instead of avoiding it. Many salts and nutrients have been washed away as a result of diarrhea hence you would need to increase the intake of food.
  • There are certain medicines which are available at the drugstores. They are specifically for diarrhea treatment and they increase the gut’s ability to absorb more watery making the stool less watery. These medicines also claim to decrease the frequency of bowel movements. You should always consult a doctor before deciding to take any medication.
  • Some pro biotic have also been known to cure diarrhea.

There are also many home remedies for treating diarrhea which is less severe. These remedies are for people who are allergic to medicines or don’t want to visit a doctor for diarrhea which is on a small scale. These remedies include;

  • The consumption of green tea or plain black tea. This has been a very effective treatment for diarrhea.
  • Shredded pieces of apple. The peel of apple contains fibers which will sooth the gut and adds fiber to the contents of the intestine.
  • Buttermilk and yogurt have been known to contain properties which cure the problem of diarrhea. The yogurt also has positive effects on the gut.
  • Swallow a teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
  • When diarrhea has lasted for more than a couple of days, there is a risk of dehydration. To avoid this, you should consume a glass of orange juice mixed with a little water and a pinch of salt.
  • Coconut water is also known to have hydrating effects on the body.

Diarrhea may develop into a serious problem if it is not prevented or cured properly, especially for children. Diarrhea caused by infectious diseases can be prevented by keeping toilets and homes clean. A habit of washing hands regularly should also be developed. A very popular cause of diarrhea is food poisoning which can mean that the food that you ate was poisoned because certain toxins were produced inside it by some bacteria. To avoid this problem, avoid eating at unhygienic stalls and also keep in mind that frozen or uncooked food has been known to have more bacteria and germs than hot food.

Diverticulitis Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Our body is often exposed to different kinds of problems. In this article we are going to talk about a very common problem occurring in individuals, known as Diverticulitis. Diverticulitis can be very painful. It happens when pouches formed in the wall of the colon get infected. Diverticulitis is a very common problem found in the large intestine.

Diverticulitis can occur anywhere in the colon but mostly it occurs towards the end of the large intestine known as the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colon has the smallest diameter of any portion of the colon therefore it is expected to have the most intraluminal pressure.

Diverticulitis Symptoms

Many people who have had this disease have known to not face any kinds of symptoms or discomfort in the beginning. No one is really sure as to what causes this disease but some of the symptoms that the doctors have mentioned are:

  • Pain in the belly (usually on the lower left side)
  • High fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sharp pains in other parts of the body
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Ruptures
  • Colonic obstruction
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation occurring too often
  • Bleeding into the colon
  • Diarrhea occurring for a long period of time
  • Not feeling like eating or drinking anything

Diverticulitis Causes

Although the causes are really not known but it is believed to some extent that low fiber diet causes this disease. The pressure of the fiber actually causes the colon to work harder than it usually does and this might result in pouches being formed in weak spots along the colon.  It is also believed that diverticulitis usually forms in older people and its probability increases with age.

It is believed that diverticulitis can be extremely painful therefore the earlier it is diagnosed and treated the better it would be. The diagnosis of this disease can be made through several means. Blood tests can be taken (such as a CBC) or X- rays and CT Scans can be done. Barium X-rays can actually be performed to get a good picture of the colon and to observe whether this problem has really occurred. Moreover there are other practical and more effective ways of studying the colon for example a direct visualization can be done with the use of flexible tubes inserted through the rectum. It is important to note that once these tests are done and diverticulitis is found to exist, only then will the doctor recommend ultra sound or CT scans to be done to get a clearer picture of what exactly the problem is.

Diverticulitis Treatment

Once diagnosed, your doctor will decide what the perfect treatment should be. Usually the type and nature of the treatment would depend on the symptoms (how bad they are). Usually for infection, your doctor might prescribe you antibiotics. It is important to note that these antibiotics are to be taken regularly as prescribed and are not to be stopped even if you start feeling better. You have to finish its course otherwise it will have even more negative effects. Antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro), metronidazole (Flagyl), cephalexin (Keflex) and doxycycline etc and other drugs such as chlordiazepoxide (Librax), dicyclomine (Bentyl), antropine (Donnotal) and Levsin are usually used if a person faces mild symptoms of diverticulitis. For such patients, even a high fiber diet and fiber supplements might be helpful to get a relief from constipation and other such problems. In a situation like this, doctors might also restrict the use of nuts, corns and seeds etc and might actually recommend you to take in more liquids or low fiber foods. This usually done is to reduce the amount of material that passes through the large intestine.

For patients who face severe symptoms, antibiotics and/or drugs might not really help. In that case, one of the options is a surgery. The decision to perform a surgery is based on a number of factors including the age of the patient, their medical history, previous surgeries done (if any), stage of the disease and their general medical condition. Surgery is usually compulsory for people whose intestine has ruptured. The ruptured part of the intestine is removed during a surgery. The doctor or the surgeon in this case will create a path between the colon and the surface of the skin.

The surgery can be done in either of the two ways including a bowel resection or through a bowel resection with colostomy.

The bowel resection part involves the removal of the ruptured part of the colon and the joining of it to the other healthy parts of the colon. This process is known as anastomosis. There are several ways of doing this, depending upon the medical condition of the patient.

The bowel resection with colostomy is a riskier type of surgery. It is often life threatening too because of its nature. This type of surgery includes the temporary colostomy which is then followed by a second operation which serves the purpose of reversing the colostomy. In this type of surgery the colon is actually brought out through an opening made in the abdominal wall and the waste is collected into an external bag.

Apart from the usual effects this disease creates, some complications can also arise. In this case there is a possibility that bacteria might actually infect the outside of the colon. This can result in potentially fatal peritonitis. This can also result in narrowing of the bowel and causing a fistula.

Some Precautions

Some things that a person can do to avoid such a disease are:

  • Replacing white bread with whole wheat ones
  • Having at least two meals a week without meat. The meals can include beans or peas.
  • Eating fruits with their skins on.
  • Increasing the intake of vegetables (vegetables contain important vitamins which are essential for good health)
  • Increasing your fibre intake slowly
  • Increasing the consumption of fluids especially water and juices.

In order to avoid diverticulitis it is important to take precautionary measures and make sure you take good care of yourself.

Megacolon

Megacolon can be regarded as the abnormal condition of colon owing to its unusual dilation or enlargement. When this condition develops it badly influences the capability of peristaltic movement of the intestinal tract. Peristalsis is involuntary contraction and constriction of intestinal muscles which are responsible for the movement of the stool and play all the part of removing stool from the body. When this wave like movement of intestinal tract is disturbed, it becomes very difficult to get rid of stool in normal way. When this condition develops it is termed as Megacolon. A lot of research has been conducted in this respect as it is a common problem which is being faced by millions of people not only in the United States but all over the world. Megacolon cab ne divided into two categories.

One kind of Megacolon is termed congenital which is considered to be present since birth. As its symptoms may appear in the very early age, it may cause a lot of inconvenience for parents too. It badly affects the life and growth of the child who is suffering from it. It demands its treatment on priority basis otherwise it may persist in future and give rise to other complications which may prove more difficult to treat them. It has been observed that congenital Megacolon is not so common as the other kind of Megacolon which is known as idiopathic. Idiopathic kind of Megacolon is very complex and it may be caused through multifarious reasons.

These reasons have similar symptoms and they overlap in such way that it becomes difficult to differentiate between what is the real cause of this disease. However, some researchers are of the opinion that the most possible cause of Megacolon may be the smooth muscles of colon and rectum which get activated improperly. Improper diet may also become the cause of this disease. Non-fibrous food become impacted and gives rise to constipation. If this condition persists for long duration it may create morphological changes in the intestinal tract and may result in the development of Megacolon. In some incidents physical injury especially in the pelvic part of the body may also cause its symptoms. Any person regardless of age and gender may become victim of Megacolon. Some people do not take it seriously and with the lapse of time they get entangled into various complications caused by it.

How You Can Know That You Are Developing Megacolon?

  • The first indication of this disease may be felt in the form of constant constipation. If you are find it difficult to get rid of stool you must pay attention to its cause. There may be possibility of developing Megacolon. You must visit your doctor your doctor and explain your discomfort to him before it assumes any dangerous form.
  • Vomiting may also be symptom of this disease combined with other indications. You may feel nauseating conditions which may destroy your eating habits and mar the pleasures of your life.
  • You may feel yourself ever lethargic and inactive. You may lose your interest in your routine work.
  • Hard and dry stool may become painful for its release. If you take laxatives the relief would be temporary and the previous condition may relapse soon.
  • Anxiety and depression may keep you ever dejected and desponded.
  • Your appetite may get dampened. You may feel as if your stomach is full of food.
  • Your food taste may also get insipidity.
  • Megacolon may cause general debility and mental weakness. You may lose in your weight.
  • You may feel broken stool. Even after returning from toilet you may feel unrelieved.

What You Should Do in Case of Megacolon Development?

If you suspect that you are suffering from Megacolon, the first step that you must take is to visit a competent doctor. Explain you each and every symptom to him. He will perform your complete physical check-up and try to pinpoint the exact nature of your disease in the light of symptoms you are suffering from. Your doctor may take different tests which may include neurological examination too. In this way he may examine your abdominal palpitation to determine if you have hard or full colon. He may calculate your comprehensive blood count to analyze your digestive disorders. He may study your biochemical profile which can help him in diagnosing the exact nature of your disease. He may also perform some urinalysis test to know about any inkling of other possible complications like diabetes mellitus disease or any kidney problem for dehydration because such dehydration may also give rise to constipation and Megacolon disease.

In addition to it, your doctor may arrange your pelvic radiographs. The help of these radiographs he may calculate the exact size of your colon and assess the precise nature of the abnormalities that may be present in your colon causing Megacolon disease. He may also ask you for rectal examination. If there is any stricture or suspicion of any type of hernias he would prefer to treat them first. Your doctor may also suggest abdominal ultrasound which may help him in determining the real cause of your ailment. Colonoscopy is another means of information for ascertaining the real cause of Megacolon.

After the determination of the real cause of you disease the doctor will select the best possible option for your treatment. This treatment may depend upon the nature of your disease and your physical condition. If you are suffering from the intensive case of Megacolon, he may suggest enema or manual removal of stool under the influence of anesthetic conditions. If you are suffering from mild or moderate Megacolon conditions, he may prescribe some effective medication and advise you to take good fibrous diet. Such diet may play very important role regulating your stool habits and facilitating the process. If the use of proper medication does not produce the desired effects, you doctor may suggest surgical operation for removing the malfunctioning part of your colon. In any case you must not get scared as Megacolon is not a disease which has no treatment. You just need consulting a competent doctor on its first indication.

Colon Diseases

Introduction

Because our body is made up of so many different parts, it is important to understand how each of these parts works to live a healthy life. It is essential for a person to realize the importance of each and every part of the body and understand how they can be taken care of. Only then we will be able to take care of ourselves completely.

In this article we are going to talk about one of the most important parts of the body, the colon and see how it works, how it helps in digestion, what an unhealthy colon could result in and what diseases the colon is expected to be exposed to. After talking about the different diseases that the colon is exposed to, we will discuss the possible treatment methods that could be used to overcome those diseases.

What is Colon

Let us start off with a basic idea of what colon really is. Colon is also known as the large intestine. It is an organ of the gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for absorbing fluids, forming stools and eliminating stools. It is actually the last part of the digestive system in most vertebrates. The colon is basically responsible for extracting salt and water from solid waste before it is eliminated from the body. Because it is the last part of the digestive system hence it is the most important part of it.

Colon has certain sub parts and each of those parts has specific duties to perform. If any of the parts fail to fulfill their responsibility then an individual might face problems in digestion.

Colon health and the diseases it is exposed to

Keeping your colon healthy is a very important thing. One needs to control their diet and perform activities to cleanse their colon so that they can lead a healthy and a fit life free of any worries.

The colon is often exposed to certain diseases. Some of these diseases have mild effects whereas others have extremely bad effects and can change a person’s life.

For instance, colon cancer is one of the most common cancers amongst men and women. In men it is the third most common type of cancer following prostate and lung cancer, whereas for women, it is also the third most common cancer type after breast and lung cancer. So in order to keep yourself healthy and free from cancer there are many precautionary measures that a person can take. These will be discussed later.

Colon cancer basically refers to the complete loss of the way lining cells of the large bowel grow and divide. This can be due to the environment, our diet or also inherited from our parents. When cancer is developed, a surgery is required to remove it. Usually chemotherapy may be recommended or in some cases, radiation therapy might be used.

Another disease of the colon could be Colitis. Colitis is basically a team of conditions that cause inflammation of the large bowel. The results of colitis could be rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps etc. the treatment of colitis would be decided by the doctor. Colitis can be of different types including infectious, ischemic, radiation, ulcerative and crohns, each having their own causes. The most common types of colitis occurring amongst people are the ulcerative colitis in which ulcers are caused in the lining of the rectum and colon. Ulcers usually form where inflammation has killed the cells lining with the colon.

Ulcerative colitis can occur at any age and can cause numerous problems. It tends to run in the families. The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are pain the abdomen and blood along with the fetus. Some other less common symptoms include weight loss, sores on the skin and tiredness for no good reason.

Several types of drugs can help treat ulcerative colitis and usually it can be treated with the use of medicines and drugs prescribed by the doctor.

Another disease that a colon can be exposed to is colonic polyps. Polyp is basically an extra piece of tissue that can grow inside the body. So colon polyp is an extra piece of tissue that develops inside the colon. The problem with polyps is that they might eventually lead to cancer. But the good thing is that if treated at an earlier stage (removed) the harmful effects can be minimized.  Polyps can occur at any stage but most likely they will occur in people who are greater than 50 years of age. Other people who have had polyps before or have had a family member with polyps may also be exposed to this disease.  It is believed that one of the major symptoms of colon polyps is blood in the stool or constipation lasting for a long time.

Diverticulitis is yet another dangerous disease that the colon is exposed to.  Diverticulitis is basically small pouches that bulge outward through the colon. Mostly, this disease occurs in people who are older than 60 years of age.  It is believed that a major cause of this disease is low fiber diet. The worst part about diverticulitis is that it doesn’t have any symptoms so you can’t really know for sure if you have this disease until and unless it gets worsened.  However, some very less common symptoms are cramps, bloating or constipation. In serious cases of this disease, it can lead to bleeding tears of blockages.

Irritable bowel syndrome is yet another disease related to the colon. IBM is a very common disorder that can happen mostly to women whereas its chances of occurring in men are less common. The most common symptoms of this disease can be cramping, bloating or a change in bowel habits.

It is important to note that colon health is essential for every individual to lead a healthy life.  Therefore if any individual faces any kinds of problems or observes any symptoms of a disease, then they are advised to immediately report to their doctors, get their tests done and see what comes out of them. After all, this is about your life!

Ulcerative Colitis – Symptoms, Treatment & Diet

What is Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative Colitis, as the name suggests is a disease that gives rise to ulcers in the large intestine along with open sores. In other words it an inflammation of the colon. The colon is a major part of the human digestive system; it is the area where all the waste material from your body is stored and if it is infected and becomes swollen or sore because of certain types of toxins in your body than this causes the emergence of ulcerative colitis.

What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?

It will be safe to suggest here that the right cause for ulcerative colitis has not yet been determined by the doctors or the scientists worldwide plus this is one of those diseases whose property of contagiousness has not been classified as positive, hence it can happen to anybody but you cannot catch it like cold from a person who is inflicted from it.

According to research ulcerative colitis can be the result of some unusual activity in the immune system. The immune system in the body is incorporated with certain types of proteins and cells which battle against all different benign viruses, fungi and other kind of dangerous bacteria. The immune system activates whenever it is hit by some outside bacteria but with ulcerative colitis patients this very immune system turns to be abnormal and activates at an abnormal rate only making the bowl system of the body worse. The activation of the immune system happens at a fast and random rate for ulcerative colitis a patient which causes the colon to become reddened, swollen and hot which makes the deadly ulcers down there.

This particular disease of colon leads to many other chronic problems in the lower of area of the body. Few of the most painful results of ulcerative colitis are the rise of abdominal pains, diarrhea or rectal bleeding. Other significant symptoms of this disease include weight loss, skin lesions, tiredness, loss of appetite, pain on the joints of the body plus loss of healthy fluids from the body at a regular rate. According to a known fact, if this problem occurs in children at an early age, it can cause hindrance in their growth.

Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD is the name given to the illness which is caused by amalgamation of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of these inflictions can take place during early years of adulthood but can also target children in their young age and tend to last from years to decades.

What are the treatment methods?

Now let us move forward and shine light on some of the important treatment methods that are available to help patients of this disease. Surgery is of the step that a patient can take because there is no certain type of medication that will help the ulcerative colitis patient to get rid of the disease. It would be wise to mention here that surgery is only an option for people who have been severely attacked and has inflammation at a larger scale than others. So what should one do in a crisis situation of this sort and the answer to this is visit a doctor who has well established knowledge about such diseases and most of them will ask you adopt a healthy lifestyle because what you eat and drink will affect the type of elements that are transferring in your body. Other physical methods of treatments include the inducing of remission of substances to fight the ulcers and then maintain these remissions for a substantial period of time so that they can take place and dissolve in the body to put up a fight against the illness. One of the medicines that provide some help in this course is known as Aminosalicylates, this medicine works in order to control or reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and in most cases it is really effective. Medicines to make the immune system more healthy and strong can also provide assistance in this particular ordeal.

A fact to note here is that the risk of ulcerative colitis to emerge in non-smokers and ex-smokers is more as compared to people who smoke. Many of might be thinking that how can smoking be good for health but many times nicotine is used to help patients of this disease and it has been helpful for myriad amount of patients.

More problems

Having a problem such as ulcerative colitis can take its toll on many individuals and can affect their everyday life and routine in a negative way. This is because during a flare-up of this problem the patient will need to go to the bathroom again and again, only making him or her embarrass in front of his colleagues or friends. Also there a great predicament attached to this sickness and that is that the patient does not know when it will hit him or her again during the course of the infliction. This can be very painful along with cumbersome as it can affect the patients personal and professional life by a large percentage and making him or her less confident about themselves.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that illness and sickness is part of everybody’s life and can happen to anybody at any stage of life but to take precautionary measure and adopt a healthy lifestyle is the way to live through many diseases. Needless to say that it may happen even to a healthy person but the chances of him to fight against it with more power will make him better off as compared to a person who has a weak immune system. So eating and doing some sort of exercise that is if hitting the gym is too much for you, should provide you great assistance in all walks of life.

Colon Polyps

What are polyps?

Polyps form with the abnormal growths of tissues protruding from a mucous membrane. Polyps can develop in stomachs, noses and many other parts of the body. They are often found in a colon, which is the last part of the digestive system and is also called a large intestine. It is important to get any presence of polyps checked up as these can develop into cancer and other serious problems.

Colon polyps are fleshy growths which appear on the inside of the colon or on its lining. Colon polyps are very common and if not treated with proper care can develop into serious problems. It is known that many people in the United States die of colon cancer. This cancer is formed when the polyps in the colon become too large or are pre cancerous in nature since their formation started inside the colon. A person can have one or even more than one polyps present inside their colon. A polyp which is malignant will turn into cancer and a benign polyp is not cancerous but it should still be checked by a doctor.

How would you know if you have a polyp?

Although many people don’t have any symptoms of polyps even when they have them yet there are many signs associated with the presence of a polyp inside the colon. Some of these symptoms include;

  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Seeing blood in your stool
  • Constipation
  • Long lasting spells of diarrhea
  • Black stool or red streaks in stool. Sometimes blood makes stool look black

If any of these symptoms persist for a long time or have become a permanent part of your routine, then it is best for you to visit your doctor. Even if you have not experienced any of these symptoms so far but you are above 50, you should get a regular check up for polyps. Sometimes there might be presence of occult blood in your stool. This blood is not with the naked eye and a stool test will have to be conducted to see this. There are many ways in which a doctor will check for polyps;

Barium enema is the most common way. In this a doctor will insert liquid called barium into the rectum which makes the intestine look white in color. When the intestine turns white, the doctor can easily detect the polyps as they are dark in color.

Another test is sigmoidoscopy in which the doctor puts a flexible tube with light attached at the end. This enables the doctor to see inside the intestine.

A more effective method is the colonoscopy which is similar to the sigmoidoscopy. The doctor inserts a tube inside the rectum and the camera in the tube will take images of the large intestine. These images will be monitored on a screen by the doctor. A tool in the colonoscope tube is capable of removing the polyps as the doctor sees them.

A very simple method for those who want to avoid such complicated tests is the stool test. This only requires the patient to give a sample of his/her stool which will be tested in the laboratories and it will be checked if the polyps have caused any signs of cancerous cells or not.

The polyps can become cancerous are called adenomatous polyps or adenomas. Adenomas account for more than seventy five percent of the colon polyps and a special type of adenomas polyps called the villous adenomas are the most likely to convert to cancer. Along with the type of the polyp, the size will also determine the seriousness of the situation. As the polyps grow bigger in size, they will eventually form cancer. So if you let the polyps in your colon grow bigger in size, you are welcoming higher chances of developing a colon cancer. It is advisable to remove the polyps as soon as they are detected by doctors no matter which size they are.

What can be done to prevent polyps from forming in the colon?

  • Dietary changes are the most effective in your routine. Including more fiber in your diet will prevent the formation of colon polyps
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables to keep yourself away from fatty food
  • Broccoli and cauliflower are known to fight against colon related problems
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Make exercise part of your daily routine
  • Try to lose weight if you think you are a bit too fat according to your age and height
  • Calcium lowers risk of polyps. So it is best to include in your diet eatables which are high in calcium content. These might include cheese, milk, yogurt and even broccoli
  • It is said that a little dose of aspirin everyday will also prevent polyps from forming in the colon. But this should not be done on your own. Before deciding to take any aspirin, you should consult your doctor and ask him about the appropriate dose

Why should polyp be treated with so much concern?

This is because defective genes cause the polyps to develop inside the colon which can later develop into cancer. Defective genes are the result of the chromosomes being damaged and these defective genes no longer do the job of keeping a check on the production of cells. When this happens, the cells start growing rapidly and this unrestrained production of cells inside the colon develop polyps. As genes were already defective, these defects can cause further problems in the polyp and the polyp can become cancerous.

These genetic defects can either be inherited from a parent or can be acquired during one’s life. This is why doctors recommend all the people above 40 to have their stool test and all the people above 50 to have colonoscopy or the sigmoidoscopy for the detection of polyps. People who have already been diagnosed of the presence of the polyps will have to get regular checkups as polyps have the tendency to grow back again even after they have been removed once.

Colon Hydrotherapy

Colon hydrotherapy is the safest way for the cleansing of colon without any involvement of chemicals. The entire set of equipment used for the colon hydrotherapy procedure is entirely disposable and thus eliminates any chances of transmitting diseases. The procedure involves the use of water to manually clean the insides of the colon. Clean and warm water is pumped in and out of the colon through the rectum and this is how the cleansing is performed. Though this entire procedure sounds very discomforting but surprisingly many patients have found it extremely comfortable. Also, there are no side effects and the patients who have this treatment are allowed to carry on with their normal activities right after.

The colon hydrotherapy procedure has been known to cure many problems such as;

  • Constipation, diarrhea, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, the ulcerative disease
  • Intestinal cancers
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • Low appetite or too much food yearning
  • Indigestion
  • Bladder infections
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gastric problems

Colon hydrotherapy procedure

The entire procedure of the colon hydrotherapy is very safe and very easy. Unlike all other methods of colon cleansing, this method does not require the patients to stay on a restricted diet. It only requires the patient to stop consuming any food just 2 to 3 hours before the procedure is to start. In order to soften the feces inside, it is highly recommended that plenty of water or any other fluid should be taken by the patient. Many medical institutes and private clinics provide extra benefits for the colon hydrotherapy to make the patients feel comfortable. In many clinics, the patient will be asked to perform most of the tasks during this procedure, giving him/her some privacy. For instance, the patient might be given time alone to get dressed for the treatment or will be asked to insert the water tube inside their anus themselves. The patient will usually lie down on a table and will insert a small tube inside the rectum. The physician or the doctor performing the colon hydrotherapy will keep check of the temperature of the water that is to be released inside the anus. After this, the water is pumped inside the colon through the rectum, with comfortable and endurable pressure off course. The patient will have a feeling of being filled and will feel the bowel movements similar to those when the need to go to the bathroom arises with urgency. Just like the normal stool is passed after an urgent bowel movement, similarly the water inside will flush out of the colon, leaving it cleaned. This pumping in and out of the water will carry on for a session of about half an hour or more until the colon is left absolutely cleansed. Around sixty liters of water is used in this treatment. Some people do fear that even the good bacteria are washed away with this treatment. To avoid this, the patient might be given some pro biotic capsules to fill in the good bacteria.

Benefits of colon hydrotherapy

Colon hydrotherapy is not a new treatment. This method of cleansing the colon has been used in hospitals since years to reduce the severity of many health problems. Colon hydrotherapy has a majority of benefits, a few of which have been discussed below;

  • Colon hydrotherapy improves movements in the bowels. Therefore, this has been the most effective treatment for chronic and acute constipation.
  • The extra feces in the colon and the toxins are removed by this treatment. This allows the colon to function properly and allows for proper absorption of the water and nutrients in the food.
  • And because colon hydrotherapy uses no chemicals at all, it is known to cure your problems without any side effects.
  • There are many parasites which have infested our digestive system and we are completely unaware of them till they cause serious ailments. With the colon hydrotherapy treatment, these are also washed away, leaving the colon clean and healthy.
  • The harmful bacteria present in the colon sometimes give rise to the biological aging factor. This is also reduced with the colon hydrotherapy.
  • Colon cleansing treatments have always been known as a weight loss technique. Like all other methods of colon cleansing or colon irrigation, colon hydrotherapy is also known to aid in weight loss.
  • As the colon is previously filled with extra amounts of waste materials, this might become a cause for the compression of other organs which are located close to the colon. With the colon hydrotherapy, the patient ends up feeling a sensation of being light. This positively affects all other organs as well.
  • With the elimination of stale waste material, the digestive system works more efficiently and improves the metabolism. This will further reduce any digestion related problems.
  • Colon hydrotherapy improves muscle contraction of the colon.
  • With a healthy colon, nutrients from the food processed will enter the blood freely.
  • It improves the entire immune system, making it work more efficiently.

The colon hydrotherapy has become more popular as compared to all other colon cleansing treatments. It involves very little cost and hardly any long term side effects. Though there has been research into the possible side effects which can be caused by the colon hydrotherapy treatment. The tube that is inserted into the rectum, from which the water is to flow inside the colon, can cause damage to the rectum. It is advisable that the rectum should be checked for by the therapist or the physician, before conducting the test. The water pressure may also run out of control and might not be suited to the condition of the colon or might get too harsh on the patient. There is also another risk associated with the colon hydrotherapy of damaging the bowel wall. This damage might end up being permanent and a surgery will have to be done in order to restore it to its original position. Some small clinics which might charge low are likely to compromise on the cleaning of their equipment involved in this treatment. This can increase chances of transmitting diseases of the machines are not properly sterilized.

Benefits of Colon Cleansing

Your health depends upon your properly working digestive system. Colon is an essential part of this system which play important role in getting rid of waste products of the digestion process. Through peristaltic movement it enables the body in getting relieved of all the unnecessary material in the form of stool. If this waste material is not properly expelled, the body may fall victim to many complication. Therefore, properly functioning colon is very necessary for maintaining good health. An untidy and uncared colon may give rise to several diseases. Unfortunately most people who suffer from colon disorders, do not pay attention to colon cleanse benefits and with the lapse of time they develop numerous disease which become difficult to control at later stages.

Muscles present in the outer wall from the colon produce a wave-like movement, which forces the stool out of the body through anus. In case of failure in getting rid of stool thoroughly and on time, it affects the total amount of germs and results in re-penetration of waste material that must have been passed from the colon. The re-penetration of this material may poison the digestive tract and other parts of the body. According to well calculated statistics more than two zillion Americans are afflicted by colon associated diseases. Unfortunately most of these people do not focus their attention on the proper treatment as they may not be aware of the colon cleanse benefits.

With time, the intestinal tract can lose a chance to process essential nutrients, absorb drinking water and eliminate feces from the body. Constipation is often recognized like a condition in which the waste material is tightly compacted together, weakening bowel actions and as an effect elimination of stool happens with unpleasant difficulty as well as straining. Actually, many individuals are constipated without having even recognizing the problem. Old solidified feces stay with the walls making the colon more stuffed. The internal diameter of the walls of the colon is actually compressed just like a water tube blocked by calcium deposits, and ultimately the colon becomes more constricted which makes it more hard to move waste material through it. Since the  caked fecal material lines the inner colon walls, the colon is not able to absorb nutrition from the food. Most people do not know how much and how putrid solidified fecal  material is trapped inside their colons. Constipation may injure the actual colon or be considered a sign of the malfunctioning intestinal tract. In such situations colon cleanse benefits come to your helps. A lot of research has been made in finding the best solution of colon disorders. Many medicines have been explored which play very effective role in alleviation of problems associated with colon disorders. Dietary treatment has also been successfully utilized. However, the colon cleanse benefits surpass the advantages of any other treatment. This is why colon cleanse is becoming very popular with each passing day. There are numerous supplements which are being utilized for colons cleanse purposes. One of them is Bowtrol which is being used very successfully on large scale and is producing quite desirable effects.

Colon Cleansing Benefits

As far as colon cleanse benefits are concerned they can be enlisted to a large number. Some of the salient colon cleanse benefits can given as under:

  • One of the colon cleanse benefits is getting rid of bloating. Bloating is a common problem which may be caused by any colon disorder. It badly affects the life of the sufferer and slackens his life in even routine work. Flatulence and bloating cause palpitation which can create a lot of inconvenience for the sufferer. Colon cleanse is the best treatment for the relief of this problem.
  • Fecal matter stuck in the colon may give birth to harmful bacteria which may become the cause of several diseases and complications. Colon cleanse removes these bacteria and reinforces immune system.
  • One of the colon cleanse benefits is relief from diarrhea. It removes toxins from your colon and hinders their re-absorption into the blood or other parts of the body. These toxins may cause diarrhea and disturb your digestive system. Colons cleanse can save you from this danger.
  • If you are suffering from constipation, harmful material present in your colon may pervade into your blood and give rise to many mental and physical disturbances. Colon cleanse can protect you from all such complaints. It will relax your alimentary canal and enhance its peristaltic movement.
  • Proper absorption of nutrients can also be one of the most desired colon cleanse benefits. As this process helps in complete removal of fecal material stuck to colon lining, nutrients get more permeable space for their absorption. The absorption of these fresh nutrients may keep you more healthy and active.
  • Another advantage of colon cleanse may be alleviation of abdominal pain. Fecal products trapped in the colon may give rise to unbearable pain which can be mitigated through colon cleanse process.
  • Abdominal cramping may also be treated with colon cleanse in a very effective manner.
  • It has been observed that sometimes 5 to 10 pounds fecal product may remain trapped in the colon which may give you a fat look and influence your personality. Colon cleanse can make you look smarter.
  • One of the other colon cleanse benefits is better concentration and acuity of mind as it removes all the toxins that may be possible cause of mental disturbance.
  • You will feel more fresh and active. Colon cleanse will expel your lethargic feeling.
  • Your digestive system will improve. You will feel proper appetite and warmth of life. You will take active part in your mental and physical activities. Your complexion and lifestyle will change. These are some of the colon cleanse benefits. If you are suffering from any colon disorder, you must consult your doctor and avail yourself of colon cleanse benefits.

Colon Cleansing Pros and Cons

Millions of people all over the world are suffering from colon disorders and related diseases. These people need proper colon cleansing for getting rid of these ailments. For this purpose they must have complete information about colon cleansing pros and cons. The knowledge of advantages and disadvantages may help them in getting more reliable treatment for their colon related problems.

Colon Cleansing Pros

Colon cleansing has many advantages in setting aright all the problems related to colon and digestive disorders. Some people may gain in weight owing to fecal compaction in their colons. It has been observed that some persons may have 5 to 10 pounds of fecal debris in their colons. This unwanted compaction of harmful waste material may cause bloating and flatulence. It may cause unnecessary increase in weight and discomfort. Colon cleansing may enable you to get rid of this heaviness within the shortest period of its administration. A cleaned colon improves your digestive system. If your digestive system is working properly you may enjoy the pleasures of good health. You will feel proper appetite and relish the taste of whatever you will eat. The cleansing of your colon will remove all the toxins retained in your intestinal tract. The removal of these toxins will relax your brain from their bad effects and help you in improving your concentration. Constipation is regarded as the mother of all diseases. There are several complications which can be attributed to it. Colon cleansing can solve the problem of your constipation and you may feel relieved of all the complaints associated with it. Colon cleansing enables fresh and profuse absorption of nutrients possible. It results in keeping you more energetic and active. In addition to these benefits there are many other factors which can be regarded as colon cleansing pros.

Colon Cleansing Cons

No doubt, colon cleansing is very useful and effective in treating and mitigating colon related complications but there may arise some unwanted situations on its improper use too which may be termed as colon cleansing cons. One of the methods used for this purpose is hydrotherapy. No doubt, hydrotherapy can clean your colon but it may create some problems too. This method can cause over-hydration which may disturb the proportionality between water and other necessary fluids. This imbalance may affect the physiological processes of the body. Another reason behind the use of hydrotherapy which may enhance its inappropriateness is the situation when you are using any other medication for other purposes. It is believed that hydrotherapy will dilute the amount of that medicine and render it ineffective.

Another factor which can be included in the list of colon cleansing cons is unavailability of competent doctor who has a lot of experience in conducting such treatments. If your doctor is not highly qualified or has no previous experience in this context, your colonic treatment may add more complications to your current condition. Sometimes medical equipment necessary for this treatment may not be up to the standard. This situation may also aggravate your condition instead of giving you any relief.

No doubt, the persons who are having balanced diet added with fruits and vegetables seldom suffer from colon disorders. If you are using fibrous edibles and abstaining from excessive alcohol you may not be affected by colon problems. In spite of the use of all these precautionary measures if you develop any sort of colon disorder it demands proper colon cleansing for elimination of its symptoms. For this purpose you may have to use colon cleansers. These colon cleansers may have not been manufactured according to set standards and authentic formulas. The use of such colon cleansers may prove harmful and deteriorate your condition instead of desired relief. In addition to it, if colon cleaning process is overdone, it may also affects you negatively.

Another factor which is usually included in colon cleansing cons is possible danger of contamination. The cleansing supplements may be administered either through mouth or anus. If proper care is not taken the peril of contamination remain ever hovering. Sometimes these processes are carried out repeatedly which may result in the creation of many complications. Therefore, repetitive use of colon cleanser is not advisable. Instead of using colon cleansers frequently change in lifestyle is preferable. Proper diet can play very important role in lessening the intensity of colon disorders.

Another danger which may result as the colon cleansing cons is use of polyps. It has been observed that excessive or improper use of polyps may cause colon cancer. Such development may be very dangerous and needs surgical operation for its removal. However, if proper care is taken through regular physical examination such dangers may be quite easily averted. It has also been noted that colon cleansers may cause many side effects. Some of these side effects may assume very harmful condition and if not treated on time, may lead to serious consequences. These side effects may differ with respect to user and the nature of the treatment or medication. Some patients may suffer from certain skin diseases and others may suffer from kidney or liver disorders. In some cases heart problems may also develop. Other side effects caused by improper use of colon cleansers may be arthritis and digestive dysfunction. In some cases abdominal pain may also be felt. However, proper use of colon cleansers under the keen observation of a competent doctor can ensure their effectiveness and safety.

If colon cleansers are not of reliable quality their use can badly influence your digestive system. You may suffer from diarrhea which can enhance your trouble instead of giving you any relief. Improper use colon cleansers may also result in blooded stool which can distress you not only physical but psychologically too. It has also been observed that some colon cleansers may produce laxative effects and cause watery stool. The sufferer may lose bowel moment and control over stool. In spite of all these colon cleansing cons, it is being successfully administered by competent doctors with any danger of possible side effects.

Probiotics and Colon Cleansing

What are Probiotics

Probiotics are microorganisms that are beneficial for other organisms. These living matter can provide numerous health benefits to the host they reside in. One can think of these as “good bacteria” or “friendly bacteria”. Contrary to the microorganisms naturally present in the human digestive system, probiotics are taken additionally through the intake of dietary supplements and food. Too many people can very easily confuse prebiotics with probiotics. The prebiotics are indigestible food substances that help promote or create conditions for the growth of the microorganisms in the human gut. However together, these two substances form a synbiotic.

Numerous food items contain probiotics, either present naturally or added during one of many stages of production. These include foods like yogurt, sour cream, fermented or coagulated milk, soy beverages and miso pastes etc. The intake of probiotics dates back to ancient times when fermented milk was used for digestive purposes.

The Benefits of probiotics

The reason why the popularity of Probiotics has increased so much during the last two decades is because of their numerous health benefits. One can definitely not deny the ever increasing pollution and infectious diseases in the world today, mostly caused by harmful bacteria. Hence, there has become an ever increasing need to strengthen the immune system of our bodies. This is exactly what the probiotics are good for. The intake of these can control gas and diarrhea. They can also mitigate the harmful side effects of antibiotics. In case of antibiotics, the probiotics play a role of balancing out the effects so that the medicine doesn’t take its toll on the human body. Researchers are now spending a lot of time researching whether the intake of probiotics can help reduce infectious bacteria, tooth decay and many skin diseases.

Good or Bad?

However, there is still a debate as to whether these substances really have an impact on the human body. Many researchers have found that there is more a psychological effect of the intake than a physiological effect. This is also known as the placebo effect, where an inert substance has a psychological effect such as in improvement in condition without any biological impact. Hence, people consuming probiotics may think themselves into becoming better and they actually do.

On the other hand, the side effects and drawbacks of these have not too thoroughly been researched, especially for the part where the probiotics are used for infants and children. Although, the side effects if any, are easily negated automatically through the body’s immune system. Theoretically speaking, the probiotics can have some physiological side effects but can easily be treated by the use of antibiotics. The important thing to remember is that the probiotics taken by mouth are actually regulated as food items and not drugs so there can be a tendency for people to overdo them and face the consequences. However, research does suggest that people with low immune systems can suffer from the intake of probiotics.

Intake

How the probiotics is to be taken depends on the food one is eating. Since probiotics are live organisms, they can die very easily through changes in or extreme environments. Many factors will determine whether the food is viable to contain probiotics or not. These factors include the processing, PH levels, storage, shelf life and the chemical makeup of the food item in question. Even if survived in the food, the probiotics can very easily be destroyed by the acidity of the stomach. Hence, for people with high acidity, the probiotics may fail to work or be slow to have their effect.

Very often, people are worried about giving probiotics to infants and little children. They have a fear these creatures may have a harmful effect on their child. The truth is that probiotics can be given to children of all ages and sizes. However, one must note that there are specific probiotics suitable for children. In the US, many companies have begun the manufacture of sweet chewable tablets that aid the intake of these. The specific probiotics for children have a milder effect and are more suited to the immune and biological makeup of an infant’s body. Although food containing them may be fed to children, it is much easier this way.

For Adults and Toddlers Alike

Just like the benefits for adults, the probiotics can work on infants the same way. If one intends to keep the existing health of their child, they may feed their children with probiotics to prevent them from catching flue or cold. Although one can get processed food from the stores, but they too often contain harmful processed ingredients that can have more negatives than positives. To counter this problem, one can make probiotics food at home also. These can include making buttermilk, fermented milk, sour cream and yogurt. These can be fed to children to make their immune system stronger. In order to provide children with more natural probiotics, one should keep a plentiful supply of fresh vegetables and foods.

If you thought all bacteria was harmful, think again. Our world is filled with living organisms, both inside us and around us. Our immune system alone is not enough to keep us going. It needs an extra kick, an extra hand to keep our body functioning appropriately. Hence, these living microorganisms can help us gain victory over illnesses and diseases that can make us sick and unproductive. Not only are they good for adults but also for children. Until further research is conducted on the possible side effects, the use of probiotics seems reasonable for the time being and with all kind of problems and obstacles that we are faced with in our everyday life, we do need to have a healthy body and mind to work and fight against all sorts of predicaments in order to have a better and stronger future.

How to Get the Best of Colon Cleansing?

What is Colon Cleansing?

The Colon is basically the main part of the large intestine and this particular organ works to handle the toxic waste that is accumulated in our body each and every day and if the toxic wastes are not cleansed, they can eventually move to the blood flow of the body, hence causing your body to face a sustainable amount of damage and may result in health related issues. Therefore, the technique of colon cleansing is available and is being used by many individuals these days to provide their body nourishment and purification that it needs in order to with stand the all the hardships that life is constantly throwing at us.

Background

Colon cleansing is a rich practice which has been part of the human society since it was pioneered by the ancient Greek civilization. There did come a time when this technique lost its charm and went out of fashion but with advancement in science and medicine along with need to have a balanced and a healthier lifestyle, colon cleansing made its way up to all important parts of America and the rest of the world. This need for cleansing of the body has led to irrigation of many anti-oxidants such as tea plus other pertinent enzymes which play a vital role in cleaning the colon in concrete way.

Let us move forward and shine light on the types of colon cleansing method that are available to the customers.

Types of Colon Cleansing

One of the colon cleansing techniques is to do it the natural way, this is for those individuals who do not want to take any kind of medicine such as laxatives or other such related items which can cause you use the lavatory very often. Hence, for such people the use of right type of diet to remove all kind of non-required items from your large intestine through your rectum and out in the form of feces or liquid. It will be wise to mention that such cleansing will not only provide your body with relief but people who are working for weight loss will be benefited from this practice a lot. The kind of diet that one should incorporate while doing the cleansing the natural way is the use of a lot fruits, fresh juice and whole grain products. This can include the eating of prunes, blackberries or raisins and from the whole grain side the inclusion of oatmeal and whole grain chapattis is more than sufficient to assist you get that cleansing affect. It should be noted that the colon cleansing in a natural way will take time and would not work as fast as other artificial products will.

Another very popular method for doing colon cleansing is by making an appointment with a practitioner or a doctor. This particular technique works in the following way that a tube is use to inject certain types of oil and water along with special herbs into the rectum with the help of a high efficient equipments. This method is also called colon irrigation or colon hydrotherapy. It also works for the same issue that is to allow the body to release all the unwanted elements that have been accumulated in the large intestine for all this time period.

Other renowned practice of colon cleansing involves the use of powders and other liquids which have to be taken more or less like a medicine. The doctor can prescribe you the numbers of days that you have to in take such substances, after which all the undesired and toxic wastes from your body will leave through your rectum.

The Benefits of Colon Cleansing

Moving forward with the solid goals that can be achieved if an individual opts for colon cleansing and one of them is the how the nervous system of a human body is improved and solidifies as it is told by the experts worldwide that the id your bowl system is strong and works properly then it will have a positive effect on your brain.

Another benefit from colon cleansing is that its narrows down the chances for an individual to catch colon cancer. The cancer which is related to colon is reduced if colon cleansing is performed at regular basis. This happens because all the bacteria and toxins that have been accumulated and are clinging to your colon are flushed away for good with the help of colon cleansing.

We all have weight issues and who would not want to lose weight along with having a perfectly detoxified body. This can happen if you get hold of the colon cleansing as whenever the colon is cleansed the metabolism of your body starts to work more efficiently. With an effective metabolism your body will also respond to the food you eat in a more successful manner and will not allow it to bloat or expand over time.

Last but not the least, colon cleansing also provides protection against all sorts of seasonal diseases by making your immune system more strong and productive. This happens because all kind of acidic substances are removed from the body and this also keeps the blood clean plus healthy only allowing your body to guard itself from such random inflictions. It is safe to suggest that the body will work with more strength and use all its optimality to help the human mind, body and soul to replenish and grow.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that even after all this discussion some of us might find it hard to go for such radical therapies. Many of us might have questions like is it even safe? How expensive is it? Are there any side effects?  And other such question but it would be safe to suggest that you if you want to give your body the time to breath and rejuvenate than colon cleansing is the best of ways for it. It might not be a cup of tea for everyone but those people who can work through this should defiantly opt for it.

The Oxygen Colon Cleanse

The Colon is one of the most important parts of our body. It is also known as the large intestine and is responsible for completing the digestion process in an individual. It is an organ of the gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for absorbing fluids, forming stools and eliminating stools. It is actually the last part of the digestive system in most vertebrates. The colon is basically responsible for extracting salt and water from solid waste before it is eliminated from the body.

Keeping the colon good and healthy is extremely important for an individual. It is important to understand that the colon can be exposed to many types of dangerous diseases including colon cancer. Colon cancer does not really have a specific cause and it can only be found out once it has reached an advanced stage. For the correct bowl movement and to avoid constipation and other such actions, it is extremely important to keep the colon healthy.

In order to keep the colon healthy, people need to understand how important colon cleansing is.

What Colon Cleansing Does

The main responsibility of colon cleansing is to get rid of the unwanted toxins and pollutants and to detoxify the colon to make it more effective and make it flush out the digestive system and get the body back into balance. It is important to realize that colon cleansing should only be done by a certified physician because only they are aware of the most effective ways of colon cleansing.

There are different methods of colon cleansing including the following:

  • A fasting regiment. This should always be done after consulting a doctor. These allow water which helps the cleansing process. It gives time to get rid of impurities.
  • Another way is juice fasting. Juice have nutrients to keep your body going giving you time to expel the toxins naturally.
  • Detox diets in which your diet would consist of purified water, organic food, vegetables and little meat.

While most of the ways of colon cleansing are herbal methods, there are some other ways which can also be tried. One of the most popular and effective ways for colon cleansing is with oxygen.

The Process

The process, in simple words is taking oxygenation to remove all the fecal matter that may be lingering on inside your colon or the large intestine. It is a quick process that helps prevent problems such as constipation. It is surprising to know how little people know about oxygen colon cleansers even though they are so effective!

The oxygenation can be taken from capsules containing ingredients such as the citric acid and ozonated magnesium. The requirement with taking these capsules is to drink lots and lots of water. This is because the water along with these capsules will actually help build a chemical reaction inside your intestinal tract. This chemical reaction causes oxygen to flow through your body. This process actually helps the breakdown of fecal matter as it goes. There are different ways of using colon cleansers to improve their effectiveness. For example, if you drink lemon water it might help cause a chemical reaction in a shorter time.

There are many advantages of using colon cleansing with oxygen rather than using the herbal methods.

One advantage is that the oxygen method is very simple and convenient. One can easily take the capsule at any time of the day, preferably before you go to sleep. You do not need to do anything extra other than drinking plenty of water. Many people prefer this way because it is not only convenient but it can also be done privately without informing anyone else. (Many people who have colon issues feel embarrassed to talk about them with other people)

Moreover, the oxygen that the capsules produce in the body has the ability to travel to most of if not all the organs inside your body. The increased consumption of water or perhaps lemon water will help the oxygen travel to most parts of the body. Hence oxygen cleansing will not only help your digestive system but also have a positive effect on the rest of the body.

Yet another important advantage of oxygen colon cleansing which cannot be forgotten is the role of bacteria from the colon. Mostly all other cleansing methods will help remove bacteria from the colon. These bacteria might actually not be very bad for the colon infact the body might need it. With oxygen colon cleansing, the bacteria from the colon is not removed. This actually means that the beneficial bacteria will survive even after oxygen cleansing. This is one of the major advantages of oxygen colon cleansing.

The oxygen cleansing method is one of the most effective methods of colon cleansing. Another advantage of this method is that there are no side effects involved with this process. All other measure taken to cleanse the colon come with some side effects, but the oxygen colon cleansing method does not have any side effects. It is extremely safe for the body and should be used by all those people who have colon related problems.

One of the most popular oxygen colon cleansers is Oxy Powder which is available all over the market. It is a scientifically formulated natural cleanser used to safely prevent the problems of bloating, constipation and other such problems with the colon.

The level of oxygen being released is tested through the titration test which goes on for about 18 hours. The aggressiveness of the oxygen being released will be measured by the electromotive force. Most of the cleansers have an electromotive force of about 1.23.

Before getting a hold of the oxygen cleansers it is important to note that there are so many cleansers available in the market but it is not necessary that all of them are equally good. It is recommended that you ask your doctor and use the prescribed capsules. The doctor will prescribe you the most appropriate cleanser after having a look through your medical and family history and past experiences.

Colon Cleansers

Colon cleansers are used for the process of colon cleansing. Colon cleansing is often given the name of colon irrigation. It is the process of emptying the colon or the large intestine and removing off the feces inside. There is a wide range of products available for this purpose and one has to be careful regarding which one to choose. Some people also prefer using the natural or the herbal methods of colon cleansers. The natural colon cleansers can be easily made at home and come without any adverse side effects which will discourage colon cleansing or colon irrigation. Colon cleansers can be used by anyone on their own without having to go to a doctor.

When does the need for colon cleansers arise?

In cases of severe constipation, which is not curable otherwise, colon cleansing is often recommended by doctors. Colon cleansers mostly tend to increase or frequent the bowel movement, causing the constipation to subside.

Colon cleansers will also be required prior to a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is a test which involves the insertion of a tube with an attached camera into the rectum. This is for observing the colon for possible signs of any problems. For effective results of the colonoscopy, it is important that the colon be cleansed off of all the feces and waste materials.

Colon cleansers are very popular in the form of dietary supplements and certain pills. These medicines also include powder form agents which are to be mixed in the water to be taken before the colon cleansing process. It is important to note that these all are drugs after all and will have side effects no matter what. Colon cleansing medications should only be used if proper colon cleansing diet plans have failed to work. Many people who have constipation start using these colon cleansers regularly to ensure easy passage of stool but over a certain period of time they tend to rely on these medicines. Hence, it is not so recommended to use these colon cleansers frequently. The digestive system as a whole should work properly on its own in the natural manner.

How to make colon cleansers out of natural ingredients?

People wanting to perform their colon cleansing using the natural methods look for recipes on the internet. Sometime if colon cleansing is recommended to you by a doctor for some specific problem causing reason, then it is most probable that the doctor will himself give an appropriate recipe. But if one is undertaking the process on their own, then there are a number of sources which provide the homemade colon cleansers recipes. These recipes will work on your colon very mildly and without any adverse side effects. Using natural products won’t make you lose anything at the end.

Using Bentonite clay is a very popular method. This is edible clay and has to be mixed with juice or water and consumed on a regular basis. Vegetable soup is also very effective as a colon cleanser. This would also contain minerals and nutrients needed for the active working of the digestive system. You can use jalapeno, cucumber, garlic, parsley and even lime. Lime juice itself is known to do the job of a colon cleanser. Added with ginger juice, honey and warm water, it will be a perfect recipe to wash off any impurities present in your digestive system. Also, teas especially the green teas have always had a positive effect on the working of our bodies. They are also known to act as cleansers.

Can herbal colon cleansers be the better choice?

People using these natural methods will also prefer using the herbal products as they believe these to be close to being natural in some ways. An herbal colon cleanser should be used once or a twice a year for perfect results and for staying healthy. There are many herbal colon cleansers available in the market but be sure to check their ingredients. Ask for the ones which contain probiotics as they will help keep your intestine’s natural flow. Using colon cleansers can wash away the natural bacteris which is present inside the colon and the large intestine. To keep it all balanced you should consume high fiber and colon cleansers with probiotics. But herbal colon cleansers come with their own drawbacks. Sometimes they are not just ineffective but can cause even more problems inside your body. Many herbal manufacturers of the colon cleansers have been known to use cheap and inappropriate ingredients in their products.

For example Psyllium is a very common ingredient of herbal colon cleansers and even laxatives. People consuming psyllium through these herbal products have had side effects such as labored breathing, skin irritation and even contraction of the esophagus which can also be referred to as choking. This is just an example. There are many other ingredients which cause harmful effects and should be avoided. It is far better to use the normal colon cleansers available with reputable recognition so you are sure of the fact that you have chosen a well trusted product. Many colon cleansers have become popular and are regarded as safe. These treatments are considered to be more close to nature as unlike the harmful ingredients in the herbal products, they don’t interfere with the natural bacteria and probiotics present inside the digestive system. Digest it, super colons cleanse, oxypowder and digestive science has been the high ranked products for colon cleansing. Many of these also promise to refresh and detoxify your colon as well as producing easy bowel movements.

You should not always be discouraged towards using herbal colon cleansers. In many instances they will work better than any other medication but they might also prove harmful in some. And the ingredients present in them might not suit everyone likewise. Some people may react while others won’t get affected at all. Hence, you should consult a doctor before deciding upon anything and even if you don’t want to, there is plenty of information on the net regarding colon cleansers and this way you will always be able to choose the best and the safest product for yourself.

Colon Cleanse – What is it?

Colon cleanse is the removal of feces and some unwanted toxins from the colon or the large intestine. This is to remove the intoxication within the intestines which develops over some time. A colon cleanse is mostly prescribed at times when the patient has to be prepared for tests such as colonoscopy. The process of colon cleanse can be oral, involving intake of certain things by mouth, or even performed through a set of practices. This type of colon cleanse is called the colon irrigation or the colon hydrotherapy and it involves the insertion of a tube into the colon which releases a stream of water inside.

Why does the colon get intoxicated?

Our diets comprise more of saturated fats, and oily greasy foods. Lack of proper eating habits is the primary reason for this. And the presence of such materials in our diet only makes it difficult for them to be processed and digested by our natural system.
There is not sufficient amount of fiber in whatever meals we take daily. The fiber helps the colon to process waste easily. Any waste that is not processed properly will start to gather up inside the colon and cause problems.

Lack of daily exercise

The process of colon cleanse has always been very debatable among many doctors. As with all other things that exist in the medical world, even colon cleansing is said to have both benefits and harmful side effects. Now obviously, any unnatural or unusual interference with the natural mechanism of the body’s system will lead to certain harmful effects. For the purpose of eliminating the waste materials from our intestines, our digestive system has been programmed to do so and it is best to leave the work to whatever system has been designed for that specific purpose. The reasons why colon cleanse is not encouraged by many doctors as a way to detoxify your colon but only when you need to be prepared for colonoscopy can be harmful in nature. It increases the risks of body dehydration and causes bowel perforations. Some doctors have also claimed that colon cleanse increases risk of infection. If you are going to undergo a colon cleanse just for the sake of your intestines’ detoxifying or relief from constipation, then try solving these problems with other conventional methods. Only in extreme cases should you opt for a colon cleanse.

Things you need to be careful about before having a colon cleanse

You need to notify a doctor if there are certain medicines that you have been taking or have had any medical problems previously
The equipment used for the process of the colon cleanse should be disposable or sterilized properly. There are high chances of infection spreading through tools used by doctors.
Many colon cleansing products contain some herbal ingredients which you might be allergic to or which might cause a few health related problems for you
As hydration is one of the most common side effects of colon cleanse, make sure to drink water regularly to avoid the dehydration.
There are many benefits of colon cleansing which will encourage you to go for it.

Mentioned below are some of the few;

It improves the overall health and will fight against digestive problems and other temporary problems such as unnecessary cramps in the abdomen and constipation.
It not only removes toxins from the colon alone but also from the blood and the entire digestive system.

It is known to reinforce the contractor movements of the colon.
Once the digestive system has been cleaned, it will work more efficiently an smoothly
It reduces the self poisoning of the digestive system and ensures proper regular bowel movements

There are few chances of having problems such as constipation, hard stools, indigestion
As you experience less medical problems, this also strengthens your immune system
The amount of mucus produced in the body is decreased after a colon cleanse
Improvements in memory are experienced after the body has been cleaned of all the toxins

Improvements on the digestive system will lead to easier weight loss. This is also the result of the absence of unwanted feces materials in your colon.
The colon may house certain parasites such as fluke worms or tape worms. The colon cleanse washes away these parasites from the colon.

A clean colon means better absorption of nutrients from the food that you eat
Provides a sense of satisfaction and you know how your body works better.

Side effects of cleansing the colon

Colon cleanse may offer a lot of benefits but at the same time it comes with a multiple of negative side effects which are important to be looked at or discussed with your doctor before you decide to undergo the process of colon cleanse. Some of these might include;

  • Drowsiness and fatigue. This is one of the most common symptoms.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting/nausea
  • Allergic reactions
  • Urine discoloration
  • Dehydration
  • Intestinal cramps and even chronic diarrhea in extreme cases.

These side effects, if occurred on a temporary basis, may not become so much of a problem. But if they persist for longer time periods, you will have to consult your doctor as some may not be reversed. There are a number of ways on which you can avoid these side effects of the colon cleanse. As it is known to cause dehydration, you can increase your intake of water as long as you are having your colon cleansed and even a few days after that. Broths, soups, stews and any kind of juices will also serve the purpose. Also take probiotic supplements.

The process of colon cleansing washes out even the good bacteria present inside the body so you would need to keep your balance of them. Make sure that you thoroughly check for the ingredients of the colon cleanse products. Many of them use herbs which will cause allergies. Getting to know about them will make you avoid them even before you consume them.

Facts and Causes of Colon (Colorectal) Cancer

Cancer, a malignant tumor, is the hysterical growth of abnormal cancerous cells in the body. These cells are also known as malignant cells and are developed in certain tissues of the body and get their name likewise, such as lung cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia (blood cancer) and so on. There is not a known specific reason for the causation of cancer. Anything that leads to the abnormal growth of cells in any part of the body is known to cause cancer. Studies have shown that the factors causing cancerous cells are produced more from environmental reasons rather than genetic. One of the many forms of cancer is the colon cancer or the colorectal cancer.

What really are the colon and the colon cancer?

Colon cancer develops in the colon or the rectum. Sometimes, there are two separate names given to the disease depending upon where it started its development; the colon cancer and the rectum cancer. The colon in our body is about six feet long. It is the final part of the digestive system and carries the leftover waste to the rectum. The basic function of the colon is to absorb the water and salt from the waste and to act as a storage place for the solid waste material. The wall of the colon combines several layers together. The development of the colon cancer cells begins in the innermost layer of the colon wall. The seriousness and the spread of the colon cancer can be determined by how deeply entrenched the cancer has developed within the layers of the wall.

The development of the cancer inside the colon may take several years. It usually begins with a small tumor inside the colon which is the abnormal growth of the tissue. This tumor may be benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). This tumor is called the polyp, and the chance of this polyp turning into cancer depends on the type of the polyp that has developed; Adenomatous polyps are known as pre cancerous and have the highest chance of turning into a cancer where as the inflammatory and the hyper plastic polyps are not pre cancerous but they can still develop cancer if formed inside the ascending colon.

Dysplasia is also a condition where colon cancer can be developed. This is inside the lining of the colon or the rectum and this is where abnormal cells can be formed which develop into cancer. Dysplasia comes with a higher chance of colon cancer development in those people who have suffered from ulcer related problems or the Crohn’s disease for a longer time period as this causes inflammation on the colon lining.

When colon cancer develops as a polyp, there are chances that it might also develop cancer in other parts of the body. The cancerous cells in the walls of the colon can start developing in the blood vessels as well as the lymph vessels. This is how cancer starts forming into other areas.

The colon cancer is classified into further types and it is important to know that more than 95% of the colon cancer developed is the form of the cancer type known as adenocarcinomas.

What are the causes of colon cancer?

Though there has been no specific reason found for what exactly causes the colon cancer, there is only one way which can affect the development of the abnormal cancerous cells; the gene mutations. These can either be inherited or completely acquired. Some people inherit changes in their genes, such as the changes in the ACP gene, which helps to keep a check on the development of cells. Any interference with this, which might be genetic in nature, can cause abnormal growth of the polyps in the colon and after some time any one of the polyp is sure to develop into cancer. The abnormal growth of the polyps is because of the elimination of the “stop” on the growth of the cells by the ACP gene. Other DNA mutations that cause colon cancer are said to have been acquired during a person’s life rather than having been inherited. But no specific cause among these has been identifies for the colon cancer development.

What are the risk factors associated with the development of the colon cancer?

Age is the factor which takes into account all the possibilities. There is a greater chance of being diagnosed with colon cancer after the age of 50.

If you were previously dealing with the growth of large polyps in your colon or intestine, you should have yourself checked regularly. As mentioned above, the growth of polyps will result in the development of colon cancer. Also, if you have had your colon cancer treatment completed and it has been completely cured, you are still at a chance of getting it again.

You are likely to be diagnosed of colon cancer if you have fought with IBD. Dysplasia, which causes the colon cancer, is developed in people who have had problems of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). People having Inflammatory Bowel Disease face prolonged inflammation of the colon. IBD also includes the Crohn’s disease.

Though family history of colon cancer plays very little role in the chances of the occurrence of the disease, yet there are cases where people diagnosed of the colon cancer have had family members who had suffered from this cancer. Even a family history of developing adenocarcinomas polyps, which are known to be developed into cancer, should be a worry.

Your diet also becomes one of the risk factors of the colon cancer if you have been consuming too much of red meats or processed meats. Also, meals that are warmed up in the microwaves or that are cooked at high temperatures, form chemicals inside which are known to cause cancer.

People with less physical activity and obesity have higher chances of developing cancer. Recent studies have also proven that smoking also leads to cancer. Long term smokers are more at risk of digestive cancers such as the colon cancer.

Colonoscopy

What is a Colonoscopy?

Life is not perfect. At some points of time, people do face different kinds of problems. The important thing however is how to deal with these problems and how to look for the most effective remedies.

Our body is made up of millions of cells and hundreds of parts and organs both internal and external. All these parts are interconnected and work together as a unit. Therefore it is not difficult to understand the fact that if one of the parts fails, then there will be a problem for the individual. Although all parts are interconnected, yet there are some parts of the body that have certain important responsibilities. For the correct functioning of the human body it is essential that these parts perform their duties with full responsibility.

In this article we are going to talk about colon, a very important of the human body, a brief summary of what colon disease or colon cancer is and then we will basically focus on colonoscopy and discuss how it works.

The colon is also called the large bowel. It is an organ of the gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for absorbing fluids, forming stools and eliminating stools. It is actually the last part of the digestive system in most vertebrates. The colon is basically responsible for extracting salt and water from solid waste before it is eliminated from the body. The colon does not play an important role in the absorption of food and nutrients however.

Good colon health is essential for the correct bowel movement and proper digestion. If a person experiences a problem in their colon, they should contact their doctors immediately. Colon can be exposed to different types of diseases and cancer as well. Colon cancer’s cause has not yet been figured out but it is believed that it mostly occurs on older people. The symptoms of colon cancer can be many. Some of the most common ones include, bleeding along with the stool, unexplained nausea etc.

Treating Colon Cancer

To treat colon cancer and other similar color related diseases, colonoscopy is used. Colonoscopy can also be used to study and observe what kinds of risks is a colon exposed to and what situation it is in.

Colonoscopy is basically a procedure where by a medical examiner usually a gastroenterologist uses certain mechanisms to evaluate the inside of the colon (the large intestine). The device used to evaluate the inside of the colon is a colonoscope which is a four foot long flexible tube. It is as thick as person’s finger and it has a source of light and a camera attached to its tip to see how the colon is performing.

The procedure of colonoscopy is a bit complicated and many people find it painful and embarrassing. It is usually done by inserting the colonoscope into the anus and then is advanced slowly into the rectum. It is taken as far as the Cecum which is the first part of the colon. Colonoscopy can measure the entire length of the colon.

A person has to lie on his left side with their knees kept as up as their chest. The doctor will then give them a pain reliever or a sedative because the process is a bit painful. Thereafter, the colonoscope is inserted into the anus. Air will be inserted into the colonoscope to provide an effective view and suction may be used to remove any waste fluid or stool.

It is a fact that one the device is being taken out, careful examination is necessary. Tissue samples can be taken out and photographs can be taken to examine the colon in a more effective manner.

Before the test a person needs to be fully prepared, both mentally and physically. A person needs to completely cleanse their intestines and drink lots of fluids including soft drinks, coffee, tea, water, strained fruit juices and sports drinks etc. your medical examiner according to your health situation and medical history will provide you with the set of instructions that you may need to follow. You might also have to stop taking certain medicines a few days before the test is conducted. You might also be told to stop taking solids for a few days.

Let us now discuss the reasons of colonoscopy.

Colonoscopy will be basically done to examine the colon in case one of the following situations occurs:

  • A very severe pain the abdominal part of the body
  • Changes in bowel movements or irregular bowel movements
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abnormal changes including rise of polyps
  • As a follow up of a past finding e.g. polyps or colon cancer
  • Anemia due to low iron
  • In case of blood coming out with the stool
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Screening for colorectal cancer

So colonoscopy is done to basically examine the large intestine and to remove the defects or problems in the colon. The doctor will be able to remove polyps and later test them in laboratories for signs of cancer. Hence removing polyps is a good way of prevention from cancer.

Samples of certain tissues can also be taken through a colonoscope to study any harmful effects. Moreover the camera attached to the colonoscope can actually take pictures and give the doctor a perfect idea of what is going on inside the colon. This will enable him to diagnose problems more conveniently and find the best solution to the problems of colon.

It is recommended that when a person reaches the age of 50, colonoscopy should be done and after that it should be conducted every 10 years to check for possible errors in the working of the colon and for the removal of colonic polyps before they become cancerous.

Before conducting any type of test every person needs to know the details of what they will be going through. It is very important that a person conducts a detailed research and looks at both the pros and cons of a situation before actually getting into it.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

The inflammation of the colon or the inner lining of the large intestine is often given the name of colitis. This word is also commonly used for ulcerative colitis. This is a condition where inflammation and ulcers start forming in the colon. Ulcers inside the colon are produced when constant inflammation has made the cells of the colon lining dead.

There are a number of ways in which colitis can be diagnosed;

  • X-ray of the colon
  • Stool samples tested in laboratories
  • Blood culture
  • Barium enema
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

Depending on the stage of the colitis condition, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or other relieving medicines. Nut these medicines come with their own side effects. So the best way to deal with the colitis problem would be to avoid fatty and greasy food and include more fiber containing meals in your diet. These changes in dietary plans will also help prevent any signs associated with the inflammatory condition of the colon even for those people who haven’t yet been diagnosed of anything. Other methods of prevention will also include exercising on a daily basis, quitting smoking if you’re fond of cigarettes, reduce intake of red meat and take lots of water.

Another inflammatory condition of the colon is the Inflammatory Bowel Disease or the IBD. This condition refers to two diseases which cause inflammation in the colon or the lining of the large intestine. These two diseases are known as the ulcerative colitis and the Crohn’s disease.

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease of the colon where the inner lining develops inflammation and becomes red and swollen. In extreme cases, open wounds may also form inside the large intestine or the colon which are the ulcers. This will cause frequent diarrhea as the colon tries to empty itself regularly. Blood may also sometimes appear in the stool.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease affects areas of the large and the small intestine mostly but it can also affect other parts of the digestive system. The inflammation which is caused by the Crohn’s disease gets much deeper into the lining of the intestines.

Mentioned below are a few reasons which might be the cause of the Inflammatory Bowel disease;

Family history might play an important part. More than 15% of the people diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel disease have a family history of IBD

Genetic defects may also trigger negative reaction with certain bacteria
The immune system, which protects the people against diseases, may not act in the appropriate way and cause inflammation when it overreacts to something in the digestive system

People who don’t exercise regularly have a higher chance of developing such problems
Insufficient amount of fiber in the diet makes it difficult for the colon to function. This is also one of the reasons why lower intakes of fibers develop constipation.

Stress, anxiety or any other psychological or emotional factors may interfere with the proper and healthy working of the body’s system

Recent studies have proved that smoking leads to diseases associated with the colon
Presence of infection or a dangerous bacteria may also be the cause of inflammation
People leading such lifestyles as mentioned above or having such similar problems are at a higher risk of developing inflammatory diseases. Many other colon related problems are associated with old age and are only worried about when a person crosses the age of 50 but with the inflammatory problems of the colon like the IBD, this may even develop in people who are young. Sometimes, the development of the inflammatory bowel disease may show no signs at all. Therefore this problem is often hard to diagnose.

Usually, the doctor takes a blood sample of the patient and checks for possible signs of infections and inflammation. With severe symptoms, the doctors may even conduct a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy which makes it easier for the problem to be detected. If the affected area is not reached through the endoscope of the colonoscope, the doctor might make the patient drink barium. This portion will then be seen as white on the x-ray results, making it easier for the doctor to see swollen parts. A biopsy is sometimes also done which involves extracting out a small part of the tissue and then testing it for any chances of infection or inflammatory related signs.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Symptoms

It is highly recommended that you undergo any of these tests if the signs or symptoms of inflammation start showing. Many of these signs might include;

Presence of blood in the feces. Many a times this blood might be invisible, meaning that it is present inside the stool but will not be visible to the naked eye. This is where the stool samples help. Stool tests will detect any presence of blood inside.

  • Constant pain in the lower abdomen
  • Frequent cases of diarrhea or constipation
  • Signs of anemia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • Nausea and even vomiting in severe cases
  • Loss of weight without any changes in diets
  • Tiredness and fatigue

Ulcers or inflammation on other parts of the body. The symptoms of the inflammatory bowel disease are not only restricted to the internal colon or the large intestines. In severe cases, these signs might start showing up on other parts of the body.

For treating the inflammation in the colon or the intestinal tracts, the doctors are likely to prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs which decrease the swelling. In cases of chronics ulcerative colitis, there might be a number of ulcers (open painful wounds) which would have developed inside the colon or the lining of the intestinal walls. These will cause unbearable pain and will keep bleeding inside. These can also be removed through surgeries. But with Crohn’s disease, a surgery might not always be the best way out as this is likely to occur again. Many home remedies and solutions are provided on the internet for those who wish to treat their inflammation through natural things or who are allergic to certain medicines. These solutions will usually involve a therapy including juices etc.

Colon Health – What’s a Colon (and What’s It For)?

Colon Health – What’s a Colon (and What’s It For)?

The colon forms the largest part of the large intestine, the ‘tube’ through which digested food passes. That food is joined by digestive juices, including stomach acid and bile, on its route through the digestive system. That semi-fluid mass, known as chyme, isn’t all just waste, though. A great many things happen to it on its way out of the body first.

The partially digested material that exits from the small intestine still contains a great deal of water, liquid that the body conserves naturally. The muscular and chemical action inside the colon helps extract that water from the chyme along its journey, a trip through the approximately 5 feet of colon inside the abdominal cavity.

Extracting that water isn’t just a matter of efficiency, though. Proper water balance is vital to a huge variety of the chemical reactions in the body, as well as playing an essential role in internal temperature regulation. The colon does much more than just pack digested food into feces for elimination.

While that water is being extracted other important processes are taking place. There are over 700 species of bacteria that live in the ‘gut’, many of them playing a crucial role in digestion and health. Among other things, they help produce vitamins K and Biotin (a B-type vitamin).

The colon absorbs some of those products of the digestive processes of the bacteria themselves, then passes them back into the bloodstream. The blood then distributes those nutrients to tissues throughout the body. This is just one reason that antibiotics need to be taken with care. They can suppress not only harmful bacteria but the useful ones, too.

Those bacteria are also responsible for creating the gas (flatus) that sometimes upsets your stomach or fouls the air. As they consume undigested polysaccharides usually in the form of human-indigestible fiber we eat, they produce that gas. The gas itself is not, contrary to popular thinking, mostly methane or hydrogen sulphide (‘egg’ gas). It’s chiefly nitrogen and carbon dioxide, with trace amounts of those other molecules, along with some hydrogen.

When those bacteria break down fiber they’re producing nutrients not only for their own survival, but the vitamins mentioned above. At the same time, they generate compounds that provide nourishment for the cells that line the colon (the epithelium). They also contribute to creating lymphatic cells that form a key part of the immune system.

The chyme, now fully processed, continues to move down the colon by a slow process of muscular contraction called peristalsis. The python-like squeezing and relaxing moves the material ultimately down into the rectum, compacting it and extracting water to form feces. Note, the rectum is the six inch or so ‘tube’ just up from the anus, the opening. The feces are then squeezed out the anus in a bowel movement.

The whole process can take 10-12 hours and, as you can see, involves much more than simply pushing digested food waste through a 2 1/2 inch diameter tube. It’s a necessary partner in total body health.

Colon Health – What Are Ulcers?

The term ‘ulcer’ means, in the most general sense, a lesion anywhere but more often in the digestive tract. It’s often used, though, as a shorthand term for the phrase ‘peptic ulcer’. The latter isn’t a condition of the colon – the major portion of the large intestine – at all. It affects the stomach usually, but may also occur in the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine), or even the esophagus (the section leading from the throat or pharynx to the stomach).

General ulcers or lesions that occur in the colon are typically part of other IBDs or inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. By contrast, peptic ulcers are sores in the stomach or duodenum lining where the holes cause contact between its contents and inner tissues.

That contact can be both painful and lead to secondary complications. Here’s how…

The digestive system is not, strictly speaking, a closed system with a hole at each end. The epithelial tissue lining it evolved mechanically and biochemically into what is known as a permeable membrane. That is, materials can pass through it selectively, with water and nutrients or vitamins produced in the digestive tract moving into the body.

However, when stomach acid (a type of hydrochloric acid), bile, and actual semi-digested food pass through the stomach or intestines, pain and disease can result. Toxins, for example, then pass directly into the bloodstream rather than being moved down and eliminated. Looking at the other direction, when blood passes out of the surrounding tissues and into the digestive system, the result is pain and abdominal cramping, bleeding, and bloody stools, with resulting anemia.

Both circumstances have serious health consequences and ulcers are the lesions that make such inappropriate movements of material possible. They are the ‘holes’ through which the substances pass.

The causes of ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s and other diseases involving colon lesions are not known. However, in the case of peptic ulcers in the stomach there is very strong evidence about the cause: infection. Once thought to be the result of stress and diet (in the form, for example, of spicy foods), research now strongly favors the view that bacteria are the culprit.

In fact, one organism in particular is thought to be the main culprit in most peptic ulcers: Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori. It lives and multiplies within the mucous layer that lines the stomach and small intestine, a substance that provides it with a ‘good’ growth medium.

There are other possible causes, however, such as overuse of pain relievers. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as aspirin (Bayer, and others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve) can produce lesions in the stomach lining or small intestine.

Buffering helps but coated aspirin, for example, only delays dissolving the drug so that it occurs not in the stomach but in the small intestine. That can benefit some, in particular by changing the site at which the drug begins to act, but some individuals are more sensitive in the intestine than the stomach.

Short-term, occasional lesions are a normal occurrence, even when unpleasant, and the body typically heals itself within a day or two. Long-term problems, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, or chronic peptic ulcers require professional diagnosis and treatment. See your physician for guidance.

Colon Health – The Colonoscopy Procedure

A colonoscopy is a medical procedure that uses a long, thin tube with a tiny camera at the tip to visually examine the large intestine. It’s used as a diagnostic tool in the investigation of a wide variety of possible digestive system conditions, such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and colorectal cancers.

The procedure actually begins several days or more before the actual exam. Because fecal matter and certain fluids can obscure the view inside the colon, physicians recommend several preparatory actions.

Limiting intake to a liquid diet – clear broth or juices, tea, coffee, water and more – for a few days is a must. In some cases laxatives and/or an enema are prescribed. Fasting is a common requirement for up to 24 hours prior to the actual colonoscopy. Diabetics and others with special medical conditions are given more particular instructions.

During the exam, which may be mildly uncomfortable but can be pain-free when done correctly, the physician inserts a tube about the size of a finger through the anus and into the rectum. As the tube is moved gently upward the tiny video camera allows for a real-time visual inspection. The images are transmitted to an external monitor where they can be viewed during the exam and recorded for more careful analysis later.

The examining doctor will be on the lookout for ulcers (lesions) that are a sign of Crohn’s or other inflammatory bowel disease. Common precursors to colorectal cancer, such as the distinctive mushroom-shaped polyps that form on the lining, are also sought.

The colonoscope also has tiny scissors at the end that permit taking a tissue sample (biopsy) or for clipping off polyps, if the physician deems it warranted. They are also sometimes outfitted with a tiny laser that allows cauterizing tissue.

The procedure generally takes 20 minutes to an hour, but there are lingering effects, chiefly due to the preparatory laxatives and the sedative given just beforehand. Patients commonly feel bloated or experience flatulence afterward. Rest and relaxation, sometimes with short walks to promote passing accumulated gas, are typically recommended.

Because there is a very small risk of rupture during the exam, in part because the tube may contact polyps, ulcers, or other unhealthy tissue, bleeding is possible. A tiny amount of blood in the stool during a bowel movement shortly after is not generally cause for concern. If fever occurs or if the bleeding persists or is ample it’s advisable to seek medical attention quickly.

A colonoscopy is a highly valuable diagnostic tool but it may, and often is, only one part of a suite of tests to investigate colon disorders. Your physician may recommend, in addition, a CT scan, a barium and X-ray regime, or other procedures. Discuss your options thoroughly beforehand.

Colon Health – Probiotics Are Good For You

We don’t normally like to think of it but humans have a symbiotic relationship with many tiny organisms. ‘Symbiosis’ means two or more species interacting, sometimes very closely, and gaining mutual benefit from the relationship. ‘Closely’, in this case, actually means: inside our bodies.

The intestinal flora that live inside our colon is a good example. There are over 700 different species of bacteria inside the human gut, most of which are beneficial. They are essential to healthy digestion and even help produce some vitamins, along with aiding the immune system. They also lower the pH of the intestine slightly, which inhibits the growth of some pathogens (harmful organisms) like salmonella.

That balance of good bacteria to potentially harmful bacteria can get out of whack, though. Antibiotics, stress, and other factors can lower the amount and ratio of helpful digestive bacteria. When that happens, probiotics – supplements or food additives that contain some of those species – can be a useful health aid.

Dannon Activia, for example, has become a well-known brand/type of yogurt that goes beyond the usual benefits of that food. It contains additional probiotics that have a clinically proven, and real-world tested benefit. Less intestinal gas and cramping, firmer stools, and other benefits have been well documented. Another probiotic, the now-common Lactobacillus acidophilus ‘additive’ (an ingredient in many probiotics) has long been known to aid in treating constipation.

In some instances you may see listed among the ingredients of supplements or foods the word ‘prebiotics’. These additives are not bacterial species themselves (i.e. they’re not technically probiotics) but contain ‘food’ for the probiotic species or those that naturally live in the colon.

Prebiotics, like most supplements or food additives, cover a wide range of type and quality and may be beneficial or may be nothing but hype. The only way to know is to research an individual product. The same may be said of probiotics, but here the research is a little more substantial. Major manufacturers with respected reputations have more well-known and trustworthy products.

The two most common prebiotics on the market are whey and FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides).

Whey is the liquid ‘waste’ left behind when cheese curds are separated off during cheesemaking. However, what is waste in one circumstance can be a very useful product in another. Whey has been consumed for centuries by cultures around the world and has known health benefits. That’s not surprising, since it’s chiefly water, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, lactose, fat, and water-soluble vitamins. Naturally, those with lactose intolerance should avoid this type of prebiotic.

FOS is a type of sugar that humans don’t possess the enzyme needed to break down. Fortunately, bifidobacteria in the colon do have that ability. One of those 700 naturally occurring species mentioned, this tiny organism aids digestion and so ‘feeding’ it can be beneficial, in the right amount. It’s found naturally in tomatoes, bananas, honey, barley, and other foods. Their growth can also be encouraged by the intake of fiber.

While no miracle cure, probiotics can be useful in the treatment of diarrhea, vaginal yeast infections, and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). As with any significant change to diet or when attempting to home-treat illness, it’s always wise to consult with your physician.

Colon Health – Keeping Your Colon Healthy

It’s a myth that 90% of disease starts in the colon. But it’s still true that this section of the large intestine is one major factor in overall health.

Making up most of the five feet or so of the large intestine (along with the rectum, the final six inches), you can help keep yours in top shape with proper diet. That means, this is no myth, adequate fiber. Good sources include bananas, oats, and a wide variety of other foods. Supplements (like Metamucil) can help, when not overused.

Another unfounded health claim is that colon cleansing (also known as irrigation, colon hydrotherapy, or a colonic) is essential to keeping it free of toxins. Toxins can build up in the colon, but that occurs as a result of disease, which disqualifies a person from having a colonic anyway. Seek professional medical attention instead.

On the flip side, when health advocates claim that probiotics aid intestinal health, they are right. The popular yogurt variety Activia, manufactured by Dannon, does have clinically tested and real-world proven benefits. There are lots of others, too. Whether in the form of natural foods, food additives, or supplements probiotics either add or encourage the growth of the beneficial flora that live in the gut and perform a vital role in digestion.

There are, unfortunately, some organisms that can live in the colon that are not helpful. Intestinal parasites the world over account for millions of upset stomachs and worse annually. A variety of protozoans (one-celled animals) and helminths (parasitic intestinal worms) can have health effects that range from mild to fatal.

Some of those organisms are thought to play a role in the development of colon cancer. There are many other contributing factors, some of which are themselves produced by bacteria, such as ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and many more.

Less serious conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome, can still produce unpleasant symptoms, even when they don’t represent a serious ailment. Bloating and painful spasms are only two among many. To make matters a little more obscure, as is often the case in health issues, those same symptoms are present in more serious conditions like colitis, diverticulitis, and ulcers.

In order to distinguish one intestinal ailment from another, physicians will often perform a colonoscopy, frequently in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures. In a colonoscopy, a long tube is inserted into the intestine to allow for direct visual examination.

That exam and its results can be supplemented by X-rays taken after ingesting or flushing with a barium liquid (a mildly radioactive compound that provides a contrast dye for the images). To check things out from the other end, doctors may perform an endoscopy, including using a very clever pill (called a capsule endoscope) containing a tiny camera that takes photos on its way through the digestive tract.

Fortunately, you can do a great deal to judge (and promote) your own colon health. Proper diet, appropriate exercise, and maintaining a good attitude will go along way toward that, while promoting overall well being. And that’s no fairy tale.

Colon Health – Irritable Bowel Syndrome

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is such a nebulous condition it can be difficult to identify as a distinct illness at all. The most common symptoms are abdominal cramping, bloating and gas, and diarrhea or constipation. With such normal signs as that – which can occur with dozens of other, more serious conditions – it can be hard to diagnose IBS.

Yet, physicians and researchers regard this syndrome as among the most common disorders and often distinguish it as much by what it is not, or by the absence of signs of other diseases. Unlike more serious ailments, like Crohn’s or colitis for example, IBS does not produce inflammation of the colon. Neither does it increase the odds of colorectal cancer, as those diseases can.

Because the symptoms themselves are so varied – indeed sometimes contradictory, such as alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea – it is difficult to narrow down the presence of IBS. However, it is a chronic condition – occasional cramping or gas is completely normal and doesn’t merit a special name – and so it receives a specific tag.

As semi-digested food (called “chyme”) moves into the colon, where water is extracted and helpful bacteria create vitamins B and K, the intestinal muscles contract to keep it going. We’re normally not aware of that contraction, called peristalsis. In IBS, those contractions can be spasmodic and stronger than normal, causing food to move too quickly or too slowly. The first often leads to diarrhea, the second to constipation.

There is research to suggest that some individuals are hypersensitive to that movement. They sense more clearly the stretching of the bowel produced by gas or bloating. That can lead to stress that tends to amplify the ill effects. Since women are more prone to IBS, some studies believe that hormones play a role, as well, particularly since symptoms often worsen during the menstrual period.

Since diet plays a role – some experience IBS after consuming chocolate, milk, or alcohol – it is possible to modify the symptoms in some cases. Reducing intake is an obvious method, but diet alterations help, too. Eating yogurt, for example, which contains organisms that break down lactose sugars, can help counter the effects of drinking milk for those who are lactose intolerant.

Controlling stress is often more difficult than simply an act of will. Education and counseling can provide techniques to reduce the anxiety and feeling of being overwhelmed that are typical of the condition. That often leads to a reduction or even elimination of the symptoms of IBS.

Nearly one in five American adults are believed to suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome yet, because it is so easy to confuse with normal stomach upsets, fewer than half seek professional diagnosis and treatment. The condition itself is not particularly serious and certainly not life threatening. But the overlap in many of the symptoms warrant a visit to the physician if they persist. That will help individuals discover if a more serious underlying condition is at fault.

Colon Health – How to Judge (and Promote) Your Colon

Colon Health – How to Judge (and Promote) Your Colon Health

Scare stories and hype abound in health articles and have for generations. It’s no shame to want to help people, or sell them products and services. Quite the contrary, both sides benefit from good information and good deals. But there are few areas where there is so much that falls only a little bit short of con games, if not outright lunacy.

The best way to protect yourself against scams, and yet still get the health information and goods you need for optimal well being, is to arm yourself by informing yourself. That is nowhere more true than in judging your colon health.

It’s often said that 90% of disease starts in the colon. Unfortunately for those who say it, scientific research doesn’t back up the claim. Yet, it remains true that your digestive system is central to your overall health. Having it work properly is one key to good health.

“No news is good news” is a valid rule of thumb to follow when it comes to judging colon health. Nearly everyone will suffer mild stomach upset, constipation, or diarrhea at some time, particularly as he or she grows older. But if you have no persistent bouts that is one good sign.

But, like any rule of thumb, it’s not a universal law, just a guideline. It helps to have regular checkups that may involve endoscopy, colonoscopy, X-rays, and other investigative techniques, especially if symptoms of digestive disorder last for more than a few days in the absence of a cold. Sometimes that time frame is shorter if you experience rectal bleeding or bloody stool. More than a day of that generally signals something that needs to be looked after. If the amount of blood is substantial, seek attention immediately.

There is a wide range of colon conditions that can lead to other common symptoms – abdominal cramps, diarrhea, excess gas, and others. Just listing colon illnesses could alone fill an article. You can minimize the odds of contracting one through proper care, which will also help you focus on how to judge the results of your efforts.

While the benefits are sometimes overstated (aren’t they usually in health issues, the flip side of scare tactics?), adequate fiber is good for digestive health. Intake of 20-35 grams per day of this material that is actually indigestible does promote intestinal health. People lack the enzyme to break down the polysaccharides in fiber, but gut flora do it pretty well. That may be ironic, but it’s well founded by hundreds of studies from reputable sources reported by the American Cancer Society, the Mayo Clinic, and others.

A proper diet extends well beyond that and contributes to colon health as much as it does to general well being. But, no matter what the latest diet fad may suggest, the amount consumed is still an important component of any plan. Portion control to keep total calories to a level appropriate for your body type and metabolism is vital. No matter the details, energy consumed minus energy used = energy left over that gets stored as fat.

There’s no magic to judging and maintaining good colon health. Eat right, exercise appropriately, and try to keep your stress level moderate or lower. Pay attention to the signs of trouble and seek professional guidance when they persist. Just like your grandmother always told you.

Colon Health – Diverticulosis, The ‘Pouch’ Disease

The title is a little misleading. Diverticulosis is a condition in which a person has developed diverticula – small pouch-like structures – in the digestive system. Normally, they’re harmless and may persist for long periods, even a lifetime. It’s only when they become infected or inflamed that diverticulitis, the actual illness, occurs, generally to about 15% of those with diverticulosis.

The symptoms include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and a radical change in bowel habits. The pain is often severe and may come on suddenly, usually in the lower left side of the abdomen. Vomiting is possible and constipation and/or diarrhea are common.

Those symptoms result when those marble-sized pouches rupture or become infected. The causes of the change are not known but several factors that make it more or less likely have received careful study. Simple aging is one risk factor, since it tends to produce both a weakening in portions of the intestine as well as changes in elasticity of the bowel. However, there are several risk factors that are within our control.

Lack of exercise and the often associated obesity contribute to the chances of developing diverticula, and for them to change in a harmful way. But the major cause is thought to be diet, in particular too low an intake of fiber. Fiber helps lend bulk to stools while at the same time absorbing water to keep them soft.

When the condition is allowed to develop, there are several secondary complications that may result from diverticulitis. A blockage may occur, caused by scarring. Abscesses are possible when pus collects in the pouch. But the most common and most serious, at least when the condition progresses, is peritonitis.

If a diverticulum ruptures, the contents of the digestive system spill into the abdominal cavity, which is lined with tissue called a peritoneum. The resulting inflammation is called peritonitis. When this happens, immediate care is a must, usually surgery. The toxins can poison the body in a short period, marked by symptoms such as spike in the white cells and an associated high fever.

Fortunately, that is far from a foregone conclusion. Changes to the diet – the addition of fiber mentioned above – are the simplest method of prevention and ‘treatment’. A temporary liquid diet, typically only for a few days, is another effective alternative. Antibiotics may be recommended to prevent or treat infection.

In more severe or advanced cases, corrective surgery may be required. In some cases that involves what is known as a primary bowel resection, a procedure in which the affected area is removed and the bowel sewn back together, minus that part.

What is required can, of course, only be determined by a professional diagnosis. That is typically as painless (and harmless) as having a CT (computer tomography) scan. A radiologist directs a series of computer-controlled X-ray bursts at the abdomen and the results are recorded and analyzed. A CT scan may also be performed as part of treatment, in order to guide a physician to drain any abscess that has occurred.

To head all that off, be sure to exercise regularly in an age-appropriate way, eat plenty of fiber, and drink plenty of fluids. Fiber supplements (such as Metamucil or Citrucel), properly used, are also beneficial.

Colon Health – Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is one among many digestive disorders in which the lining becomes inflamed. That inflammation produces ulcers (lesions or open sores in the lining) that produce abdominal pain and diarrhea. It is often progressive and leads to even more serious health consequences.

The cause(s) of the disease are not known, but an abnormal immune system response to a bacterium (known as MAP or Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis) is suspected. Despite the lack of a clear cut culprit several risk factors are known. Diet and stress can affect the course and impact of the disease but have been ruled out as causes.

Genetics is near the top of the list, not surprisingly given the immune system response aspect of the disease. Roughly 20% of those with Crohn’s have a parent or close relative similarly afflicted. Those with an affected sibling are 30 times more likely to develop Crohn’s than the general population. Unlike many diseases, Crohn’s tends to occur in younger people, usually between the ages of 20-30.

The intestinal inflammation of the disease produces diarrhea by causing cells to secrete large amounts of salt and water. The colon is unable to absorb all this fluid (part of its natural role in the digestive system). The result is diarrhea.

One effect is swelling of the intestinal tissue and scaring as the ulcers heal. That results in less efficient movement of the chyme (the semi-fluid mass of digested food) through the colon. The effects are felt as cramping and abdominal pain. In more advanced or severe cases nausea and vomiting are common. Bloody stool is common, as well, as moving chyme causes inflamed tissue to rupture, allowing blood to flow into the colon. The ulcers can become enlarged, moving deep into intestinal tissue, worsening the problem.

The net result, apart from the pain, is often reduced appetite and unhealthy weight loss. The symptoms lead to a desire not to eat, but the weight loss is exacerbated by less efficient digestion of food. In extreme circumstances such low intake and absorption of calories and nutrients leads to many secondary consequences.

Diagnosis is fairly straightforward. Blood tests check for anemia and during a colonoscopy a physician can see the distinctive signs directly. A biopsy (tissue samples that can be removed during the procedure) are used to confirm the presence of Crohn’s.

A less invasive procedure known as a flexible sigmoidoscopy uses a lighted tube to examine only the lower two feet of the colon and rectum while a colonoscopy involves inserting a tube all the way into the intestine. It takes only a few minutes to complete.

A physician may recommend a barium enema as well. A safe, mildly radioactive barium fluid is introduced into the colon where it provides a contrast dye for an X-ray. The fluid coats the lining of the intestine to create a silhouette of the colon and rectum. In a variation, X-rays can also be taken if the patient ingests the barium fluid.

A more modern diagnostic procedure, known as capsule endoscopy, involves swallowing a tiny camera in the form of a pill, which makes its way down the digestive tract. It takes photos along the way, which the physician examines.

Unfortunately, there is no cure known for Crohn’s disease as yet, but drug therapy to reduce inflammation is a common treatment. Surgery has helped many afflicted by removing ulcerated tissue (sometimes sections of the bowel), reducing symptoms. Unlike ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s infected tissue may occur in spots with healthy tissue in between, not throughout an entire length. That allows for a more targeted repair of affected tissue.

Colon Health – Constipation, Causes and Treatments

Constipation – an inability to have a bowel movement, frequently from excessively hard stools – is a normal condition when it occurs rarely or for short periods. Treatments range from doing nothing and allowing the condition to self-correct to use of mild laxatives or a change in diet.

Normally, bowel movements occur 2-3 times daily (typically fewer as individuals age) and without undue strain. When constipation becomes chronic, severe, or long-lived it signals a more serious health issue. The body has to eliminate waste from digestion and the inability to do so leads to numerous complications, with accompanying discomfort or worse. Fewer than one per week is usually a sign of serious trouble.

The causes of constipation are too numerous to list in a single article. They can be anything from inadequate fluid intake and improper salt balance to diverticulitis (an inflammation of the colon due to infection, producing pouches on the outside of the intestine). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is another common cause. Tumors or colorectal cancer can be a cause of severe constipation. Medications or supplements, such as codeine or iron, can be the culprit, too.

Fortunately, treatments are equally wide ranging.

In many cases, as suggested above, time is all that’s required. The body can normally re-balance fluid and salt levels. Constipation resulting from a habit of resisting bowel movements will disappear with a change in habits. Changes in diet, such as consuming additional fiber or cutting down on caffeinated beverages, can restore normal bowel movements.

Increasing fiber is easy by consuming more of the right kinds of fruits and vegetables. Oat bran is justly well-known as a good source of fiber. Fiber adds needed bulk to stools as well as naturally absorbing water that helps soften them. One common mild side effect, though, may be increased abdominal gas. The bacteria present in the colon partially digest the fiber that humans can not (for lack of the right enzyme). Their resulting digestion produces flatus, or gas.

Laxatives, whether in the form of supplements or as pills or liquid, should be taken with care and only for short periods. Saline laxatives (like Milk of Magnesia) are one type. Stimulant laxatives (Ex-Lax, and others) work by stimulating the muscles that produce bowel movements. Apart from the risk of the other extreme – diarrhea – excessive reliance on laxatives can lead to irregularity and dependence. Bowel movements, in so far as possible, should occur naturally except for brief periods of needed treatment.

There are exceptions, such as prescription laxatives like sorbitol and polyethylene glycol (Miralax), which are regarded as safe for long term use. But these are intended for treating medical conditions, not for relief of constipation that can be eliminated by changes in diet and lifestyle.

As with any severe health condition and proposed treatment, consult your physician for professional advice. Self-treatment that results in temporary relief is fine for temporary conditions. Long term self-treatment may mask, to a point, more serious underlying disease that warrants a professional diagnosis.

Colon Health – Common Intestinal Parasites

Over 700 bacterial species inhabit the human colon, many of which are essential to good digestion and overall health. There are some intestinal parasites, though, that are at best benign and at worst potentially lethal.

The majority of those divide into two groups: one-celled organisms (called protozoans) and parasitic worms. They generally enter the gut as a result of consuming inadequately cooked or poorly washed food, or contaminated water. Once there, they find the mucous lining on the intestine a conducive growth environment and they reproduce.

The result is frequently an infection that, left untreated, can lead to harmful health consequences. That can run the gamut from unpleasant abdominal cramps with constipation or diarrhea to nausea, colitis, or even blindness.

E. vermicularis, for example, (a common roundworm) can induce sleep disturbances and infects about 200 million people worldwide. The adult male worms are about 2-5 mm in size (about the length of a pencil lead) and the females 8-13 mm. Females can lay up to 15,000 eggs. Fortunately, most die within 3 days and infection is often cured spontaneously by the immune system within 4-6 weeks.

Giardia, or G. lamblia, can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This pear-shaped protozoan is extremely common, infesting more than 2.5 million individuals in the U.S. alone annually, according to the CDC. It can be spread by contact with feces or, because it’s water borne, by drinking contaminated water. It’s even resistant to the chlorine in normal tap water. Incubation generally takes 1-2 weeks, after which symptoms begin to appear.

Hookworms like A. duodenale can cause anemia. Along with its cousin, N. americanus, this parasite is less common today in developed countries than in the past, thanks to improved plumbing and better sanitation. Still, it is prevalent enough to be the second most common helminthic (parasitic worm) infection in the U.S.

One of the reasons is that, unlike many others, they can infect the host through the pores or hair follicles; they don’t require a break in the skin or ingestion. Within about six weeks, the parasite has attached itself to the intestine where it feeds. Symptoms may not appear for long periods, but the hookworm acts like an anticoagulant, leading ultimately to blood loss and hence anemia. In advanced stages it can produce mental retardation in children.

E. histolytica may cause intestinal ulcers, fever, or peritonitis. It’s unfortunately very widespread, producing up to 50 million cases per year worldwide, of which 100,000 or so are fatal. After malaria, it’s the most second leading cause of death from protozoan infection. It acts to disrupt the mucous lining in the intestine, resulting in colitis, ulcers, and possible bloody diarrhea.

Fortunately, all of these can be guarded against with proper health procedures and most are readily treated, once diagnosed. Once infected, many antibiotics are effective. Naturally, prevention is always the best option. Food should be thoroughly washed and/or well-cooked. Keeping the immune system healthy and practicing good colon health can minimize the odds of disease in the first place.

Should I Irrigate my Colon?

The Pros and Cons of Colon Irrigation

 

Colon cleansing, irrigation, colon hydrotherapy… thеrе are mаnу names fоr tһe procedure. They аӏl comе dоwn to thе ѕamе thing. A fluid іѕ introduced іnto tһe colon tһrougһ the anus in order to flush out the large intestine. Advocates ѕomеtіmеѕ claim it’s among thе moѕt healthful procedures around. Critics disagree, ѕome ѕауing it’s positively harmful. What dоes research say?

29. colon-cancer-symtoms

29. colon-cancer-symtoms (Photo credit: TipsTimes)

The practice haѕ beеn researched fоr decades аnd tһe general consensus iѕ thаt colonics һave few or nоnе оf tһe health benefits claimed. Whether it dоеѕ actual harm depends, not surprisingly, оn personal circumstances, including how thе procedure іs carried out.

 

In thе usual setting, a person dons а loose fitting, hospital-style gown and lies оn a table. A therapist thеn opens the anus wіth а disposable speculum and inserts а plastic tube. Fluid, sоmеtimеѕ purified water, other times water with salts or othеr compounds, іѕ put gently uр thrоugh thе rectum and іntо tһe colon. The resulting mixture thеn drains оut througһ the tube and іs disposed of hygienically.

 

There is little scientific evidence on the benefits of Colon Irrigation

 

Even foӏӏоwіng best practices, though, tһere iѕ lіttӏe scientific evidence fоr thе claims somе advocates make. Colons verу rarely bеcome impacted witһ feces and normal digestive processes dо а ѵеrу good job оf eliminating waste material. When tһаt process breaks down it іѕ thе result of disease tһat is not caused bу the impaction nor cured bу a colon hydrotherapy.

 

The basic hypothesis оn which tһe practice іs based is equally faulty. Studies do nоt support tһе notion that ‘toxins’ arе retained bу or build uр in tһe large intestine tһаt саn only be removed by colon hydrotherapy. The body haѕ ѕeѵeraӏ natural mechanisms for preventing that, оr curing іt іf it were to happen.

 

Of course, intestinal diseases dо occur – ranging frоm Crohn’s disease to colorectal cancer. But thе presence оf thеѕe conditions disqualifies а person frоm beіng a candidate fоr irrigation anyway. No reputable therapist wiӏӏ knowingly give ѕuch а person а colonic.

 

Still, done properly, іt iѕ а ѵery low risk procedure аnd mаny experience benefits. Those benefits mау be chiefly psychological (a result of ‘feeling clean’) but tһey аre nо ӏesѕ real fоr аӏl that. Extreme care іs warranted, however. An improperly performed colonic саn do harm еvеn wһen it doeѕn’t асtuaӏӏy rupture anything.

 

Clearly, thе digestive system hаѕ evolved to work nоrmally аѕ а one-way process. Introducing water uр tһrоugh tһe anus сan flush out some material, but іt is material tһat wouӏd hаve соmе оut anyway. It is alѕo not a proper treatment for intestinal parasites, аѕ ѕome practitioners оf alternative medicine claim.

 

Some individuals wһо undergo tһe procedure cаn experience abdominal discomfort, or еѵеn nausea, for ѕeѵerаӏ hours afterward. In rare cases, it’ѕ роѕѕіblе to causе kidney damage if, fоr example, a laxative ӏіkе sodium phosphate іѕ uѕed іn thе irrigating fluid.

 

Like any therapeutic procedure, іt’ѕ aӏwaуs advisable to check wіtһ yоur physician beforehand. Then, bе guided bу professional medical advice, not the claims of ѕоmе Internet article… including tһis one.

 

What is Colon Cancer?

How many people does Colon Caner Affect in Australia?

Colon cancer affects оvеr 100,000 people рer year. Over 40,000 additional new cases оf rectal cancer arе diagnosed annually. Combined, thе two cancers form a group called colorectal cancers.

Age-standardised death rates from Colon and re...

Age-standardised death rates from Colon and rectum cancers by country (per 100,000 inhabitants). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like aӏl cancers, tһe сauѕes arе knоwn оnӏу incompletely. Many begin аs benign clumps of cells called polyps, wһiсһ resemble small mushrooms іn tһе intestine. Some оf thеm go on tо develop into carcinomas. Healthy cells becоmе misshapen and reproduce toо rapidly untiӏ tһеу form tumors.

In mаnу affected individuals symptoms mаy bе non-existent fоr quite ѕоmе time. When tһey do develop, thеу’rе frequently in tһe form of changеѕ in bowel movements, such aѕ constipation or diarrhea. That maу be accompanied by abdominal pain, or tһе pain mау occur bу itself. Persistent gas оr cramps аrе anоtһer sign.

Colon Cancer Symptoms Worsen Over Time

Over time, symptoms maу worsen to include rectal bleeding (often а side-effect оf straining durіng periods of constipation, but mаy result from lesions) аnd bloody stool. Unexplained weight loss саn occur, aѕ weӏl аѕ excessive fatigue. Of course, since аny of thеѕе symptoms cаn occur witһ dozens, even hundreds, оf оtһеr diseases and conditions, only a professional diagnosis can determine whеthеr they’rе due tо colorectal cancer.

Like mоѕt cancers, risk factors arе diverse and numerous. Increasing age ups tһe odds оf nеаrly еѵеry form. More than 90% оf colon cancers arе diagnosed іn persons оѵеr 50. Certain diseases оr conditions, lіke Crohn’s or colitis, increase tһе odds of secondary medical problems ӏikе colon cancer. Genetics plays a role, witһ ѕоme families more prone tо cancer than others. Having diabetes increases tһе odds оf developing colon cancer.

But there аrе aӏsо a great mаny controllable risk factors.

Diet and Colon Cancer

Diet сan affect уour chances оf developing colon cancer. High fat, low fiber diets are strongly correlated with increased odds of cancer оf manу types, including colorectal. Whether eating red meat and processed meats increases thе odds is ѕtiӏl а ѵery uncertain and controversial position аnd research іs ongoing оn tһe subject.

What іѕ known іѕ tһаt individuals іn Western Europe аnd thе U.S. arе mоre likeӏу to develop thеm and the effect is strongly correlated wіtһ diet. Exactly wһat aspect оf tһаt diet iѕ tһе culprit іѕ ѕtill unknown, though.

Related tо both diet аnd exercise, obesity ups the odds оf colon cancer, аs іt dоeѕ with а wһoӏe range оf diseases. The odds оf tһe cancer bеing fatal aӏѕо rise wіtһ increasing levels оf obesity. High alcohol consumption іs bоth related tо that statistic аnd аn independent risk factor, as iѕ heavy smoking.

Fortunately, therе аrе mаnу thorоugh and rеlаtiѵеӏy low discomfort screening tests fоr colon cancer. A stool blood test іѕ completely painless, ѕіncе it’ѕ non-invasive. A colonoscopy may be mildly uncomfortable tо ѕоme individuals. A barium enema, follоwеd bу an X-ray regime саn detect polyps or cancerous tumors оvеr a certаin size.

Like аny cancer, early detection аnd treatment is botһ the ӏеаѕt painful аnd offers tһe beѕt prognosis. See уour physician tо examine yоur options.

What is Colitis

Colitis

Colitis refers tо anу condition wһісh results іn an inflamed colon. There іs Ischemic colitis, Crohn’s, еѵеn chemically induced colitis (often as a result оf medications), and mаny more. Still, tһе word iѕ frequently uѕеd as а shorthand phrase for ulcerative colitis, оnе оf tһe morе common types of inflammatory bowel disease, as tһе category іѕ known.

English: High mag. Image:Cryptitis intermed ma...

English: High mag. Image:Cryptitis intermed mag.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crohn’s Disease

There are bоth similarities аnd differences with Crohn’s disease, wһiсh іt resembles. Crohn’s often exists іn isolated spots witһіn tһe intestine. Ulcerative colitis tendѕ tо occur in continuous sections. UC aӏsо affects tһе innermost lining of tһe large intestine. Crohn’s begins аt anotһеr layer.

Symptoms оf ulcerative colitis include rectal inflammation аnd ѕometimеs bleeding (when it occurs іn tһе ӏаst ѕix inches оf tһе large intestine). Pancolitis, bу contrast, affects tһе entire length оf thе colon and produces bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. It maу aӏѕo include excessive аnd unusual weight loss, fatigue, and night sweats.

Colitis, раrtiсuӏаrӏy thе ulcerative variety, cаn bе a ѕeriouѕ condition leading to еvеn mоre ѕerіоuѕ complications.

Toxic megacolon, for example, produces а paralyzed colon thаt prevents eliminating gas or having bowel movements. Waste material that isn’t removed сan cаuѕе the colon to rupture, introducing toxins іnto tһе bloodstream аnd causing peritonitis, ϳuѕt tо namе twо possibilities.

Such an event requires emergency surgery, but evеn ӏesѕ severe tһough ѕtіlӏ ѕеrіоuѕ secondary effects аrе not uncommon. A perforated colon, severe dehydration, liver disease, оr inflammation оf thе skin оr joints are only a few of tһе possibilities. While іt dоеsn’t сauѕе colon cancer directly, IBD increases thе odds somewhat, with tһe risk rising tһe longer the condition persists. Even so, onӏу about 10 percent of IBD sufferers gо on tо contract colon cancer.

Like іtѕ ‘cousin’, Crohn’s, thе disease produces ulcers in tһe colon, wһich account for many оf thе symptoms listed. Also likе that оtһеr condition, tһе cause(s) оf tһe disease аrе not wеlӏ understood. Some studies suggest tһаt a bacterium оr virus is the culprit and that tһe disease occurs whеn tһe immune system overreacts to fighting it.

Like Crohn’s, heredity plays a large role іn wһо іs lіkely to acquire tһе disease. The risk іs muсh higher for tһose wіtһ а close relative affected bу the condition. Also ӏіke Crohn’s, іn contrast tо mаnу diseases, іt tеndѕ mоrе оftеn tо occur аmоng younger individuals, generally іn thеіr 30s.

There are ѕeverаl diagnostic procedures for determining wһеtһеr аnу IBD іѕ present. Blood tests check for anemia оr signs оf infection. A colonoscopy – а procedure tһаt usеs а lighted tube inserted into the colon thrоugһ tһе rectum – aӏlows a direct inspection of the surface. It аlѕо mау be usеd to capture tissue samples tһat can be analyzed later. Those samples can, fоr example, be checked fоr granulomas, wһісh occur іn Crohn’s but not ulcerative colitis. X-ray diagnosis іѕ аlѕо used, witһ the patient typically consuming оr bеing flushed wіtһ a barium compound to make diseased areas visible.

Treatments range frоm drug therapy tо surgery tо removing ulcerated tissue – somеtіmеs іn spots, оther times in entire sections. Anti-inflammatory drugs likе Sulfasalazine оr Mesalamine arе effective fоr treatment of symptoms, thоugһ theу often havе undesirable side effects. Corticosteroids mаy bе prescribed fоr short periods.

How Diet Affects Your Colon

Diet and Your Colon

Your colon dоeѕ muсһ more thаn just expel digested food. It’s a major contributor to your оѵerаӏӏ health. You cаn һeӏp keep it healthy іn turn tо perform thаt job bу adopting thе right diet.

Villous Adenoma of the Sigmoid Colon

Villous Adenoma of the Sigmoid Colon (Photo credit: euthman)

You’ve рrоbаbly heard tһаt eating fiber helps, and thеre’ѕ a lot оf evidence for that. Like anу topic іn nutrition аnd health, thеre аre аӏwaуs ongoing studies аnd tһey don’t aӏwaуѕ agree. But sоmе things arе knоwn wіtһ high confidence.

Among thеm іѕ tһаt indigestible fiber рrovidеs tһе material tо һеlp kееp thаt waste material (called chyme) moving weӏl thrоugh the colon. It alѕо prоvіdes bulk that is nоt toо moist and nоt tоo dry, tо create feces tһаt are easy to eliminate. That helps prevent constipation оr diarrhea.

Fibre and Your Colon

Fibre’s role in reducing colorectal cancers, one оf tһe top two оr tһree most common types in Australia aссordіng tо tһe CDC, іѕ ӏеѕs clearcut. There аre mаnу studies tһat suggest, however, tһat waste that remains in the large intestine tоо long increases tһе odds оf ѕucһ cancers. Fiber helps kееp things moving аnd helps regulate tһe moisture content of stools. The whоӏе process normalӏу takes 10-12 hours, producing twо to thrеe bowel movements рer day. Infrequent bowel movements are аѕѕосiated with sеverаl health problems.

How dо уоu gеt tһat fiber? The Australian Cancer Society recommends fіvе servings pеr day of fruits аnd vegetables, likе bananas and green beans, аnd mаnу types оf nuts аnd wһоlе grains, ӏіkе oats or flax seed. The total sһоuld bе between 20-35 grams реr day.

Folic Acid keeps your colon functioning well

Folic acid or folates, a type of B-vitamin, arе аnother helpful component оf a diet tһat helps keeр уour colon functioning well. Studies have linked inadequate amounts tо colon cancer. For tһosе individuals wһо dоn’t gеt enougһ іn fortified foods, supplements arе а good source of additional folic acid. About 400 micrograms (0.4mg) iѕ rіght for most individuals.

Milk, аӏоng witһ othеr foods rich іn calcium and Vitamin D, are ѕtiӏl аnothеr helpful component of a colon-healthy diet. Sources оf tһоѕе аӏѕo include fortified cereals аnd orange juice, аs wеӏl aѕ dark green vegetables, almonds, оr yogurt. Vitamin D aids іn tһe absorption оf calcium. Among оtһеr usеfuӏ roles, calcium lowers thе chance of creating colon polyps, common precursors to colorectal cancers.

Many studies suggest that reducing tһe percentage оf fat іn tһе diet саn heӏр reduce yоur chance оf colon cancer and contribute tо oѵeralӏ colon health. Fat іs morе ‘calorie dense’ and obesity haѕ beеn linked wіtһ mаnу types оf cancer. But, tһеrе iѕ fat аnd tһеn thеre is fat аnd ѕоmе fat, bоtһ the rіgһt amount and type, iѕ vital for proper nerve function аnd other biological processes. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, arе a big boon tо a proper diet. Saturated fats, on tһе оtһеr hand, increase уоur odds of a variety of health problems, ѕuсh аѕ diabetes.

Drink plenty of Water for your Colon

Last, but far frоm least, don’t forget tһat water! The colon (along wіtһ other organs) wiӏl extract tһе amount yоu shоuӏd retain, but it uѕeѕ some. Optimal amounts range frоm 6-10 8oz glasses реr day (or thе equivalent), depending оn your body weight. Remember, caffeinated beverages don’t count towаrd thе total bесausе they act as а diuretic.