Colon Health Imbalances

The following are common symptoms of an unbalanced gut. Click Read more below each to find out more and what you can do to address such symptoms.

Constipation

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Constipation is one of the first signs that your bowels are not functioning properly. Constipation is most common in sedentary occupations, poor eating habits, and not drinking enough water. When a person is constipated, the walls of the colon are often impacted with accumulated fecal matter. The inner diameter of the colon gathers buildup of mineral deposits and over time it makes it more difficult for wastes to pass. When this occurs the incompletely digested food gets trapped and becomes fermented. Even when healthy food enters our body, the colon is unable to absorb nutrients because it is blocked. Wastes from the blood, which should normally be drawn into the colon through the colon walls, are reabsorbed by the body along with other toxins. As this prolongs, intestinal stasis often follows, occurring when the muscular contractions, known as peristalsis, can no longer sweep the hardened feces along the digestive canal. A person can have several bowel movements a day and still be constipated. This is because movements are usually smaller and occur more frequently when the inner diameter of the colon is smaller than it should be. When the bowels are constricted, the effect can be diarrhea, which occurs when the large intestine accelerates evacuation to the point that the bowel doesn't have time to remove the water and consolidate the waste into solid stool. Having a colonic alleviates constipation by allowing trapped waste to loosen up and pass through the body. The colon walls are then dilated to promote proper function. Afterwards, a diet rich in fiber will assist with the smooth flow of fecal matter.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a puzzling digestive condition in that there are no physical signs of disease in the bowel tissue. This makes it difficult to determine the causes of the syndrome, even though the symptoms are numerous and varied, including: alternating constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea, flatulence, bloating, and intolerance to certain foods. IBS is one of the most common diseases of the digestive system, affecting up to fifteen percent of the US population. There are currently no laboratory tests to diagnose IBS, however, a collection of symptoms and the clients clinical history can reveal and IBS diagnosis. A common symptom of someone having IBS is that they may have difficulty eating as one may experience nausea, vomiting, headaches, and pelvic pain. This impedes the movement of waste in the colon creating an environment conducive for harmful agents to inhabit the large intestine. Colon hydrotherapy can help one with IBS by improving abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. By flushing out waste matter that is lingering within the body, it allows for a restoration, and balance of the large intestine, enabling beneficial microflora to thrive within the bowel.

Parasites

Diverticulitis

Hemorrhoids

ADD TEXT

It is generally accepted that problems associated with diverticulitis are rooted in the modern diet. Most diets consist of highly refined and processed foods which have a tendency to "slow the flow". For our bodies to mimic a gently flowing stream, a crucial factor is transit time: the time that lapses between eating a food and the elimination of its waste products. If transit time is prolonged, harmful toxins will form. Fecal matter is not successfully evacuated, and remnants collect and harden on the walls of the colon. Over a period of time, the inside diameter of the colon becomes smaller. Greater effort is then required by the colon's circular muscles to move this compacted waste material. This internal pressure causes small pockets, called diverticula, to develop along the colon. Eventually these pockets become infected, causing diverticulitis. This condition includes possible internal bleeding and tissue breakdown. An article in the American Heart Journal (April 1973) forwards this hypothesis: "A high residue diet promotes repaid transit of intestinal content with the passage of large, unformed stools. In contrast, the low residue diet...of modern Western civilization results in prolonged intestinal transit times with the passage of small, firm, formed stools. In the later situation, not only are [certain] pressures in the colon greatly raised, with resultant appendicitis and [bowel] disease, but the intra-abdominal pressures are also greatly raised during straining at constipated stools."

Hemorrhoids are swellings or dilation of the veins of the anus, varicose veins at the lower end of the large bowel or rectum. Basically, there are two kinds: internal and external hemorrhoids. When complications arise, they may be quite painful and perhaps may rupture, causing bleeding. According to some authorities, one third, if not more, of all adults have hemorrhoids in one form or another. In many cases, however, the situation is not such that the person is aware of having them. It's been long known that constipation causes, and worsens, hemorrhoids. In most cases, the mechanism for the hemorrhoids problem is the same as that for varicosities: strain causes increased pressure in the veins, resulting in a ballooning out and breakdown of the vein wall, whether it be the hemorrhoids plexus or the veins of the legs. Conversely, an acute case of diarrhea can bring on an attack of complicated hemorrhoids. Inability to relax the muscles in the anus may also bring them on, and this, in turn, may be caused by poor eating habits.

Good & Bad Gut Bacteria

     Our microbiome is the community of bacterial organisms that live inside our bodies. These bacterial organisms are either good or bad bacteria that alter our gut, and ultimately many of our bodily functions including our immune system, brain function, metabolism and more. When “dis-eases” occur, it is tied back to a weakened immune system, and a poor gut health is often correlated. In fact, most of the microbiome contained in our body is in our gut! We have upwards of 500 different species of microbes, so it is very important to support our microbiome so that it can work properly and efficiently, however, this balance can be difficult to maintain given our preexisting health conditions, our diet, lifestyle, stress factors, and the environmental toxins we take in. By improving our diet, exercising regularly, and taking supportive supplements we are enabling our body to flourish with the right amounts of good and bad bacteria.

     To tend to our inner garden of good bacteria, it is encouraged to feed our microbiome things that are rich in fiber and nutrients, while starving the bad bacteria by avoiding foods that keep them alive. Poor gut health can contribute to intestinal disorders like: IBS, Leaky Gut, SIBO, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and chronic inflammation.

Foods that hinder our microbiome include:

  • Highly processed or packaged foods

  • Refined grains and carbohydrates

  • Added sugars, and artificial sweeteners

  • Refined oils and fats (canola, corn and soybean oil)

  • Antibiotic drugs

  • Hormones, including birth control pills

  • Pasteurized dairy products

  • Anti-inflammatories, including ibuprofen, Advil and aspirin

  • Antibiotics and medications (beta-blockers and antidepressants)

  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers

Super Health Food

Foods that aid our microbiome include:

  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir

  • Fiber rich foods such as celery, apples, avocados, berries

  • Fresh vegetables

  • Fruit such as apples, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, strawberries, oranges

  • Herbs and Spices (Ginger, Oregano, Green Tea, Turmeric)

  • Probiotics or probiotic foods (yogurt, kombucha, kefir, kimchi)

  • Healthy Fats (coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil)

  • Sprouted grains

     You can also help your microbiome by getting good quality sleep, exercising, and practicing stress reduction activities like meditation, and yoga. Doing that alone can drastically improve your gut flora, as studies have shown that our thoughts correlate directly with the state of our gut bacteria.

 

Yoga
Hammock Relaxing
Couple Relaxing On Sofa

For more information about our gut bacteria here is a list of resources:

  • The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health by Emeran Mayer

  • Fiber Fueled by Will BulsiewicZ, MD

  • The Good Gut by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Connenburg, PhDs

  • Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe

  • Brain Maker: the Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter