What is The Colon and What Does It Do?

If you want to be healthy and stay that way, your body must effectively eliminate food and bodily waste!

Your colon . . . together with your lungs, skin and kidneys . . . are designed to accomplish this essential task by elimination of toxins in the intestines, blood and lymph systems. The colon (large intestine, rectum, and anus) is the end portion of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract which extends from the mouth to the anus. It is a muscular tube approximately 5 to 5 * feet in length and has an average diameter of approximately 2 * inches.

The colon starts on the lower right side of the abdomen, where the small intestine empty the contents of digestion (chyme) into the first portion of the colon (cecum). The ascending colon goes up from the cecum to the level of the liver; it then bends sharply to the left and crosses the abdomen as the transverse colon.

At the level of the spleen the descending colon goes down the left side of the abdomen to the pelvis, where it becomes the sigmoid region. The sigmoid colon empties into the rectum where waste material is eliminated through the anus.

The contents of digestion (chyme) are moved along by muscular movements called peristalsis . . . which is initiated by the nerve supply to the colon.

The main functions of the colon are absorption of water and minerals, and the formation and elimination of feces .

The colon contains nearly 60 varieties of microflora or bacteria to aid digestion, promote vital nutrient production, to maintain pH (acid-base) balance, and to prevent proliferation of harmful bacteria. These bacteria provide important functions such as the synthesis of folic acid and valuable nutrients from foods, including vitamins 'K' and portions of the 'B' complex. Bacillus coli and acidophillus comprise the majority of healthy bacteria in the colon along with other disease producing bacteria in lesser numbers.

The process of digestion . . . from ingestion of food to defecation, normally takes between 12 to 36 hours assuming that the colon is fully functional and non-toxic, depending what a person eats. Irregular or infrequent bowel movements can allow toxic residues, from the by-products of undigested foods, to remain in the colon.

A person with a healthy colon will have 2 to 3 bowel movements per day, shortly after each meal taken. Elimination should be complete and easy. The stool should be light brown in color, long and large diameter. There should be no offensive odor and it should break apart with toilet flushing.

This description is the normal functioning of a healthy colon . . .

Unfortunately in this society, it is very rare to find people who could describe their eliminations in the same manner. If you're experiencing a colon related health problem, and you are unable to treat yourself,you may be well-advised to consult with a Certified Colon Hydrotherapist in your area . . .

The colon (large intestine), is the end portion of the human digestive tract. The colon is approximately 5 to 5* feet long and 2* inches in diameter. Its major functions are to conserve water in the body... and to eliminate waste from the body. There are "friendly" bacteria living in the healthy colon which synthesize valuable nutrients such as vitamins 'K' and portions of the 'B' complex. But unfortunately...

The average American does not have a healthy colon!

I'll bet you didn't know that the average person -- one who is neither overweight, nor noticeably allergic to things -- may have 10 to 25 pounds of dried fecal matter in their colon! But that's for someone who is at normal weight for their height and age...

If you're overweight or a highly allergic person... You might be carrying around alot more than that! The typical American diet, consisting of high-fat, low-fiber, refined junk foods... including flour, meat, fat, sugar, alcohol, preservatives and toxins, is the primary reason the colon becomes so unhealthy. The toxins generated from accumulated waste matter in the colon, are responsible for many body imbalances... which can lead to very serious weight and health problems!

Furthermore, the average American diet includes less than a fraction of the fiber foods necessary to promote elimination of toxins from the body. Poor diet, improper food-combining and lack of dietary fiber make maintenance of a healthy colon virtually impossible. As a consequence . .

It is very common to find people with unhealthy and weakened digestive systems! Virtually all weight challenges can be traced to imbalances in the colon/digestive tract as either a primary contributor... or a secondary problem which accentuates slowdowns in other critical body systems, like the endocrine (glandular) system and the circulatory system.

Toxins present in the unhealthy colon can be transported into the circulatory system... And soon the body may be unable to properly metabolize food and fat, or to provide vital energy for living!

A classic sign of colon toxicity in women -- and one of their most common complaints about their figures -- is their potbelly. This condition may be very simple to correct by adopting an improved health regimen. A distended abdomen, may indicate a more serious problem and the presence of a fecal ball in the colon which gathers more and more coatings the longer it remains.

For many people, the signs of a colon dysfunction are so much a part of their everyday living experience that... They don't even suspect their health is in danger!

The colon pictured below is typical to a person who consumes mixed-cooked foods, including the average amount of meat and starches.

ABNORMAL COLON

Do you experience any of these health problems?

Constipation, diarrhea, frequent severe headaches, backaches, fatigue, bad breathe, foul body odor, irritability, frequent mental confusion, chronic skin problems, abdominal gas and bloating, lower back pain, sciatic pain, low resistance to colds and infections, low energy and vitality... These are all indicators, that you may need to cleanse your body's elimination system.

Yes, it can... Waste deposits may remain trapped in your colon for weeks, months or even years, despite following a strict health regimen!

A build-up of old, putrefied fecal waste can block proper digestion, nutrient absorption, waste elimination and provides an excellent breeding ground for germs and parasites . . .

World-wide, it is estimated that 200 million people are infested by intestinal parasites. Parasites are man's deadliest enemy... they kill more people annually than do cancers! Symptoms associated with parasite infestation can include restless sleeping, fatigue, poor assimilation and absorption of nutrients, food cravings (especially for sugars and breads), as well as an inability to feel satisfied after a large meal.

The best way to maintain a healthy colon and good digestion is to: Eat fresh raw uncooked fruit and vegetabes, nuts, grains and seeds. keep animal products to bear minimum if at all.Take digestive enzymes, supplement your diet with quality health products Get good exercise and rest, drink plenty of pure water, Distilled is best..

But this may not be enough... Consider the benefits of Colon Cleansing

The following depicts a healthy colon and the reflex points corresponding to various body organs and health conditions.

NORMAL COLON

Colon hydrotherapy has helped many people to overcome difficult health problems and is helping many more to maintain good health into the future. For these people... Colon hydrotherapy has proven to be...

Detoxing and the Liver

I've come to the conclusion that nowadays treatment follows the premise "the more that is wrong with you, the more you put in." Many clients come with bags full of nutritional supplements, homeopathic remedies and herbal preparations and have been following a diet that I couldn't fault on a scientific nutritional basis and yet they have seen no significant impact on health or real reversal of their condition. Why? - they ask. The answer is simple - if you don't address the toxicity then you can expect no long-term results. In fact, with detoxification - the more that is wrong with you, the less you put in.

There are three questions that need to be answered: how great is the toxic load, how well can it be eliminated and how fast can we safely do this? For although a person may come with specific problems in reality these only reflect varying degrees of toxicity. The more toxic, the lower the vitality and the more severe the illness. In any case history you see a gradual deterioration on all levels; the impairment of the digestive system which may have started with simple food intolerances leading to severe allergies and chemical sensitivities; the gradual impairment of the immune system giving rise to recurrent infection, candidiasis and later parasites; the gradual decline of thyroid activity (closely connected with immune function) where the slight drop in body temperature allows persistent activation of viruses including HIV; poor blood sugar control leading to addictions and later depression and last, but not least, the general decline in fertility.

So how do we handle toxicity and remove it? Detoxification involves firstly getting the tissues to release toxicity and secondly, ensuring its elimination to the outside. The second part of the equation is the most important of all, for you may be unleashing years of accumulated toxins that have been "safely" tucked away (albeit lowering the vitality of the tissues) into the blood stream at one go. This can be a greater toxic insult to the tissues and organs than the small doses received on a daily basis leaving the body in a more weakened condition than before. Unfortunately this is the first mistake that people make. They feel that the greater the toxicity, the more aggressive the treatment should be. The strongest impetus is fasting, next is fruit juice fasting, then fruit and vegetable juices, then just vegetable juices. Next comes foods - first fruits, then vegetables, first raw and then cooked. A recent case I had provides a fine example of the famous saying by the late Dr. Christopher who said "Fasting is like fire - it can either gently warm you or it can kill you."

A 47 year old man suffering with chronic fatigue over the last four years sold his business and decided to take a six week holiday and go on a water fast. His previous history showed that he suffered tonsillitis as a child, later developed food intolerances, hay fever, and recently had gallstones. There was a very strong family history of heart conditions and cancer. Almost immediately following the fast the man was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis, which carries 30% mortality. He underwent treatment but is left with a permanently compromised heart valve where he may require a valve replacement within the next 2 years.

When we unlock such poisons in our system unless we ensure their removal to the outside they will damage the body and leave it vulnerable to infection. We assume that the body detoxifies as it goes along- including toxins from drugs. Yet it becomes apparent, for example, when a patient who has undergone chemotherapy starts to detox that the bone marrow may become depressed in the initial stages as the chemotherapy residue is shifted into the circulation: thus the patient effectively gets a second dose. If this is managed properly no ill effects occur. It is obvious from the case history of the example above that this man was not able to complete the second stage of the equation - elimination to the outside because his liver, a major route of detoxification, was blocked (gall stones).

The more toxic we become, the more "stuck" we are and the treatment must be more carefully managed. The liver is like an exit from a congested freeway. If the exit is blocked, the traffic will jam. If we then decide to send in a bulldozer to shift the traffic you will have a pile up. This is exactly what happens when you detoxify too aggressively without ensuring that the liver can cope with the amount of toxicity released. The liver is like a filter, which can clog and become weakened. This is especially true if you have suffered from glandular fever, Ross River Fever, hepatitis, digestive problems and gallstones.

We need to support the liver in its task of detoxification and there are various ways to do this. You can take specific herbs, which promote the production and flow of bile by the liver (major route of detoxification of drugs and chemicals), but this may not be totally efficient as a good proportion of the toxic bile is reabsorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract. Or there's the coffee enema! Gerson's genius lay in the fact that he recognized the dangers of toxic release into the system and he found a way to deal with it. He was working against time with many of his terminally ill patients and it was vital that he secured maximum detoxification right from the beginning. Gerson found that if he matched the rate of elimination of toxicity from the tissues with its rate of removal to the outside then over a period of time total healing occurred. It was the coffee enema that made this possible.

Gerson knew that the coffee enema dilated the bile ducts and caused a flushing of toxic bile from the liver. (Drinking coffee constricts the bile ducts). He also knew that this was the most effective method for detoxification. Since Gerson's time various active ingredients in coffee have been identified and most interestingly, the palmitates present in coffee increase the binding of toxic elements by the bile 7-fold and this enzyme-enhancing ability in the liver and small intestine does not allow reabsorption of the toxic bile. Most cholerectic herbs do not ensure this complete removal of toxins but only an increase in bile flow.

In order to assist detoxification I often recommend the coffee enema. They guard against a toxic build-up that can make you feel so dreadful and in this way help the body to heal. It is important to remember that the coffee enemas go hand-in-hand with the juices: no enemas - no juices and no juices - no enemas. The juices will remove toxicity from the tissues and the coffee enema ensures its removal to the outside. If used without the juices they will ultimately have a depleting effect on nutrients. The rule of thumb is - 3 juices (3 x 250mls) per coffee enema. If you increase the juices then you can safely increase the enemas.

About the author
Kathryn Alexander, a dietary therapist, is author of the book "Get a Life: the detoxification diet made easy!" ISBN 0-646-31829-2. You may order this through her web site at:
Get A Life.on.net

Kathryn has a practice in Australia and holds regular workshops and lectures on the topic of detoxification. She also runs courses for students and practitioners of natural therapies. Kathryn has completed phases I and II of the Gerson Practitioner training, and she is currently fulfilling her Phase III requirements. She is also a member of the Gerson Institute's board of directors.


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