Digestive Function - Colon Problems
Excerpts from "Coming Clean" by Steven Horne.
An excellent book - highly recommended! Easy to read, easy to understand!
The stool can also tell you how well your digestive tract is working. If there are undigested food particles in the stool, then you need to work on digestion. Are you chewing your food thoroughly?
Do you have sufficient hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to break food down properly? If not, Proactazyme or Food Enzymes may help. Stools should not float, either. If stools have a greasy sheen and bob around in the toilet like a cork (which makes them very difficult to flush) then you are not digesting fats properly. Your gall bladder may not be functioning properly to emulsify fats (make them water soluble) for absorption or you may be deficient in lipase enzymes. Try taking Hi-Lipase with meals. Fat Grabbers may also be helpful. Which also brings us to the subject of stool color. Bile is a major contributor to the color of one's stool. Healthy bile is a yellow color and colors the stool a light brown. When bile is toxic it becomes green or dark green, which makes the stool darker in color. Dark brown or blackish colored stools can be a sign the body is dumping toxins from the liver through the bile, particularly if the stool has a strong odor.
If the stool is clay-colored (very light), then the gallbladder may be obstructed or the liver is failing to produce sufficient bile. In either case, support for the liver and gallbladder may be needed.
Colon Transit Time
Of course, specific foods, such as chlorophyll and red beets, will also affect stool color. One can use the coloring effect of these foods to determine one's colon transit time. Transit time is the time it takes for waste material from the food we eat to exit the body. Optimally, the body should eliminate any waste material from our food within 18-24 hours of consuming it. Most North Americans have a colon transit time of 72 hours or more, which means the waste material sits in the intestines too long.
To see what your colon transit time is, try eating some red beets and see how long it takes for the red color of the beets to show up in the stool. Also, see how long it takes before no more red color appears in the stool. If the red color shows up and disappears within 24 hours, you are in good shape. If it takes longer, you have a slow colon transit time is a good indication of the need for a colon cleanse. (See Chapters Five and Six.) If you have red in your stool and have not been eating beets, you probably have bleeding in the colon or rectum. See a doctor at once to find out what is happening.
We all know that waste material is supposed to smell, but it is not supposed to smell that bad! I'm not suggesting that the stool is supposed to smell sweet, it just is not supposed to smell rotten. If the stool has a really foul odor, then something is rotten, and it's not in Denmark, it's inside of you! Foul belching, gas or stool odor is a sign that food is decomposing in your digestive tract. Foods residues are supposed to be eliminated before they start to decompose not after.
If the food is decomposing inside of you, then you're absorbing all of that toxic material released from the decomposition process; and that's not a pleasant thought, is it? I assure you that it's not good for your health, either.
Proteins are usually the worst offenders when it comes to creating foul odors -ever smell a rotten egg or piece of fish?
So, foul odors are usually a sign that you are not digesting proteins properly. Hydrochloric acid or enzyme supplements (like Protein Digestive Aid [PDA], High Potency Protease or Food Enzymes) whill be helpful in breaking down proteins properly. However, general poor digestion and elimination, as well as toxicity will contribute to foul odors. The Chinese Anti-Gas Formula is a good combination to take to reduce gas and odors by improving digestion and elimination. Liquid Chlorophyll is a good supplement to take to reduce odors caused by cleansing programs.
In the next chapter, we'll learn about the basic cleansing tools we can use to detoxify the colon and return it to optimal health. However, it is important to stress again that if you are bleeding from the colon, suffering from chronic diarrhea or have other persistent colon problems, get a medical checkup and find out what you are dealing with. Don't assume that colon cleansing is going to automatically solve every problem you have with the intestines. Be informed about what is happening in your body so you can make informed choices about what is best for your health and monitor the health of your colon regularly to help maintain optimal health.
When the colon isn’t working efficiently, many problems can result. Here are some of the major ones.
In the case of diverticulitis, the colon wall weakens forming diverticula, which are little pockets that push out into the side of the bowel. New fecal material passes by the old material, which lodges in the pockets to rot and irritate the colon. Mucilants and absorbents soften this material and pull it out into the bowel for elimination.
Ballooning or Atonic Colon
The colon may also swell or balloon and lose muscular tone. This makes the bowel sluggish. The elimination pattern is slow but regular. To help resolve this problem stimulant laxatives irritate the bowel wall causing an increase in peristaltic action. This restores tone to the bowel wall. Stimulant laxatives are also called purgatives.
Extremely harsh laxatives are called cathartics. Rough fiber also helps this condition.
Straining to eliminate hard, dry fecal material can irritate the rectum and give rise to hemorrhoids. Increased water, dietary fiber and mucilants can soften the stool and aid in healing hemorrhoids. Mucilants that cause bulking and softening of the stool are known as bulk laxatives. In the case of hemorrhoids, astringents are also required to reduce swelling and arrest bleeding. They may be applied topically or taken orally. However, when taken internally astringents should also be used with some sort of bulk laxative, since they tend to cause constipation.
Toxic material in the colon can inflame the lining. If you have any doubt that this material is injurious to the body, consider a little baby and how you have to keep its diaper changed. If its bowel movement sits too long against its tender skin, the skin becomes red, irritated and inflamed. The body is pushing it out because it is toxic and irritating. That’s why it’s important for bowel elimination to be quick and efficient. Mucilants and tonics are generally used to aid inflammatory conditions. The combination "Intestinal Soothe & Build" is often helpful. Three specific inflammatory conditions follow.
A disturbance of the intestinal contractions that move food down the intestinal tract. This disorder causes constipation, gas, colitis, diarrhea. Mucilants and tonics.
Inflammation of the mucous membrane lining of the intestines that leads to both diarrhea and constipation.
Chronic inflamed patches that become enlarged and spread in the intestines, typically in the ileum (last section of the small intestine). This disease can result in some diarrhea, lower right abdominal pain, malnutrition and weight loss.
Sometimes muscular spasms in the colon cause constipation. This makes the elimination pattern erratic, with alternating periods of diarrhea and constipation. Constipation more likely during stressful periods. In this case stimulant laxatives are contraindicated and nervine herbs or magnesium will be required . Soft fiber is also helpful.
There are many herbs which aid colon function. Using these herbs to improve bowel elimination is called “colon cleansing” by most herbalists. Colon cleansing not only helps bowel problems, it often relieves respiratory congestion, liver problems, body odor, arthritis, lowered immune response, kidney problems, fatigue, depression, frequent colds and infections, chronic ear problems and a whole host of other conditions.
Here are some general things to expect on a cleanse.
If a colon cleansing program is working, your bowels should begin to eliminate two to three times each day. Essentially, you should have one bowel movement for each (major) meal you eat. The feces should be light, bulky and easy to pass. You may notice knots, ropes or strings of dark black, dark green or dark brown material mixed in with the lighter colored feces. This is not old fecal matter. This is psyllium mixing with acid bile waste from the liver. It is a sign that the liver is dumping toxic waste into the colon. When it combines with the psyllium it produces this ropy or stringy material.
If you’re getting constipated on the program, it usually means that you need to get more fiber in your diet and drink more water so that you can keep the intestinal tract properly lubricated. Occasionally an enema may be required to help move out old material that needs to be eliminated. As long as the feces come out with different, intermingling shades and textures of dark material, or show mucus ropes or knots, then you know that your body is still cleansing. When you have passed nothing but light colored, bulky stools for about a week, the cleanse will be complete.
Gradually diminish the amount of herbs you are taking and be sure to take Bifidophilus to replace the friendly flora in your colon. Also, make the dietary changes necessary to keep your colon working right.
Note from Beatrice Duplantier-Rhea N.D.: An excellent cleansing formula: Tiao He Cleanse
This information is for educational purposes only. Consult with a qualified health practictioner for all serious or persistant illness.
Copyright © 1999 by Robinson & Horne, L.C., P.O. Box 1028, Roosevelt, UT 84066. This material may be duplicated for educational purposes only (not for resale) provided it is not altered in any way.