Mammals have well developed digestive systems that help them derive nutrients from consumed foods and discard the waste produced. The digestive process commences with the action of chewing and production of saliva that takes place in the mouth and carries on up until the ejection of fecal matter from the anus. The movement of waste through the large intestine has caused several concerns as to whether fecal matter left behind in the intestine causes toxicity. This has in turn raised questions as to whether cleansing the colon once in awhile can make the body healthier. Read on to find out more about colon cleansing and what its potential effects might be.
1. The History Of Colon Cleansing
Surprisingly, the practice of colon cleansing has existed since ancient times. Ancient Egyptians believed in the possibility of a concept called auto-intoxication which takes place as a result of leftover fecal matter decomposing within the intestine. Modern studies on the other hand, do not indicate any evidence to support this idea. According to the NCCIH, “There isn’t any convincing evidence that detox or cleansing programs actually remove toxins from your body or improve your health.” Although the theory of auto-intoxication has been disproved by researchers, the practice of colon cleansing continues.
2. What Are The Types Of Colon Cleansing Out There?
There are two main ways by which individuals can get their colons cleansed- that is either by purchasing colon cleansing products or by undergoing a procedure performed by a practitioner.
Colon Cleansing Products
Colon cleansing products can be purchased if needed. These products may include laxatives and herbal teas. The main aim of these products is to flush out the waste that may have been accumulated in the large intestine. Although consuming these products during times of constipation is recommended, ingesting them while having regular bowel movement may cause diarrhea.
Colon Cleansing By Practitioner
Another form of colon cleansing that is performed is colon hydrotherapy or colon irrigation. This process is similar to that of an enema with the exception that a larger quantity of fluid is used. Most medical professionals do not recommend this procedure to individuals with fairly regular bowel movements.
3. Is Colon Cleansing Recommended?
Colon cleansing is definitely not recommended for people who have regular bowel movements. A healthy colon is capable of ensuring that the toxic substances do not re-enter the bloodstream as it has a protective layer of mucous in the inner walls. Apart from this, all healthy colons have friendly gut-bacteria that aid with the process of detoxification. Even if the aforementioned conditions were to fail, a healthy liver is always the best detox buddy.
4. Does Colon Cleansing Have Any Negative Effects?
Colon cleansing can cause severe dehydration and lightheadedness. Colon cleansing using hydrotherapy may cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting among several other side effects. According to the NCCIH, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have taken action against several companies selling detox/cleansing products because they contained illegal, potentially harmful ingredients; were marketed using false claims that they could treat serious diseases; or (in the case of medical devices used for colon cleansing) were marketed for unapproved uses.”
5. What Can We Do To Keep Our Colons Healthy?
While most of us are trying to figure out how to get the toxins flushed out, we seem to have overlooked the fact that by eating healthy in the first place, the necessity to cleanse wouldn’t arise. A daily diet that contains adequate amount of fiber is highly recommended for a healthy colon. The fiber content in food absorbs water as it moves along the large intestine ensuring a smooth passing of feces. Drinking plenty of water helps reduce potential toxicity as well.