Many jokes are made about going to the bathroom, but for many people its no laughing matter. Its a well know fact that your health can be determined by the type and number of bowel movements you regularly have in a day.
Bowel related diseases such as constipation, colitis, diverticulitis, IBS, and colon cancer are on the rise, accounting for 2.5 million physician visits per year. You may be surprised to learn that common everyday symptoms like acne, bloating, weight gain, fatigue and headaches can be avoided simply by getting the bowel to excrete toxins quickly and effectively. Hemorrhoids and varicose veins are other signs that the bowel is not functioning properly.
Its critical to your good health and its also important to recognize that when nothing is done to improve chronic constipation, its at this stage cancer can develop since toxins are allowed to build up and accumulate. This process is called autointoxification, which occurs when the body absorbs too much of its own toxic waste. Constipation occurs when waste passes through the intestines too slowly.
The physical body, however, is designed to evacuate the contents of your bowel after every meal, but for most people obtaining one good bowel movement a day is challenging. A healthy colon eliminates waste within 6-18 hours.
How can you tell if you're healthy?
A proper bowel movement consists of a feces that looks much like the shape and thickness of a banana and is golden in colour. A lighter colour indicates that improper digestion has taken place and the transit time of the feces was too short. On the other hand, a dark brown stool usually means its been stored in the body too long before it was evacuated.
Why is water so important?
The colon is approximately 5 feet long by 2-1/2 inches in diameter and begins where the small intestine ends. Water is absolutely mandatory to hydrate and swell in the bowel. If you do not drink enough water in your diet you will know it at this stage. Thats why drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water daily is good.
How does fiber help?
The time it takes for feces to be produced depends upon the amount of fiber and water content in your food. Bulkier feces travel faster because the bowel muscles can work on the material to move it. Soft, fibreless feces become very difficult for the colon to move. The longer it takes to move, the more water is absorbed by the body, making the feces compacted, hard and difficult to eliminate.
Do you have any of the following symptoms?
Any of the following symptoms indicate that the body is having a difficult time excreting and its time to seek professional help to get the bowels moving:
Stress is also major contributor to constipation
The bowel is a muscle. When you are tense or have anxiety or fears, the Energy is stored in your central nervous system causing your bowels to tighten. When this happens and your stress is perpetual be sure to take a supplement, such as Magnesium , that will help you relax.
To get you back on track, there are several steps you will need to take:
What you can do
Getting regular is easy for some and not for others, but theres a solution for everyone. Not one remedy fits all but be sure to give the body what it needs first and it will do the rest. A good reference is Dr. Jensens Guide to Better Bowel Care, by Dr. Bernard Jensen.
Yvonne Horvat, RHN