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What You Should Know About Colon Health

Nov 13, 2007
Colon health is undeniably an important issue that directly affects our entire bodies. A properly functioning colon is necessary to not only absorb essential nutrients, but to rid the body of waste and harmful toxins.

Learning as much as you can about having a healthy colon is the best defense for warding off a host of illnesses and conditions.

5 Important Facts About Colon Health

1. Besides the skin, kidneys, and lungs, the colon is another organ that helps the body get rid of waste materials. If colon health is compromised for some reason, toxins may build up over time.

These toxins may be absorbed into the bloodstream and lymph nodes, negatively affecting the rest of our body. Colon hydrotherapy is one procedure used to cleanse the bowel of these harmful substances.

2. As we age, the colon may lose some of its ability to effectively eliminate waste. It is for this reason that our diets should contain adequate amounts of fiber from sources such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

3. Peristalsis is the term used to describe movement within the colon. These contractions move food through the digestive tract and help the body absorb nutrients.

A healthy colon has approximately 14 contractions within the colon each and every minute.

4. Two to three bowel movements per day are necessary for avoiding the accumulation of harmful toxins. Infrequent bowel movements or constipation directly contribute to poor colon health.

Some people suffering from constipation find laxatives to be helpful, or simply increasing their fiber intake.

5. Bowel toxemia refers to a condition that causes inflammation and swelling within the colon. This may occur when the colon contains impacted fecal matter, bacteria, or other harmful materials.

If the colon becomes inflamed, it won't be able to function normally, possibly leading to several other ailments throughout the body.

4 Simple Tips for Good Colon Health

1. Eat Healthy

It's no secret that diet plays an important role in our overall health and well being. Studies show that people who eat fewer red meats and more vegetables have a lower risk of colon cancer.

A diet high in fiber has also been linked to good colon health. Fiber enables the body to move waste matter through the digestive tract faster than normal.

If your diet is lacking in vitamins, minerals, or fiber, supplements that contain folate (folic acid) are thought to protect cells within the colon from developing cancer.

2. Stay Physically Active

Regular exercise is essential for all aspects of good health, and colon health is no different. Experts agree that regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes per day aids in digestion.

The quicker waste material passes through the colon, the less chance for toxins to accumulate.

3. Avoid Alcohol and Cigarettes

Besides causing various other health problems, excessive amounts of alcohol affects our colon health as well.

Although the reasons aren't clear, people who have one or fewer alcoholic drinks per day have a lower risk of colon cancer. Cigarette smoke is harmful to the delicate tissues of the colon.

4. Get Regular Screenings

Unless you have a family history, colorectal screenings should begin at age 50 to check for cancer. Nearly a third of all colon cancer deaths could have been avoided through early detection.
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