Constipation, in a strict medical sense, refers to an inability to completely evacuate the rectum. In practical terms, however, constipation quite likely is an indication that the colon is clogged, sluggish, loaded with poison, and malfunctioning. Cleansing your colon is the most critical step in improving your health!
A clogged bowel impedes the assimilation of nutrients by the body, since it affects the entire digestive system. The major drawback to being constipated is the resulting lack of nutrition you receive from your food. The list of diseases and ailments that could be avoided or cured with a quality colon cleansing program is practically endless: problems with weight gain, prostate, kidneys, heart, fertility, blood sugar, blood pressure, hormonal balance, liver, cholesterol, immune function, energy are just a few linked to constipation and inactive bowels.
The colon is very large and positioned within the body in such a way that it comes into direct contact or is in the vicinity of every major organ in the body, with the exception of the brain. It is also in direct contact with most major blood vessels and nerves in the abdominal area. Constipation causes the colon to swell and in some cases even herniate. When this occurs, the colon will compress and crush the major organs nearby—the reason a constipated, swollen colon can be the underlying cause of a long list of diseases and ailments that may seem completely unrelated.
What Causes Constipation?
Quite simply, constipation and other colon related problems are primarily a result of dietary habits. The Standard American Diet is high in dairy products, fats, red meat, and starches, while lacking enough dietary fiber, vegetables, and fruit. As a result, the average American adult stores from six to 10 pounds of toxic waste in the colon—an extremely unhealthy state. Other possible causes of constipation include:
- Medications: Many prescription medications cause constipation, as do plenty of over the counter treatments. Avoid products that contain aluminum (you should avoid these anyway) and try to avoid excess calcium and iron. Other common offenders include antidepressants, antihistamines, beta blockers, muscle relaxants, and most of all analgesics.
- Thyroid Imbalance: Imbalance in the thyroid can cause a biochemical chain reaction that, for some, results in constipation. This will usually be accompanied by other symptoms related to hypothyroidism. See Thyroid Imbalance for more information.
- Radical change in diet: People commonly experience constipation when vacationing in a foreign country or whenever they make a radical change of diet.
Usually, regularity is restored upon returning to the normal routine.
- Intestinal disorders: Tumors, hernia, muscle disorders, and other damage to the intestine may be a cause of constipation. Also, absence of friendly flora such as acidophilus can cause constipation and other disorders, like Candida.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Contributing to many disorders, a lack of movement and exercise may also be making your constipation worse.
In people without medical problems, the main treatment for constipation is to increase your intake of fluids (preferably pure water) and dietary fiber. A good herbal laxative is psyllium seed. You can also try folic acid and vitamin C supplements. Avoiding animal products and consuming more fresh organic vegetables and fruit is vital. Healthy dietary changes will go further in getting your colon back on track than anything.
If you are suffering from constipation or lazy bowels, avoid using over the counter laxatives that contain such poisons as strychnine, belladonna, and aloin.
Many effective natural supplements can relieve constipation. Perhaps topping the list is cascara sagrada, a bark from a tree in the Amazon, which is gentle but powerful for restoring regularity. You should stop taking cascara sagrada once regularity is restored. Other good natural products include curacao and cape aloe leaf, barberry root bark, senna leaves and pods, ginger rhizomes, and habeero pepper.
Colonics are amazingly effective for helping to clean the colon and restoring normal bowel function. Natural products great for removing toxins from the colon include pharmaceutical grade bentonite clay (absorbs and draws poisons from the walls of the colon and intestines), slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, psyllium seed, and peppermint leaf. More information on colon cleanse can be found under Colon & Intestinal Health. Check with your healthcare professional for a qualified referral.
Regardless of how little your problem may seem to relate to the colon, cleansing the bowel first is often a good bet. The best way to restore and maintain health is to detoxify the body and remove accumulated waste. In order to detox properly, the colon must be clear and operating smoothly. When you detox to purge accumulated waste and toxins, all this waste is finally processed through the colon. If the colon is constipated and not functioning properly, all of the poisons and toxins that were being flushed from your body will not be efficiently eliminated and could even be reabsorbed. This is why many people feel so ill during a detoxification program and often quit shortly after starting. By cleaning your colon first, the program will work much better and you will actually feel great throughout the process.