When your colon talks to you…

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EVERY functioning human body has a colon, but most people are reluctant to discuss this organ.

We might not give much thought to this body part but there are several colon-related conditions that can have negative effects on our digestive health.

Our colon, which is also known as the large intestine or bowel, plays such an important part in our daily functioning, yet it is sorely neglected. If it works right, you wouldn’t have pain and chronic problems with either constipation or diarrhoea, or a general feeling of unwellness when our bowels send us a message that all is not well in our digestive system.

The bowel is perhaps the most abused organ of the body. It suffers in silence because it has no sensory nerves to warn us.


Health problem

One health problem that can result from a malfunctioning colon is diverticulitis.

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches or sacs that develop in the inner lining of the colon and grow through the muscular layer of the colon.

When the pouches become inflamed, the condition is called diverticulitis.

Although the pouches can occur in any segment of the colon, they most frequently occur in the sigmoid colon.

Symptoms of diverticulitis may include abdominal pain or tenderness, decreased appetite and nausea. A serious complication that can occur with diverticulitis is peritonitis.

This can develop if an inflamed pouch ruptures and spills intestinal material into your abdomen.

Another problem is Crohn’s disease, which causes swelling of the digestive tract. Although it often affects the small intestine, Crohn’s disease can also affect the colon. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and fatigue.

Complications of Crohn’s disease can include malnutrition, ulcers and a bowel obstruction. The condition can also affect other parts of your body. In some cases, Crohn’s disease triggers an immune system response that leads to inflammation of the skin, eyes and joints.

Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and sores in the inner lining of the colon. The severity of the disease may depend on how much of the colon is affected. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, weight loss and fever. Additional symptoms may also occur, such as diarrhoea, fatigue, and rectal bleeding.

The effects of ulcerative colitis can reach beyond the digestive tract. Complications of ulcerative colitis can include severe bleeding, bone loss and in some cases liver disease.

Facts about

The colon is the lower section of the digestive system. It is approximately five feet long, about three inches wide at its widest point (the cecum), and just under an inch wide at its narrowest point (the sigmoid colon).

The colon is the last place the food you eat travels before it exits the body.

The nutrients that we get from food are predominantly absorbed by our small intestine. Therefore, a person can have the colon removed and continue to have a healthy life.

There are several health conditions, such as colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, in which medical personnel deem it necessary to remove a person’s colon. In some of these cases, a procedure called a colostomy is performed, in which an opening is made in the abdomen so that faecal material can be collected outside of the body in a colostomy bag.

Countless numbers of microorganisms live in our colon. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 100 trillion microscopic organisms — the majority of which are bacteria — live in our colon. Some of these bacteria are very necessary and perform important functions in the digestive system.

When a baby is born, the intestine is free from germs of any kind, but as soon as food enters the stomach, intestinal flora develops.

When bowel activities are delayed because of business or a person not wanting to use a public facility, the rectum adapts to the increase in bulk; constipation may develop and the process of elimination becomes difficult. This can sometimes cause internal pressure on other organs that depend on the colon to empty their waste.

Stool build-up in the colon can also put pressure on parts of the urinary system, resulting in bladder problems.

When someone restricts their intake of fluid because of a bladder problem, constipation is made worse. A stretched colon can send messages to the spinal cord that further interrupt bladder functions.

Because the modern diet is largely full of animal proteins, processed food, fat and sugar, coupled with a lack of exercise, the colon becomes the repository of accumulated waste and toxins which disable the body’s purification system.

The toxic material ends up re-entering our bloodstream and getting deposited in our cells. As a result, we feel and act far below our potential and can become susceptible to disease.

It’s time to take a page from the Ministry of Local Government and the municipal authorities: Clean the drain and cesspool of the body.

Colon irrigation is recognised as the best and most effective method of ridding the intestines of toxic waste and harmful bacteria.

If your body tells you that your colon is in an unhealthy state, you may be pleasantly surprised at the benefits.


Debby Donaldson is a certified colon therapist and body ecologist. Email her at coloncareja98@gmail.com

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