Did you know that your colon is considered the sewer system of the body? Picture a septic tank (or an actual sewage system) brimming with putrefying toxins and bacteria thriving in the moist, hot environment. Easy to see how ill health can be sure to follow, isn’t it?
In a (extremely simple) nut-shell, the colon is designed to absorb water, salts, and minerals before evacuating the remaining waste. If your diet is chock-full of the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) of refined foods, simple carbohydrates, packaged foods, empty-calories, etc. then your colon provides the perfect breeding ground for auto-intoxication (which we will discuss in a future article). There are many ways to upset this delicate system: poor diet, drugs, dehydration, improper food combining, stress, etc.
This article is going to provide some easy, straightforward tips to help keep your colon healthy; it is for educational purposes only and of course, always check with your physician prior to embarking on any fitness or nutritional program.
Forgo Smoking: Most people don’t realize the correlation between colon cancer and cigarette smoking. According to the American Cancer Society, those who had smoked for forty years and even those who didn’t quit before they hit the age of forty, were thirty to fifty percent more likely to develop colon or rectal cancer than those who refrained from smoking.
Avoid Red Meat: There I said it—now don’t start sending me hate mail. The experts have proven over and over again that red meat consumption significantly ups your risk for colon maladies—especially cancer. This is especially true for meats that are cured and heavily processed, and yes I’m talking about bacon, lunch meats, and sausages (just to pick out a few). If you absolutely must have red meat, try to limit it to two (or even better one) time per week (or month!) and make it no bigger than a three to four ounce serving. And make sure that it is a lean choice or trim the fat, and avoid char-grilling it (this ups the cancer ante).
Kick the (Alcohol) Habit: If you’re like the average person, chances are you indulge in the occasional drink. If so, you can probably skip this section. If, however, you consume two plus drinks per day, then you up your odds of colorectal cancer by 21%-52% according to a 2011 analysis. It also appears that one type of alcohol is not superior to another. In other words, it doesn’t matter if it’s beer or wine (for example), every form of alcohol has detrimental effects on the colon. In addition, studies have shown that binge drinkers have lower levels of folic acid in their system, which increases their risk for colorectal cancer. If you cannot say no to the booze, then at least limit your consumption to no more than one drink a day if you are a woman, or two drinks per day if you are a man.
Get Screened: One of the most obvious (albeit effective) ways to prevent colon cancer is to get screened. Mark Welton, M.D., a Men’s Health advisor and chief of colorectal surgery at the Stanford Cancer Center acknowledges that “the damage that is going to cause colon cancer, even when you’re 50, may be happening right now.” The five most common tests are colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, double contrast barium enema, sigmoidoscopy, and fecal occult blood test. Due to space constraint, I won’t go into detail on each of these tests, but you are more than welcome to inquire information from your primary care physician. These tests are usually recommended at age fifty, but those with a past colon cancer history and/or a family history may be encouraged to start sooner. If you opt for a complete colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy, chances are you will have to have the colon (whether partial or completely) cleansed prior to the screening. One of the most effective and comfortable ways to do this is through colon hydrotherapy. According to Hebei Medical Journal in December of 2004:
Colon hydrotherapy is a simple and effective way to prepare the colon for colonoscopy as well as other colon procedures, especially in the elderly, frail and constipated. It is also useful in diabetics and patients unable to undergo fasting as well as those who are unable to tolerate an episode of diarrhea.
Colon hydrotherapy actively promotes peristalsis, enhancing the tone of the colon musculature and supports the elimination of physical as well as toxic waste from the colon. This is of advantage to patients suffering from constipation and those with poor bowel habits.
So not only is colon hydrotherapy a great preparatory cleansing method prior to colonoscopies (and sigmoidoscopies), it is also great for tonicity, elimination of toxic stools, and beneficial to those who suffer from bowel troubles! Contact a certified colon hydrotherapist for any questions you might have.
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com. She can also be reached at www.101FIT.com or www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.