How Does Your Colon Get Dirty?
Why are colonic cleansings so important? It is because the colon is one of the most vulnerable organs in the human body. After enough time has passed, everyone must deal with dysfunction in the colon.
To better understand the mechanics of colon disease, let’s take a quick look at how the organ works. The large intestine (or colon, or bowel — we may use these terms interchangeably) is the body's main channel for getting rid of solid waste matter. It is a tube about 5 feet long, with an outer lining of muscles and an inner lining of mucous.
Food passes from the mouth into the esophagus, through the stomach, then the small intestine, and finally into the large intestine. By the time it reaches the large intestine, the body has absorbed most of the nutrients from the food. Beneficial bacteria start a fermentation process that extracts the rest of what the body wants. Then the colon expels the waste from the body.
The colon accomplishes this task by pushing the feces along in a squeezing movement called peristalsis, until it reaches the rectum. Food containing a lot of roughage is easier for the colon to grip, and therefore gets eliminated faster. Processed and overcooked foods do not have much roughage, making it harder for the colon to do its work. This is where the problems begin.
When the waste finally leaves the body, it also leaves behind a layer of residue. This waste residue becomes encrusted on the bowel walls and, combined with dried out intestinal mucous, gradually forms a tough coating.
The bowel cannot expel this residue from the body because the layer actually cripples the colon's muscle walls. The build-up becomes so hard and thick that the colon can no longer conduct normal peristalsis. In some people the build-up is so great that the open passage has narrowed down to just one centimeter wide.
This layer inside you is similar to an internal hazardous waste dump that slowly leaks poisons into your body.
Some immediate effects on your health are:
- A perpetual cycle of colon dysfunction: The residual layer weakens the colon, which then allows more residue to build up, further weakening the colon.
- Vitamin deficiency and the consequent illnesses, as the colon no longer efficiently absorbs important nutrients.
- Growth of harmful bacteria that produce gas and potential cancer-causing toxins.
- Pimples, sores, or rashes on the skin, as the body looks for alternate routes of waste disposal.
- Weakened tissues throughout the body as increased toxic matter absorbed from the colon circulates.
The resulting state is called autointoxication. The body slowly poisons itself because it cannot rid itself of wastes. Some common symptoms of autointoxication are fatigue, skin disease, headaches, and susceptibility to illness. Environmental pollution, lack of rest and psychological stress can quickly add to the bowel's distress.
I. Natural Body Design: Humans vs. Sheep
Nearly every person who lives long enough will develop colon-related illness due to the natural structure of the human body. For meat-eating animals such as the human or dog, there is a part of the colon where feces will always putrefy – it is simply the natural design of our bodies. Putrefying feces are, of course, what begin to cause damage to our colons. Why are our bodies this way? It is partly due to the fact that we are omnivorous creatures.
Let’s take a look at our body’s design: Like the carnivorous dog, humans have teeth that are designed to crush and tear meat; the human stomach has no bacteria or protozoa, but instead is full of hydrochloric acid, which will kill any microorganism that comes from meat; our stomachs empty within three hours and cannot digest cellulose, the material of plant cell walls; the digestive tract ends with a small rectum containing putrefactive bacteria. All these facets of our anatomy indicates that we are meant to eat meat, but what does that have to do with our rectums being host to putrefactive bacteria?
One theory is that it has to do with the necessities of the hunt. In earlier times, in order to survive, hunting animals both had to protect their territory and keep their home a secret from competitors and prey. As a result, these animals developed the habit of waiting to defecate in safety, rather than dropping their feces where anyone could find them. During this waiting period, feces began to decay within the body, creating a permanently putrefying section of the colon. Today this part of the colon is the starting point of colon-related problems in the human body.
In contrast, when we examine the body design of herbivores such as sheep, we find a key difference in colon design: A sheep’s teeth are designed to grind down plant fibers rather than tear up meat; its stomach has very little hydrochloric acid, but rather contains bacteria and protozoa that help it digest; its colon is relatively long, and its rectum holds fermentative – not putrefactive – bacteria. Clearly the anatomy of a sheep is meant for eating plants. Since sheep did not need to protect any territory, they could defecate several times a day wherever they pleased. The freedom to defecate at any time meant that feces got expelled before they even had the chance to start rotting. This is the key difference between a carnivorous and herbivorous colon; for carnivores, holding in feces meant better chances of survival.
In humans, meat-eaters that we are, our anatomy has ruled that the last one-foot of the colon will always hold decaying feces. Therefore, every person's colon, no matter how healthy their diet, will send cancer-causing toxins from the putrefactive processes into the body. Even the best vegetarian efforts will not alter human anatomy. This is one reason why almost everyone will develop colon-related illness, and why colon care is so important for everybody.
II. Gravitational Stress: The Burden of the Upright Human
Another factor working against the colon is gravitational stress. Ever since man gave up crawling and decided to walk upright, two major organs — the heart and large intestine — have suffered constant stress. A simple illustration of gravitational stress on the body is the differing levels of comfort involved in standing, sitting or lying down. Lying down is the easiest because there is least gravitational stress on the body's bones and organs.
The organs developed their position in the body when humans were on all fours. In this position the large intestine was placed advantageously, being parallel to the ground with a minimal amount of gravitational stress put on it.
However, in an upright body the large intestine is vertical. It must move fecal matter against gravity, up through the ascending and transverse parts of the colon, to get its job done. (The heart must similarly work harder, because it has to pump blood higher off the ground.) Given the demanding nature of this work, it is not surprising that the top two causes of natural death today are circulatory problems and cancer, diseases rooted in the heart and colon.
These conclusions are based on the work of Dr. Hans Selye, the Canadian doctor who pioneered stress research. Dr. Selye defined stress as any noxious stimuli on the living body, whether mental or physical. He found that every animal and every cell could get diseased from stress, and that the common denominator in all sick people was the presence of stress. He also found that any animal, cell, or organ will break down faster when undergoing stress.
For a concept so simple, the implications are surprisingly wide-ranging. Gravitational stress on the heart and colon are fairly constant, meaning that these two organs will break down before any others in a normal human body.
When the large intestine starts to wear down under stress, it cannot perform its function well. Feces remain in the body for a long time, decaying and releasing toxins that eventually reach all parts of the body. Cells will mutate in reaction to this chemical stress and form cancerous cells, which often lead to death; the poisons released from rotting fecal matter are far more harmful than the carcinogens most people worry about.
Gravitational stress takes an extra toll on our hearts and colons, causing colon-related illness in many people.
III. Eating Habits:
The third factor in colon dysfunction, and the only one we have control over, is our food intake. Unfortunately, the eating habits of modern societies only add to the colon’s troubles. Processed food and environmental pollutants constantly bombard the body's excretory system with more than it can handle. As a consequence, there has recently been a dramatic increase in colon and colon-related diseases in developed societies.
People eat a high percentage of processed foods in today's busy world. Most of us do not have the time to prepare our meals from fresh ingredients, and we end up eating a lot of fast food, frozen meals, canned and chemically preserved food. Even everyday products, such as white flour, white rice, and white sugar, cause serious problems for the colon.
In addition, modern agribusiness offers us food that has been grown in tired soil, sprayed with deadly pesticides, preserved for longer life, and then processed to look and taste better. Our digestive systems are paying the price.
When the body eats processed foods, which often have little roughage, it takes the colon much more time to move the wastes through. Poisonous fecal material sits in the bowels for a long time, resulting in rotting feces, the re-absorption of toxins, and the growth of toxic bacteria.
Also, the longer the waste remains inside, the more water gets squeezed out of it. This makes the feces hard and dry, making constipation even more painful. It also dries out the mucous lining, which then clings to the intestine walls and forms a tough layer, eventually crippling the muscle walls.
The triple combination of poor eating habits, gravitational stress, and a naturally putrefactive colon create a host of disorders. The question is not whether your colon is sick, but to what degree it is. However, it is often difficult to feel when something is wrong because the colon has a relatively low density of nerve cells. As a result, the body does not sense pain until a problem becomes quite serious. This is why it is so important to take preventive care of the colon. Problems with the colon show themselves in two ways — disease of the colon, or disease of another body system, directly caused by the colon. Here are a few of the most common illnesses:
Common Diseases of the Colon:
Adhesions: as the colon’s mucous membrane breaks down, the exposed, sticky bowel wall starts to stick to itself, forming tight tunnels which make the passage of feces very difficult.
Ballooning: backed up feces create "balloons" in sections of the colon, causing painful, severe constipation.
Colitis: inflammation of colon, often induced by stress.
Diverticulitis: small sacs protruding from the bowel wall where the wall is weak (hernia). These small sacs trap feces and become a source of infection and inflammation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: diarrhea, constipation, gas
Mucosal Dysfunction: many forms, generally causing mucous build-up, pain, infection, and inflammation.
Prolapsus: when the transverse (middle section) colon literally falls, creating constipation and physical stress on other organs. It is especially dangerous for the uterus because a prolapsed colon blocks the fallopian tubes, preventing eggs from reaching the uterus, disrupting menstrual cycles, and causing infertility.
Spastic bowel: spasm of the bowel muscle when it gets overworked, manifested in alternating constipation and diarrhea, often induced by stress.
Strictures: bowel becomes very narrow in certain places, making it difficult to pass feces through.
Ulceration: irritation, abrasion and infection settle on colon muscle tissue causing open sores, bleeding, and pain.
Common Diseases Caused by the Colon
Appendicitis: the appendix is directly attached to the colon and is sensitive to the condition of that organ. When the colon is backed-up with waste, it overflows into the appendix, causing the inflammation and sharp pain of appendicitis. Cleansing the colon will heal the appendix and prevent harmful surgery. (The appendix is an important waste-processing organ that should not be removed.)
Arthritis: when prolapsus occurs, the weight of the intestine squeezes the urethra shut, causing the body to reabsorb urine rather than eliminate it. The reabsorbed urine seeps into the joints and causes the stiffness of arthritis.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: increased toxins in the body compromise its metabolizing ability, resulting in less energy and fatigue
Heart Disease: if the colon is clogged up, the blood will absorb toxins and carry them throughout the body. All of this blood eventually passes through the heart, creating extra work for the heart and weakening it, opening the door to serious heart disease.
Leaky Gut Syndrome: wall of the small intestine becomes inflamed and irritated, allowing metabolic and microbial toxins to get into the blood stream, affecting the liver, lymph, endocrine, and immune systems. (Full description of Leaky Gut Syndrome)
Lumps in Lymph System: when the colon is polluted, the excess toxins are unloaded into the lymph system, causing an overload. The overworked lymph system then deposits these toxins in different parts of the body, creating lumps to appear beneath the skin.
Menstrual Problems: because the uterus lies between the colon and the bladder, a colon full of backed-up waste will exert pressure on the uterus and contaminate the blood, causing complications with the menstrual cycle including PMS, cramps, and stopped menstruation.
Painful Urination: because the prostate lies between the colon and the bladder, a colon full of backed-up waste will squeeze the prostate and cause inflammation, which in turn puts pressure on the urethra, making urination painful.