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Complete Guide to the Colon Cleanse

Every day the mass media bombards you with infomercials advertising everything from colon cleanse products to special diets that are intended to cleanse your colon and improve your health. Even though you may have heard these commercials and advertisements, you may not understand what it is that they are trying to sell.

This article will examine colon cleanses, how they work, and provide you information to help you make the decision on whether a colon cleanse is right for you. If you have been wondering how to clean out your colon, let’s get down to the basics.

Types of Colon Cleanse Products

There are many types of colon cleanse products available. It is possible to obtain products yourself, or you can go to a practitioner and have colon irrigation performed. If you decide to purchase products, you have the ability to administer the products by rectum, or by mouth. You also have a choice between liquid and powdered supplements.

Here is a brief description of the types of cleansing products available through a number of different manufacturers.

Stimulant. Stimulant is another word for laxatives that work by increasing the muscle movement of your intestines, causing them to contract and push the bowel movement out.

Non-stimulant. Another alternative is the non-stimulant cleanse. These work by acting on the stool itself, rather than the colon muscles. These draw water into your intestines, adding bulk to the bowel movement and encouraging it to pass.

Stool softeners. Stool softeners work by drawing water into the intestines and making it softer and easier to move through the colon. (Healthline)

Saline. Saline cleanse solution does not just contain salt and water. It is usually a combination of magnesium citrate and magnesium hydroxide. This also works by drawing more water into the intestine, softening the stool.

Osmotic. This type of cleanse also works by drawing water into the intestine and creating a looser and softer bowel movement.

Enema. Enemas work by increasing the pressure on the bowels, stimulating them to begin contracting, and eliminating the water and the stool.

Suppositories. Rectal suppositories are inserted into the rectum. Suppositories can contain a number of different medications. They may work by releasing carbon dioxide to encourage bowel movements, increasing pressure in a similar way to an enema. They may also contain osmotic laxatives, lubricants, stimulants, or other stool softeners. They have a coating that dissolves with normal body heat, releasing the medication. (Mayo Clinic)

Medication. Medications taken orally are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Some work by increasing the bulk of the stool to stimulate a bowel movement. Others work by drawing water to the bowel, increasing the pressure, and stimulating muscle contractions. (Mayo Clinic)

Now, you are familiar with the various categories of products that can be used to cleanse. One important thing to note is that many products, both prescription and available over-the-counter, may use a combination of these different types of laxatives. You need to be familiar with the ingredients and how they work to understand the type of laxative that is in any given product. It is important to read the ingredients label, but it is also important to do your own research and find out what types of laxatives are in the cleanse. It is also important to note that some types of laxatives will work better for some people than others.

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Stimulant Vs. Non-Stimulant Vs. Stool Softeners Colon Cleanse

These three different categories of laxatives have differences in how quickly they work, the side effects that they can cause, the potential risks, and whether they cause you to strain or not. This is important because certain people with health conditions may be at risk for potential problems by using the wrong type of laxative. (Mayo Clinic)

Even conditions that you do not think are connected to the colon function can be affected by the use of laxatives. For instance, some laxatives can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are important in the regulation of many types of body functions, including keeping the heart beating regularly, and mental processes. An electrolyte imbalance can cause heart arrhythmias, general weakness, seizures, and general confusion. These are serious side effects. If you have a condition that is sensitive to electrolyte imbalances, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider about your choice of laxative. This is a good general word of caution for anyone.

It might be noted that many of the studies conducted on laxatives examined them for the treatment of functional constipation. This is the inability to pass a sufficient stool in time that it causes discomfort. They did not examine laxatives for use as a bowel cleanse in populations that were not suffering from constipation and who were otherwise healthy. The following are some of the characteristics of the various types of laxatives (Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology)

Stimulant Laxatives

In clinical studies, it was found that both stimulant and non-stimulant laxatives performed better than no treatment at all. Stimulant laxatives have fallen out of favor over the past 50 years due to their potential to cause cramping and the unpredictability of when they will work. (British Medical Journal)

Stimulants were found to be reliable in the ability to produce a bowel movement. However, cramping and potential diarrhea prevent many people from using this type of cleansing.

Non-Stimulant Laxatives

The most common form of non-stimulant laxative is a bulk-forming laxative. This is usually in the form of fiber. Laxatives that contain fiber use water to make your stool gain more bulk. This increased pressure stimulates the bowel to contract and force it out. Non-stimulant laxatives can cause the formation of excessive bloating and gas. Taking lots of water with them can help to eliminate these effects. These do not cause cramping as badly as stimulant laxatives.

Stool Softeners

Stool softeners are often prescribed by physicians for people who have trouble with straining when having a bowel movement. These soften the stool so that it can pass easily. These are typically the milder of the laxatives and do not cause harsh cramping or as many significant side effects. These are the most gentle of the types of laxatives available. They help soften the stool so that the person will not feel they need to strain to pass it. They do not cause cramping, which makes them a good choice for people who should avoid straining when having a bowel movement.

Lubricants

Lubricants are another type of laxative that uses mineral oil, or other oil to stimulate a bowel movement. These types of laxatives work by using mineral oil to coat the surface of the stool. This helps it pass more easily. These types of laxatives are typically not found in bowel cleanses. They are often a last line of defense for people who have developed severe blockages in the colon. They can prevent the body from absorbing vitamins and nutrients.

Typically, you will not find lubricant-type laxatives in laxative formulations that you can purchase without a physician’s prescription. These types are usually prescription only and are used for serious medical conditions where other types of laxatives have failed to work. Physicians will usually only prescribe these for a short period of time.

As you can see, all of these types of laxatives have advantages and disadvantages. With the exception of lubricant laxatives, all of them are available in many different forms on the market. Some of them are available as natural body cleanse products, and others are available as pharmaceutical compounds.

The type of cleansing that you choose should be a choice that is made between you and your healthcare provider. Any medical conditions that you have should be taken into account before deciding on a laxative. Now, let’s look at some of the most common ingredients and elements that are found in the different categories of cleanses.

Colon Cleanse Procedures

If you have decided that a colon cleanse is right for you, you need to familiarize yourself with proper procedures. You need to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of product or therapy for your particular medical situation.

First, we will examine methods to clear the colon that use mechanical means. These procedures cannot be done at home, and you will need to find a specialist who can perform the procedure.

Colon Cleanse Clinic

First off, you need to know that the procedures offered by a colon cleanse clinic are considered alternative medical therapy and are not considered mainstream procedures. Only in rare cases are they performed by a physician. It is important to check the training and certification of any colon clinic. The services that they perform are a medical procedure, and if they are not qualified can cause serious physical harm. If you choose to go to one of these clinics, it is important to do your research and find one that is reputable.

Colonics or colonix, is the historical name for a colon cleanse. It is also known as colonic irrigation, high colonics, hydrocolonic therapy, and colon lavage. (Medscape)

Regardless of the name, it involves using a tube to deliver water and other ingredients into the rectum. This solution is then held for some time and then eliminated by the bowels. It is possible to do this procedure yourself, using an enema kit, but enemas do not penetrate the colon and shoot the water as far as services performed in a clinic.

For those who wish to have the procedure done in a clinic, it will be performed by a practitioner known as a colon therapist, colon hygienist, or hydro-therapist. Advocates of this type of therapy suggest getting it done in regular sessions. They claim that this therapy can eliminate a wide number of problems ranging from headaches to food cravings and hypoglycemia.

It may be noted that the FDA regulates the production of the equipment being used in colon hydrotherapy in the United States, but it does not regulate the use of the equipment. It also does not regulate the use of the supplements that are used in the procedure. The same is true for home colonic devices and procedures.

As we discussed previously, colon cleansing is not necessary to detoxify the body. The body has a quite efficient system in place to achieve this. In addition, the colon is only one part of the detox system. The system includes the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, and lymphatic system. This is one of the main arguments against the need for a colon cleanse by physicians.

You also need to know that if you have already been diagnosed with a colon condition such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, severe hemorrhoids, have had colon surgery, heart disease, renal impairment, or certain types of irritable bowel system, you should not have this type of mechanical cleansing procedure. Those who have these types of conditions are at an increased risk for serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.

If you wish to have a colon cleanse using the machine, you should discuss it with your doctor first, particularly if you have any conditions that could lead to serious side effects. It is also possible that you may have one of these conditions that places you at high risk that has not yet been diagnosed. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a checkup with your physician to eliminate this possibility before having any of these types of hydro colonic procedures.

Hydro Colon Cleanse

Clinics that offer hydro colon cleanse can call for up to 60 liters of water to be introduced into the rectum. (Journal of Family Practice) The higher the volume of water, the more likely complications will occur. In addition, this procedure may be repeated several times in a row, increasing the likelihood of complications.

It is important to know exactly how much fluid will be pumped into the body and the potential risk with this type of treatment. Although the treatment uses a low-volume pump, and the fluid is introduced slowly, some clinics use exceptionally high volumes in their treatment processes.

Colon Irrigation

Colon irrigation refers to a procedure that is done in a clinic, also called high colonics. It uses higher pressure than an enema or other methods that you may use at home. The water penetrates the colon further and supposedly dislodges more of the fecal matter that is attached to the walls.

It is worth mentioning that these procedures are not a medical intervention, and, in that, they are not carried out by personnel that is certified through the standard medical licensing route. Before agreeing to a procedure, one must consider both the risks and the benefits. This procedure sounds simple, but there are still certain risks and adverse events that have been associated with it.

Colon irrigation type procedures have a different set of side effects and concerns than those that use herbs or supplements that allow you to do colon cleansing at home. The potential side effects of the procedure range from cramping to heart failure. Certain minor side effects that you may experience include:

  • Cramping ranging from minor to severe
  • General abdominal pain
  • A feeling of fullness during the procedure
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritation to the perineal area
  • Soreness that may persist for one or two days after the procedure

Adverse side effects are rare, but they do occur with colon hydrotherapy. The more serious potential risks of the procedure are:

  • Intestinal perforation
  • The development of a serious electrolyte imbalance
  • Heart failure
  • The formation of abscesses
  • The introduction of harmful intestinal parasites into the colon

These are serious risks, considering that the procedure is typically carried out by persons who do not have a valid standard medical license, and who are not a part of the formal healthcare community. Before you decide to undergo one of these procedures, it is important to question the facility and ask for verification of their procedures for cleaning the equipment and avoiding contamination from patient to patient.

You also need to ask about any plans that are in place should a potentially serious, and sudden side effect occur. The facility should be in close proximity and have access to a major medical facility where you can be transported in the event of an emergency. The staff must be familiar with the development of serious side effects, how to prevent them, and how to treat them if they should occur.

It may be noted that many of the side effects will involve extensive, expensive care, and follow-up from the formal medical community. Another factor to consider is that if a medical complication should occur, the insurance agency may argue that it occurred doing an elective procedure, and they may refuse to pay. These are all considerations that must be taken into account before deciding to undergo the procedure.

As one can see, there are significant potential dangers involved with mechanical cleansing procedures. It is important to understand the risks and weigh the benefits when deciding whether to have the procedure performed. It is more than likely that you will experience minor side effects and discomfort both during and after the procedure, but the main concern is the potential for serious and potentially life-threatening side effects.

Probiotics and Colon Cleanse

The sale of probiotics and colon cleanse treatments go hand-in-hand. We have already discussed the use of probiotics in the water for colon irrigation. However, the sale of probiotics in pill form is a multi-million-dollar business in the US. To understand the link between probiotics and colon cleanses, let’s examine some probiotic basics. It is often recommended that you take probiotics after a colon cleanse to restore the healthy gut flora, but exactly what do they do?

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are living bacteria and yeasts that support your digestive system. There are many types of bacteria that are classified as probiotics. Remember, these are the good guys. All of these types of bacteria have benefits. They also have different jobs within the digestive tract. In some cases, consuming probiotics can help eliminate the symptoms of certain bowel conditions. For those with minor diarrhea and irritation, eating colon cleansing foods that contain probiotics can help you to eliminate the symptoms.

There are many types of probiotics, but generally, they can be divided into three different classifications. Each of these three classifications of probiotics has different effects on the body. When these probiotic groups are out of balance with the bad bacteria, it can cause a variety of symptoms associated with digestive tract issues. The three main categories are:

Lactobacillus: This is the most common type of probiotic. It is found in fermented foods and yogurt. Consuming this probiotic can help to eliminate diarrhea by rebalancing the gut flora. For those who cannot digest lactose in milk, this probiotic can help to alleviate some of the symptoms.

Bifidobacterium: This probiotic is found in some types of dairy products. It has been used to help alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive tract conditions.

Saccharomyces boulardii: This is a type of yeast that is found in probiotics. It is also known to help relieve diarrhea and other types of digestive tract problems.

There are several ways to get probiotics in your diet. One is to consume colon-cleansing foods that have them in it. The second way is to purchase products that contain probiotics. If you eat a diet that contains the recommended amount of dairy foods, you are probably getting enough probiotics. However, if you continue to experience symptoms, such as frequent diarrhea and signs that are similar to irritable bowel syndrome, consuming some probiotics may be a good first line of defense.

Although there is some research to support the connection to probiotics and the alleviation of some conditions related to the gut, there are also many wild claims about what they can do that are unsupported. As with colon-cleanse products, claims regarding the benefits of probiotics are quite lengthy. They include everything from skin conditions to promoting good oral health.

What are the benefits of probiotics?

The purported benefits of probiotics are numerous. Even though many of the claims reported by probiotic manufacturers are unsupported by scientific research, it is still difficult to argue that probiotics are of no benefit at all. First of all, they are a part of our natural body system. Many of them have specific functions within the body, such as the digestion of a certain type of substance or nutrient. Secondly, they have been shown to have certain clinical benefits and aid in health issues related to food metabolism.

Probiotics are part of a clean-gut diet and have been associated with helping skin conditions, urinary and vaginal health, the prevention of allergies and colds, and improved oral health. We know that probiotics are an important part of good health and healthy colon. It stands to reason that if probiotics help colon health and aid in the digestion of nutrients, they may help to alleviate a plethora of health conditions. Nutrition is the foundation of good health and remaining free from disease. The colon helps to absorb the nutrients that your body needs and probiotics are part of the system that helps it do it.

One thing that you need to know about probiotics is that they are regulated by the FDA. However, the FDA regulates them like foods, rather than medications. Even though clinical studies have found probiotics to be a potential way to eliminate certain diseases or symptoms, probiotics do not have to meet the strict regulations of medications. What this means for their use in colon-cleanse preparations is that companies can use them any way they wish. The FDA still frowns on claiming benefits of them that have not been demonstrated, but there is enough evidence of proven benefits that it is difficult to justify measures to limit their use.

The FDA does not require probiotic manufacturers to demonstrate their safety or that they work. Their classification as food means that there is no regulation as to the amount of probiotics found in supplements. This means that consumers must be aware and be sure only to buy supplements from reputable companies. Research is your most important tool when choosing supplements to make certain that you are getting what you paid for in terms of strength in the different types of probiotics that are contained in the supplements.

Colon Cleanse at Home

The methods for how to cleanse your body thus far have concentrated on the use of mechanical devices, medical procedures, and methods that are cost-prohibitive for many. The route that most people choose is to perform colon cleansing at home. You need to be aware that many of these cleansing procedures are much slower than those that use irrigation systems or laxatives.

Over time, they may help you to achieve more regular bowel movements and ones that are easier to pass without the need to strain. The first couple methods involve those that have the least impact in terms of the effect on your life. They involve diets and the consumption of certain foods that are supposed to help your body naturally rid itself of toxins and improve the digestion and absorption of nutrients. These solutions are not an overnight fix for disease, and whether they are supported by research or not, eating a good diet is considered a good way to maintain health and improve your energy levels.

Tackling a colon cleanse at home shouldn’t be a method of weight loss. When you lose weight with healthy lifestyle changes, often bowel movements become regular because of increased fruit and vegetable intake. A program like Noom can help you find the right eating plan for you, so you lose weight the right way.

How to Do a Colon Cleanse at Home

When it comes to cleansing the colon at home, you have several choices. The first has already been mentioned. It is through diet and the foods that you eat. There are also many different types of cleansing kits available.
These include teas, powders that you add your food, prepared drinks, and some that come in capsule or pill form. There are also rectal suppositories that you can use to cleanse your colon. There are literally thousands of them available over the Internet and through many other channels. You can also find them in many health food stores, grocery stores, and general merchandisers.

There are so many different types of products available that it may be difficult to sort through which ones are good and which ones are bad. There is no way to give advice on this topic due to the enormous number of products available, but it is possible to give several pieces of advice that hold true, regardless of the supplement or the form that it takes.

Read the label. Reading the label is your best source of information. You may not understand everything that is in the supplement, but many of the ingredients can be easily researched with a quick Internet search. It is important to read the label for not only what is in the probiotic supplement, and dietary cleanse, but also be aware of any harmful additives or preservatives that you may not wish to consume.

Research the company. The second suggestion is to research the company. Often you can find plenty of information on the reputation of the company, user experiences, reviews, and other information such as lawsuits that have been filed against them.

Avoid inadequate labels. The number one clue that there is a problem is missing or incomplete information on the label and the rest of the packaging. If there is something that you think you need to know, such as what types of probiotics are in the supplement, or how much of them, this is a clue that the product may not be the best on the market. Furthermore, it may not work the way it is intended. The best rule of thumb, in this case, is that if you are in doubt, it is better to move on to another product rather than to waste your time with one that does not work and is unwilling to provide the most basic information about the product.

Ignore the hype. The next suggestion is to ignore the hype. The purpose of an advertisement is to get you to buy a product, whether it is in your best interest or not. Infomercials make incredible claims about what their product can do, but not much of it is backed by research. If you hear about a product on a television ad, on the radio, or through any other type of advertising media, it is best to do your own research before you buy it. There are many sources of information that will give you more credible information than a salesman.

Trust your instincts. The final suggestion for avoiding scams and purchasing a product that performs as stated is to trust your own instincts. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are so many products available on the market that there is no reason to spend time on one that you do not feel you trust for any reason. The best suggestion is that if something does not sound right, simply move on.

When it comes to choosing a product to cleanse your body, there is a lot of research and decision-making involved in order to make certain that you get a high-quality product that is safe and effective. However, one of the simplest ways to cleanse your colon is through a good diet. In the next section, we will discuss colon-cleanse diet plans, and colon-cleanse foods that may help you to achieve your goals without having to go through the research and hassle involved in using colon preparations.

Colon-Cleanse Diet and Colon-Cleanse Foods

When it comes to choosing a colon-cleanse diet and colon-cleanse foods to support it, many of the same rules apply that apply to any healthy diet choice. Eating more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet plan can also lead to colon benefits too. Many times, alleviating symptoms is as simple as changing your diet and habits surrounding what you eat.

A colon detox diet, also called cleanses or flushes, are claimed to remove toxin buildup from your body and to help you lose weight. (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)

Your body already has a highly effective system for removing toxins, but some people feel that it still needs a little extra boost, at least every now and then. Many methods are used by people at home to achieve colon detoxification. Some of these dietary methods include:

  • Short and long-term fasting
  • Consuming only juice or liquids for several days
  • Restricting the selection of foods in one’s diet
  • Using supplements or commercial products
  • Using a combination of these approaches

As with the other mechanical detox methods already discussed, there is no research evidence pointing to the fact that they actually work. It is not known if diets or these other methods will remove any more toxins from your body than your natural system already does. However, eating a healthy diet can never be a bad thing. Consuming more fruits, vegetables, and avoiding processed foods will make you feel better because your body will have the fuel that it needs.

Proponents of detoxes claim that this feeling of increased energy, better mood, and other positive effects are due to the toxins being removed from your system. It is difficult to say whether it is toxins being removed from your system, or whether it is that you are providing your body a more efficient fuel source and giving it what it needs to remain healthy.

Cautions Surrounding a Colon Detox

There are several cautions when it comes to attempting a colon detox.

Safety

You need to be aware that the US FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have taken several actions against companies that are selling products as detox or cleansing. The reason for this action is because they contained illegal and potentially harmful ingredients. They have also filed claims against companies for making false claims about the ability of the products to treat certain diseases. Some of the claims were for companies that used devices in a manner for which they were not approved.

Another concern is that some of the companies were found not to use proper food and pasteurization processes for juices. As a result, these products grew harmful bacteria, some of which could potentially cause serious illness in elderly people, children, or those who have weak immune systems. Those with kidney problems should not drink large amounts of juice because they are high in a substance called oxalate. This can worsen any existing kidney problems.

It is always recommended that people with diabetes consult their physician before changing their eating plan. Many people who go on a detox diet lose weight, but this is not due to the toxins going out of their systems, but rather due to calorie restriction. Any diet that includes severe calorie restriction may lead to weight loss in the beginning, but this weight loss is usually not sustained for the long haul. The best way to lose weight is to eat a balanced diet that provides you all the nutrients that you need and includes the healthiest foods possible.

The Difference Between Noom and Other Plans and Programs

When it comes to learning how to eat and how to live for weight loss, Noom works from a psychological perspective. According to the Chief of Psychology for Noom, Dr. Andreas Michaelides, “By understanding the past behaviors and attitudes of all types of users, we know the best way to meet our users where they are in their journey to help them maximize their change of long-term weight-loss success.” Noom, as a weight-loss platform, uses the power of food logging, among other advanced technologies, to teach simple, key behaviors for lasting change. Behavior changes that include self-efficacy, motivation, and knowledge are just the start of how psychology can interact with food, so you lose more weight in a way that lasts a lifetime.

Noom works with tech-based tools partnered with support from real-life coaches in a structured program that connects the user with the social support and positive reinforcement needed to change behavior in a way that increases the likelihood of success.

Not all dietary changes are for everyone, and no two weight-loss plans should be the same, which is precisely how Noom works. By identifying specific areas where changes can be made to reach goals of weight loss and health improvement successfully, users realize where their best changes are to be made and how those changes are incorporated into a lifestyle they can adopt for the long-term.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that dietary methods for detoxing the colon are safe because they do not involve the ingestion of anything or the use of any medical devices. However, people with certain conditions may be placed at additional risk when attempting a detox diet. For instance, those that already have gastrointestinal disease, have had colon surgery, have kidney disease, or who have current heart disease could be placed at risk by any type of detox program. People with these types of complications should consult their physician before attempting any type of detox, including changes in diet.

Some detox diets tell you to go out and buy over-the-counter laxatives. These types of diets should be approached with particular caution. Laxatives are powerful substances and can cause severe diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration and potential electrolyte imbalances. These can lead to heart failure, kidney damage, and other serious and lasting side effects.

Laxatives, even over-the-counter ones, were not designed for casual use. They were designed to relieve constipation. Over-the-counter ones were designed for minor and temporary constipation. Those prescribed by a physician are for moderate to severe constipation. Laxatives should not be taken by those who do not have existing constipation.

Foods for Colon Health

Colon detox is a short-term strategy. If you eat a generally poor diet and expect a short-term detox to fix your problems, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. You may feel better and have more energy, but as soon as you go back to your old eating habits, this feeling will go away. The best way to approach a colon detox is through developing a plan for long-term colon health. Eating foods that support colon health and your health overall is the best long-term strategy.

However, there are some foods that have been proven, or that research seems to suggest, are good for improving your colon health and preventing the development of long-term disease. The colon helps to absorb the nutrients that your body needs, but you have it to give it foods that have those nutrients in the first place. You must take care of your colon so that it can take care of you.

There are many sources that recommend diets and advice on how to cleanse your body. Among these suggestions include:

Limit red meat.

Consuming large amounts of red meat, which is typical in the American diet, increases your risk of developing colon disease. According to the American Cancer Society, consuming 100 g of red meat per day increases your risk of developing colon cancer by 15 to 20 percent. (American Cancer Society) This amount is equal to a small hamburger, smaller than the one served by many popular food chains.

The American Cancer Society goes on to say that it also sees a significant increase in colon cancer with the consumption of 50 g of red meat per day. This is equal to one hot dog. The worst offenders are processed meats such as bacon, hotdogs, and sausage. It is suspected that the preservatives used in these meats are the culprit behind cancer development. That is not to say that it is not okay to have a little bit of red meat once in a while, but it should be reserved as a treat rather than a daily dietary staple.

More reasons to avoid sugar.

Studies have connected the development of diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with the consumption of high amounts of sugar and low amounts of dietary fiber. (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

Although it has been suggested, there has not been a direct association between colon cancer and sugar. However, diets that are high in sugar have been associated with weight gain and the development of obesity.

According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity has been associated with the development of many different types of cancer. (National Cancer Institute)

Although there is no direct link between sugar and the development of colon cancer, in particular, there is an indirect relationship between obesity and many different types of cancer. Reducing your sugar intake will have a positive effect on your ability to reduce your chances of getting colon and other types of serious cancers.

Up the fiber.

The need to increase your fiber intake to avoid many types of colon problems is a mantra that has been around the mass media for many years. This message is almost as predominant as infomercials about colon-cleanse products. Aside from consuming much more red meat than is recommended, Americans also consume a little more than half the fiber intake that they need to keep their colon healthy.

Fiber is found only in the cell walls of plants. When you consume foods that have a high amount of fiber, you will not taste it. Some people call fiber roughage. Studies have indicated that increasing fiber intake can lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer. The only thing that fiber adds to your diet is bulk. This increases the weight and size of the stools. This decreases the time that it takes for them to travel through the colon and out of the body.

It is important to remove waste from the body as quickly as possible. If the amount of time the toxins are in contact with cells decreases, the potential for cancer-causing damage also decreases.

There is another theory on how fiber prevents colorectal cancer. When the healthy bacteria in the gut break down the fiber, the process releases a substance called butyrate. This substance has been found to inhibit the growth of tumors in the colon and rectal areas. (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)

The average American only takes between 10 and 15 grams of fiber daily when the recommended amount is between 30 to 35 grams a day. This, combined with high red meat consumption, places Americans at a greater risk for the development of colorectal cancer and other diseases of the digestive tract.

There are two types of dietary fiber. They are soluble and insoluble, meaning that one will dissolve in water, and the other will not. Although soluble fiber offers a little bit of protection, it is the consumption of insoluble fiber that adds the greatest cancer protection factor. Soluble fiber is found in many vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains. This type of fiber makes you feel full and has been found to lower cholesterol.

Foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber are:

  • Oats
  • Oatmeal
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons
  • Apples
  • Barley
  • Dried beans
  • Rye flour
  • Raw cabbage
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta

Good sources of insoluble fiber include:

  • Crunchy vegetables
  • Barley
  • Bran
  • Shredded wheat
  • Many types of grains
  • Whole wheat
  • Pasta
  • Rye flour

If you will notice, several of these items appear on both lists and are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Eating more of these foods will help you to reduce your cancer risk and the potential for developing other colon problems as well.

Drink enough milk.

Milk adds plenty of vitamin D and calcium to the diet. These two nutrients have been found to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. However, it should be mentioned that increasing calcium above the recommended amounts may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.
(World Journal of Gastroenterology)

It is expected that the average person needs between 1000 and 1300 mg of calcium every day. This is the equivalent of three or four 8-ounce glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk. Vegetable sources of calcium include dark leafy greens such as collard greens, spinach, and kale.

Eat grains.

Grains were discussed as an important part of dietary fiber. However, they also have other compounds that help prevent cancer of the colon. It is recommended that every adult includes at least half of their daily caloric intake in the form of grains. That is approximately 3 to 5 servings of grains every day. Grains do other things besides provide important fiber.

They also contain vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that are important for colon health. Furthermore, it is recommended that as many of these grains as possible be in whole form, rather than refined. White flour and white rice are not the best sources of grains.

Ginger for bloating.

Sometimes, when people begin a colon-cleanse diet, they will experience bloating. For some, this can cause quite a bit of pain. Fortunately, there are some plants that can help relieve the symptoms without causing serious side effects for many people. Common ginger root is one of the plants known as a carminative. Carminatives help to soothe the digestive system and alleviate gas and bloating.

The active ingredients in ginger root that help achieve this goal are gingerols and shogaols. Of course, you can always eat the fresh root on a daily basis. It is recommended that adults take about between two and four grams of fresh root on a daily basis for digestive problems.

You can also buy it in powdered form. Between 0.25 and 1 gram of powder are typically considered the proper dose for alleviation of symptoms. You can also buy ginger as a liquid extract with a recommended dose for adults between 30-90 drops daily. If you are having a bad attack of gas, you can add ½ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to one cup of water for tea to relieve gas.

You might want to note that you should not take any form of ginger if you are on medication such as warfarin or aspirin because ginger has the ability to thin the blood. In some people, ginger can cause mild heartburn, stomach discomfort, and mouth irritation. People who have gallstones are not advised to take ginger.

Colon Cleanse Drink

A colon cleanse does not have to be complicated, and some of the best colon cleanse drinks include tea, juice, and coffee.

Green Tea

Green tea has been reported to have many positive benefits on the body. You also need to know that green tea comes from the same plant as oolong and black teas. The difference is how they are processed. Green tea is made from the mature leaves that are steamed and dried with as little damage to them as possible. Black and oolong tea is made by bruising or rolling the leaves during the process. One of the most interesting things about the difference between green tea and black teas is that it affects the taste, and it also affects the antioxidant profile.

There is no clinical evidence that green tea has many benefits as a colon cleanse, but it has been known to reduce inflammation in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Juice

Juice is another popular way to perform a colon cleanse at home. The most popular form is juice fasting. When people use this method, they will drink only juices for an entire day. It is typically not recommended that you do a juice cleanse for an extended period of time. The theory behind this is that this allows the digestive tract to rest and removes waste by improving digestion once the fast is completed. Sometimes people combine a juice cleanse with an herbal tea cleanse. A juice cleanse works due to the presence of insoluble fibers in the juice that help move the bowels along. Just as with other cleanses, it is important to make certain that you drink plenty of water along with the juices; otherwise, you can become dehydrated.

Coffee

Some studies have indicated that drinking just one or two cups of coffee a day can cut the odds of having colon cancer by up to 30 percent. Although they do not recommend the consumption of coffee as a way to prevent colon cancer, there is evidence suggesting that coffee may be good for the colon. One of the reasons for this finding is that coffee stimulates the bowels to move. Having daily coffee can improve the ability to have regular and consistent bowel movements.

Colon Cleanse Side Effects

Colon cleanses of any kind have the potential for causing certain side effects. Some of the side effects are more severe than others. There are no studies on the frequency of these side effects, and most of the information on them comes from case studies involving a colon detox.

Dizziness and Dehydration

Cleanses of any type can also cause a feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dizziness from a colon cleanse.

The rapid emptying of the bowels, vomiting, herbal teas, or laxatives may cause dehydration. Typically, children are in greater danger from dehydration due to these causes, but adults undergoing any type of cleanse program need to be particularly aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration. If it is ignored, dehydration can lead to serious side effects.

Dehydration occurs when you do not replace the water that you lose quickly enough. Some early signs of hydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Reduced urine output
  • Dry mouth, dry skin
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps

These symptoms can quickly increase to more severe ones that include:

  • Dark yellow urine, or no urine at all
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing
  • Sleepiness, confusion, irritability
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

If a person experiences the symptoms, it is usually best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Depletion of Helpful Normal Bowel Flora

A colon cleanse procedure can disturb the normal bowel flora that helps with digestion. This can cause short-term problems such as inflammation, diarrhea, and some pain. It is important to replace these natural florae as quickly as possible by the consumption of probiotics.

Probiotics are living organisms that have healthful benefits. They include yogurt with live cultures, certain dietary supplements, and some products such as skin creams. (NCCIH) In a normal state, these microbes help prevent the spread of disease-causing microorganisms, they help to digest food, and they help the absorption of some vitamins. A colon cleanse can flush probiotics out of the bowels, needing them to be replaced as quickly as possible before symptoms begin to develop.

Change in Electrolyte Balance

Any type of colon cleanse has the potential to cause a change in your electrolytes. Electrolytes include magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. An imbalance of these chemicals in your body can lead to a number of system symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, high fever, and can progress to convulsions, heart arrhythmias, blood pressure changes, weakness, muscle spasms, and twitching. (Medline Plus) Those that already have an underlying condition may be more prone to developing the symptoms than others.

The colon cleanse has a purpose in life – to help naturally treat constipation. That’s the limit of the cleanse. There’s no indication that cleansing or detoxing is needed for overall health, and science shows that trying to lose weight with detox is not effective or safe.

Take a moment to learn how to eat with a personalized coach, a customized plan, and a wealth of resources and tools from the doctors who created it all. Check out Noom today and see what a clinically-proven method of weight loss looks like.

Colon Cleanse QA

Is a colon cleanse a good idea?

Though proponents of the colon cleanse claim it is a good idea, science doesn’t support claimed health benefits of otherwise healthy individuals “cleansing” the colon. Toxins are not “held” by the body, so cleanses don’t remove toxins.

What can I drink to clean my colon out?

Natural drinks to cleanse the colon include undiluted fruit juices (watch out these are high in sugar), fiber drinks, and salt water consumed before breakfast.

How do you flush your bowels?

The two main ways to flush your bowels is through over-the-counter or prescription laxatives or colon hydrotherapy, often referred to as the colonic. Over-the-counter laxatives work to increase the bulk of stool or promote muscle contractions in the bowel that promotes movement of waste out of the body.

The colonic or colon hydrotherapy uses a gentle push of water into the rectum to flush the colon.

Can a colon cleanse help you lose weight?

A colon cleanse can help you temporarily lose weight by removing waste and fluid from the body. The weight will return as the body processes food in the future.

How often should you do a colon cleanse?

Colon cleanses are not necessary for weight loss or overall health. Laxative use is only recommended for the treatment of short-term constipation. Long-term constipation should be addressed by a healthcare professional.

What is it called when you get your colon cleaned out?

When you get your colon cleaned out mechanically it’s called colon hydrotherapy or a colonic.

How many pounds of poop can be in your body?

Poop, on average, weighs about one pound. Women have poop that weighs slightly less than men at 14 ounces. The pounds of poop that can be in your body depends on weight, dietary habits, and water intake.

Does a colonic smell?

The instruments used for a colonic is a sealed system. This means no waste or smell escapes during the procedure.

What’s the point of a colonic?

Colonics are used to flush out the bowels. Typically, people use colonics for the treatment of constipation.

What can I eat to cleanse my colon?

The best foods to cleanse the colon include:

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Fiber-rich fruits
  • Water

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