All dis-ease and health begins and ends within the intestines and colon. Ancient Chinese medicine and great minds like Hippocrates, the father of medicine and famous for the wise words ,”Let food by thy medicine.”, came to this conclusion long ago. Why then, is it not a common practice in our health care system to treat a major root cause of all dis-ease by ensuring colon and intestinal health? That is what we are going to get into today. This article can provide you with some of the knowledge on the intestines and colon that is needed to empower you to take your health and dis-ease management into your own hands. No one can listen to the signs your body sends you like you can and no drug or pharmaceutical can heal your gut. Only your awareness of the what is actually happening in your body and your mental shift to take responsibility make the best health promoting choices are what will help heal your body and regenerate your cells to a state of health.
Now let’s get into what exactly is going on in your body. This system technically begins with your mouth. Whenever your begin chewing food you are starting up the process of food break down and your body starts to get ready for digestion, absorption and elimination, which are the intestines primary job. The (hopefully well chewed) food will pass down the esophagus (oesophagus), landing in the stomach where stomach acid will start to break down the food further. Then that matter will start to move along into the small intestine. The small intestine has 3 parts, the first part, connecting to the stomach is called the duodenum. The duodenum is curled around the pancreas and leads into the other two parts of the small intestine which are coiled up in the centre of the abdomen. The second section of the small insetting is called the jejunum and the third and final section is the ileum and this is where the food is further digested and either absorbed into the blood or passed through to the large intestine. The ileum eventually leads into the beginning of the large intestine called the caecum which leads up the abdomen into the colon which runs across the abdomen and then back down (think of a soccer goal post). The colon then leads into the rectum and anus where the processed matter is expelled.
What happens in the case of leaky gut is the small intestine becomes damaged overtime due to stored toxins in your body that are acids and corrosive to the organs. These lesions essentially create a passage way for food particles, or bacteria to “leak” into the blood or for toxins and facal matter to become impacted in the colon in small pockets. The small intestine contains little finger or hair like structures that absorb nutrients from the food your digesting and send those vitamins into the blood. In the case of intestinal issues, these structures are damaged and this can cause nutrient deficiency from malabsorption.
In many cases of intestinal, digestive and colon issues, all of these are contributing factors.
Poor diet sustained over a period time- (processed food, consumption of meat, eggs and dairy, consumption of GMO foods containing large amounts of harmful chemical pesticides and damaging substances, refined sugar, artificial preservatives such as MSG, artificial colour, artificial flavours, artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Aspartame, alcohol, energy drinks, soda and other caffeinated beverages etc.) These “foods” are acidic and corrosive and can cause major damage. What does acid do? it burns and destroys. Consuming these foods on a regular basis will cause inflammation, irritation, yeast and bacteria growth and will slow down and damage your digestive process leading to toxin reabsorption.
Antibiotic use- antibiotics are one of the main contributors to poor intestinal health and the development of a host of dis-ease. Antibiotics are commonly found in all animals products and are prescribed even when there is no infection present in the body, in the form of creams or pills to treat issues like acne for example. Acne is commonly a reflection of poor intestinal health so to take an antibiotic for acne is digging yourself into a deeper hole. Antibiotics destroy all the bacteria (good and bad) that is present in your gut which is damaging for your immune system and can cause your intestines to be more susceptible to damage. Good bacteria helps protect the lining of the intestines, rebuild and repair damage and keep bad bacteria to a minimum.
Consumption of or frequent exposure to allergens- you can be consuming foods that your body is sensitive to such as wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts etc. A lot of these foods contain an irritant such as mold, fungus, growth hormones and bacteria that is harmful to the intestines and causes inflammation in the body. As your intestines becomes less healthy, you may find that you will develop more food sensitivities.
Organ removal or damage- because the body and all it’s intricate parts work in harmony with one another, any injury or removal of vital organs can cause problems in other areas of the body. For example, liver health is tied very closely to gut health. Removal or injury to the spleen or appendix would also very likely impact gut health. The body is one holistic unit, everything is interconnected and it is important to view yourself this way and listen to what your body is telling you.
Chronic Stress- explained more down below
(Including- eczema, rashes, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and irritated, red and flakey skin)
(Including- IBS, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and discomfort due to feelings of pressure)
(Including- depression, anxiety, brain fog, ADD or lack of ability to focus and concentrate)
Low Energy Levels and Chronic Fatigue
Simple, Effective, Natural and Affordable Remedies
Licorice Root Tea
soothing and healing for any digestive issues
helps your body manage stress
*note: not recommended for people with high blood pressure
aids in digestion
helps cleanse the liver and kidneys
healing for the stomach and intestines
aids in digestion
to read more about the benefits of different teas, click here.
Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)
helps your body manage stress
Oil of Oregano
If candida or yeast are an issue (which is very common in cases of poor gut health), applying a few drops of oil of oregano to the soles of the feet can be effective and fighting off the excess bad bacteria.
By reducing your exposure to harmful toxins that are sprayed on the foods you consume you will be able to restore your gut health and balance out your intestinal flora. The harmful toxins kill good bacteria in the intestines so it is important to avoid them if possible. To read more about organics read here.
Reduce Stress and Get Fresh Air
Yoga, deep breathing exercises, walking, hiking, meditation, whatever it is that helps you relax and calm your nervous system will help your digestion. When you are chronically stressed, like many of us today are, your digestion will slow down and in some cases turn off completely because digesting food and assimilating nutrients is a longterm survival mechanism. Stress is interpreted by the brain and body to be an immediate threat that you may not survive, so there is no need in wasting energy in longterm survival mechanisms, all the energy needs to be put towards short term survival mechanisms. Think about it this way, if you are being chased by a lion (which I think we can all agree is a stressful situation), your body will turn off all of it’s longterm survival mechanisms such as digestion, take all of the energy that was allocated to those and put it towards helping you run away from the lion. Whether you are actually being chased by a lion or if you are stuck in horrible traffic and late for a meeting, or unhappy with your job or boss, your body doesn’t actually know the difference. All it knows is that it needs to survive and it’s going to pump out Adrenaline and cortisol to help you do that. Thus, the goal here is to relax as much as possible so that your digestion stays strong and that your health stays on track. Deep breathing and just devoting your attention to your breath for as little as 5 minutes can completely change your body chemistry and reduce the presence of stress hormones.
Consume a Healthy Diet
The most important piece of advice: consume a healthy plant-based diet that is free from processed foods (anything with refined sugar, artificial colours and flavours that comes in a box with a long ingredient list that sounds foreign) this will help reduce the effort and energy consumption required to digest these foods, thus more energy will be left over and able to be allocated to healing the body. The more fibre rich fruits and vegetables, the better. These fibre in these foods will act like a scrubbing brush through the intestines and colon and clean you out. Eat food closest to their natural state, raw and unaltered by chemicals or preservatives with no additives. The more raw hydrating fruit (combined properly), the better.
Clean, Energetic Spring Water
Water is the basis of all life. Clean spring water that is rich in natural minerals is hydrating, nourishing and cleansing for the intestines and colon and it will be supportive of healthy organ function and repair as well as healthy bowel movements which is key in helping you achieve optimal health. Add fruits to flavour and energize the water to increase it’s absorbency into our the cells of the body.
Coconut Oil and Castor Oil Tummy Massage
Rubbing equal parts coconut oil and castor oil on to your stomach and giving it a nice massage will help your gut. The oils will be absorbed into your system and you will be able to receive their soothing benefits almost immediately. both oils are natural antibacterial and antifungals that will also help soften the stool. For more on the benefits of coconut oil and castor oil click here.
Colon hydrotherapy works by cleansing the colon and intestines naturally with filtered spring water to help reshape the colon, strengthen it and expel toxins that have trapped inside and recycled through your body causing an array of health issues. Because your internal body is hot, (literally like a oven) toxins and trapped fecal matter can become caked onto the sides of your colon and the only way to really clean it all off is through colon hydrotherapy cleansing. If you think of a pot of burnt oatmeal, the only way to clean off the caked on oats at the bottom of the pot is to let it soak in some water. Same thing goes for your colon. In addition, people who have consumed the standard American diet through out their life (see above poor diet description) will develop little holes, pockets, polyps, and narrower colon passage ways making it difficult to rid the body of toxins, and these can later develop into colon cancer and disease. By undergoing colon hydrotherapy even as little as once a year, you can help heal your colon and keep it clean of excess toxins that can leak back into the body.
Top Foods for Gut Health
#1 healer: All fruit with proper fruit combining practices
Things to Avoid
artificial sweeteners ( including splenda and aspartame)
artificial colours (if you see blue #1 or red #3)
preservatives (such as MSG)
consuming too much oil
high fructose corn syrup
Thanks for reading! Stay happy and healthy:)
Any questions or stories about colon and intestinal health? Leave them down below!