The history of colon cleansing dates back to ancient Greek civilization. The practice found resurgence in the 1920’s and 1930’s but fall apart due to lack of any scientific studies. Recently idea of colon cleansing has gathered momentum. Colon is the part of the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) and is commonly called large intestine. It is responsible for digestion. The food that we eat stays in these twisted pipes for 1-2 days in a healthy body. There are millions of useful bacteria that inhabit both the small and large intestines. If the bacteria of the colon enter in the small intestine, symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea and constipation is observed. Not only the innate bacteria but foreign toxins and parasites may also invade colon. Colon cleansing aims to cleanse this organ from leftover feces and toxins.
There are two methods by which colon cleansing can be performed:
1. At personal level: Use of powdered or liquid supplements through mouth or rectum is essentially a simple method to cleanse the colon. Enemas, laxatives, enzymes and magnesium is used for this purpose.
2. At professional level: In this method, one has to visit the specialist who pumps several gallons of water into the colon through rectum. He then massages the abdomen and let the water remove by normal bowel movement. The process can be repeated and may last for an hour.
Combating Constipation- Effectiveness of Colon Cleansing:
Constipation gives sustained pain both physical and mental to the patients. Those suffering from constipation rely heavily on laxatives. Though laxatives are useful in managing constipation, they are not without side-effects. Regular use of laxatives can cause increased peristalsis and reduced intestinal-muscle tone. It also is believed to decline the levels of electrolytes such as potassium. In such patients, colon cleansing can be a good idea. Fiber-based cleansing is believed to maintain the healthy levels of electrolytes that the body desires.
If there is a parasite is found in the stool sample, one needs to inform the doctor who can then analyze the sample and prepare the management strategy accordingly.
The hindsight of Colon Cleansing:
No specific scientific study has been conducted to determine the efficacy of colon cleansing. It is believed to have some side-effects on the patient. Since this involves an invasive method, one is exposing oneself to several infections. Moreover there can be nausea and dehydration due to the pumping of large quantities of water to the colon. Alteration of electrolyte content is another trouble that the patient may encounter.
Balancing the Diet:
Colon is the waste manager of the body. A clean colon gives a healthy body. Eating a balanced diet with fibers can keep the colon effective. Stress and unhealthy life style take a toll on the colon. Below are some recommended food items which maintain functioning of the colon:
1. Fibers: High fiber content of vegetables and fruits helps erode the debris of the colon. It also stimulates peristalsis, the activity on which colon heavily relies to perform its function.
2. Green Foods: Foods rich in chlorophyll, the green pigment of the plants, helps to soothe, cleanse and heal the damaged tissues of the colon.
3. Fermented foods: The fermented foods are rich source of the useful bacteria of the colon and can be helpful in maintaing the colon ecosystem.
4. Water: Water is an excellent solvent and it helps in patients with constipation immensely. Most people do not drink sufficient water. Always remember that balanced diet is incomplete without water.