Ask A Healer Colon Health Series
Are Your Bowel Movements Healthy?
by N J Howell
Symptoms of healthy stool: A person with a healthy colon will pass stools that are soft, unformed and fairly large. Healthy stool floats, has little odor and is normally about the color of honey, assuming one has not eaten a food that temporarily colors stool, like beets. More on healthy stool characteristics
Symptoms of unhealthy stool: Unhealthy bowel movements, on the other hand, may be stringy or hard pellets, or there may be diarrhea. The stool may contain undigested food, mucus or parasites. While slight mucus may be considered normal, noticable mucus is not a healthy thing to see in bowel movements.
Bowel movements are typically difficult for the person with a toxic colon, requiring effort to eliminate. If you normally take a crossword puzzle in with you, or a book to read while you are waiting, then you are in there too long! More on unhealthy stool characteristics.
Question on alternative health care and healing:
I have a problem with my sister. She has colon cankering and inflammation in her colon since more than three years ago. She takes medicines without benefits and we are afraid that this may turn into cancer eventually. Do you have any suggestions?
Healing facilitation response: I have never actually heard the term "colon cankering". I understand colon inflammation and can address that. It can have several root causes though and I'm not a doctor. However, I can guide you toward a few areas of exploration.
As always, I would advise
getting medical tests done to track down the cause and also, checking with your doctor before adding anything new to your
existing health regimen.
Parasites and Colon Inflammation:
Your sister may have a parasitic infestation. I would suggest she rule out parasites as a factor.
Again, she should check with her doctor, but, assuming her doctor says it is ok, then a parasite cleanse might be in order. Parasites can definitely help to inflame the colon, and irritate the bowels. Parasitic infestations also cause other symptoms such as chronic fatique, constipation, diahrrhea, pasty skin, restless sleep, anal itching at night, the jitters, allergy symptoms and much more. A parasitic infestation can also exacerbate IBS (irritable bowel syndrome.
Dehydration as a factor in colon inflammation:
Chronic dehydration effects all systems of the body. If a lack of sufficient fluids is a chronic situation, then chronic constipation will inevitably be the result.
Chronic constipation can lead to other, more serious,
bowel problems over time.
The body cannot really produce healthy stool if the colon is dehydrated, no matter how much fiber you take. In fact, the more fiber you add to a dehydrated colon, the more constipated you will likely become.
Drinking more pure water, more often, is one of nature's ways of dealing with colon congestion. I'm not one of those people who thinks drinking huge glasses of water at one time is the best idea. Sipping on pure water all throughout the day is an excellent way to keep your
body hydrated. Get in the habit of it if you want to have a healthy colon.
But I don't feel dehydrated. ...
This is actually a common situation. Most people think that as long as they drink water when they feel thirsty, they won't become dehydrated but there's a different view held by some doctors and most wholistic health practitioners. It says that
if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated to some degree.
Some people are even chronically dehydrated and don't realize it, because they never drink enough water so they get used to feeling the way it feels when you are in a state of chronic dehydration. I think the best way to get enough water is to sip on it thru the day, as your main beverage. That way, you get used to it as something you take in all day.
Colon Inflammation and Wheat Allergies:
Your sister may have wheat allergies. Does she notice if pain or inflammation is worse after eating wheat products? If so, she might try not eating wheat for a few weeks and see if that helps.
Some people find that taking digestive enzymes high in amylase can help with wheat allergies, but if your sister has digestive allergies, she should take the advice of her allergist or doctor before adding wheat back in, with or without enzymes.
I know at least one person who managed their wheat allergies with digestive enzyme supplementation but haven't personally had anyone with your condition taking them. And, it depends on how much wheat means to you. If you are not a big wheat-eater, you may just want to give it up and use spelt, rice, or other grains.
Soothing properties of Aloe for Colon Inflammation:
Aloe vera juice is very soothing to the intestinal tract. After checking with her doctor and ruling out contraindications to taking aloe vera juice, I would think it might be beneficial in helping the colon calm down and heal itself internally. However, I would make sure I was buying 100% pure aloe, without added herbs or other ingredients that might be unnecessary to the purpose at hand. One caution on aloe: Besides making sure you are taking pure aloe with nothing added, you should also know that aloe may discolor the inside of the colon wall for a time, making colonoscopy tests harder to read for doctors. If you need a colonoscopy, I'd suggest not starting the aloe juice til that test is completed.
Eating sufficient fiber-rich foods and staying away from fried foods, white flour products, high-sugar products and red meats should help to produce healthy stool as well, over time. One note on fiber: Eating a lot of fiber-rich foods or taking a fiber supplement when you are not taking in sufficient fluids to process the fiber only results in a worse state of constipation and binding. I often suggest that, if a person knows they are already constipated,
it is usually better to increase fluids for a few days, and do a safe colon cleanse, before adding fiber.
Other Medical Conditions to rule out:
When colon inflammation exists, in addition to investigating the areas I've already mentioned, your doctor should rule out ulcerative colitis, spastic colon, infectious colitis (caused by bacteria such as Clostridium, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni and Shigella), dysentary and any other health conditions known to produce symptoms of colon inflammation.
Inflammation of the bowels can also occur thru use of antibiotics so if you develop symptoms of inflammation at the same time, or near the same time, that you take a round of antibiotics, that could be a factor. Eating yogurt or taking acidophilus to put back friendly bacteria the antibiotics may have killed along with the bad guys, can help restore good elimination and healthy stool but as always, check with your doctor first.
Colon Polyps; Related Health Challenge: Colon Polyps are a very common condition with a related risk of developing into colon cancer. The larger the polyp, the higher the risk. Risk is reduced when colon polyps are removed, but not eliminated. Polyps can be surgically removed and it is important to know that the cure rate for colon cancer, unlike some other types of cancer, is excellent, particularly
if caught early.
What increases your risk of developing colon polyps? Age, drinking, a sedentary lifestyle and obesity are some of the controllable factors. Visit the NIDDK Website for more information on symptoms, prevention tips and more.
Allergies can cause serious colon health challenges as well. Learn about a condition called celiac sprue, and what you can do if you have it.
Health Care Disclaimer: The information contained in any alternative health care / spiritual healing article on colon health is educational in nature and does not replace personal medical advice from your intestinal health specialists. Acting on the information found in this or any educational health care article we share here is the right and responsibility of the reader. If you have colon or intestinal concerns, please consult with your chosen healthcare professional.