When I called to make my appointment I received very basic instructions to avoid eating two hours beforehand so that I wouldn’t be digesting. The first thing I noticed, arriving in the office, was the beautiful, calming environment. Sandra LaMorgese was my colon hydrotherapist and she made me feel incredibly at ease. I filled out a short questionnaire and a little while later, Sandra brought me into the room where my colonic would take place.
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Many colon cleanse practitioners lose weight because they clear waste products from their intestines. During a colon cleanse, you may have five or six bowel movements per day. These frequent bowel movements eliminate the waste that normally builds up in your digestive tract. According to the commercial Best Colon Cleanse website, some people lose 10 or more pounds during the cleansing process.
A healthy gut is the foundation of a healthy body. Unfortunately many of us feel less than vibrant and vital and struggle with digestive issues or food sensitivities and a tendency to catch every cold that pass us by. Interestingly about 70% of the cells that make up our immune system are in the wall of our gut. Yet a sluggish digestion, poor diet, stress (a big trouble maker!), environmental toxins and food toxins can really take it's toll.
Our bodies, including our digestive system, slow down in the evening hours as they prepare to rest and rejuvenate. When we put food into our stomachs late in the evening, there are fewer digestive enzymes available to facilitate proper digestion. This can result in undigested food sitting in your stomach for long periods of time, which can result in a disturbed sleep.
Modern research has found that Terminalia has a strong effect against the herpes simplex virus HSV,23 and exhibits strong cardio tonic properties. It also has antioxidant components, which indicates it can increase the life of tissues. Yet another study shows the anti-tumor activity of Terminalia and another study shows that it has considerable effect in inhibiting the HIV virus which ultimately results in AIDS.24 And it can help control diabetes.25
Physically, the colon is not designed to store large amounts of old fecal matter. If you have pounds of extra garbage in there, there's only one thing that can happen; the colon must distend and expand. This causes the walls of the colon to thin out (like blowing up a balloon more and more). As the walls extend out, they press on and compress other organs in the abdominal cavity. Also, old fecal matter is an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria and dangerous parasites. And finally, as the accumulated waste builds up, so does the weight of the colon, which in some cases can cause it to drop down into the lower abdominal cavity, pressing down on the other organs and bulging out through the intestinal wall. This is the cause of prolapsed colons.
Your body can’t digest these foods, so they sit in your colon as old, rotten feces and mucus and impair the digestion of the healthier foods you eat. Pretty soon you’re bloated, tired all the time, depressed, and catching every bug you come in contact with. It comes as no surprise then, according to the National Institutes of Health, up to 70 million Americans are dealing with digestive problems like Constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Plant-based diets containing generous amounts of vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds, nuts and whole grains are high in fibre, which is the essential, non-digestible component of food. A high-fibre diet supports a healthy digestive tract by sweeping debris from the colon, much like a broom. Fibre exercises the intestinal tract by stimulating peristalsis, the wave-like muscular contractions of the bowel that decrease bowel transit time. Fibre also holds moisture in the colon, softening the stool.
Colon-cleansing enthusiasts believe that periodically cleaning from the inside out removes waste stuck to the colon walls. This waste buildup also supposedly produces toxins that enter the blood and may be slowly poisoning people, contributing to a variety of symptoms — fatigue, bloating, irritated skin and weight gain — and health problems, from depression and allergies to arthritis and cancer.
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These “Frankenfoods” are loaded with artificial ingredients that have names you can’t even pronounce. And they’re missing one key ingredient – fiber. So they sit in your gut for days or even weeks, fermenting and rotting instead of digesting and providing nutrients. Constipation, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, bloating and weight gain are just some of the results.
Note: herbal laxatives can cause temporary staining of the lining of the large intestine, a condition doctors have labeled melanosis coli -- which produces no other symptoms or problems and goes away in time. At one time, doctors used to freak out when they saw it during a colonoscopy. Now, since so many people use herbal laxatives, they don't even mention it when they see it.
If any of these symptoms occur, stop your cleanse immediately and see your doctor. These symptoms have the risk of leading to heart failure and digestive damage if the cleanse is continued. An enema or colon cleanse used occasionally poses little risk for a healthy individual. But overuse can quickly lead to chronic constipation or even bowel injury.