But constipation is a severe problem in the developed world. According to a 2007 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, the incidence of chronic constipation in the United States is just over 17 percent, or well over 50 million people.10 With a bowel movement once every five days (towards the low end definition of constipation), you're talking about 10 pounds of fecal matter stored in the colon -- at once every seven days it's 14 pounds. And statistically, we're still talking about several million people. So, my statement that 10--20 pounds is not as unusual as you might think, holds up…again, mathematically speaking. And let's keep in mind, these numbers assume that 100% of this stored fecal matter is evacuated from your bowels during your once a week movements -- a questionable assumption at best. As for the 65 pounds, I did say that has been reported "only in exceptional cases." The simple mathematical truth is that the concept of people storing pounds of fecal matter is not "false, false, false" as Dr. Carroll asserts; It's mathematically "true, true, true!"
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.
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The other claim sometimes made about herbal laxatives is that you become dependent on them to have a bowel movement. The evidence does not bear that out. Millions of people who did not have regular bowel movements before using colon cleansing products, have gone on natural colon cleansers, stayed on them for a number of months to build up colon function, and then weaned themselves off. The net result is that their colons are stronger and working better than before they started on the colon cleansing program. The trick is to wean yourself off, not stop abruptly. Just think how sensitive your colon is. Sometimes just taking a trip is enough to make you constipated. Your colon doesn't like abrupt changes.
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.
Dr Axe, please help. I’m living in Ghana Africa, been here 1 1/2 yrs. I just starting finding a little pink trail on the outside of my underwear, not kidding. Went to the doctor who poured a bit of water on it and tested it with a paper urine tester. It was blood but it’s not coming from me (outside) of underwear. I’ve had a partial hysterectomy and haven’t bled in over 20 years. Tonight I found a tiny critter on the outside of my underwear a little smaller than a knat. I want to soak in boric acid maybe and do a colon cleanse and maybe a yeast suppository or colon suppository or all of the above. I’m so creeped out!! Not wonder I itch everywhere and I don’t feel good. Recommendations please?!? Thank you!!!
Colon cleanse proponents attribute a variety of health problems to poor colon health. They claim that eating unhealthy foods causes toxins and fat to stick to the walls of your intestines, causing weight gain and poor health. Eating foods with preservatives, additives, artificial dyes, sweeteners and fats causes your colon to build up toxins. The purpose of a colon cleanse is to sweep away these toxic chemicals and eliminate waste to help you lose weight.
During a colon cleanse, large amounts of water — sometimes up to 16 gallons (about 60 liters) — and possibly other substances, such as herbs or coffee, are flushed through the colon. This is done using a tube that's inserted into the rectum. In some cases, smaller amounts of water are used and are left to sit in the colon for a short time before being removed.
Another great side effect of colon cleansers that can help your diet is the fact that it is capable of increasing your energy. Once the cleanse has released any toxins from your system, you may find that you feel rejuvenated, as the energy used to force waste through your intestines can now be utilized elsewhere. Many people who have experienced colon cleansers find that they sleep better, have more energy, and even experience improved circulation.
Psyllium seeds and husks are rich in soluble fiber and have long been used to ease constipation and digestive system upset. As the University of Maryland Medical Center says, "Many well designed studies have shown that psyllium relieves constipation. When combined with water, it swells and produces more bulk, which stimulates the intestines to contract and helps speed the passage of stool through the digestive tract. Psyllium is widely used as a laxative in Asia, Europe, and North America."26 Studies show that in addition to increasing stool weight, supplementing with psyllium seed husk produces stools that are slick and gelatinous. Psyllium is unique in contrast with other viscous fibers. It is resistant to fermentation, whereas other soluble fibers tend to ferment in the colon. That's a significant advantage. Researchers also observed that psyllium seed gel provides lubrication that facilitates the propulsion of colon contents and produces a stool that is bulkier and moister than are stools produced when using comparable amounts of other bowel-regulating fiber sources. The bottom line is that studies have shown that an unfermented gel component of psyllium seed husk promotes laxation as a lubricant in humans.27