Impaired Digestion? Talking Through the Perfect Poo

“I poop everyday so my digestion is fine.”

This is the typical statement I hear when this conversation comes up, and you’d be surprised how much I hear it (or how much the topic comes up)! There are a lot of ways to evaluate the health of your digestion, but the one I want to focus on today is poop. I’m not going to lie, I love talking about the subject because it is one of the best windows into understanding your health.

There are a few factors when evaluating the health of your poop.

  • Frequency: At minimum, a person should have one good bowel movement a day, but two to three is ideal.
  • Transit Time: The transit time for food, the time it takes for a meal to enter the mouth and then exit the rectum – should ideally be less than 24 hours. Transit time is related to exercise, diet, lifestyle, and water intake.
  • Color: Walnut brown in color.
  • Consistency: The consistency of toothpaste.
  • Length: About the length of a banana.
  • Odor: Free of odor!
  • Process: Stool should leave the body easily and you should be in and out of the bathroom in a couple of minutes. The process should be fast and painless.
  • Evacuation: You should feel like you had a complete elimination.

Poop is always a funny topic to discuss but it is a serious matter in understanding your health. When transit time slows, putrefied material stays in the colon longer, and toxins can enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall. Understanding the bullets above will help you evaluate what needs to change to improve your bowel movements, your health, and then the ultimate satisfaction of bragging to your friends that you poo perfectly.

The Dreaded Diarrhea

Ugh, the dreaded diarrhea. I’m sure at one point in your life, you have experienced it.

Diarrhea is a loose, watery bowel movement occurring more frequently than usual. This also means that the transit time is too fast. The stool is being eliminated too quickly causing insufficient time for water from it to be reabsorbed in the body, resulting in runny stool. The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) stated that diarrhea is the most common reported ailment in the United States (second to respiratory infection).

It is important to note that diarrhea is not a disease; it is a symptom. The most important step is to find out what is causing the diarrhea to determine the proper treatment.

There are two types of diarrhea: acute and chronic. Most cases are acute or short-lived. This is just your body’s self-cleansing mechanism to eliminate an irritant. This can be a good thing! Thank your body for being intelligent enough to remove the undesirable substance. Most acute cases can be left to run its course, but if it becomes severe or bloody, accompanied by pain, medical intervention can take place.

Below are some tips for acute diarrhea:

  • Refrain from solid foods.
  • Drink water and electrolytes.
  • Avoid dairy products.
  • Use bulking agents to improve consistency of stool.
  • Re-establish intestinal flora with probiotics.
  • Take glutamine powder to help with irritation.

Chronic diarrhea lasts longer than four weeks and is usually driven from a food allergy. Diarrhea is also a frequent side effect of antibiotics. Other medications such as NSAIDs, antacids, antihypertensives, antibiotics and antiarrhythmics can also lead to diarrhea.

Lastly, parasitic intestinal infections can also lead to chronic diarrhea. This includes contaminated water or food with the most common being campylobacter, salmonella, shigella, and Escherichia.  Parasites can be treated with a lot of natural compounds. Berberine-containing plants (goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape) and pancreatic enzymes can help treat parasites.

I know. I know. That’s a lot of information!  I’ll leave you with one final option that may help. Activated charcoal tablets may be taken every hour with water (read the directions on the label as well) until symptoms subside. This dates back to ancient Egypt and over the years has helped become a natural absorbent of gases and toxins in the digestive tract. This should not be taken regularly or taken within two hours of taking medicine or supplements or meals since it can absorb nutrients and supplements that are beneficial as well.

Again, when determining where a bout of diarrhea is coming from, look at your food intake, any over the counter drugs you have taken recently, or any lifestyle occurrences that could have contributed.

Colon Hydrotherapy Minneapolis Colon Hydrotherapy St. Paul

Colon Care 101

Everyday I face the same reaction when I share what I do, a cringed look after I say the word colon. There is a certain embarrassment tied to the word colon and most people like to avoid it. The next thing I hear is, ‘Oh, like a colonoscopy.’ Little do people know, colon hydrotherapy can aid in your colonoscopy prep, but it is also the best practice to aid in the prevention of disease (period).

Disease originates in the colon. When waste is not properly eliminated, it accumulates and backs up the rest of the digestive tract, then the liver and kidneys. Some symptoms related include constipation, headaches, weight gain, skin problems, muscle and joint pain, and other more serious symptoms.

Most people take lots of supplements, but they are unable to absorb these nutrients if the colon walls are layered in accumulated waste. Another negative factor of this build up is absorption of toxins through the colon walls, which then get carried into the bloodstream, then passed along to the various organs and absorbed into the cells of the body.

The way most of us eat these days, toxins do accumulate in our bodies. There is a reason why the Standard American Diet’s acronym is SAD. These toxins build up over the year, stretching the colon out of its proper shape and position within the body. This is why it is important to cleanse the colon. First, start the process of deciding how you want to cleanse, then continue to maintenance, and then see the difference. Colon care and cleansing are huge contributors to healing and knowing your body to keep it healthy.

Ways to Cleanse:

  • Enemas – Enemas dates back to ancient Egypt. There are two types of enemas, cleansing and retention. Coffee enemas (used to open the bile duct so toxins can be released from the liver) are retention enemas. The cleansing enemas are not retained or held in the body; they are used to flush out the colon.
  • Colon Hydrotherapy – You’ve come to the right place here in Minneapolis/St. Paul! Move Colonics offers very pleasant colon hydrotherapy. Colonics cleanse the entire colon; enemas bathe only the lower part. Another thing to note about enemas is that water enters more rapidly. The pressure system (closed system), allows me to gently flow water into the colon.
  • Herbs – Some herbs, such as aloe, senna, and cascara sagrada, act as laxatives. These are okay to use occasionally, but please do not come dependant on them.
  • Foods – Understanding what foods are beneficial to eat, the digestion timing, and the way your individual body reacts is very important.

There are many more steps I could mention about colon cleansing, but this gives you the general idea. You’ll know when your colon is feeling better, because you will feel better. You will have regular bowel movements again and gas & bloating will be eliminated. Another simple way to tell is through your breath in the morning, it will be fresh! These are all signs that you are back on tract, your best digestive tract.