Most if not all people will have some kind of colon problem in their life. In most cases they will be common problems such as constipation. For others, problems are more serious, including colorectal (colon) cancer now the third most common cancer in the US.
Many colon problems are not recognized as colon problems but almost taken for granted as “one of those things.” For instance, bad breath and skin problems.
One thing is for sure, an unhealthy, poorly-functioning colon is the root cause of a surprising diversity of diseases and disorders.
Common colon health problems
Constipation is probably the most common colon problem, affecting about 4.5 million people in the US at any one time. It is most often the result of a diet short on indigestible materials such as fiber which make up the bulk of stools. Not enough bulk means stools are small, hard and difficult for the colon to move along towards the rectum and anus.
Constantly straining to expel stools irritates and swells the veins around the anus leading to hemorrhoids.
In a poorly-functioning colon, where stools spend more time in the colon than they should, toxins accumulate and are absorbed into the bloodstream. They are then released through the skin and lungs, causing bad breath, body odor and acne.
Serious colon problems
Straining to pass stools can create diverticula – bulges or pouches in the weak spots of the colon wall. These can trap stools and harmful bacteria, and become inflamed and infected – a condition known as diverticulitis. In serious cases, surgery may be required to treat diverticulitis.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a painful, long-term condition that creates a great deal of stress for sufferers. Symptomatic of a malfunctioning colon, researchers believe IBS is linked to bacterial infection in the gastro-intestinal tract, including the colon.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a general term for any colon problem involving an inflamed colon. The most common IBD is colitis, believed to be caused in part by harmful bacteria and toxins in the colon. As with many colon problems, the first line of treatment is diet change for a cleaner, healthier colon. More severe IBDs include ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Colon Polyps and Colon Cancer
Colon cancer (colorectal cancer) is now the third most diagnosed cancer in the US. Colon cancer most commonly begins with colon polyps – growths of extra tissue in the colon. Most colon polyps are harmless but larger polyps can become cancerous. A clear link has been established between poor colon function and an increased risk of developing potentially cancerous polyps.
Not surprisingly, many people are taking recommended steps to reduce the risk of developing colon polyps. For instance, adopting a colon-friendly diet and healthier lifestyle and exploring options for colon cleansing – measures that optimize colon health and reduce the risk of developing not only colon polyps but other colon disorders associated with colon cancer.
This is just an overview of a long list of colon health problems. The good news is that most colon problems can be prevented or treated by eliminating the underlying causes of colon problems – harmful toxin-rich waste residing in and often blocking and damaging the colon.
The cleaner and healthier your colon is, the more you will avoid a wide range of colon problems from constipation to colon cancer.
Copyright 2008 Lindy Sinclair