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Colon: Introduction

It's not a pretty subject.  But if you're serious about your health, it's a health topic you'll eventually have to tackle. 

What is it? Your colon. You may also hear it called the large intestine, even though the large intestine is only one portion of the colon.  In either case, it's an essential part of your 

health. In order to stay healthy and vital, your body needs to effectively and efficiently eliminate the food you eat and other bodily waste.


Your colon, though, doesn't work alone.  Working in conjunction with your lungs, skin and kidneys, the colon eliminates toxins that are found throughout your body including the intestines, blood and your lymph system.


The physical appearance of this organ is quite different from other organs as the kidneys or the liver.  It's approximately five feet long and is, in fact, the last quarter of the digestive tract that's nearly 28 feet long. The colon, moreover, is not a single organ, but rather a collection of three separate organs the large intestine, rectum and the anus.  The main tasks of the colon are water and nutrient absorption and the formation and elimination of feces.


This organ contains a whole host of bacteria, both of the good and the bad variety.  With nearly 60 varieties of microflora or bacteria to aid digestion, the colon is vital to the digestion and processing of nutrient production.  Good bacteria, the majority of which are bacillus coli and acidophilus are essential in the processing of the B-complex vitamins and folic acid.  In fact, it's in this area of the body that the B vitamins combine with bacteria that then carries these vitamins, important for energy production, throughout the blood stream and ultimately to all the organs.


The entire process of elimination in a healthy body normally takes between 12 to 24 hours from the time the food is ingested to the time it's eliminated.  Experts claim that if your colon is healthy, you should experience two to three bowel movements daily, one after each meal is eaten. Elimination, ideally, should be complete and easy.  And it shouldn't hurt!


All healthy stool has common characteristics no matter your age or sex. The stool in a healthy elimination is light brown in color and it should  be long, large and round.  Contrary to popular opinion, stools should not have an offensive odor.  Another characteristic of a healthy stool is that as it's flushed down the toilet, it should break apart.


Colon: What healthy should be


We've all experienced occasional constipation. Perhaps that's the first problem you think of when you think of your colon. The colon, however, is vulnerable to a variety of  other diseases, disorders and problems. In fact, according to some experts, more than 70 million Americans at some point in their lives suffer from bowel problems. 


At least this is the number whose colon problems are so bad that they consult with the health care practitioner.  There are untold numbers of people who struggle with bowel and colon problems who don't seek professional help.  They either believe that the problem isn't severe enough or they don't even realize a problem exists.


Constipation is only one of many problems that can attack the colon. Diarrhea is another health problem of the colon. Other more serious problems include cancer, polyps, colitis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis.


But colon and bowel problems can be more than merely uncomfortable, but they can also cause nutritional deficiencies, regardless of how great your diet is or how many vitamin and dietary supplements you take.


When your body cannot properly eliminate the food it brings in and the toxins that accumulate, then fecal matter builds up either along the walls of the colon or in the pockets of the organ.  And this is when even a mild case of constipation is serious.


These deposits, as they sit in the colon, may not get eliminate for weeks, even months.  In fact, it's not unusual some experts say that some may cling to the colon for even years. Eventually this fecal matter becomes irritated.  When this happens it may manifest itself in a spastic or an inflamed colon, both conditions that interfere with vital nutrient absorption in addition to the healthy bowel function.


When the fecal matter goes from merely being irritated to decaying, then real trouble begins.  The decaying matter releases toxins and poisonous gases which seep into the blood and if left untreated, eventually begin to poison all of your organs and tissue.  The bloodstream itself could get polluted which in turn poisons the entire body.


This just creates a domino effect.  For when the body is affected by toxins, the individual cells of your system cannot take in the nutrients from the blood.  The fluid surrounding these cells is too congested with wastes from the sluggish lymphatic system to allow anything inside the cells.


And this internal poisoning can initiate a host of other seemingly unrelated problems.  It can cause a mental depression accompanied by morbid thoughts.  You'll also feel sluggish because the B vitamins are being properly processed.  They're being eliminated before they can become attached to the proper bacteria and get carried to the bloodstream to nourish the body. 

Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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