Thursday, November 6, 2014

What is Colon Cleansing & Is It Safe?

Part of the colon's job is to eliminate toxins from the body.  That's why you go to the bathroom!  Therefore, anything indigestible, or otherwise classified as "waste" by the body, is eliminated via the colon.  Of course, other organs, such as the skin, liver, and kidneys, also play a significant role in detoxifying the body.

However, the colon sometimes needs special attention, as experts note how wastes and undigested food matter can accumulate in that organ to an alarming degree.  Some natural health practitioners and nutritionists claim that the natural mucus lining of the colon can harden and putrefy, creating a host of health problems.

So How Do You Cleanse the Colon?

There are a couple of ways to do this, either separately or combined.

Journal of Dietary Supplements
Journal of Dietary Supplements (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Supplements/Pills

You can purchase a colon cleansing kit at most health food stores and some drug stores and pharmacies, and just follow the directions.  These kits are comprised of various supplements designed to eliminate toxins from the colon.  You can take the pills and continue with your diet as usual, but some who have tried this say they don't feel really "cleaned out," and sometimes unpleasant side effects can result.

2. Special Diets or Fasts

There are a host of special colon-cleansing diets out there, from the famous "Master Cleanse" or lemonade diet - during which you drink only lemon juice mixed with water and maple syrup for several days - to smoothies.  There are also juice cleanses, and raw vegetable and fruit cleanses.  Some people simply adopt a healthier diet that includes more whole, unrefined foods and fiber.  These dietary changes can be done on their own, or sometimes in addition to supplementation.

But Is It Safe?

Some medical experts warn that colon cleansing can be dangerous due to possible electrolyte imbalances.  If practiced excessively, some experts warn that colon cleanses can stress the kidneys and heart.  The key is to undergo a cleanse with medical supervision and knowledge.  Here are some things to keep in mind to make cleansing safer.

1. Involve your family physician or consult a naturopathic physician
Tell your doctor that you want to undergo a colon cleanse, and he or she can work with you with regard to your state of health and what, if any, method you should use. Your doctor can inform you of the symptoms of electrolyte imbalance or other possible problems so that, if these begin to occur, you can stop the cleanse immediately.

English: vegetables
Healthy vegetables. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2. Use clean techniques
If enemas are part of your colon cleansing regimen, make sure they are done by a professional who uses sterile equipment.

3. Start slowly
Try gentle methods first, such as a one-day juice fast, or a naturally cleansing diet for a specified number of days. For example, the Total Wellness Cleanse includes a very healthy, safe and natural diet that is gentle on your body.

In summary, colon cleansing can be a good way to detoxify your body occasionally.  Before beginning, do your homework, and determine the method that will work best for you, and be sure to consult with a professional before starting. 

Total Wellness Cleanse

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