The colon, also called the large intestine, is part of the final stages of digestion. The colon is much wider than the small intestine but is also much shorter.
The function of the colon is to get rid of food left over after the nutrients, bacteria and other wastes are removed from it. This process is called peristalsis and can take around 36 hours.
The most usual problems affecting the colon include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
The term “irritable bowel syndrome,” or IBS, is used to describe a group of symptoms that appear together.
These symptoms include abdominal discomfort or pain, fever and fatigue, and altered bowel habit – diarrhea and/or constipation. IBS can be disruptive and very painful, and occasionally, may even be life-threatening.
IBS is not inherited, contagious, or cancerous. Studies show that the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome may range from 10 to 25 percent. About 2 in 3 IBS sufferers are female.
Many factors can trigger IBS including medicines and emotional stress. Some foods can make IBS worse, including:
- dairy products, particularly cheese;
- bread and cereals made with refined grains;
- high-protein diets;
- carbonated drinks;
- energy drinks;
- French fries;
- onion rings;
- processed foods such as cookies and chips.
Medical treatment for IBS includes:
- antidiarrheal medicines;
- antispasmodic medicines.
Constipation, the infrequent passage of hard feces, is caused by abnormally slow movement of fecal matter through the colon.
It accounts for 9 million physician visits every year in the US. An estimated 900 persons die annually from diseases associated with or related to constipation.
Symptoms include passing fewer than three stools a week, swollen belly, loss of appetite, and generally feeling unwell.
The main cause of constipation is eating foods rich in animal fats (meats, dairy products, and eggs) with zero fiber.
Other causes of constipation including:
- poor bowel habits;
- not drinking enough fluids or water;
- abuse of laxatives;
- being sedentary;
- hormonal disorders;
- diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon;
- changes in routine;
- chronic stress;
- conditions that slow muscle contractions of the colon or delay your urge to go.
Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, bowel cancer, or rectal cancer, is any cancer which affects the rectum and the colon. It typically starts with polyps in the wall of the intestine.
There are about 97,000 new diagnosed cases every year in the United States, and it is the 3rd most common cause of cancer-related death.
Symptoms of colon cancer include:
- unexplained weight loss;
- a feeling which your bowel doesn’t empty completely;
- persistent abdominal discomfort, like – gas, cramps, or pain;
- blood in your stool;
- rectal bleeding;
- a change in the consistency of your stool, which lasts longer than a month;
- a change in your bowel habits, including constipation or diarrhea.
Common risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
- long-standing ulcerative colitis;
- colon polyps;
- regularly eating junk foods;
- high alcohol intake;
- smoking cigarettes;
- a family history of colorectal cancer;
- African-American race;
- increasing age.
Spiritual Causes of Large Intestine (Colon) Disorders
The large intestine is affected by our feelings and relationships. Furthermore, it can be troubled by our ability to digest life’s information and release things which no longer serve us.
Individuals affected with these disorders are those who don’t like changes, particularly to their daily habits.
Anytime we have difficulty letting go of one of our negative habit, we may experience a sympathetic response from the lower bowel, leading to inflammation, pain, bleeding or even rupture of the colon.
Refusal to let go when we know we really want/need to can produce life-threatening situations.
Moreover, the colon is connected to the root chakra. The first chakra can occasionally be underactive (not open enough). In such a case, the individual tends to feel insecure or completely disconnected from the outside world.
When the first chakra is overactive, the individual tends to be very aggressive, angry or annoyed all the time.
Both, overactive and underactive Muladhara chakra can lead to many physical symptoms like weight gain or weight loss or over or underactive sex drives, laziness, depression, anxiety, anemia, or IBS.
Eat high-fiber foods such as:
- sunflower seeds;
- oat bran;
- cayenne pepper;
Get Enough Physical Exercise
Daily physical exercise helps your digestive system stay healthy and active. Simply taking a 20/30-minute walk every day will help a lot.
Drink Plenty of Water and Liquids
At least eight glasses a day. Water and herbal tea are best. Caffeinated drinks are not recommended, nor are juices (low on dietary fiber), as your body can become dependent on these in the long run.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Not only do they keep your body and mind functioning at their best, but they can also promote feelings of calm and relaxation, lower blood pressure, and help you de-stress.
In addition, these exercises can help relax your abdominal muscles, which may lead to more normal bowel activity.
Mindfulness meditation can help improve focus and reduce anxiety and depression and balance your emotional state. Your emotions are strongly tied to the quality of your bowel movements.
Many studies have concluded that acupuncture treatment may benefit IBS symptoms by regulating the motility of the digestive tract and providing pain relief.
Good Toilet Habits
The urge to go to the toilet should not be ignored. When delayed, the urge frequently passes away and this may raise the risk of constipation.
”My intestines are efficient and relaxed.”
”I breathe deeply and every breath energizes me.”
”Gratitude and peace flow through my body and mind like a clear, healing stream.”
”I always choose healthy foods.”
”Every part of my body carries out its tasks naturally and easily.”