If you have ever had a colonoscopy, you already know all about colon cleansing. This is because any doctor will request you prepare your colon by thoroughly cleansing it the night before the procedure. However, if you have not had such a procedure yet, you may only know about colon cleansing from your physician’s dietary recommendations or what you hear from loved ones who are striving to “get healthy.” Colon cleansing is becoming more popular today. This is because, in today’s toxin-filled world, sometimes the body’s natural cleansing processes benefit from scheduled cleansing practices. The good news is, colon cleansing can be done in many ways. What is important is to find the cleansing method that works best for you.
Understanding Your Colon
If you have seen a picture of the human body’s internal anatomy, you know the colon is a part of the body’s greater digestive and elimination system. From the stomach, food passes through the small intestine where most of the nutrients are removed, leaving the wastes and toxins. The large intestine, also called the colon, takes over where the small intestine leaves off to filter out remaining toxins and prepare the remaining waste matter for elimination. This way, the colon is key in keeping your body healthy and toxin-free. There are five parts to your large intestine/colon as follows:
- Cecum. The cecum is the part that connects to the small intestine.
- Ascending colon. The ascending colon is positioned vertically up the right side of your abdomen.
- Transverse colon. The transverse colon runs horizontally across your abdomen.
- Descending colon. The descending colon is positioned vertically down the right side of your abdomen.
- Sigmoid colon. The final part of the colon, the sigmoid, connects to the rectum.
What Cleansing the Colon Does
Cleansing the colon ensures it can filter toxins and waste matter out of the body while efficiently sending any remaining nutrients into the bloodstream for dispersal throughout the body. At times, toxins or waste matter can build up in the colon. This leads to discomfort and illness. When this happens, you can give your body some extra support with a colon cleanse.
Types of Colon Cleanses
Dr. Mehmet Oz, Oprah Winfrey’s protégé and one of the most trusted names in medicine worldwide, recommends periodic assisted colon cleansing for better overall health. There are several ways to cleanse the colon, from short-term dietary changes to home colon-cleanse kits.
- Dietary cleanse. One way to assist your colon with performing its duties more effectively is to temporarily change your diet, removing sugary or junk foods and adding in fiber-rich whole foods with plenty of water.
- Supplement cleanse. Another way to cleanse your colon is to use supplements such as fiber powder, laxatives, teas or over-the-counter products. This type of short-term cleanse is often what a doctor will recommend if you are going to have a medical procedure.
- Hydration cleanse. With a hydration cleanse, you may combine an over-the-counter supplement with a liquids-only diet for several days to assist your colon in eliminating any remaining waste matter.
- Home colon cleanse. Many home colon-cleansing kits can guide you through a certain type of cleansing process from the comfort and privacy of your home.
- Office cleanse. You can also visit a professional to have an in-office colonic irrigation session.
You can use one or a combination of these techniques to meet your personal colon-cleansing needs. Consult your physician before you start any type of self-supervised cleansing diet or procedure to be sure you have thought through everything you need to consider. Typically, cleansing procedures take a few hours or a few days at most. The body will not need constant cleansing assistance, but periodic cleanses can lead to more optimal colon function over time.