There is evidence to say that many people have a love– hate relationship with their digestive system. With the rising recognition of irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut and food intolerance, professionals and patients alike are becoming increasingly preoccupied with what’s going on inside our (bloated) bellies.
For the most part, we are simply seeking relief (and a flatter stomach and an increased feeling of vitality wouldn’t be so bad either), which is certainly one reason why many people are turning to internal cleansing – or, more specifically, colon cleansing – as a means of cleaning out and purifying our system. But are these sometimes expensive, uncomfortable or even invasive treatments really necessary? And, if so, what’s it like?
THE STATE OF OUR TUMMIES
There are many theories as to why our guts have started giving us a hard time, and one of the most favored is that our diet and lifestyle is evolving faster than our digestive system. his is not to say that the Paleo diet is the solution to the vast array of gut-related issues, but things such as processed food, antibiotics, and alcohol could be – at least partially – to blame. Forward-thinking nutrition experts believe that this is because these foods play havoc with the delicate bacterial balance of the gut, which, in turn, paves the way for all kinds of tummy-related issues.
“Over the years, various technologies – from canning, freezing, and dehydration to today’s methods of refrigeration and irradiation – were developed to prevent food spoilage and increase shelf life,” says health writer and nurse Sandra Duggan. “Although food keeps longer this way, it cannot support optimal life, and all of this contributes to the decline in colon health.”
Although research into this area is only in its preliminary stages, there is some evidence to support diets based on the microbial content of your gut. He Personalized Nutrition Project, run by leading researchers in Israel, recently trialed bacteria-tailored diets for 20 pre-diabetic people with great success, preventing high blood-sugar spikes after meals. But, at this early stage, it’s hard to say when this type of service will be available to the lay dieter in the near future.
Another theory on gut irritation has to do with our modern minds. Research has shown that stress, anxiety and depression can have as great an impact on the bowel as diet can. Melbourne GP and author of Doctor in the House Dr Malcolm Clark says, “Depressed or anxious people seem to suffer from this problem [irritable bowel syndrome] more often than the rest, suggesting these may also be causes.”
Muscles essentially control the movement of the gut, and if the brain’s messages to these muscles are clouded with emotions and anxieties, it can impact your digestive system. “he nerves messages to the muscle walls are garbled and confused,” Clark says. “he muscles are stimulated, but in a disorganized way and the bowel doesn’t work properly; sometimes the nerves send very strong impulses causing the cramping spasms typical of irritable bowel.”
THE CASE FOR CLEANSING GUT
what does all this have to do with a clean colon? As we lead our busy and often chemical-filled modern lives, it can be difficult to eliminate all that stresses us and our tummies. Although we can do what we can to lead a perfectly healthy existence – free from stress, alcohol and processed foods – there is no guarantee of perfect gut health. And celebs and laypersons alike are not prepared to make these kinds of sacrifices long term. hus, the colonic cleansing has – to some – become a viable solution.