Would you ever drive a vehicle for a full year without changing the oil? How about 5 yrs? 10 yrs? More? OF COURSE NOT!! If we did, we’d be driving a “gunked up” vehicle – the oil would have turned so viscous that it would clog the engine robbing it of important lubrication and decreasing its efficiency and maybe even ruin the engine.
What if I told you that the odds are that this is exactly what you have been doing to your body! Would you be surprised? Have you ever thought about it?
Many physicians will tell you that your health begins in your colon and many of us can think of better things to talk about than bodily functions – so we ignore it like we often do when we drive our vehicle too long between oil changes!
WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT
Unlike an ignored engine, our complex digestive and elimination systems are more important and should never be compromised. According to the Health Statistics almost 45 million visits to ambulatory care facilities annually are the result of diseases of the digestive system. Excluding skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the United States and Canada (after lung and breast in women, and lung and prostate in men) and 9 out of 10 occur past the age of 50.
We are living in an increasingly more toxic environment and the numbers of preservatives, artificial coloring, flavors, etc. and even pesticides in our over-processed foods leave us in a precarious situation. We also continue to breathe toxic air, drink polluted water and spread bacteria and viruses everywhere including between us humans and yet we survive. That is a testament to our complex, living system.
Sometimes we are like a Ferrari operating on only two cylinders but managing to still be in the race. What’s that? Enough of the automobile analogy – you get the point? Well alright – but I‘m deadly serious when it comes to understanding your digestive and elimination systems and in keeping them in good working order.
AGE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
When we are young, our bodies are very resilient and we recover quite nicely from abusing it. As we age, we experience aches and pains, chronic disease, and other health challenges which are directly attributable to lifestyle and diet issues and include our inability to properly eliminate and detoxify our bodies. Elimination of waste through our colon and liver are only two of the seven channels of elimination and are the subject of this article.
Infants have a bowel movement after every meal as do animals in nature but as we become adults the accumulation of sludge in our system slows down our ability to eliminate waste and our body doesn’t function well enough for us to get all of the nutrients out of what we eat. In other words, we cannot take advantage of the high octane fuel we are putting in our body.
A SHORT LESSON
Do you remember High School biology when we studied the villi of the intestines? Contained in the small intestine, these moving absorptive cells “suck up” small particles of digested food. The villi are part of the mucosa which protect our bodies from passage of undigested foods particles, parasites, bacteria and toxins – this mucosa is shed and rebuilt every three to five days in healthy individuals. Stretched end to end with all of its folds, the small intestine has the approximate surface area of a tennis court.
Some of the time the mucosa gets compromised and manifests into “leaky gut syndrome” thought to be one of the major reasons we become medically compromised, parasites are another – it has been estimated that half of the population has at least one active parasite and 25 percent have an active infection with symptoms – you could write a book about the many diseases resulting from improper digestion and detoxification of the body. In the brief space we have here, suffice it to say that keeping our elimination systems working properly is one of the major keys to continued good health.
SOME SIMPLE STEPS
There are many adjustments to our systems that can be beneficial to our health but to start with, three simple adjustments can make a dramatic difference:
- Proper cleansing of the colon is a major starting point – ridding our body of toxins and sludge can do much to increase our energy and overall health and well being. This also includes ingestion of enough fiber to continue to help scrub our system.
- Probiotics (healthy flora needed in our intestinal track) are extremely important due to the high usage of drugs, antibiotics, etc. which destroy them – they must be re-populated if our digestive system is to function properly.
- We really do need oil in our complex system – but this oil is in the form of Omega 3, 6 and 9 which contain essential fatty acids needed by the brain, joints, cells, and cardiovascular and nervous systems to name a few. Essential fatty acids are not produced by the body and must be supplied by outside sources.
AFTER THE BASICS
The next step will be to understand the part that adequate water , sufficient enzymes and amino acids play in managing digestive conditions and what other methods of detoxification are important to overall health.
You’ll want to explore these and additional supplementation methods on this site and subscribe to our newsletter which is published monthly – Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is adequate knowledge for improved wellness. This column is a good beginning but the first step is up to you – you’ll be happy to see the results if you decide to take it and try our simple three step tune-up.
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