Do I Really Need to Cleanse My Colon?


Take a look at your diet. Are you eating enough fiber? According to Dr. Janice Rafferty, chief of colorectal surgery at the University of Cincinnati, a healthy digestive system needs healthy food. Maintaining regular bowel function requires a diet with proper amounts of insoluble fiber. She suggests that all adults eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in order to consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. If your diet has been low in fiber, and you have experienced digestive problems, like constipation, you may have accumulated wastes and toxins that have not been eliminated and storing them in your body.


Are you drinking enough water? Improper hydration is too blame for constipation and elimination problems as well. According to Balch, inadequate amounts of water cause metabolic wastes to accumulate and poison the body. Kidney functioning, digestion and metabolism all rely on water for proper transportation and chemical reactions. Water also helps to eliminate wastes through sweating. If you have consistently kept your body dehydrated, you may have accumulated wastes and toxins due to a lack of elimination. Remember that caffeinated drinks act as a diuretic and can reduce your hydration.


Exercising improves digestion and proper elimination. According to Dr. Jacqueline Krohn in her book "Natural Detoxification," many sufferers of constipation are not exercising enough. Exercise helps to maintain healthy abdominal muscles which support the intestines and organs. It also provides increased circulation, Krohn says. Additionally, exercise causes sweating, an important outlet for wastes. The chemical content of sweat is similar to urine and can help to eliminate as much as 30 percent of the body's wastes.


Unfortunately, toxins are everywhere. But how many toxins are you absorbing and how many are you eliminating? You can be exposed to toxins indoors from building materials, carpeting and cleaning supplies. Outdoors you face greenhouse gases, pollution, pesticides and chemicals. Your food may also contain toxins. Even your own body produces toxins as a byproduct of basic bodily functions. Again, if your body is not easily eliminating toxins, you may be storing them.


Keep in mind that a colon cleanse does not have to be an intense two- to three-week long fiber bonanza. Gentle cleanses that include changes in fiber content, water intake and food quality can be highly effective. Consult your doctor before doing a colon cleanse since many cleansing products contain herbs which may interfere with medications. Many doctors are familiar with colon cleansing and can suggest a quality product that they have researched.