Curious About Colon Cleanses? Here's What You Should Know
Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, to gain more energy or even detoxify your body, colon cleansing may seem like the perfect option. This is especially true with more and more DIY options for colon cleansing, these include: laxatives, herbal teas, enzymes and a variety of supplements.
So, what exactly happens when you colon cleanse?
The belief is that colon cleanses help to remove undigested food in your gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to a buildup of toxins. Overtime, these toxins are believed to cause fatigue, headache, weight gain, allergies, arthritis and many other symptoms.
Despite the popularity of this theory, many experts believe that colon cleansing simply isn’t necessary. This is because your digestive system and bowel are already very effective at removing waste material, bacteria and other toxins from your body. Here’s a close look at what your body already has the power to do, even without the help of a colon-cleansing aid:
- Bacteria naturally live in your colon and help to detoxify food waste
- Your liver helps to prevent the spread of toxins throughout the body by filtering and detoxifying all the blood coming from your digestive tract
- Mucous membranes line the digestive tract and help to protect tissue and blood from pathogens and unwanted substances
- Your colon sheds old cells and creates new cells every 72 hours
- Your body produces bowel movements, which remove waste from any digested food
Are there any risks with colon cleansing?
While there aren’t any serious health risks that come with colon cleansing products, there are some potential side effects that you may not expect:
- Cramps, nausea and/or vomiting
- Nutritional imbalance
- Reduction of normal gut flora
Overtime, if you use colon cleansing products consistently, you may have difficulty having a bowel movement naturally, or without the aid of a laxative.
Are there better options?
There are simple, everyday changes you can make to support digestive health and help cleanse your body in a truly natural way. And bonus, these simple changes will also support overall health, with no side effects or risks.
- Drink plenty of fresh water.
- Eat five-to-nine servings daily of fruits and vegetables. Opt for green and leafy veggies, plus berries, leeks, turmeric, onions, garlic, artichokes, milk thistle and green tea.
- Eat plenty of whole grains, nuts and seeds for fiber.
- If your diet lacks any nutrients, consider a supplement.
- Fight gut-microbe toxins by eating fermented foods, such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt. Or take a quality probiotic.
Make the most of digestive & colorectal health
While colon cleanses may not be the best way to boost digestive and colorectal health, making simple, everyday changes, like eating more fresh produce, is an easy way to do so. On top of this, working with your primary care provider will help to ensure that you are eating a diet that supports your unique health needs.