One of the most common complaints I hear from patients is problems with their gut. If you go into any local pharmacy, there are shelves and shelves of over-the-counter medications to treat gastrointestinal ailments.
For the colon to be healthy, it is necessary for the upper gastrointestinal tract to be functioning optimally. The entire GI tract, from the mouth to the rectum, helps the body retain the nutrients it needs and get rid of unwanted waste. In order to have a healthy GI tract, you have to eat a healthy diet.
Your gastrointestinal tract will only be as healthy as the food passing through it.
I am constantly reminding patients that a person can’t eat unhealthy food and expect to feel well or function well. As I discuss in my book, The Guide to Healthy Eating, a healthy diet is one that is free of refined foods, which includes anything made with processed sugar, salt, flour, or oils.
Unfortunately, the standard American diet is full of refined food ingredients. Eating refined food sets the stage for an imbalance of gut flora that can occur throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract, including within the colon.
Symptoms of an imbalanced GI tract include constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. If you are healthy, stool should be easily eliminated one to four times per day. It should not have a foul odor, and having a bowel movement should not be a traumatic experience.
If you are suffering from constipation, bloating, or diarrhea, it’s most likely that you have an unhealthy bowel.
The longer stool sits in the colon, the more time the toxins that need to be eliminated interact with the bowel wall. This increases the risk for illnesses, including colon cancer
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