Like we talked about yesterday, our digestive tract is basically one big long tube from the mouth to the anus. There is only so much room in it. Over-stuffing it creates all kinds of problems.
There are basically 2 rules that will help ensure healthy elimination, and therefore optimal health. The first rule is, one meal in equals one meal out.
What goes in, must come out! That is the way it is suppose to be. The normal, healthy digestive tract holds 4-5 meals at any given time. First being processed in the stomach, second being processed in the small intestine, and third, fourth, and fifth at various stages in the large intestine.
A sixth meal in should replace one of the above meals. If it doesn’t replace it, where does it go? What happens to all the food we keep stuffing into our digestive tract if only every once in a while we let some out the other end?
Unfortunately, even though we may not experience pain, problems are developing. The extra stuff can become impacted on the colon walls, it can create ballooning or stretching of the colon walls, and it can cause production of toxins.
The second rule of healthy poop is an optimal transit time. This refers to how long it takes a meal to be processed through the entire digestive tract. A healthy, ideal transit time is about 12-18 hours (depending on meal content and how healthy your digestive tract is). Waste material from your dinner one night should have exited the other end by the time you eat dinner the next night. Unfortunately, today the average transit time has become anywhere from 24 to 72 hours and even longer for some people.
So, what is all that food residue doing in there for so long and where is it hiding? The stomach and small intestine process it and move it out pretty quickly. Then it sits in the colon and what can happen there is not pretty.
What happens when food residue remains in the colon too long?
1. More and more water is extracted out of the debris, creating hard, dry stools.
2. Fecal matter begins to stick to the walls of the colon.
3. Diverticula may develop, which are small pockets where the colon wall balloons out; these often become inflamed.
4. Polyps may develop, which are small protrusions on the inside of the colon wall.
5. The colon environment changes, which shifts the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria from healthy to unhealthy.
6. Fecal matter begins to putrefy and toxins build up.
The end result is a toxic environment that irritates the cells lining the colon. This leads to inflammation of the tissues. And now you have “sick” cells on the colon wall that don’t work right. The more toxins that build up in the colon, the harder it is for the membranes to keep these toxins out of your bloodstream. If this continues, many health challenges have an opportunity to set in, including Candida, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, increased allergies or sensitivities, skin issues, headaches or migraines, bowel disorders like Crohn’s and colitis, colon cancer, immune system challenges, and many more.
Tomorrow we will finish up our talk about poop.
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