Late night informericals and supposed experts tout the importance of colon cleansers and keeping your colon free of debris and bacteria. Unfortunately, the merit of a cleansed colon or the effectiveness of colon cleaners has not been widely studied, and as such, most claims are unwarranted. The signs of a clean and healthy colon can be seen in your everyday life, activities and even your bathroom habits. If you notice that your colon may not be as healthy as it should, a discussion with your doctor on weight, diet and health may be necessary.
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Analyze your diet. The difference between a healthy colon and one that isn't as functioning as it should is usually in the food that you eat. Someone with a healthy colon eats plenty of fiber, which helps clean the colon as it flows through the digestive system. Fruits, vegetables, lentils and leafy greens are some of the best sources of fiber. If your diet contains the 26 to 38g of fiber each day as recommended by the Institute of Medicine, then you likely have a well-functioning colon. MayoClinic.com points out that fiber is necessary for a high-functioning and healthy colon.
Keep a small journal and record the time and date each time you experience a bowel movement. A healthy colon is a regular colon, which means you should be having a bowel movement with regularity. KidsHealth.org, a division of the Nemours Foundation, notes that the term "regular" varies for each individual. While some will experience a daily bowel movement, others will have two in one day. The key is that you have regular bowel movements and you don't feel constipated.
Look at the size, shape and consistency of your stools. Healthy stools from a clean and healthy colon should be soft and snake-shaped. If your stools are hardened and difficult to pass, your colon is holding waste in the digestive system for too long. If your stools are loose and watery, it could mean that your digestive system isn't working as efficiently as it should. Compare your stools to the chart found on the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders website to see whether it's healthy or not.
Consider your comfort level throughout the day. If you experience bloating and gas, especially after meals, your colon may not be function as well as it should, notes the University of Cincinnati NetWellness website. When you experience bloating and gas, it means that gastric juices in the colon may not be breaking down food. It causes the bacteria in your body to create excess gas, bloating and pain which can make you feel uncomfortable and embarrasses. While everyone experiences gas, it shouldn't feel painful.