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What Is Constipation?
Category: Colon Cleansing
Source: How And When To Be Your Own Doctor
Most people think they are not constipated because they have a bowel
movement almost every day, accomplished without straining. I have
even had clients tell me that they have a bowel movement once a
week, and they are quite certain that they are not constipated. The
most surprising thing to novice fasters is that repeated enemas or
colonics during fasting begins to release many pounds of undeniably
real, old, caked fecal matter and/or huge mucus strings. The
first-time faster can hardly believe these were present. These old
fecal deposits do not come out the first time one has enemas or
necessarily the fifth time. And all of them will not be removed by
the tenth enema. But over the course of extended fasting or a long
spell of light raw food eating with repeated daily enemas, amazing
changes do begin to occur. It seems that no one who has eaten a
civilized diet has escaped the formation of caked deposits lining
the colon's walls, interfering with its function. This material does
not respond to laxatives or casually administered enemas.
Anyone who has not actually seen (and smelled) what comes out of an
"average" apparently healthy person during colonics will really
believe it could happen or can accurately imagine it. Often there
are dark black lumpy strings, lumps, or gravel, evil smelling discs
shaped like sculpted hemispheres similar to the pockets lining the
wall of the colon itself. These discs are rock-hard and may come out
looking like long black braids. There may also be long tangled
strings of gray/brown mucous, sheets and flakes of mucous, and worse
yet, an occasional worm (tape worm) or many smaller ones. Once
confronted however, it is not hard to imagine how these fecal rocks
and other obnoxious debris interfere with the proper function of the
colon. They make the colon's wall rigid and interfere with
peristalsis thus leading to further problems with constipation, and
interfere with adsorption of nutrients.
Our modern diet is by its "de-"nature, very constipating. In the
trenches of the First World War, cheese was given the name 'chokem
ass' because the soldiers eating this as a part of their daily
ration developed severe constipation. Eaten by itself or with other
whole foods, moderate amounts of cheese may not produce health
problems in people who are capable of digesting dairy products. But
cheese when combined with white flour becomes especially
constipating. White bread or most white-flour crackers contain a lot
of gluten, a very sticky wheat protein that makes the bread bind
together and raise well. But white flour is lacking the bran, where
most of the fiber is located. And many other processed foods are
missing their fiber.
In an earlier chapter I briefly showed how digestion works by
following food from the mouth to the large intestine. To fully grasp
why becoming constipated is almost a certainty in our civilization a
few more details are required. Food leaving the small intestine is
called chyme, a semi-liquid mixture of fiber, undigested bits,
indigestible bits, and the remains of digestive enzymes. Chyme is
propelled through the large intestine by muscular contractions. The
large intestine operates on what I dub the "chew chew train"
principle, where the most recent meal you ate enters the large
intestine as the caboose (the last car of a train) and helps to push
out the train engine (the car at the front that toots), which in a
healthy colon should represent the meal eaten perhaps twelve hours
earlier. The muscles in the colon only contract when they are
stretched, so it is the volume of the fecal matter stretching the
large intestine that triggers the muscles to push the waste material
along toward the rectum and anus.
Eating food lacking fiber greatly reduces the volume of the chyme
and slows peristalsis. But moving through fast or slow, the colon
still keeps on doing another of its jobs, which is to transfer the
water in the chime back into the bloodstream, reducing dehydration.
So the longer chime remains in the colon, the dryer and harder and
stickier it gets. That's why once arrived at the "end of the tracks"
fecal matter should be evacuated in a timely manner before it gets
to dry and too hard to be moved easily. Some constipated people do
have a bowel movement every day but are evacuating the meal eaten
many days or even a week previously.
Most hygienists believe that when the colon becomes lined with
hardened fecal matter it is permanently and by the very definition
of the word itself, constipated. This type of constipation is not
perceived as an uncomfortable or overly full feeling or a desire to
have a bowel movement that won't pass. But it has insidious effects.
Usually constipation delays transit time, increasing the adsorption
of toxins generated from misdigestion of food; by coating and
locking up significant portions of colon it also reduces the
adsorption of certain minerals and electrolytes.
Sometimes, extremely constipated people have almost constant runny
bowels because the colon has become so thickly and impenetrably
lined with old fecal matter that it no longer removes much moisture.
This condition is often misinterpreted as diarrhea. The large
intestine's most important task is to transfer water-soluble
minerals from digested food to the blood. When a significant part of
the colon's surface becomes coated with impermeable dried rigid
fecal matter or mucus it can no longer assimilate effectively and
the body begins to experience partial mineral starvation in the
presence of plenty. It is my observation from dozens of cases that
when the colon has been effectively cleansed the person has a
tendency to gain weight while eating amounts of food that before
only maintained body weight, while people who could not gain weight
or who were wasting away despite eating heavily begin to gain. And
problems like soft fingernails, bone loss around teeth or porous
bones tend to improve.
Next: The Development Of My Own Constipation
Previous: A Healthy Colon