The colon or large intestine plays a role in removing food waste from the body after all the nutrients are absorbed. The colon also helps regulate bowel movements and the digestive system. Healthy people who don't have digestive problems don't need to cleanse the colon, but if you are constipated, you may need to remove the entire waste from your digestive tract to lighten the tissue. You can cleanse your colon by adjusting your diet and lifestyle. You can also ask your doctor to help you clean your colon in a safe professional manner.
Method 1 of 3: Adjusting Your Diet
Step 1. Increase the intake of fiber in the diet
Fiber can form a mass and soften stool, as well as play a role in peristalsis (rhythmic contractions in the colon) that stimulate the process of defecation. More fiber intake will help the colon remove waste from the body faster and more efficiently. So, try to consume about 20 to 35 grams of fiber in a day. Make sure your diet consists of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables as well as lots of whole grains.
- Include 100% whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, barley, and corn.
- Flax seeds, wheat bran, and oats are rich sources of fiber. You can process flaxseeds at home, incorporate them into smoothies, or add them to other foods.
- Fruits like strawberries, apples, and blueberries are rich in fiber. Nuts and seeds are also good sources of fiber.
Step 2. Increase your intake of green leafy vegetables
In addition to containing fiber, green leafy vegetables can also provide nutrients that help nourish the intestines. Try to include at least one green leafy vegetable with every meal, or enjoy it as a snack.
- Alfalfa, wheatgrass, brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale, spinach, peas, and barley are all great green leafy vegetables to eat.
- Vegetables can also be enjoyed as a snack by dipping them in hummus, tzatziki, or baba ganoush.
Step 3. Drink plenty of water
In order to function normally and remove bacteria or dirt from the digestive tract, the colon needs water. Try to drink at least 13 glasses of water a day if you are an adult male, and 9 glasses of water a day if you are an adult female. You can increase your water intake if you are exercising vigorously or if you are in a hot, dry environment.
- Get in the habit of carrying a bottle of water with you wherever you go so you can replenish your body fluids throughout the day. You may also need to set a reminder on your phone to make sure you drink at least 9 glasses of water a day.
- Try adding slices of lemon, lime, and cucumber to the water to make it taste more appealing. You can also add herbs such as mint leaves to your drinking water.
Step 4. Avoid alcohol consumption
Try to avoid alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and other liquors. Drinks like this can dehydrate the body and cause constipation. Constipation can cause the colon to become blocked with hard, large, solid stools that are difficult to pass. In addition, alcohol can also inhibit intestinal peristalsis and the urge to defecate, increasing the likelihood of constipation.
Step 5. Limit your intake of dairy products
Dairy and dairy products can make constipation symptoms worse, especially if consumed in large quantities. If you are constipated, even though you are actively drinking lots of fluids, try to reduce or even stop consuming dairy products for a while.
Step 6. Drink a cup of coffee or tea
Caffeine can help stimulate the intestines, thereby aiding bowel movements. Hot drinks may also stimulate the intestines. Try drinking a cup of hot coffee, black tea, or green tea to stimulate the intestines.
Step 7. Eat fermented foods
Fermented foods contain probiotics which are beneficial bacteria for the colon. These foods will bring good bacteria into the digestive tract so that it helps the colon to function properly. Yogurt, miso, kimchi, and sauerkraut are some examples of fermented foods. While kefir, apple cider vinegar, and kombucha tea contain probiotics that can be drunk.
You can also take probiotic supplements. Be sure to buy probiotic supplements from a trusted online retailer or health food store
Method 2 of 3: Changing Your Lifestyle
Step 1. Exercise regularly
Physical activity can stimulate the digestive system so that it stimulates defecation. Living a healthy lifestyle can help ensure colon health and function. Walk for 30 minutes every day or spend time working out at the gym three times a week to burn calories and stay healthy.
You can also try exercising with an elastic band to stretch and build muscle strength. Or, you can also sign up for a yoga or aerobics class so you can exercise regularly
Step 2. Consult your doctor before using over-the-counter laxatives
Often times, increasing your fiber intake, drinking enough water, and exercising can help your colon function properly. However, if you still experience problems after making lifestyle changes, consult your doctor first before starting to use laxatives. There may be an underlying health problem. Always follow the dosage recommendations on the laxative package label and never use more than the recommended dose. Do not use laxatives in the long term because they can cause serious health problems.
- If you have irritable bowel syndrome, irregular bowel movements, or digestive problems, try using a mass-forming laxative such as Metamucil, Citrucel, or Psyllium. Drink plenty of water while using this medicine. Side effects of its use include flatulence, cramping, and worsening of constipation.
- If you have trouble passing stools, try using a stool softener. Stool softeners are generally safe to use and don't cause stomach bloating like mass-forming laxatives.
- Never use laxatives as a weight loss supplement. This will interfere with health and actually cause other health problems.
Step 3. Research before using colon cleansing products
If you are considering using an everyday colon cleanser, be sure to research before using it. This product has not been shown to provide any health benefits. Also, keep in mind that this product is also not regulated by the government, so potency, purity, and safety are not guaranteed. Just because it's labeled "natural" doesn't mean it's safe.
- Consult your doctor first before using any colon cleansing products.
- Check the product's ingredient list and make sure the ingredients of a particular herb are clearly stated. Do not use the product if you are concerned about the risk of allergies to the ingredients in the product, or cannot find colonic cleansing agents in it.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water while using colon cleansing products. This way, you won't be dehydrated and the product will work properly.
- Don't use colon cleansing products as a way to lose weight or diet. Losing weight like this is not a healthy way to go, and it can lead to other health problems. In addition, this method has also been shown to be ineffective for weight loss.
Method 3 of 3: Consult a Doctor
Step 1. Consult about colonic irrigation
Colonic irrigation, also known as colonic hydrotherapy, can help remove waste from the intestines along with water. Your doctor may be able to provide this procedure or refer you to a colonic hydrotherapy specialist. Be sure to choose a colonic hydrotherapist who is licensed by a recognized national organization. Before undergoing this procedure, consult your medical history with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you.
- In this procedure, a pump will be inserted into the rectum and about 19 liters of warm water will be inserted into the intestine for a few moments. Once the water is in the colon, the therapist may massage your abdomen to stimulate the circulation of water through the colon and help remove waste from the body. This action takes between 30 to 45 minutes.
- Colon irrigation should not be performed if you have certain health problems such as diverculitis, severe hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, tumors of the intestine or rectum, recent bowel surgery, heart disease, or kidney disease.
Step 2. Talk to your doctor about enemas
Your doctor can give you an enema in the clinic if your intestines are blocked or there is a problem with your colon. Enemas are often recommended to treat constipation and difficult bowel movements.
Your doctor may recommend a specific type of enema according to your needs. Enemas should be administered by a trained professional practitioner in a sterile environment with clean equipment
Step 3. Talk about using medications for the colon with your doctor
If you have chronic constipation for more than 6 months, ask your doctor what medications can stimulate your bowels. You can use this method if dietary and lifestyle adjustments, as well as other colon treatments, don't work. Medication may also be the right choice if you have problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).