Colon health is directly related to the presence of friendly bacteria. Colon is our large intestine. It is located at the end of our digestive tract. It is five and a half feet long and two and a half inches in diameter. It is often referred to as the sewage system of our body, because it is responsible for getting rid of the waste matter from our body.
Colon is also responsible for digestion and helping our body absorb nutrients from the food. And this is where the friendly bacteria come into the picture. Do you know that there are millions of bacteria living in your healthy colon? Some of these bacteria are good, while others are bad. In a healthy colon, the good outnumber the bad.
When there is an imbalance, that is the bad bacteria outnumber the good ones, it leads to a condition called dysbiosis. This imbalance causes many health issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, colon cancer, flatulence, ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and much more.
Causes Of Dysbiosis
Let us find out what causes this imbalance. What factors lead to the bad bacteria taking over the friendly bacteria in our colon?
- Antibiotics kill bad bacteria as well as good bacteria. Taking antibiotics for a long period of time leads to serious lack of friendly bacteria in our colon. It has often been seen that cancer patients or AIDS patients frequently suffer from yeast infection. This is because the antibiotics have killed off the good bacteria and this has led to growth of bad bacteria called Candida (which causes the yeast infection).
- Oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, and aspirin can also kill good bacteria present in our colon.
- Meat, high-fat and high sugar diet spell doom for friendly bacteria. Bad bacteria thrive on sugar and meat. So eating lot of meat and sugar provides the bad bacteria with an environment where they can thrive. When they thrive, obviously the good bacteria will die.
- Chlorine water is one of the culprits responsible for killing good bacteria. Filter water is a better and safe choice.
- Sudden change of diet, like when you travel abroad, can also lead to dysbiosis.
By restoring good bacteria you will be able to get the balance back. But what constitutes beneficial bacteria? Lactobacillus Acidophilus, commonly referred to as acidophilus, is identified as the good bacteria. It is very essential for healthy digestion and bowel function. Bifidobacterium bifidum is another good bacterium present in our colon.
According to Colon Health Handbook, your colon should have 85% acidophilus and 15% coliform bacteria.
How To Restore Good Bacteria
So how can we restore good bacteria in our colon?
- Probiotic supplements are very effective in restoring good bacteria in the colon. These supplements contain live, friendly bacteria that help to improve the microbial balance in the colon.
- Yogurt helps to create an acidic environment in the gut and this acidic environment is suitable for the growth of friendly bacteria like, acidophilus and bifidum.
By taking probiotic supplements and yogurt, you ensure the health of your colon. You should also take care to avoid things that cause harm to the bad bacteria. You should avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily. Eat health and exercise regularly for your health. And yes, you can always go for colon cleansing to maintain your overall health.