Under healthy conditions, the human body is highly efficient in removing waste and toxins from the digestive tract. Indigestible or mildly poisonous compounds in the food we eat, unwanted or unused vitamins and minerals and excess salts and water all make their way through your colon and out into the toilet bowl, flushed away along without a care.
That’s when everything is working as it should.
Certain factors, however, can quickly turn your colon — the final segment in your digestive system — into a toxic wasteland. Factors like chronic stress, poor diet or an imbalanced gut microbiome can all contribute to the build-up of waste in your colon. And that spells bad news for your health in general.
When the colon becomes inundated with excess waste and toxins, it allows harmful compounds to make their way through the gut wall and into your bloodstream. From here, they can wreak havoc on your immune system and contribute to the development of numerous health conditions. If your body is showing signs of a colon overload, you definitely want to get the problem addressed, stat. Here’s what to look out for.
1. You’re tired
We’re not talking about the fatigue that comes from a big night out on the town or a hard day at work — it’s the constant, inexplicable fatigue that never goes away that is raising the colon alarm here. If you’re getting a reasonable amount of sleep each night (anywhere between seven and nine hours, depending on what works best for your body) and not pushing yourself too hard each day, but still find that you’re constantly tired, it could be that your colon is under too much pressure (literally!).
If your body has kicked into overdrive trying to rid itself of all those toxins hanging out in your colon, it’s likely that you’ll feel chronically fatigued. This kind of stress puts pressure on your adrenals as well, further contributing to the problem.
2. You’re stinky
Ever wonder why you always have bad breath, regardless of how often you brush or how many times you visit the dreaded dentist? It could be due to an overload of waste buildup in your colon. Often, when the body is dealing with an excess of toxins, your breath is the first thing to start smelling a bit off. Similarly, when we’re eating poorly or stressed out, our sweat and body odor takes a turn for the worse.
So, if you’re a bit stinkier than you should be, consider looking to your colon for answers.
3. You’ve got allergies
Colonic hydrotherapists maintain that, over time, fecal matter begins to build up along the wall of the colon. Eventually, the colonic lining is no longer able to fully prevent some of this fecal matter from entering into the bloodstream, which in turn introduces antigens into the body which can activate an autoimmune response.
The result is often an allergic reaction, like sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and asthmatic symptoms. While many people would consider these to be seasonal allergies, it could be that they are in fact due to excessive waste buildup in the colon.
4. You’re putting on weight
If you exercise regularly, eat well and get a decent amount of sleep every night, you should expect to maintain a reasonably healthy weight, right? But if you’re doing all these things and still putting on (or keeping on) weight, it could be due to those pounds of waste hanging out in your colon.
This may be due to two factors. Firstly, there’s the simple “what goes in must come out” sort of scenario — if what you’re putting in isn’t being processed efficiently and then heading out the back door again (but rather is residing in your colon instead), you’re bound to be putting on a little weight. Secondly, more fecal buildup in your colon means more potential for toxin exposure, which increases inflammation and causes your body to retain fat as a survival measure.
5. You can’t sleep
Perhaps it isn’t that you’re fatigued for no particular reason, but that you simply can’t sleep in the first place! While there are plenty of reasons why you might be having difficulty getting (or staying) asleep, one of them is due to a colonic overload.
That’s because when you’re in a state of toxic stress, the body’s normal circadian rhythm and sleep cycles are disrupted. Unfortunately, this can become a vicious cycle, as sleep has been shown to aid in the removal of toxic metabolites from the body. So, less sleep means more circulating which in turn means less sleep. Fun times.
6. You can’t concentrate
If your colon is acting up due to a waste overload, chances are you won’t be extracting the vitamins and nutrients you need from the foods you eat. That’s because the colon plays an important role in salt, fluid and nutrient absorption, meaning if your colon is impaired you may be suffering from a nutrient deficiency. In such a state, your brain won’t be functioning at 100 percent, making it more difficult to concentrate and perform advanced cognitive tasks.
7. You’ve got acne
It’s usually pretty uncommon for adults to suffer from intense bouts of acne, but the same isn’t true for those folks who have got a little too much waste hiding out in their colon. As discussed earlier, when your colon is in a less than ideal state, it has the potential to release toxins into the bloodstream, which can then elicit an autoimmune reaction whereby the immune system mistakenly attacks benign cells within the body. Some of these cells can be associated with hormone-regulating organs, thereby throwing off your hormonal balance.
And if there’s one thing hormonally-unbalanced teenagers are known for, it’s acne! Hormonal fluctuations have been shown to stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, an oily substance that collects in the outer layer of the skin and manifests as acne. So if you’ve got an acne breakout (and you’re not a teenager!), it could be colonic trouble in paradise.
— Liivi Hess