Although it may be taboo to discuss bowel movements at the dinner table, it is vitally important that you pay attention to your bowel movements so that you can assess whether or not you have a healthy bowel with your doctor. Although seemingly innocuous, issues like constipation, diarrhoea and gas may be indicative of more serious diseases or a poorly function bowel, which in turn can lead to serious health issues. Healthy bowel activity is regarded as one or two movements of a moderate size daily. If you have fewer bowel movements than this, it is cause for concern, as this is not enough for your optimum health. If you do not expel waste quickly enough, toxins can be reabsorbed into the body through the mucous membranes, causing a plethora of health problems.
Having a healthy bowel is vital to your overall health, as it is connected to everything that happens in your body. Issues with your digestive system can lead to allergies, arthritis, rashes, chronic fatigue, dementia, cancer, acne, autoimmune disease, mood disorders to name a few adverse effects.
How do I know whether or not I have a Healthy Bowel?
The first sign of a healthy bowel is having regular bowel movements that are neither too soft, nor to too hard. Irregular bowel movements, in the form of either diarrhoea or constipation, can be caused by a poor lifestyle that does not include enough water or fibre in your diet. The digestive system is made up of a delicate balance between good and bad bacteria, so that when there is an imbalance you will experience poor colon health. While it is normal to experience some gas, excessive gas is a sign of an unhealthy digestive system.
Why is having a healthy Bowel so Important?
A healthy bowel is responsible for the majority of your immune system and overall health. A diet full of processed foods, caffeine and alcohol causes the digestive tract to produce mucous layers in order to protect itself from the harmful toxins present in these foods. As these mucous layers build up, they prevent the body from absorbing any nutrients from the food that we eat. Moreover, these processed foods are low in fibre so rot in your gut, leading to bacterial growth. This can cause bloating, gas, skin problems, backache, headaches, bad breath, irritability and body odour.
The digestive system is responsible for what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins are expelled, and it is thus that it is linked to the health of your entire body. The barrier between your gut and the rest of your immune system is essentially one cell thick, so that if this barrier is damaged you will create an overactive immune system resulting in inflammation throughout the body.
Thus, it is clear that if you do not have a healthy bowel you are at risk of a plethora of illnesses. To gain back a healthy bowel, it is important to make long-term lifestyle changes. For example, eat a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods like beans, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, take probiotics, an Omega 3 and a zinc supplement. This is important as ensuring gut health is essentially investing in your overall health.