Continuing our teaching on gaining health through improving gut health, today’s topic is one many have questions about and most avoid! Here are a couple of questions from the comments previously to, uh, get things moving (*wink*):
“How do herbal colon cleanses strip the gut in an unhealthy way? I guess because they are natural herbs, I thought they were safe. I have used them off and on over the past few years.”
Most herbal cleanses are designed to strip away the buildup in the colon, to force elimination at a higher than normal rate, and to quickly enable to user to drop several pounds of body weight – note, that although it is from the mid-section as the GI tract empties, this weight is not body fat. The “natural” herbs are often harsh and cause cramping, diarrhea, and other unpleasant side effects. Plus, they completely neglect the 2-phase cleansing of the liver in the process.
Another reason not to use herbal colon cleanses is their effect on the seratonin levels of the body. This integral hormone helps you sleep and wake properly, contributes to emotional stability and peace, as well as affecting the immune system. And, while a healthy gut is imperative for a healthy immune system, the herbal cleanses do not use an approach that works well with the body’s design and function.
A much more effective way to approach this is to re-introduce good flora into the gut system, along with L-glutamine to heal any damaged tissue. As we discussed before, fats, fiber, and fluids are among the first strategies to employ. A strong healthy flora is the best way to clean out the gut and does not require replenishing the flora afterwards. Staying on a high-quality probiotic all the time eliminates the need to do the herbal cleanses.”As for cleansing the colon, years ago some people were doing coffee enemas. Is this harmful? I prefer taking my coffee the normal way….but just curious.”
Coffee enemas are useful under some circumstances to release toxins in the liver and kidneys, especially in patients with serious health concerns. In researching the topic, I found that organic fully-leaded cooled coffee enemas were actually used as part of conventional medicine up until the 1960’s and included in medical treatment manuals even into the 1970’s!
The mechanism at work in a coffee enema rather than drinking it orally, is connected with the way the caffeine enters the bloodstream. Taken rectally, it stimulates the lower bowels, which cause the liver to naturally cleanse. As with any treatment of this nature, it can be used inappropriately without proper guidance from a health-care practitioner. In Arkansas, as well as other states, it is not permitted for a colon hydrotherapist to administer a coffee enema directly to the patient. Patients must administer their own should they choose to use this therapy, however, home use without a hydrotherapist is not recommended.
“About the colon and probiotics, after taking antibiotics from a doctor, do people need to take more than one probiotic per day to build up the good flora again?
That depends on the health of the patient and the type of probiotic taken. Many people think that consuming yogurt will suffice or an old fashioned acidophilus capsule would be enough. In today’s mealplace, one’s exposure to untold numbers of bacteria, virus, microbes, etc can easily overwhelm even a healthy gut. Using a high powered quality multi-strain probiotic is a must – in all countries, not just when traveling abroad or out of your local areas.
After antibiotic use, an increased dose is warranted and the level would depend on the strength and duration of the round of antibiotic used. For example, IV antibiotics can be altogether more destructive to gut flora that a 5-day round for a minor infection. When in doubt, again, consult with a well-versed physician, like Dr. Ray, if you do not have one already. Easy questions like that can be answered quickly with a proper history and good patient-physician relationship.
“How long does it take to rebuild good flora after taking antibiotics? Should a person currently taking antibiotics continue to take the probiotic? Also, I would think the medication given for a colonoscopy test would take away good flora as well? If so, would building back up be the same as after taking antibiotics?”
See answer above, but to add in a bit for the last part, we generally suggest a patient stop the probiotics during antibiotic use and resume immediately afterward. There are of course exceptions to this on a case by case basis, as some patients have such adverse reactions to multiple medical procedures that continued probiotic use is imperative. Another wise thing is to request from your MD to be allowed to continue probiotic use during hospital stays to help the immune system fight off and prevent the common staph and strep infections.
That’s a wrap for today! As a reminder, we have coming up tonight a webinar on Your Food: Fact, Fiction, Additives, and Addictions. And coming up on August 6, 2013, we begin a 40-day Bootcamp Back to Health! BE HERE for both of those ! But you have to register for The Joshua Groups to be invited! Just click the menu links or connect on Facebook!
Postscript: After publishing this morning, I received this article on gut health by Dr Joseph Mercola,which is also interesting. We do not recommend calorie counting at all, there for the references to caloric restriction is not wisdom – however, Dr Mercola’s notes on Intermittent Fasting are excellent. His site also has another wonderful article on Adrenal Fatigue and Intermittent Fasting.
Michelle Pearson is a dynamic wellness coach, speaker, author, and the Founder & President of Picture of Health Inc. On a personal health journey for the past 19 years, Michelle’s mission is to educate, activate, challenge and equip others to live a full, satisfying life through the use of state-of-the-art educational resources to produce significant and lasting health breakthroughs.
Dr. Ray Pearson is a licensed Chiropractic Physician and a Pharmacist, with over 43 years in healthcare. Dr. Ray has post-graduate training and certification in numerous advanced wellness therapies and Chiropractic techniques. In addition, he holds a degree in Biology and graduated with honors from Victory Bible Institute & World Missions Training Center.
Dr. Pearson and wife, Michelle, are Catalysts for Change. Together, they have more than 1000 hours of continuing education in advanced nutrition and wellness topics. Both are dynamic wellness coaches, speakers, authors and founders of http://thepictureofhealth.com. Together, their mission is to educate, activate, challenge and equip others to live a full, satisfying life through the use of state-of-the-art educational resources to produce significant and lasting health breakthroughs.
Now I know you want to share this one! Go ahead! It’s a conversation starter for sure! Just don’t bring it up at lunch, ok?