You And Your Colon

Written by Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC

 

Just this morning, I was taking care of a patient who had been constipated for six days. After many rounds of stool softeners and other meds, I finally have him an enema this morning and all is well after much drama. This prompted me to write today’s post about you and your colon.

So, how is your relationship with your colon? Are you intestinally healthy? I know your colon health doesn’t have an absolutely direct impact on your blood sugars and diabetic management, but in the end, as the colon goes, so goes your health.

Waste Management

When it comes to the elimination of waste, your colon is, in effect, your best friend. After all, what goes in must come out, so taking care of your colon is essential to your overall health and well-being.

That said, what do you do on a regular basis (no pun intended) to keep your colon in good shape?

“Waste management” may seem like a term more easily related to the functioning of a municipal trash collection program, but our bodies produce a lot of waste themselves, and between the work of our urinary and excretory systems, there’s something to say for proper management.

Keep It Clean

One thing about our colons is that it’s good to keep them clean. Now, the colon is, of course, always crawling with bacteria that are very healthy to have in there but not healthy to have on our outside. That said, clean is a relative term, and whole the colon is never really “clean” by sanitary standards, it certainly is clean in terms of its proper balance of flora.

Now, these flora are not household plants. Rather, they’re microbial citizens who keep all things intestinal working smoothly. Some of them can be found in yogurt or probiotic supplements, and since I’m a Registered Nurse and not a doctor or nurse practitioner, I can’t tell you what to take in terms of probiotic pills. However, I can say that probiotics in the form of high-quality supplements or yogurt can be very helpful in terms of keeping your colon working like a charm, so talk to your medical provider about what might be right for you.

Mindful Attention

In the end (again, no pun intended!), colon health is about mindful attention to hydration, diet, exercise, and your overall health.

So, if you have questions about your colon health, consult your medical provider. Meanwhile, common sense can really help everything come out all right!