Saturday, 1 February 2014

How to Prevent Bowel Problems

Bowel problems affect a lot of people throughout their lives. The bowel includes the large intestine which is often referred to as the colon. The main function of the large intestine is to extract liquid from ingested food so it passes from the body in a bowel movement in a solid state. Problems occur when the colon becomes inflamed, or when waste material moves too slowly (constipation) or too rapidly (diarrhoea) through the large intestine. Overgrowth can occur in the colon from the proliferation of negative bacteria and thereby cause swelling.

Bowel problems can show up in various ways in the body, and can be diagnosed as diverticulitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, appendicitis, polyps, tumours, food allergies, parasites and possibly lower back problems. Constipation and diarrhoea are forewarnings of possible bigger problems to come. The following are the most frequent symptoms of bowel problems: severe abdominal cramps with fever; rectal bleeding; diarrhoea for more than two days; constipation for more than two weeks; frequent vomiting; and sudden unexplained weight loss.   
Conventional medicine has responded to bowel problems mainly with anti-inflammatory drugs, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and laxative type medications. There are problems with all of these as follows: drugs affect the body in such a way as to interfere with the natural production of its own anti-bodies; surgery only treats the symptoms and not the underlying cause of the problem, and possibly causes scar tissue; chemotherapy destroys the immune system in addition to the virus; radiation causes death to healthy cells in the area being treated; laxatives can become so addictive that a normal bowel movement no longer takes place.
I am convinced the major cause of bowel problems is an inappropriate diet. It is therefore this aspect I will mainly concentrate on in this post. It is essential that the diet is a high fibre one. The best food sources of fibre are wholegrain cereals, wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, wholegrain pasta, dried apricots. almonds, celery, dates, dried figs, raspberries, French beans, prunes, plumbs, kidney beans, and potatoes with their skins.  You should consume 40 grams (1.5 ounces) of fibre per day. Other foods which help to prevent bowel problems include cabbage, cherries, grapes , leeks, melons, oranges, peaches rhubarb, strawberries, olive oil, and live natural yogurt.
Avoid processed food, junk food, fast food, fried food, chemicals and additives   in food, artificial food colourings, and foods with a high sugar content. Tea and coffee should be avoided because they are astringent in that they contract tissues, especially those comprising mucous membranes in the digestive tract.  These beverages can be replaced with others which have a positive effect such as cabbage juice, potato juice and water.
The following herbs, for the reasons stated, can help prevent bowel problems: comfrey sooths, heals and strengthens tissues; marshmallow root contains mucilage which helps healing; ginger relives gas and settles stomach; lobelia removes obstructions of mucous; peppermint oil aids digestion; slippery elm  acts as an anti-inflammatory; and cascara is  a natural laxative.
There are food supplements which can help with bowel problems as follows: vitamin A, 25,000 IU four times daily, helps keeps cavities in the intestine resulting from colitis from growing larger, and thereby trapping impurities which enter the bloodstream; folic acid, 50 mg. daily, helps replace folic acid that is lost and stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid which helps prevent parasites and food poisoning; pantothene, 300 mg. three times daily, acts as an anti-inflammatory; aloe-vera gel, two ounces three times daily, is important for healing inflamed intestinal tissues; psyllium husks as directed on the label to make up for any deficiency in dietary fibre. 
The following complimentary measures also need to be carried out:
  1. Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily in order to flush out the whole system. It is especially important to drink a lot of water if you are on a high fibre diet as is advocated in this post.
  2. Other drinks beneficial to the bowel are cabbage juice and potato juice in that they help replenish normal flora and help healing. 
  3. Do 30 or more minutes of your favourite exercise daily to help the whole body perform better.
  4. Give up smoking as it restricts the body from dealing efficiently with food and digestion.
  5. Limit alcohol intake to two units daily which equates to one pint of beer or two glasses of wine.
You now have outlined above a way of preventing or dealing with bowel problems in a mainly natural way. You should give your bowel serious attention when you consider what health problems can originate there. Colon cancer alone is the third most common cancer type in lots of developed countries. 


  1. This is another good post from this blog on a big problem area for lots of people. If you can take care of you colon, you could live to be a hundred !

  2. Hi, Nice post I enjoyed reading it. thanks for sharing. Would you please consider an intro to my website on your next post. Please email me back. Thanks!

    Aaron Grey
    aarongrey112 at

  3. Thanks for your comment. I will let you know by email about your request.

  4. Some good points made on ways to ward off colon problems and for good health in general. Just good practical advice thanks for the reminders.

  5. This is a very good post on how to protect the bowel, though I am suprised that you did not mention apples in your list of favourable foods.

  6. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I should have mentioned apples as they contain fibre when eaten with their skins and help cleanse the intestines.