Measures you can take to improve intestinal health

The digestive system is one of the longest body parts that start from the mouth down to the anus. This tube is responsible for all ingested materials into the body system. The healthy bowel movements are generated by good overall health of a person.
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Dr Joseph Kamugisha

The digestive system is one of the longest body parts that start from the mouth down to the anus. This tube is responsible for all ingested materials into the body system. The healthy bowel movements are generated by good overall health of a person.

People usually suffer diverse and different digestive system complaints. They range from gastritis, gastric ulcer, constipation, abdominal bloats and diarrhea.

Chronic constipation is the single greatest cause of having an unclean and unhealthy colorectal region because over time, constipation causes your bowel walls to face excessive pressure.

The pressure increases as you strain to expel faeces from your colon walls. Excessive pressure on your colon walls can cause little pouches called diverticulitis to form. Sometimes, small bits of waste material can get lodged in diverticulitis, which can lead to diverticulitis and other potentially serious health challenges.

Each time you eat a substantial meal, you stimulate stretch receptors in your stomach that are responsible for triggering normal and mass peristaltic waves throughout your small and large intestines. These natural contractile waves promote regular movement of waste material through your colon and rectum.

Also, eating substantial meals allows significant boluses of waste materials to travel together through your colon, turn into well formed stools, and get eliminated from your body in an efficient manner.

There are various lifestyle measures that can be put into practice to improve your intestinal health. Stress can interfere with your ability to clean your colon through its effect on your enteric nervous system. I can state with certainty that the majority of people who have come to me over the years with a chronic colon-related health issue have had significant anxiety in their lives.

You should always strive to feel emotionally balanced. People with persistent bloats and other colon-rectum problems should be careful look at ways how to minimize the amount of stress and anxiety they experience.

Each time you eat a substantial meal, you stimulate stretch receptors in your stomach that are responsible for triggering normal and mass peristaltic waves throughout your small and large intestines. These natural contractile waves promote regular movement of waste material through your colon and rectum.

Also, eating substantial meals allows significant boluses (roundish masses) of waste materials to travel together through your colon, turn into well formed stools, and get eliminated from your body in an efficient manner.

Eat fibre-rich foods regularly. Fibre adds bulk to the boluses of waste material that travel through your large intestine, and this bulk is essential to your colon’s ability to turn waste materials into well formed stools. A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains ensures high fiber intake.

Ensure adequate intake of water and/or water-rich foods. If you eat plenty of water-rich plant foods, then you can rely on your sense of thirst to dictate how much water to drink.

Water helps move waste materials along, and is absorbed throughout the entire length of your colon. Insufficient water intake can cause stools to form far before waste materials reach your rectal pouch, which can cause constipation.

Ensure adequate vitamin D status. Optimal vitamin D status significantly lowers your risk of developing all types of cancer.

It’s best to ensure adequate vitamin A status by eating healthy foods that contain vitamin A. Foods that provides vitamin A includes organic beef liver, organic eggs, and organic butter. Other important foods for vitamin A include; sweet potatoes or yams, spinach, carrots and butter nut squash.

Glands that line the mucosal lining of your colon are responsible for releasing mucous that is needed to lubricate your faeces; vitamin A is needed to maintain the health of these specialised cells that release mucous.

You need to feed on healthy fats. All of your cells, including those of your large intestine and nervous system, require a constant influx of undamaged fatty acids and cholesterol to remain fully functional.

If you don’t ensure adequate intake of healthy fats, your nervous system and the smooth muscles that surround your digestive passageway - both of which are responsible for creating peristaltic waves throughout your digestive tract - may deteriorate in function.

Also, intake of healthy fats is necessary for optimal absorption of fat-soluble vitamin A, which is critical to building and maintaining the mucosal lining of your colon.

Healthy foods that are rich in healthy fats include avocados, organic eggs, coconut oil, coconuts, raw nuts, and raw seeds.

Dr Joseph Kamugisha is an oncologist at Rwanda Military Hospital, Kanombe