Nutrition Questions and Answers
Vital Health Zone is proud to announce Lesa Rusher, who is our resident naturopathic expert and who is available to answer questions about nutrition and health.
Lesa Rusher is a qualified naturopath with a thriving business in Canberra, Australia and has a wealth of experience treating clients on a variety of health issues. Lesa Rusher's full credentials can be found in our experts area.
Lesa Rusher will answer your nutrition-related questions.
Q: I have recently been found to have an extremely elongated colon, particularly sigmoid colon.
I have been told to take laxatives for the rest of my life (epsom salts @ 4tspns a day). I am wondering if I can make other dietary changes, other than the obvious increasing fibre, to lessen my need for laxatives.
Would it be worth my while to consult a naturopath, or dietician?
A: An elongated colon means that the transit time for the faeces will be longer than in a regularly sized colon, which could produce some stress on the colon and faecal motions in general and promote constipation.
There are several strategies that you could use to help with your issue:
- Reduce gas-producing foods - these foods can cause a high build-up of gas in the colon and cause a great deal of discomfort and pain, so aim to reduce their consumption (beans, legumes, asparagus and too many raw vegetables in one meal are the main culprits)
- Eat small, frequent meals - eating about 5-6 small meals throughout the day will put less stress on the colon and will help transit time
- Reduce sugar and processed foods - these foods do nothing beneficial for the gastrointestinal system (they do not have many nutrients that can be digested and absorbed) and cause unnecessary stress on the gastrointestinal system
- Increase fluid intake - drink around 1.5 - 2 litres of water every day, as this can help to prevent the colon from drying out and promoting constipation (which is more likely in someone with an elongated colon due to the extra transit time)
- Exercise - is required to help stimulate proper circulation and ensure that the colon is also working properly
- Probiotics - certain strains of probiotics can help to repopulate the colon with beneficial bacteria to ensure that food is digested and absorbed properly
- Fish oil - contains the essential omega-3 fatty acids, which help to ensure that the whole gastrointestinal system is functioning properly, by helping to bulk up faeces, so that they promote better motion in the colon and help reduce transit time
It would be very beneficial for you to see a qualified naturopath with a specialty in nutrition, who can advise you on the best diet plan for you, plus can tailor a supplement regime to help your colon function more effectively.
Please note that the information provided is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Consult with your medical physician regarding appropriateness of using supplements in your healing process.
Enjoy better health!