” …Eat more spinach son, good for your Colon!
…My doctor says I need a colonoscopy!
…Ow! She hit me right in the colon!”
As part of the Surgeon Group of LA’s simple biology tour, we introduce our lovely friend:
The largest intestine inside the digestive system, the colon connects the small intestine and the anus and is a crucial part of the entire digestive system. It’s basically where all the good stuff that you need, like water and nutrients, gets absorbed from the food you eat.
Job Description: To completely absorb the nutrients, water, and energy from the partially digested food coming from your Small Intestine
Aliases: Large Intestine, the poop chute, the 5 feet poop maker
Size: 5 feet long, can be approximately 3 inches wide or as low as 1 inch wide depending on the region
Altogether the large intestine gets the food you chew up and turns it into energy. Albeit with poop too.
Myth# 1 Poop takes 72 hours to digest
The truth is, people, vary widely on how long food stays in their colons.
Generally, though, the colon spends anywhere from 12 to 48 hours turning mashed-up food into a waste product.
Myth # 2 You should poop every day
There is simply no medical evidence that backs this up.
The truth again is that people vary widely on how many times they poo, from a few times a day to once every three. If it takes you more than 72 hours in between bowel movements, it may be time to speak to a doctor.
Myth# 3 Red blood in your stool means colon cancer
Darkened, semi-clotted blood inside of your stool may perhaps be a sign of colon cancer.
However, if the blood in your stool is red, and does not come from inside your stool, it could be a sign of:
- Chronic constipation
Any blood in your stool = time to see a doctor.
However, most likely after a colonoscopy, your doctor will prescribe some preparation h and a high-fiber diet. No need to panic just yet.
Myth# 4 Fiber is all I need for a good colon
The truth is, you can have all the fiber in the world, but if you:
- Constantly overweight and obese
- Excessively drink
You will highly increase your chance of developing colon problems.
Fiber or juice cleanse be damned.
And on that point.
Myth# 5 Juice cleanses work!
This is the myth that will especially tick off your doctors.
Every once in a while juice cleanses may be a way to reduce calories and increase the number of vitamins you get from fruits and vegetables. However, nearly every study done on juice cleanses show they have no effect on colon health. You’re likely better off adding some green tea and whole fruits to your diet and calling it a day.
With a good diet and exercise plan, checkups, and occasionally an apple or two, your colon should stay good as new. Additionally scheduling a yearly colonoscopy is recommended for adults over 45. Especially if you have colon problems in your family.
If you or a loved one have questions about colon health, schedule an appointment with your doctor today.