The Big Connection: colon, liver, and chemo
If you think your colon is just a big tube in your body that’s encased like a sausage — think again! Your colon is an organ in your body that is responsible for eliminating the foods that have been digested as well as eliminating toxins that other elimination organs have processed.
What does your colon have to do with chemotherapy?
When chemotherapy is administered, it goes directly into your bloodstream to go after cancer cells. It can’t differentiate between all your cells so, unfortunately, it also attacks healthy T cells (your immune building blood cells that actually helps to keep your body strong and fighting against cancer). As your bloodstream disperses the chemotherapy, your body has to eliminate the toxins. Normally this is done through the kidneys, lungs, skin, colon. But it's your liver that has the extra heavy burden of getting rid of the toxic effects of the chemo.
Your colon is part of your whole digestive system, which includes the alimentary canal (also called the digestive tract) and the abdominal organs that are included in the whole digestive process such as the liver and pancreas. To complete the picture, your alimentary canal is one long tube that starts in your mouth and leads into the esophagus, which leads to your stomach, which then goes into your small intestines, and then the last part is your large intestines (known as your colon). The whole digestive tract is 30 feet long, with your colon being about 6 feet long. That’s a lot of tubing!
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How it’s all connected?
Your liver, located under your right ribcage in the right upper part of the abdomen, your gallbladder, and your pancreas are not part of your alimentary canal. But these organs are all vital to a healthy digestion and eliminating the toxic effects of chemotherapy.
Let's focus on your liver specifically. Your liver has over 500 functions like breaking down fats, processing nutrients, and more. The nutrients and toxins absorbed into your bloodstream all go through your liver for processing. So each chemotherapy administration goes into your bloodstream, and eventually processed through your liver. After the liver is done using what it can, it stores the rest, usually in your fat cells. The rest is dumped through your skin and kidneys.
Here’s why it's so important to cleanse your colon and liver: While your colon is not directly responsible for eliminating the toxic side effects of chemo, you can see that your liver is! When the liver is overworked with trying to eliminate the large amounts of toxins, it gets inflamed, irritated, and simply overloaded. This can lead to fatigue, insomnia, bloating, hormonal imbalances, bad breath, blood sugar issues, and even pain on the upper right side of your abdomen.
When a colon cleanse is done, it can easily allow the liquid to flow upwards through your colon and eventually reaching your liver. This process gives your liver the ability to get the nutrients it needs to gently but effectively release the toxins in your liver and eventually flows through your colon.
What is a colon cleanse?
A colon cleanse, also called colonic irrigation or colon hydrotherapy, is when a therapist flushes out the colon by inserting a tube into your rectum. Warm water is gently released into the colon which begins the washing away of built up fecal matter and then is safely flushed out. This procedure can also be done at home, called a Coffee Enema. This procedure is the same, except uses coffee which is used to stimulate the liver to release toxins. Coffee enemas can stimulate the liver to produce Glutathione S-transferase, a chemical which is known to bet the main detoxifier in the body. It binds toxins, such as chemotherapy, and releases it through the water during the colon irrigation process.
On the whole, colon cleansing reduces toxicity by up to 600%! In addition to detoxifying the liver, it can also increase energy levels, improve mental clarity and mood, sluggishness, improve digestion, and leave you with an overall sense of well-being. The most important benefit is that as the toxic build up from chemo is released, the immune system quickly bounces back and becomes stronger than ever. That’s because your body doesn’t have to deal with the toxins from the chemo and can focus on keeping your immune system super strong, which is the No. 1 way your body fights all types of cancer.
An important consideration when doing colon cleansing is to make sure there is plenty of minerals and healthy bacteria replenishment since the water from the cleanse sometimes washes away these vital nutrients. Simply drinking coconut water and taking a high grade probiotic will replenish the colon.
Remember to wait at least two weeks after you are done with your chemotherapy before you consider doing a cleanse. Everyone wants the toxins out immediately, however it takes time for your body to rebalance itself. It's best to let your body rest and recuperate before doing a comprehensive cleanse to eliminate the residual side effects of chemotherapy. As always, consult with a natural health care practitioner before undergoing any type of cleanse.