Structural, functional and metabolic imbalances of the colon are manifested in various forms. We will mention a few of the more common abnormalities of the colon to illustrate the effects of autointoxication and constipation. These are: adhesions, ballooning, colitis, diverticulitis, mucosal dysfunction, spastic bowel, strictures and ulceration. Adhesions in the colon are caused by inflammations and irritations to the bowel wall. When the mucus membrane breaks down, tissue becomes exposed, open and irritated. The raw surfaces begin to stick together as the result of glue-like substance secreted from the tissue. This is a serious condition and requires delicate treatment to correct.

Ballooning of the colon occurs as a consequence of backed up feces. For various reasons, feces can accumulate and stretch the bowel wall into enormous proportions. This often occurs in the sigmoid colon as the result of a narrowing of the bowel lumen below the ballooning. This narrowing can be caused by adhesions, spasm or colic conditions. When this occurs, constipation can become quite severe and painful and has a damaging effect upon the bowel structure and function.

Colitis is an irritable bowel condition that is highly associated with psychological distress. Few people truly realize the benefits of a calm and peaceful lifestyle. They are often unaware of the mind's ability to sink into the body's functioning ability and upset normal tissue activities. Fear, anger, depression, stress, tension, worries and obsessions can all upset delicate processes in the body, and in particular, those of digestion and elimination. Sometimes what we need is a good cerebral laxative to rid the mind of emotional autointoxication and constipation.

Divcrticular disease of the colon is occurring at an ever-increasing rate. It is a serious bowel disturbance leading to many difficulties and must be avoided. When the diet is lacking in bulk or fiber, the colonic muscle must work extremely hard to force feces through the organ. Where there is weakness in muscle fibers a hernia occurs, producing a small pouch or sac-like protrudence in the tissue. It looks like a blister on the side of a tire where the air is forcing its way to the surface through a weak spot in the tire wall.

These sacs, or diverticula, are blind in one end. Therefore feces accumulate within them and hold morbid matter in which a variety of very unfavorable organisms can begin to breed. They become sources of infection, inflammation and degenerative conditions. They are also the host for the production of powerful toxins, adding to an already over-burdened and toxic body. I have seen X-rays of the colon in which there were 142 of these little sacs on one bowel. When these diverticula become inflamed and irritated, we have a case of diverticulitis. Should any one of these festering sacs produce a rupture, then we have a grave situation in which life is threatened by the release of these very poisonous substances into the abdominal cavity of the body where infection can spread quite rapidly.

Mucosal dysfunction occurs when the intestinal mucus lining becomes stagnant and putrefactive. It begins to develop many unfavorable conditions. No longer does it serve the function of facilitating elimination of fecal material. Instead it degenerates in several ways. It can become abcessed, in which case irritations, abrasions, ulcerations and bleeding can occur Food passage can be very painful.

Mucus can dehydrate and accumulate due to increased viscid consistency. This causes layer upon layer to be built up until extreme constipation occurs. This old material becomes a source of infection and toxic absorption, holding many otherwise excreted products. It also greatly inhibits the absorption of nutrients and water, adding to nutritional crisis.

A spastic bowel is often associated with colitis. The point I want to stress is that when bowel muscle or any muscle is overworked, tense and not given an opportunity to rest, it will go into a spasm. Muscle spasm is a chronic tightening of the fibers due to hyperactivity in the nerve impulses controlling muscle action. The symptoms frequently manifest as constipation, alternating with diarrhea. Mental and emotional stresses are high on the list of contributing factors, coupled with chronic toxemia and poor diet.

A stricture of the bowel usually occurs after an inflammatory disease such as colitis has damaged the tissue. It is a chronic narrowing of the passageway that often results in a backup of feces that are unable to pass through. The feces accumulate in front of the stricture, causing ballooning, while the segment just past the stricture collapses.

Ulceration of the bowel occurs due to irritations, abrasions, infections and toxic concentrations settling in or on muscletissue. This results in open sores, bleeding and much pain as is common in hemorrhoids, etc. The sigmoid and rectum are the sites for most of these troubles. Again, autointoxication and constipation are the root causes.

Dr. Bernard Jensen, Ph.D., Nutritionist

Click on this link to get the drawings illustrate the various abnormal shapes of the bowel in comparison to a normal bowel