How healthy is your intestine today? I ask this question for the umpteenth time because the number of intestinal cases in Nigeria appears to be growing. Many people strain to pass feces. Many people have abdominal pain. Where is that man or woman whose abdomen is not swollen? Among the common complaints is the passing of hard or compacted stool which falls into the water closet in pellets or in a round, tiny form like a goat’s. Some challenged persons help themselves out by using the handle of a small spoon or their left index or middle finger to chip out the hard stock in bits until the soft layer comes falling out with little or no push. I wish, therefore, to revisit earlier reports of medical advice that “DEATH BEGINS SLOWLY BUT SURELY IN THE INTESTINE”.
The diagrams above are enough food for thought. In the first, we see the image of a normal colon, well rounded, and robustly healthy. It is a healthy colon. The person blessed with it does not have a bulging abdomen or a “pseudopregnancy”, as we jokingly describe it in Nigeria. The second diagram images the sick COLON. In the third, we can imagine the ENGORGED COLON. That means it is troubled by a pile-up of feces. Sometimes, we deluded by the fact that we empty the bowel once or twice a day when what we are evacuating had been on the queue for weeks, whereas the journey of a meal from the mouth to the anus should take no longer than 18 hours on the average, according to THE CHARCOAL TEST. The SAGGING COLON has lost muscle tone and cannot maintain itself in its allotted space. It may, therefore, fall upon some other organ(s) and, irritate them, while sparking off inflammation and pain.
These diagrams and the warnings that “death begins silently in the intestine” ring serious bells in my ears any time I am told someone has a bowel health challenge. Such a challenge may range from trouble such as seemingly easy -to- deal with matters as indigestion, constipation, gas and bloating, ulcers of all types, occult blood, inflammation, appendicitis, hernia, irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS), irritable bowel disease(IBD), colitis and ulcerative colitis, diverticula and diverticulosis to the most problematic of them all, CANCER. Outside the intestine, the intestinal problems can cause anemia, Prostate gland questions, headache, malnutrition, immune deficiency, and health challenges in other parts of the body including cancer.
In my middle forties in the 1990s, I began to sight clean, rich red blood on the tissue paper after a poop. I saw one of our company doctors in Surulere, Lagos. He suggested a BARIUM MEAL check. I declined it and prepared myself for the worst-case scenario, for the blood could have been coming from cancer. It could also have been that hard stool was impacting weak anal veins and they were breaking and bleeding. Vitamin C and bioflavonoids could have been scarce in my system, which could also do better with more Zinc, Silica, and Calcium. The condition could simply also have been internal hemorrhoids …from a pile-up of pressure, polyps, or breaking diverticula. Diverticula is the plural of the diverticulum. Diverticula are diversions of cells in the colon to form pouches toward the outer wall. When these are inflamed and break, bleeding may occur. Sepsis or poisoning, a very serious condition, may also arise. The possibilities were endless. This condition led to my discovery of CALAMUS ROOT which helps such conditions, and to DETOXIFICATION OF THE COLON. Calamus root has to be used with caution to prevent its residue from accumulating in the liver. For this season, it is often prescribed along with hepatoprotective (liver-protecting herbs) such as Milk thistle, or, once in a while, with a herb which cleans and flushes the liver such as CARQUEJA. I obtained my first colon detoxifying herbs for enema from Amelia Organics, Lagos in the 1990s. In those days, the organic enema coffee (inedible) was not easily available in Nigeria.
My first colon enema detoxification ended in disaster. It roused the colon so fast and I rushed to the toilet so late that I messed up my bedroom. I cleaned it up and sanitized it thoroughly. Then, I waited for my Madam to return from work. I was, and still am, a playful husband. I liked to hide behind the door and create a scare. In this case, I reasoned that what was good for the goose should be liked by the gander. After all, the husband and wife are meant to be five and six or six and half a dozen. I tricked my wife, Dayo, into experimenting with a colonic, and made sure I overloaded her kit. And when it all came down in her neatly kept room and I had a wonderful exercise of my lungs, which provoked anger and bitterness, I helped with the cleaning. Soon, I almost forgot to check for poop blood. The appearance diminished from about once a week to once in several months until it disappeared altogether.
I was lucky. Many people are not so lucky. I have seen some persons whose rectal end of the intestine closed up or they were about to do so, and the doctor had to bore a hole on one side of their abdomens for them to let out stool into a bag which smelled all around them, day and night! I have met with people whose cases grew into cancer against which the doctor prescribed Chemotherapy to no avail. One of them was a courageous doctor’s wife, who declined chemo and surgery and opted for prayer and herbs. Months after, she surprised her husband when her defecation, though still not perfect, improved and the bleeding became occasional.
I also followed with joy the story of a Caterer in her late forties who was down with esophageal cancer and had to feed through a tube inserted into her stomach. She had to juice or liquefy all her meals and then pour it into a funnel that empties into a tube. If there was no electricity, her feeding was delayed. She could not eat all she would have liked to eat. Her esophagus was blocked and even a drop of water could not pass through without provoking terrible cough as cancer fought in self-protection from drugs. But, surprisingly, saliva could sail through. She weighed 38kg when her brother mentioned her case to me. I told her she had to accept the new feeding protocol advised by her doctor while she tried to fight cancer. She agreed and made 65Kg before she died after spells of Chemotherapy and radiotherapy while waiting to make75kg when surgeons would remove the esophagus and replace it with a section of her intestine.
Next month, it will be about one year since Ngozi left us. Everyone in my household in Lagos broke down when the news came us from Port Harcourt that she bored out after the first dosage of Chemo at the University of Being Teaching Hospital ( UBTC). Mr Oye- Igbemo, who is over 80, gave us joy when he defeated Occult blood with herbs. Two Colonoscopy exams had warned him office scary bleeding discomfiture in the upper section of his colon.
In the series which follows, I invite attention to why the intestine may be getting sicker nowadays. It is hoped that many of us would become more aware that this pit toilet inside all of us, as I often described the intestine, is the cause of disease and installment death if we do not take proper care of it.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that all challenged persons in search of respite would find this series useful.