Cancer Prevention and Life style – 2

We are all well aware of the term waste, which is an expected by-product during any production. However its effective management including segregation, storing (if re-using), disposal etc., are the strategic points in defining the hygienic state of a kitchen or an industry.

Our body is not less than any complex sophisticated chemical industry as it involves multilevel processing units which are well organised and coordinated to sustain physiology. During the course of physiological process Macro and Micro wastes are produced at various stages. Major wastes of our body are faeces, urine and carbon dioxide which are solid, liquid and gaseous form respectively. Exchange or elimination of gaseous waste occurs involuntarily by respiration whereas urine and faeces formation is involuntary but elimination is under voluntary control.

Emptying bowels, bladder are the first and foremost things to do after waking up i.e. normally, one should feel the urge for emptying which is an indication of appropriate digestion. If not, then it indicates hampered physiology. Similarly, if bowels are not emptied everyday or more than once or with difficulty or needs straining/pressure or associated with pain or feeling of incomplete evacuation etc., should seek advice from a physician to regularise as these might be the symptoms of disease related to G I T / Oestrogen dominance/ Anxiety / Depression. Longstanding improper evacuation of bowels leads to Fatigue / Weight gain / Skin problems / bacterial growth in small intestine / Brittle nails / Thin hairs / Poor immunity /Anorectic diseases etc.

Without emptying bowels and bladder, one should not do any vigorous physical activity e.g. Yoga, Jogging, Gym, Exercise etc., as this facilitates re-absorption of various kinds of toxins which are ready for excretion, including hormones (normally be excreted in stool).

Decreased gut motility in patients with constipation increases the risk of colo-rectal cancer due to prolonged duration of contact of mucosa and carcinogens in stool, imbalance intestinal flora leading to decreased healthy species and overgrowth of unwanted bacteria or pathogens results in colo-rectal cancers as microbiota may contribute to cancer development or progression of other cancer in body. This mechanism includes activation and modulation of the immune system and damage to host DNA leading to cancer.

What is constipation?

Constipation means an infrequent bowel movement, usually less than 3 stools per week. Mostly associated with 

  1. Hard stools or incomplete bowel evacuation

  2. Needs more time and straining to pass bowel

  3. Abdominal bloating

  4. Pain abdomen

  5. Anorexia (lack or loss of appetite for food)

  6. Head and neck pain

  7. Irritable mind

Remedies for constipation or irregular bowel movement :

  • Most of us are using Western commode which causes mechanical obstructions for easy movement of stool. Hence we should not forget to use foot rest with a height of 8 inches minimum to create an approximate 35O angle between hip and thighs so that it resemble squatting position for easy evacuation.

 

  • Water and constipation :

    • There is no evidence that constipation can successfully be treated by increasing fluid intake unless there is evidence of dehydration.

    • Most of us are habituated to visit toilet after a cup of coffee / tea / smoking or after breakfast etc. If so, it is better to cultivate habit of drinking a cup of warm water after brushing teeth.

    • Drinking warm water during meals usually encourages process of digestion, absorption by stimulating intestinal circulation and also helps for bowel movement.

 

  • Fibre and constipation : A fibre poor diet should not be assumed to be the cause of chronic constipation. Some patients may be helped by a fibre-rich diet but many patients with more severe constipation get worse symptoms when increasing dietary fibre intake.

  • If habituated to consuming laxatives like Isabgol seeds, any powders or liquids to help in evacuation of stools, it should be remembered that they only help in evacuation & are not sufficient to address other systemic impacts of constipation. Therefore it is advised to follow :

    • Physical activity : Any Sports, Yoga, Aerobic exercise or simple stretching under the guidance of experts are essential as most of us have sedentary life style. Physical activities are essential for stimulating internal organs with specific series of postures.

    • Shankaparakshalana :¬†which is a process to be practised under the guidance of Yoga or Naturopathy experts for cleaning intestinal tract. This helps in normalising intestinal flora and peristalsis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ByQZU2vJpI

    • Enema : Lukewarm water enema under medical guidance initially under the guidance of medical practitioners. It might not be suggested daily i.e. once a week or fortnight or month or whenever required or as advised by experts.

    • Colon irrigation / cleansing : Certain aspects of colon cleansing may be beneficial. It may help issues such as constipation or irregular bowel movements, and there is some evidence that they can also reduce colon cancer risk.

  • If stools are associated with fresh blood or stain or pus or foul smell, the person might be suffering from Ano-rectal disease like Piles, Fistula, Fissure etc. It needs medical attention as these tend to progress & cause irreversible damage if not attended / treated properly. Ayurveda has unique solutions for these concerns.

  • Psychological disturbance like fear, anger and stress will also cause constipation or loose stools. Seek expert advice for the same.

  • Episodes of constipation followed by loose stools or vice versa indicate the improper digestion and mal-absorption, his may require extended periods of treatments coupled with specific diet regimes.

  • Diseases like Hypothyroidism, Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, Colon Cancer, Diverticulitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Pelvic floor dysfunction, Chronic kidney diseases, Cystic fibrosis etc., will require disease & condition oriented medications, under medical supervision.

References :

  1. https://bellalindemann.com/blog/side-effects-of-constipation
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6503315/
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15654804
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constipation
  1. Ashtanga Hrudayam

 

(Author : Dr. Dayananda R D, MD (Ayu),

Cancer Consultant, Sriranga Ayurveda Chikitsa Mandira, Kuvempunagara, Mysore – 570023)