Hop on the internet and you may see many articles and blog posts touting the benefits of a salt water flush. A salt water flush involves drinking a certain amount of salt dissolved in water to flush out the bowels. This means those using the cleanse program will spend a good part of the day in the bathroom as the contents of their bowels are expelled. Additionally, some claim a salt water flush will help with constipation while cleansing the colon. Read on to find out if this practice is safe or necessary, and to learn of alternatives for maintaining healthy bowels.
9. What Is a Salt Water Flush?
Salt water flush recipes generally call for dissolving two teaspoons of salt in a liter of water. Upon awakening, and on an empty stomach, those doing the flush will drink the full amount of this concoction in about five minutes. Then, the majority of the day is spent in the bathroom emptying the colon. In addition to repeated bowel movements as the colon is emptied, users may experience stomach cramping, nausea, and vomiting.
8. Why Do Some Choose to Use a Salt Water Flush?
Some people feel a salt water flush is a remedy for treating constipation. Others believe in the benefit of “detoxing”, or clearing the bowel of toxins. These individuals suppose that salt water will draw toxic substances from the colon and expel them from the body. Still others believe that completely emptying their bowels may help them lose weight. Personal testimonies about the use of this cleanse have popped up on the internet. However, there is a lack of medical research to determine the safety and effectiveness of this practice.
7. Is a Salt Water Flush Necessary to Remove Toxins?
You may find many websites encouraging the use of a master cleanse or salt water flush to remove toxins. However, there is little medical evidence that this treatment is necessary for good colon health. In reality, your body is perfectly capable of removing toxins from your body without the additional aid of cleanses. Your liver filters your blood to remove toxic chemicals from your body. Your kidneys also aid in the removal of toxins from your system. Dr. Gregory Rauch of Rush University Medical Center states that your colon is well equipped to remove any wastes that remain in your body after your small intestine has absorbed nutrients.
6. Risks of a Salt Water Flush
While many websites claim that a salt water flush is perfectly safe, this cleanse is not without its risks. Drinking large amounts of salt water and then losing water through consecutive bowel movements can cause dehydration. The Mayo Clinic lists extreme thirst, dizziness, confusion, and lethargy as symptoms of dehydration. Additionally, using a salt water flush can cause an electrolyte imbalance. An electrolyte imbalance can cause heart problems, mental confusion, muscle issues, and seizures. Persons with high blood pressure should never use a salt water flush, as the high salt concentration can lead to a sodium overload and affect their blood pressure.
5. Treating Constipation
If you are considering a salt water flush as a method for treating constipation, you may want to try alternative treatments. In the short term, a bout of constipation can be treated with medications such as stool softeners, fiber supplements, osmotic agents, or stimulant laxatives. If these options do not suffice, your doctor may be able to prescribe other medications to promote regularity. In the long term, you may want to make lifestyle adjustments to promote a healthy gut and regular bowel movements.
4. Eat Fiber for a Healthy Colon
One of the best ways to keep your digestive tract healthy and keep food and wastes properly moving through your system is to consume fiber. According to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, foods that are rich in fiber promote gut health in several ways. First, they keep food moving quickly through your digestive tract. Second, fiber actually scours buildup and bacteria from the walls of your colon. Lastly, fiber contributes to the formation of soft, regular stools that are easy to pass. Consume plenty of fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables to cleanse your colon and keep your bowel movements regular.
3. Keep Well Hydrated for a Healthy Colon
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to not only stay hydrated but to also help your kidneys flush toxins and wastes from your body. You don’t have to drink a salt water concoction to enjoy the benefits that clean, clear water provides your body. Drinking enough water also keeps your colon hydrated and contributes to the formation of soft, easily passable stool. Water requirements vary depending on your level of activity and how hot or humid the air is around you. The best advice is to drink when you are thirsty and stop when you are satisfied. A goal of eight 8-ounce glasses per day may be ideal for keeping your body hydrated.
2. Exercise for Colon Health
Adequate exercise promotes a strong and healthy colon. Exercise can benefit your colon by increasing blood flow to the colon. This provides the colon with the oxygen and red blood cells necessary for healthy function. Exercise keeps your digestive tract active and promotes the passage of wastes through the colon. This means that toxins spend less time sitting in your colon and are removed from your body more quickly. Walking for at least 15 minutes each day is a good way to slowly introduce exercise into your daily routine. Jogging, biking, and hiking are other great ways to improve overall body health, including the health of your colon.
1. Choose Food Wisely for a Healthy Gut
Providing your body with healthy and nutritious foods gives you the necessary foundation for good health. A proper diet prevents the need for any type of gimmick that claims to cleanse your body, treat constipation, or aid in weight loss. Avoid meats and processed foods that provide chemical additives that can increase your risk of colon cancer. Steer clear of added sugar and refined white flours, which contribute empty calories to your diet. These foods lead to weight gain and do your colon no favors. Consume vitamin D and calcium through fortified dairy products or leafy greens to maintain a healthy colon.