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Death Begins In The Colon - Part I
By Ron Harder


There is an epidemic in our society, and it has to do with the gastrointestinal diseases that we develop within us as a result of the food that we eat. I am referring to diseases such as Crohn's, Colitis, Diverticulitis, and other diseases of the intestinal tract.

The human suffering and the social, medical, and economic costs of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders that have become so common in the US and Canada are nothing short of enormous, representing a huge share of our annual health care expenditure, as well as being responsible for a large loss of productivity.

Up to 100 million North Americans suffer from intermittent forms of digestive diseases, and the estimated lost work, lost wages, and medical costs comes to over 50 billion dollars per year. It is also estimated that some 200,000 workers miss work every day due to digestive problems.

Health statistics also show that more North Americans are hospitalized due to diseases of the intestinal tract than for any other group of disorders. The medical costs of these diseases is estimated to be $20 billion or more per year.

The annual cost of prescription and over-the-counter drug products used for digestive tract diseases is approximately $2 - 2.5 billion dollars per year, and has grown at a steady rate of 10% over the last decade.

The following is an estimate of costs, and adequately demonstrates the fact that these diseases present a significant public health problem, which contribute substantially to our overall health care costs:

  • Laxatives - $900 million per year.
  • Antacids - $1 billion per year.
  • Antihemorrhoidals - $250 million per year.
  • Anridiarrheals - $100 million per year.
Cancer of the colon and cancer of the rectum are the second most common forms of cancer in North America, exceeded only by lung cancer. This year alone (2003), there will be approximately 150,000 new cases diagnosed, and approximately 60,000 related deaths. Perhaps as many as one out of every 10 North Americans will die of these two diseases.

The following are some of the other very common diseases and disorders that are directly related to the Colon: Constipation, Appendicitis, Diverticular Disease, Hemorrhoids, Benign Tumors, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn's Disease.

Here are a few facts about these diseases:

  • It is estimated that more than 300,000 appendices are removed each year.
  • Diverticulitis/Diverticulosis is reported to be present in more than one-third of those in our population over the age of 40 - and in up to two-thirds of those who are over the age of 80.
  • Hemorrhoids are believed to be present to some degree in nearly half of all people over the age of 50.
  • Benign Tumors are reported to be present in one-third of all autopsies performed on patients over the age of 20.

Evidence suggests that all of these disorders were very rare in the Western world less than 100 years ago, and that each of these has greatly increased during the last 50 years. What's more, for years now researchers such as Cleave, Trowell, Burkitt, and others, have known that all these diseases are almost unheard of in communities which still adhere to their traditional way of life.

In developing countries in Asia and Africa for example, documented evidence has proven the rarity of diseases such as diverticulitis, appendicitis, bowel cancer, adenomatous polyps, ulcerative colitis, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and hiatus hernias. In Africa, this has been the case with appendicitis, ishemic heart disease, diabetes, obesity, gallstones, varicose veins, venous thrombosis, and hemorrhoids.

As these countries develop and begin to adopt Western ways and customs, a rise in the frequency of these disorders follows almost as surely as night follows day.

They first appear and then become common in the upper socioeconomic groups, which are the first group of people to become westernized. In Africa, this has been the case with appendicitis, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, gallstones, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids. The same kind of thing happened in Japan after World War Two, especially in the urban communities.

As it turns out, the result of the investigations by many over the years has led to a much more specific conclusion than merely some sort of ambiguous, or mysterious "environmental factor" which is somehow involved in the cause of these diseases and disorders. Rather, many have become far more specific about the cause, supporting what has come to be known as the "F(iber)-Hypothesis".

In the past it was thought that the large intestine was not really too involved in absorption (the principal absorptive functions being to conserve water and electrolytes secreted into the gut during digestion). However, recent research has demonstrated that, among other things, the colon does in fact participate in protein absorption.

As it turns out, the result of the investigations by many over the years has led to a much more specific conclusion than merely some sort of ambiguous, or mysterious "environmental factor" which is somehow involved in the cause of these diseases and disorders. Rather, many have become far more specific about the cause, supporting what has come to be known as the "F(iber)-Hypothesis".

This is extremely significant inasmuch as the colon is the major side of exposure to the bulk of endogenous bacterial proteins, enterotoxins, and breakdown antigens, which may be involved in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, food allergies and allergic gastoenteropathy, bacterial enteritis (from toxins produced by Escherichia coli, Shigella, Vibro cholerae, etc.), and certain extra-intestinal immune-complex diseases.

Even more important than protein absorption is the operation of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) in the colon. These are nerve endings that are attached to the colon wall and they provide nerve impulses to stimulate the operation of the various organs and glands within your body. The type of stimulation that the ANS is able to provide to your organs and glands is a direct reflection of the health of your colon.

For a complete description of the development of gastrointestinal diseases and the operation of the Autonomic Nervous System, read the book referred to in the Authors Resource Box below.

Part II >>

This and other articles by Ron Harder are available at www.defeatcancernaturally.com/health.html.

This article written by Ron Harder, Nutritional Health Consultant, Iridologist, and Author of "How to DEFEAT CANCER NATURALLY without Chemo, Radiation, or Surgery". A free chapter of this new book is available at: www.defeatcancernaturally.com/seven.html.


 
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