There are two sections of the bowel: the small bowel (better known as the small intestine) – this is where the minerals and vitamins in the food are digested and absorbed; and the colon and rectum form the large bowel, or large intestine, where the body extracts salt and water from solid wastes.
Then, the waste moves through the rectum and exits the human body through the anus.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a medical term that is used to describe two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, IBD affects over 1.6 million people in the United States. The majority of sufferers are diagnosed before age 30.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Symptoms vary depending on the severity and location of inflammation, however, they may include:
- anemia, that can lead to delayed growth or development in children;
- unexplained weight loss;
- stomach cramping, pain, and bloating;
- bleeding ulcers, that may cause blood to show up in the stool;
- diarrhea, that occurs when affected parts of the bowel can’t reabsorb water.
Many factors can lead to this condition, including:
- having a regular diet low in dietary fiber and high in food additives, trans-fats, and dairy products;
- changes in routine;
- taking certain drugs (particularly iron pills, antidepressants, and strong pain medicines);
- using antacid medicines containing aluminum or calcium;
- overusing laxatives which, over time, weaken the bowel muscles;
- resisting the urge to have bowel movements;
- emotional stress.
The small intestine is the longest part of the digestive system. It connects the stomach to the large intestine and folds many times to fit inside the abdomen.
Problems in the small intestine can be due to:
- hernias, that involve a portion of the intestine protruding out of the body or into another part of the body;
- adhesions, consisting of fibrous tissue which can occur after any pelvic or abdominal surgery;
- inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease;
- swallowed objects, particularly in children;
- tumors within the small intestine;
- malformations of the intestine, which usually occur in newborns;
- intussusception of one segment of intestine into the next section;
- volvulus of the intestines.
Common symptoms may include:
- decreased appetite;
- severe bloating;
- abdominal swelling;
- abdominal pain;
- severe abdominal cramps;
- inability to pass gas or stool.
Spiritual Meaning of Large Intestine (Colon) & Small Intestine Disorders
The constant quest for satisfaction, pleasure, and material desires (along with fears, anxiety, worry, etc.) is the main cause of food or digestive disorder.
I don’t feel the inner joy and I am more or less satisfied with my life as it is now. I feel dirty due to a certain aspect of me. I eat and reject my emotions: it is easier and my needs are fulfilled much faster. I choose a form of reward that is very handy to me. I’m looking for a certain satisfaction and I like to find it in fat and heavy foods.
Other spiritual causes that lead to bowel disorders and digestive problems include:
- accumulation of feelings like possessiveness, selfishness or jealousy;
- the desire to hold everything for oneself;
- inability to assimilate life’s lessons;
- refusal to understand life’s lessons;
- inability to accept a situation or a person;
- beliefs like “others are wrong, I am the only one who is right;”
- the fear of letting go of old misconceptions.
A regular diet high in vegetables, seeds, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and legumes (and low in red and processed meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as trans-fats) has been strongly associated with fewer intestinal problems.
Increasing your level of any type of physical activity lowers your risk of intestinal problems, plus, it brings other benefits, such as better sleep, lower emotional stress, and an efficient immune system.
Being obese or overweight increases the risk of intestinal problems in both women and men, but the connection seems to be stronger in men.