The intestine is part of the digestive system, an organ for digestion and excretion, starting from the duodenum and ending at the rectum. It resides in the abdominal cavity and consists of the small intestine (including duodenum, jejunum, ileum) and the large intestine (including the cecum, ascending, transverse, descending, sigmoid, and rectum).
The main function of the small intestine is nutrient absorption. The large intestine is responsible for absorbing liquids and preparing and transporting fecal matter. Medicine differentiates between intestinal disorders and diseases.
List of intestinal disorders:
- Flatulence – excessive gas accumulation in the intestine.
- Diarrhea – a symptom of intestinal dysfunction with abdominal pain and discharge of liquid and semi-liquid stool.
- Constipation – difficulty in bowel movements.
- Dyskinesia of the small intestine – a functional disorder involving increased or decreased peristalsis (contraction of the walls). Usually caused by diseases of other abdominal organs (liver, stomach, etc.). Symptoms of increased peristalsis include mild pain, rumbling in the abdomen, and liquid stool. Symptoms of decreased peristalsis: a feeling of heaviness, bloating, pain around the navel.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (dyskinesia, spastic colon, mucous colitis) – a motility disorder of the colon. Symptoms are vague: abdominal rumbling, diarrhea, and constipation.
- Dysbiosis – disruption of the normal composition of the microflora of the small and large intestines due to irrational nutrition, intestinal infections, antibiotic use. Symptoms: bloating, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, burping, vomiting, diarrhea.
Common diseases of the small and large intestines include:
- Allergic reaction of the small intestine. Arises due to the consumption of foods containing allergens. Symptoms: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
- Celiac disease or gluten enteropathy – an immune reaction to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley). Symptoms: general weakness, diarrhea, weight loss, etc.
- Malabsorption and maldigestion – a pathology where digestion and absorption of certain nutrients are impaired. Symptoms: abdominal bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss.
- Enteritis (catarrh) – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the small intestine. Caused by bacteria and viruses in food, certain medications, or radiation therapy. Symptoms: loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain.
- Gastroenteritis – simultaneous inflammation of the stomach and small intestine – abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea.
- Duodenal ulcer – hypersecretion of gastric juice, which enters the intestine. Also often caused by infection or anti-inflammatory drugs. Symptoms: pain in the upper abdomen on an empty stomach with relief after eating, burping, bloating.
- Intestinal obstruction – a pathology where the movement of food through the intestine is disrupted. Symptoms: absence of defecation and gas, bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting of fecal matter.
- Diverticulitis – inflammation of a diverticulum (a small pouch-like protrusion of the intestinal wall). Characterized by symptoms similar to appendicitis: lower abdominal pain, high fever, sometimes bleeding.
- Ileitis (Crohn’s disease) – inflammation of the ileum (the last part of the small intestine), affecting the entire digestive tract. The causes of this disease are unknown to doctors. Symptoms: constant or periodic diarrhea with abdominal pain, often obstruction, fever, skin rashes.
- Ischemia occurs due to impaired blood circulation in the small intestine. Causes: narrowing of the lumen of the mesenteric arteries by atherosclerotic plaques. Symptoms of acute ischemia: sudden severe abdominal pain, tenderness on palpation, nausea and vomiting, fever, blood in stool. Symptoms of chronic ischemia include abdominal pain after eating for 1-3 hours, which worsens over several months, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss.
- In severe cases, a cessation of blood flow can lead to an infarction of the small intestine – mesenteric thrombosis.
- Cancer (malignant tumors) of the small intestine, such as adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, and sarcoma.
- Ulcerative colitis – affects the mucosa of the colon and rectum. The causes are not established. Symptoms: frequent diarrhea, pain in the left side of the abdomen, sometimes bleeding, weight loss, weakness.
- Diverticulum of the colon – stretching of the intestinal wall, forming a “pocket” protruding into the abdominal cavity. Causes: chronic constipation, weak intestinal wall tone. Symptoms: high fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea with blood and mucus.
- Typhlitis – inflammation of the cecum. Causes: food allergies, parasites, infections, dysbiosis, etc. Symptoms: diarrhea and vomiting, rumbling and abdominal pain, enlargement of the intestine, etc.
- Lazy bowel syndrome – a pathological condition with impaired motor-evacuation function of the colon. Causes: sedentary work, ignoring urges, digestive disorders, pregnancy, stress, etc. Symptoms include headache, poor appetite, nervousness, skin rash, bloating, and heaviness in the stomach, difficulty in emptying.
- Colitis (catarrh) – inflammation of the mucous membrane of the colon (the longest and most important part of the large intestine) – sharp abdominal pain, alternating diarrhea and constipation, severe malaise, sometimes fever.
- Colorectal cancer. The main factor is an improper diet based on refined products and additives.
Psychosomatics of Intestinal Disorders
The essence of the psychosomatics of intestinal disorders is revealed by their functions. The small intestine is known to absorb nutrients, while the large intestine serves as a reservoir for digestion waste and eliminates what is no longer needed.
This means that the small intestine symbolizes the assimilation of new thoughts and ideas, and the large intestine – the ability to get rid of the unnecessary and old.
Even gastroenterologists have identified that many intestinal disorders and diseases originate from negative psychosomatic experiences. Diarrhea indicates psychological problems related to fear, and constipation – problems related to greed.
According to A. Nekrasov, the causes of constipation in children lie in the relationships of parents. This disorder in a child indicates that their worldview lacks dynamics, living in the old.
Psychological causes of some intestinal diseases can be considered based on the symbol of the main diagnosis. For example, a duodenal ulcer at its core has an “ulcer,” symbolizing anger. Further, we specify: what caused the anger? This is indicated by the organ that is ill. Remembering the function of the small intestine: the assimilation of new beneficial ideas.
Hence, the psychological cause of this ailment may be the suppression of anger related to the reluctance to assimilate some useful experience, situation, event, knowledge, etc.
And since anger carries destructive aggression, which a person does not want to show to others and suppresses it, it is internalized and begins to consume the person from within.
Psychosomatics of Intestinal Disorders
Famous author Louise Hay sees fear of letting go of everything old and unnecessary as the root of intestinal problems.
In her opinion, the cause of diarrhea is fear, rejection, fleeing, and the psychological causes of constipation are the reluctance to part with outdated thoughts, being stuck in the past, sometimes in spitefulness.
Louise Hay believes that flatulence indicates inner tightness, fears, unrealized ideas.
According to Liz Burbo, when a person clings to old thoughts that are no longer needed, suppresses the desire to say or do something out of fear (being impolite, not pleasing), then constipation occurs. A person suffering from constipation is characterized by pettiness, strong attachment to something, and inability to let go (for example, their past). Or the person lives with the feeling that they are forced to give away (time, energy, money).
The psychologist writes that diarrhea occurs when a person often feels rejected or lives with a sense of guilt. Such a person lacks acceptance and gratitude. For overly sensitive people, diarrhea can appear due to fear when they refuse a beneficial life situation. Often, people suffering from diarrhea do not value themselves.
Flatulence arises when a person is troubled by fears of losing something or being in a difficult position.
Swelling, according to Liz Burbo, explains the unwillingness or inability of a person to swallow something (information, events), or that they have swallowed too much and cannot digest it.
Diarrhea, according to Dr. Luule Viilma, symbolizes despair related to the acute desire to get rid of all unpleasant tasks, and the desire to be strong.
Dysbiosis indicates contradictory judgments about the activities of others.
According to the practice, V. Sinelnikov concludes that diarrhea occurs when a person is not ready to accept events due to fear (usually arises before important events).
People suffering from constipation believe in need and limitations, so they are afraid to let go of something, even if it is unnecessary. Hence, stinginess and greed for money also become causes of this ailment.
Meteorism, according to Sinelnikov, indicates that a person eats different or heavy “food” (in other words, events occur in life that the person cannot “digest”).
Psychosomatic Causes of Small Intestinal Diseases
According to Louise Hay, problems with the small intestine indicate an inability to extract and perceive the useful from life, clinging to details and missing the bigger picture. Dr. Luule Viilma explains that diseases of the small intestine arise from the obligation to deal with trivialities when one wants to engage in more significant matters. These diseases are also associated with negative, arrogant, and ironic attitudes towards women’s work. Discomfort in the duodenum reflects distrust of others, fear, tension, while constant pain in the duodenum indicates cruelty, heartlessness, and anger towards a group.
Ulcerative bleeding, rupture of the duodenum signify a person’s vengefulness towards a group, turning anger into cruelty. Duodenal ulcers occur when a person is overly focused on a problem, literally consuming themselves with worry. This disease often affects irritable people who are outraged but feel powerless.
Ilbit, as explained by Dr. V. Sinelnikov, affects those unable to free themselves from obsessive thoughts and feelings of rejection. This leads to negative experiences such as rejection of everything, fear of not living up to expectations, or disappointing loved ones.
Metaphysical Causes of Colon Diseases
Louise Hay believes that the basis of colitis is insecurity and the inability to easily let go of the past, while spastic colitis stems from the fear of letting go, unreliability. Problems with the colon’s mucosa indicate that the accumulation of outdated thoughts clogs the waste removal channel. People suffering from such ailments are stuck in the mire of the past. Hay’s table of disease causes suggests that hemorrhoids symbolize an inability to rid oneself of accumulated problems, grievances, and emotions, with pain reflecting guilt and a desire for punishment.
Itching, according to the table, signifies guilt about the past, and abscesses represent anger towards what one wants to discard. Fistula causes are incomplete disposal of thought and emotional waste, reluctance to part with the trash of the past. Louise Hay attributes anorectal bleeding to anger and disappointment.
According to Liz Burbo, colon problems indicate clinging to old beliefs no longer needed (constipation) or too quickly rejecting useful ideas (diarrhea). The anus, as the final opening, symbolizes the end of an idea, relationship, or process. Pain in this area (including rectal sphincter spasm) speaks of guilt over a strong desire to end something.
Bleeding indicates a loss of zest for life, accompanied by anger and disappointment. People suffering from this ailment usually get irritated instead of seeing the positive in a situation.
Dr. Luule Viilma writes that colon diseases are explained by the obligation to deal with significant matters when one wants to deal with trivialities. These ailments characterize a negative attitude towards men’s work and reflect issues related to unfinished matters.
Rectal problems express a malicious life struggle without desired results and the obligation to finish what one has started. Problems with the cecum symbolize a multitude of dead-end situations in a person’s life. The doctor explains anal itching as temptation by a sense of duty, and fissures as one’s own merciless compulsion.
Colon cancer is caused by negative emotions such as bitterness and disappointment. Rectal cancer, according to Dr. Luule Viilma, arises from experiencing emotions like bitterness, disappointment, fear of critical feedback about one’s work, and contempt for one’s work.
According to Dr. V. Sinelnikov, hemorrhoids, abscesses, fistulas, and fissures arise if the ‘ejection’ of the old and unnecessary in life is hindered by anger, fear, wrath, and guilt related to past events. A person feels ‘the pain of loss,’ hence the reluctance to let go.
Internal tension due to clinging to the past and not freeing oneself from it leads to blockages, manifesting as colic, bowel cramps.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, according to Sinelnikov, indicates immaturity, low self-esteem, and constant doubts. Inflammation of the cecum symbolizes a general fear of life, shutting oneself off from life.
If a person experienced strong pressure and humiliation in childhood, and had to do what pleased their parents, not themselves, the consequences of such psychological trauma manifest as colonic catarrh. The aftermath of such childhood psychological trauma will be fear of personal development. Such a person lacks the courage to be themselves, and due to the lack of warmth (not received in childhood from parents), they cling to other people.
Diverticulitis, as written by Sinelnikov, affects people who suppress anger.
Paths to Healing
Despite the abundance of intestinal diseases, there are not many ways to heal. This is because the healing paths of the intestine are related to its two main functions: absorption (small intestine) and elimination (colon).
If these functions are effectively realized by a person not only in the digestive sense but also in the spiritual and moral sense, then health is guaranteed. Therefore, to heal the small intestine, one must learn to nourish themselves with positive thoughts and feelings and not waste energy on negative emotions. And to heal the colon, it’s necessary to learn to let go of outdated or harmful thoughts and emotions, to release negativity, not accumulate it.
There is a parable. Once a sage told his disciples a joke. Everyone laughed. After some time, he told the same joke again. Only three people laughed. And when he told it a third time, no one laughed. Then the sage asked: ‘Why do you stop laughing at a joke the third time, yet complain and cry about the same thing endlessly?’ A good question, isn’t it? Something to think about.